My wife and I like to use the end of the year to look back and consider a few things. First, did we meet our goals we made a year ago? Second, did we grow in our personal, spiritual, and professional lives? And third, what did we learn over the past 12 months.
We then create new goals for the New Year, and think of steps to take in order to meet those goals, and though some of our goals are personal and won’t be a blog topic in 2020 – I believe that the lessons I learned this year are applicable to many business owners and founders. Maybe you’ll be able to learn from my lessons, just like I’ve learned from so many others this year.
Delegate & Trust [But Still Be the Boss]
This was a huge lesson of 2019, as I tend to like to have my hands in all the projects. And though this is a strength of mine, it isn’t always feasible, especially as my company grew and surpassed what one person could possibly keep track of.
Delegating is a great part of being a boss, but only if you have a solid team to trust and depend on – which luckily, I do. And though I delegate and trust my team to get the job done (and get it done right even when I’m not there watching) I still have a hand in guiding them – which sometimes means reviewing and correcting.
This means I have to monitor and bring to my team’s attention when they have missed a deadline, reacted poorly, or dropped the ball. Of course, I want to do this in a supportive and gracious way, but being the boss sometimes means correcting people, especially when I delegated and trusted – and the job wasn’t done well.
Your Team Might Not Care as Much as You Do
This was a tough lesson to learn, because as much as you might want your team to be passionate about your company – it isn’t their company, it’s yours, and therefore they might not have the same drive, passion, and ideals for it.
Your team may not care about your business as much as you do, but make sure your core leadership team does, and that they understand the importance of a good work ethic, hitting deadlines for clients, and internal deadlines for the company.
Of course, it’s preferred to hire and work with individuals who are just as ‘in it’ as you are within the company, which is why I strive to promote and hire those who show passion and drive, as well as loyalty. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, and that is a tough pill to swallow for any team leader or business owner.
Grow Your Team by Hiring Attitude
This goes right along with my second lesson, because growing your team is a tricky trek. It can be difficult to figure out the balance of who is a cultural fit and who is a skill fit for your team while accurately weeding out those that aren’t.
It only takes one to drag down the company culture and others. Gossiping, speaking harshly or jabbing at others, and actively trying to bring down the team or company culture shouldn’t be a part of your organization, ever. There are those who are really skilled at what they do but it’s better to find those who value the same values you do in your company.
Ultimately, I have learned to hire character over skills all day every day. Because those with a teachable spirit will always be coachable and willing to learn new things. And while others might be set in their ways – the team members you want will be able to adapt to new systems and continually improve.
In my company, we want positive attitudes, as it becomes contagious to everyone around them. Negative people only bring a negative atmosphere that drags the whole team down.