Conquering Chaos

Ep 21: How to Grow your Team & Set the Stage for Peak Performance

August 20, 2019 Season 1 Episode 21
Conquering Chaos
Ep 21: How to Grow your Team & Set the Stage for Peak Performance
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 21: How to Grow your Team & Set the Stage for Peak Performance
Aug 20, 2019 Season 1 Episode 21
Erin E Hooley
Show Notes Transcript

Growing your team can be a daunting task. "Who should I hire?" "What should I hire them to do?"

While these questions are important, what is often missed is the one question that will set the foundation for not just an employee, but a true leader in your company. Someone who will have a high impact on your growth.

"How will I communicate to inspire growth and maximum performance and growth?"

In this episode join Erin E Hooley as she breaks down the "How" in constructive leadership communication, and addresses the 3 big mistakes she made in the infancy of her team building experience.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar e-commerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire is providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or dropping some earbuds and let's conquer some chaos today. Hey guys, I spent
Speaker 2:
0:30
a long summer of moving into our new warehouse space. We upgraded our 6,000 square foot rental into a 25,000 square foot space that we have been building is actually been in the works now for about two years. So it's been quite the long endeavor. We didn't anticipate that it was going to take this long and we set our final goodbyes to the old space this past Thursday and I looked at my husband and we just said, we've got to get away. The kids start school on Tuesday. This whole endeavor is taken all summer long. We thought that it was going to be by the end of May at first and then we said okay well maybe the end of June we'll up that at worst case scenario is going to be end of July and here we are mid August and finally wrapped up the final details. So it's been quite the endeavor. So all that to say you may hear some background noise cause I am recording today's episode sitting lakeside in Oklahoma watching a beautiful sunset and it's just perfect.
Speaker 2:
1:26
It's actually the perfect backdrop to talk to you about. One of the questions I hear most often regarding how I started growing my team because without my team get away with like this would be virtually impossible. Instead of a sunrise, it would be a computer screen. And as much as I love my business, sometimes you just have to get away. Now if you're currently in Solo preneur mode, believe me when I say that, I know how overwhelming that can be growing. My team has offered me the flexibility to create my own life on my terms and on my schedule for the transition was far from smooth. I've made all the amateur mistakes and I'm about to get all kinds of real with you about them. So mistake number one, I waited too long. I postponed hiring my first employee until I was completely maxed out.
Speaker 2:
2:14
And I know that this is so tempting, especially when we're crunching our numbers, but we have to put our abilities are limitations front and center to make sure that we can maximize our potential and we can work to our best and most magnified efforts without being burnt out. So I was pulling an average of one to two all nighters a week, working at minimum 60 hours a week and then also raising my six kids. So I live to work and balance honestly seems like a fantasy. So I remember telling myself just one more week, just one more month, just one more month, just one more quarter of this insanity. And then I'll make all the needed changes that I know I need to make to get my life back on track. The unfortunate thing is it's really easy to underestimate how many times we're putting that date further and further into the future.
Speaker 2:
3:05
And not actually ever marking it on the calendar saying this is my stop date, this is when I'm bringing on that first person. So I finally hired my first employee when I couldn't pack, ship and respond to all inquiries within a 12 hour timeline. And you're probably wondering why a 12 hour timeline? Oh, from the very beginning, I've always had high standards of what I was creating. So customer service was a really big part of that. So a 24 hour response time was painful for me. So my first hire was to help with order fulfillment because I wanted to maintain control over the customer experience and all those interactions. And that of course leads me to mistake number two, which was, I micromanage the tar out of everything. I treated my business like it was my little baby and I hovered over every tiny detail and not just my baby, but my like first time mom baby.
Speaker 2:
3:57
I mean I was really, really obsessed with every single little thing that was going on and I couldn't let go of any of it. So not only did this drive my team mad, but I never allowed my mind to rest. I never took a step away. I never relaxed and since at the time everything was out of our home, everyone I hired was either a friend or family member. So I'm going to ruffle a few feathers here and probably make a few people feel a bit uncomfortable because I'm going to call that my mistake. Number three and let me clarify, this is less about the complexities of working with family and friends as it is making sure that you don't offer a job that number one, they're not qualified for or two, you don't have a fully trusting relationship to where you can openly discuss anything and everything and have a history of working through issues and problems openly, no filter, no sugarcoating, just pure honesty based off of love and mutual respect.
Speaker 2:
4:54
So if you hire a friend or family member who is both unqualified and unable to have a real conversation with you in tough times, you honestly, you have a ticking time bomb on your hands. It's the breeding ground for resentment and entitlement. And that's when you see relationships become strained and even permanently damaged. So when you're looking to hire that first person and if you are looking to hire a friend or a family member, whether that's because you're working out of your home and they're going to have access to your family, your children, your personal items, and there's a trust issue there. I get it. I mean, that's exactly the reason why I was able to rationalize who I brought in from the get go. I didn't ever post a job listing in the first couple of years. I didn't want to, I didn't want strangers in my home and wanting to hope for the best.
