You know that entrepreneur who is great at entrepreneur-ing YET who is terrible at managing people? Every Tuesday I drive to Atlanta to run a leadership team meeting for a company that is not mine for this very reason. Entrepreneurs need help when it comes to organizing their people, their teams, and their processes.
I recognize not all of you have the luxury of bringing in an external party to host your weekly team meetings, so today I will share three things you can do if you are an entrepreneur trying to lead better.
1. Don’t cancel meetings. And show up on time.
Employees need time with their boss. Even if their boss is the company owner. Showing up, on time, for meetings goes a very long way. It tells people that you care about them, that their time is just as valuable as your time, and it models the respect you are seeking in return.
2. Set clear expectations and goals. Show gratitude when reached.
Great entrepreneurs have great vision, yet often struggle to come up with the discrete actions needed to achieve it. What’s more, entrepreneurs sometimes move so fast they fail to clearly state what it is they want done. Be sure to not skip this step, as well congratulating and thanking staff when they meet or exceed what you expected of them.
3. Ask, “how can I help?” Listen carefully. And then follow through.
The question, “how can I help?” conveys interest, care, and intentionally of building a team – not a dictatorship. And then you listen, really listen, so that you can follow up on what you have been asked to support with. This follow through is symbolically important to relational dynamic of the team you are building. In fact, it is more important than the action itself. So, if Joe asks you to provide a warm email introduction to Kelana in marketing, do it without complaining.
This is not rocket science. Yet for the fast-paced life, the restless mind, and the get-it-done obsession that most entrepreneurs carry with them, these 3 things easily fall through the cracks.
Word of advice? Do what you need to do in order to intentionally execute on these 3 management tricks and you will solve 95% of complaints you have with employee performance.