One of the urges an entrepreneur must fight is the desire to have total control. As the founder, owner, and/or director of an organization, we would naturally want things in the company to go our way. Most entrepreneurs started on their own, with an idea and a plan. Then he/she would invite partners, find suppliers or hire contractors to take on the hard work and help run the company.
The entrepreneur might relinquish some management control, assign responsibilities, or distribute authority. But, the need to be in total command is still there. Thus, micro-management happens. Or worse, the CEO ends up doing everything in the company him/herself.
When starting out with my first company, I did everything myself. I was the CEO, the secretary, the liaison officer, the finance manager, the encoder, the designer. I did everything, and I thought that was naturally fine. When the company started to take off and things get too hectic, I took in people who can help me. The company got bigger, I got busier. It didn’t matter how many more employees I added in, work was still swamping me.
The problem was that I wasn’t ready to let go of the reins. I, impetuously and desperately, fought to keep control, total control of the company. The result was not only devastating to my schedule and my health, it was also holding back the company. Where I was working so hard to grow a company, I was also pivotal to its stagnation.
At some point, we must learn to trust people. It is important for an entrepreneur to recognize the right time to start handing over tasks, responsibilities, and control to other members of the team. This way, he or she can have better use of his/her time.
The key to confidently and easily relinquish control is to build a powerful team first. Here are some lessons I’ve learned on how to build a powerful team;
Find the Experts
My mindset on staffing and hiring people was to find somebody who I can train and instruct with the workings of the company. Now, on hindsight, I realized how backward it was. I was only focusing on my knowledge and experience. I wasn’t taking into consideration other people’s viewpoint, their expertise, and experiences.
I was only hiring people who can learn and take instructions from me. I didn’t realize that was a dead-end. Instead, we should be looking for a team member who can significantly contribute to the organization. It could be their extensive experience, their vast knowledge, or their wisdom. Hire experts, equip them with tools needed for the job, and let them do their jobs.
Why are you hiring? Do not hire a person to answer calls, hire someone who will take care of the customers. Do not hire a person to manage the sales department, hire someone who will bring in sales. Do not hire an assistant, hire someone who will make things easier for you. People are more dedicated and committed to their jobs if they know their roles within the organization. The QA officer will be more discerning if she knows the integrity of the product rests on their job, compared to just focusing on the task that is picking out the defects and issues.
When roles are established, it is also key to value each differing roles. The bookkeeper role should carry the same importance as that finance manager. All positions and roles are separate and different, yet all essential to the achievement of the company’s goals.
Goals are important in establishing a powerful team. Long-term goals serve as inspirations to keep pushing. Short-term goals are guideposts for everyone. Individual goals give each member of the team control over their own accomplishments, while company-wide goals unite the team as one.
It is more powerful to set goals than assigning tasks. When an employee knows his/her goals, they can design ways, manage tasks, and work on the goal the best way they can.
When setting goals, it should always be with the person. This way, you can set and agree upon realistic, relevant, and meaningful goals. Remember, goals should be motivational and attainable. It should be hard enough that you’ll need to work on it and give pride upon completion, but easy enough to motivate, excite, and draw the person to it.
Open and unhampered communications within the company is healthy, helpful, and sensible. It facilitates processes, eliminates misunderstanding, promotes transparency, and instills camaraderie. Establishing open communication lines also enables the leaders to access the frontlines of the company – the sales counters, the designers’ table, the production line.
Everyone in the organization should be able to talk and should be heard. Having a voice in the company is very empowering. It encourages team members to pitch in ideas, suggestions, and opinions. Having open communication lines serves as a performance overseer, as reporting a misbehaving supervisor is safe, easy, and effective.
As a entrepreneur, I do not limit my team to inside the company. My family, my friends, and my community are also my support system. Every day I draw inspiration, strength, and reassurance from the people close and dear to me. The understanding, support, and encouragement they provide are priceless. It is what drives me to work, get up on that stage, travel to different countries, and do the best I can.
One thing is for sure, despite having my name in the leaderboard, I won’t be able to do it alone. I’m just one of the people that make up my awesome powerful team.