Speaker 2:
5:41
So I get, I get all the things that you can potentially rationalize to say, hey, I have to do this. I have no other choice. But I wish I had also had the ability to take a step back and to say, okay, I'm not willing to take just anyone. It has to be the right relationship. We have to have the right of qualifications and skills. That and also the ability that I have to communicate with that person. What if something goes wrong? What if they're not performing to the degree that I need them to perform their job tasks to the point where now I'm just going back behind them and picking up all the little messes left behind. That's not helping me and honestly, it's not helping them either. So do I have the ability and the the type of relationship with that person to where I could say, Hey, I appreciate your efforts, but I actually need x, Y, and z.
Speaker 2:
6:29
This is what I need from you. These are the expectations in order for us to grow this company together. Is that something that you can offer? And if you don't have the ability to say, this isn't working for me, or I'd like to see a change here to be able to offer that guidance and that feedback, whether it is positive or negative, if you can't honestly and openly offer that feedback without having fear of hurting their feelings, they're not the right person to be on your team. Every person on your team, you should feel comfortable to have that type of a conversation with to be able to push back, to be able to ask the tough questions, to be able to hold them accountable. If that relationship is not there for any reason, then I would highly suggest taking a second look at who you're looking at hiring.
Speaker 2:
7:17
I wish I had known this in the beginning because honestly what happens when you don't set that foundation of communication, especially with friends and family members, then what you're doing is you're opening up a huge potential for strain on that relationship and those most often are the relationships we care about the most. It's not worth it. The risks are too high. That's why you need to be very, very choosy when you're looking at bringing on a friend or a family member. Now, obviously I'm a huge proponent that I know that this can work, so yes, I've done it poorly, but I've also been able to do it really well. My husband and I work together. We've been working together for about two years now and works because we know how to work through conflict. We know what conflict resolution looks like. We fully trust that we can disagree and even get upset with one another and at the end of the day, we're not going to hold a grudge. We're going to hash it out. We're going to talk, we're going to communicate through it until we work through it and we can move beyond it. The more that you communicate, the more that you have those boundaries set in place, the easier it is to have those conversations and to be able to work successfully with friends and family members and maintain those relationships and even strengthen those relationships.
Speaker 3:
8:32
Now, with that comment, I'm sure I've struck a chord with many of you because this has been my biggest learning curve and even one of my biggest mistakes throughout my journey as an entrepreneur. It's my willingness to say the difficult things. We've all heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, right? And I'm perfectly capable of identifying that link, but then what? How do I have that conversation to reinforce and strengthen them rather than a run from the issue. B, hide the issue. Pretend it's not there or see, get rid of the issue altogether without ever really addressing it. It is our responsibility as leaders to address underperformance and provide opportunities for people to grow, and it all starts with our ability and our willingness to hold people accountable. The alternative is we don't have the uncomfortable conversation, but choose to be silently frustrated and reassign or even fix the problem ourselves.
Speaker 3:
9:31
Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way that silent resentment does not diminish over time. The elephant in the room only grows larger and the trust of other team members begins to diminish as they see you put your fears of confrontation above the security and growth of the team and the company, the performance of your team and the growth of your company must be the priority and must be prioritized over your need to be liked. That doesn't mean that you need to be a jerk, but it does mean that you need to be willing to be honest and to have a conversation that will ultimately benefit the entire team and create a more cohesive and collaborative culture out to start any productive conversation. There's a bit of a formula that we need to be able to break down the walls first. So first and foremost, when starting any conversation, we need to validate the person we're talking to.
Speaker 3:
10:23
We need to validate them and their contribution. We need to just tell them that we value them, that they're important to us. We need to let them know that we want to ensure that we're giving them and providing them with all the tools and opportunities necessary for them to succeed. And then we need to ask them questions. What challenges are you facing? What are your goals and what are you doing to meet your goals? What's stopping you from meeting them? What's working for you? What could you do differently? Asking questions and putting the ball in their court allows them to step up and be leaders rather than just followers who are doing whatever we are dictating and laying out for them. It's our job as a leader to help them identify what they're doing that's working, that they can amplify and what they're doing that's not working that maybe needs to change.
