- Do you have a payroll that you are struggling to maintain today?
- Do you have anyone on your team that you are not pleased with, but didn’t take action on yet?
- Would you like to become more profitable while maximizing financial opportunity for your team even in this economy?
If you can say yes to anything above. Keep reading…
The old adage, “bigger and faster” doesn’t always mean better. This is especially true when it comes to building a better team for your organization. In the long-run, a well-balanced team of individuals with unique abilities will always outperform a team that is based on skill and experience alone. There are team dynamics and other factors often overlooked when trying to build a better team. Not realizing this, leaders often build a house that is not built on a firm foundation.
As you may be experiencing, it is tougher today for many leaders to provide financial growth for their staff, pay their increasingingly higher bills and still somehow achieve a company profit. I hear it all the time as I meet with my clients through my Internet marketing firm, Sharp Innovations. This is why the concept of “lean management” is more important than ever. For those not familiar with the concept of lean management, here is a definition from Wikipedia :
“…a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.”
I wanted to share with you a personal story that happened back in April of 2004 when I had to severely downsize my staff from 17 to 11. In my first 5 years in business with Sharp Innovations, I found that my young company kept hiring new people in kind of an erratic way. We kept going after new opportunities and creating new roles for people based upon great conceptual ideas or the current workflow. So if you have work to do and you feel like you don’t have the right people to do it, what else could you do besides hiring new talent or leveraging a partnership? Personally, I found that God was actively at work in my life and was pruning the vines in the vineyard that he had entrusted to me through my leadership role. I ended up laying off 6 of my 17-person team in a fairly short span of time, and it was extremely painful. I had never had to go through layoffs before, and I was so emotionally moved that I wrote a poem about the experience. Looking back at my firm 5 years later, I can see all of the blessings and by-products from that experience. God forced me to really look at what I was doing, and to challenge myself to do a better job as a leader by building a better team.
I have done just that by utilizing tools like The Unique Ability Team™ and Activity Inventories that I have learned through The Strategic Coach® and the Kolbe A Index™ and Kolbe Synergy from Kolbe Corp. I will be sharing more detail about these resources in future articles. They have helped me to better understand how to do the following:
- Tap into the best of each person that I have inside of my organization
- Better understand where my team had weaknesses or missing skills
- Know who was on the wrong bus seat (or shouldn’t be on the bus at all)
- Recognize tasks that could be better delegated not only from me, but from everyone on my team(s)
- Maximize passion and confidence within each team member
- Ensure that anytime a person quit or left that it was embraced as an opportunity for the team to improve and grow
By applying the above concepts, my team has become stronger each time I have had someone quit or leave. Though I have sometimes lost great talent, I praise God for the resources and wisdom he has bestowed upon me. He has given me the ability to recognize ability in others, and in doing so, I have confidence in being able to see my future team(s) always being stronger than my current and past team(s). As a direct example, for the past several years I have seen a team size averaging 11 people outperform my team of 17 from 2004. We produce higher revenues, create a better product and even offer more value and services to my clients.
Another key ingredient: work smarter, not harder. My team has become one that supports my use of The Entrepreneurial Time System™ that I learned from The Strategic Coach® and have utilized for 9 years. It has helped me to work differently than most to achieve a better work/life balance. I now take 155+ “free days” a year, and am increasingly more productive when I work. I will be talking about this concept more in the future, as well.
I recognize that leaders want to be loyal to their staff, and that is an important virtue. However, a leader can let loyalty create fear in making a staffing change. They may do this even when it truly isn’t a good fit for one or both of you or their team. Your company needs a leader that will make the tough decisions at the right time.
In closing, I am personally convicted to make decisions for my team, my companies and my life in general on a firm foundation. As a man of faith, God has shown me through His word the wisdom of building your house on the rock so it can stand over time. Matthew 7:24-27 does a great job of explaining this concept. I encourage all leaders to build their business and live their life on a firm foundation, rather than chasing the changing winds of this world, which are fleeting.
I help my coaching clients focus on matters like these so they can see their business become more efficient, profitable and scalable, if desired. I also help them achieve better balance professionally and personally so they can see their business truly work to support their life purpose and vision. If you want to find out more about how this could be leveraged in your world, or if you want to discuss a business problem you are facing, feel free to contact me or call me personally at 717-615-2274. You are also welcome to share this article or other resources found on my blog (visionandpassion.wordpress.com) with those you care about. Feel free to contact me if you or an associate would like to join my blog or receive this article as a PDF.