Speaker 3:
11:12
It's really easy here to dictate what they should do next, and I'm super guilty of this myself. It's kind of like teaching your children how to tie their shoes. It's going to take 30 seconds for you to help them and do it yourself versus potentially 30 minutes for you to teach them how to do it. Oftentimes the 32nd option wins out, but when we look at that 30 seconds magnified over years and years and years and now we've got somebody in fifth grade who still has to wear a velcro or no tie shoes. If you add that up, that 30 minutes no longer, it looks so bad right from the get go and it's the same thing with business. Whenever we step in and dictate their move. What we've done is we've set them up to constantly need our approval and our directives to progress.
Speaker 3:
11:59
So what questions can we ask to help them come to see what opportunities are in front of them and what changes need to be made and even if that means we allow them opportunities to fail, we need to change our mindset to say an opportunity to fail is an opportunity to learn same as we have done on our own journeys. We need to allow people the ability to learn the hard things and to answer for them. Once you understand what their goals are within the organization, it's vital that you understand what their goals are as an individual. Are they looking to scale up to the next level? Are they looking to move into a different position or are they looking to provide an enhanced lifestyle for their family? And if the answer to any of these is yes, then you can give them specific challenges that will help them show up more fully.
Speaker 3:
12:48
There's a difference between providing a challenge to show up more fully and telling them what's showing up more fully looks like if you're leading someone who has a hard time with time management for example, and you block out their schedule fully and you say, okay, at eight 30 in the morning you're going to do this and then at nine 30 you're going to do this and then at 10 30 you're going to do this and then you're going to take a 30 minute lunch break and then at that time you're going to do x, Y, and z. You get the idea. Versus I challenge you to take an inventory of all the tasks of all the things that you need to do in any given day. I challenge you to set your intention in the first 15 minutes of your day, block out how you're going to use your time and commit to when you're going to have specific tasks done by and if you're trying to scale up, if you're trying to make room for a specific goal, you need to put that on your schedule as well.
Speaker 3:
13:38
If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Write it down, get it on paper and commit to making it happen. Give yourself a deadline and stick to it. And then after you blocked out your time, I would love to look it over with you and to hear any concerns you might have. Do you see the difference? It's that willingness to take the 30 minutes to teach them rather than the 30 seconds to just do it for them. As leaders, we need to have a longterm vision and help those around us to establish longterm vision and longterm goals as well. Oftentimes we discredit how far we've come and we assume that everybody should have had the same learning experiences and the same understandings that we've gleaned over weeks and months and even a year is it experience and practice. But when we step back and we explain to people, I believe that this will help set you up for further success in your career. I believe in you. I believe that you are capable of accomplishing this and all the goals that you have for yourself and because I believe in you and because I value you as a person, when you commit to me, I'm not going to let you off the hook easy. I'm not going to let you get away and get Scott free.
Speaker 2:
14:52
I'm gonna ask you the tough questions. I'm going to make it a little uncomfortable because I know that you're capable of more. That's the whole point of the conversation. The last bit of this formula is the hardest one for most of us. It's our willingness and our ability to follow through. So my advice to you before you conclude that conversation is to say, wonderful. Now we have our dates, we've outlined our goals. This is what you're going to do. When are we going to circle back and report out on this? When are we following up on this? Let's get it on the calendar and you put it out maybe in a week, maybe in 10 days, maybe only in three days, but you get it on the calendar so that they know at x date, at x time, I have to report back on my follow through.
Speaker 2:
15:39
Now when that follow through appointment comes up, if this person is giving you all the excuses as to why they couldn't do what they had previously committed to do, it may be tempting to slip back into those. I want to be your friend ways. I want to be liked by you ways and say, oh goodness, no, I totally understand. Don't worry about it. We'll try again later. My goal as a leader is to grow other leaders and that needs to be more important to me than how many people think I'm nice at the end of the day, so I'm going to risk offending someone in the hopes that I can help propel them to their next level in their personal and professional growth journey. I hope these tips have helped you create a roadmap for the tough leadership conversations. I promise they do get easier as you just get out there and are willing to have them and practice being bad so that you could be really great in the end.
Speaker 2:
16:33
As you look to grow your team, I hope you'll learn from my learning experiences and my mistakes and don't wait too long. Let go of your need to know and micromanage everything and allow others to have a voice and grow a team, not just a group of employees. And lastly, if you choose to work with friends and family, audit your relationship with them to ensure the health of that relationship in the context of your company. Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to net change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media at Aaron evenly or at Aaron [inaudible] dot com have a fantastic day. Get out there and conquer some chaos.