Momentum Podcast: 285
Don't Count On Getting Lucky
by Alex Charfen
Are you being transparent your team when it comes to working together? If someone behavior is affecting you in a negative way, your silence signifies approval.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will.
We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
Don't count on getting lucky. This is a crucial topic if you are leading a team, growing a business, working with people, have people around you that you want to have help you be productive because here's what happens to us as entrepreneurs. Our whole lives is a function of momentum. How much can we create? How much can we keep? How much can we put out there? How big can we make the hunt we are on, and how long can we stay on it? Can we have that feeling of making forward progress, making things happen, making things change in this world and creating new outcomes?
Can we have that be a permanent feeling and what happens to us as entrepreneurs is as we develop the ability to create more and more momentum in our lives, as we create more success, as we create greater and greater outcomes, we eventually get to the point where the momentum we can create on our own is no longer enough and the only choice we have is to start building a team around us and here's the issue. It is really hard for people like us to build the team. It's hard because we have to count on other people and that makes us feel vulnerable. It's hard because we have to ask people for help and that's really difficult for us because let's be honest, most entrepreneurs have never found a lot of help in the world.
People like you and me aren't the type of people who say, oh, Hey, I just love asking for help because when we have, we all have recollections of being let down more often than not. Let's just admit it. Let's be real. You know, you've asked for help. You know you've tried to get help and haven't been able to and that sets up a pattern for us where we will not ask for help in the way that we want and so we finally start knocking that down and bringing people on and finally building a team, but here's the challenge.
We don't tell the people around us how we really feel. We don't let the people around us know what's going on for us about them. And here's how it shows up. I talk to entrepreneurs all the time that say things like, you know, I've got this new assistant and she was great for the first 90 days and now she's fallen off and she's not really doing what I want and I'm really frustrated with her and I'll say, well, how long has it been? Well, it's been about six months. Six months since she's worked with you? No six months that I've been really frustrated with her. Oh, well then tell me the conversations you've had with her about being frustrated. What do you mean? Well, tell me how often do you tell her you're frustrated? Have you explained to her in detail why you're frustrated? Have you expressed to her what's happening? Well, no, that would be uncomfortable.
Well then guess what? You're counting on that assistant to just get lucky and do the right things because if you don't tell her what she's not doing right, you give her zero opportunity to change and to shift and to move in the direction that you actually want. And here's what entrepreneurs say. I want you to really think about this. Do you ever tell yourself things like, oh, I'm just being patient. I'll just ... I'll put up with it. I ... I'll be patient and I'll hope that it will improve or I often have entrepreneurs that I work with say, well, you know, I've given this person a ton of chances and I'll ask, well, do they know they've had chances? Well what do you mean? Did you tell them they're getting a chance? Did you tell them they've irritated you so much you have them on some type of an imaginary clock where now they're getting chances. Well, no, that would be uncomfortable.
And I even have entrepreneurs tell me things like, well, I've been putting up with it for a long time and it's just not changing. Well, here's the problem. If you're being patient or giving somebody chances or putting up with them, but you aren't telling people what you want, then you're never going to get what you want. Unless you hire the perfect team member who somehow either inherently understand your sensibilities or accidentally was raised in a way and has a life experience in a way that they're going to show up and be sensitive to your sensitivities and sensibilities and that's the only way someone will succeed in your company and let me tell you something upfront.
If that's how you're going to run your business, it is going to be really, really tiring and draining and exhausting and frustrating because you are condemning yourself to only work with the people who come into your business and are lucky enough to already understand how to work with you. You are condemning yourself to be frustrated with anyone who can't come in and automatically just pick things up and make them happen and continue to act in a way that doesn't frustrate you and here's the big one. You are condemning yourself to continuously and repeatedly lose incredible people because if you don't manage them in a way where you are consistently helping them improve and if you don't manage them in a way where you are helping them get better and telling them what you want and helping them understand how they can succeed, they will leave and so your best team members will end up walking out and leaving you.
The people around you will stop wanting to be there because if you don't tell them how they can improve, eventually either you're going to get frustrated with them or they are going to get frustrated with them. Either way it's not gonna work and so it's not being patient or giving chances or putting up with it when you don't tell someone what's going on. Now if you explain to them what's happening and they don't correct, then you're being patient, then you're putting up with it. Then you're giving them chances. But the fact is, in nine out of 10 cases that I work with, most entrepreneurs don't say anything.
I remember a few years ago we were ... we had a large event and we do hot seats at our events where I coach people through challenges and we had a very successful business owner up on stage. She had a team of about nine or 10 people. She cleared well over a million dollars a year in profit. She had been around for a long time. She had a successful business and great reputation and she got up in front of the room and she had been dealing with a problem where she didn't really like her office manager receptionist and I was going to coach her through it. So she got up in front of the room. She sat in a chair and I remember asking her, so tell us how ... tell us what your issue is.
And she said, well, I've got this office manager receptionist. She's kind of abrupt. She's blunt, she's a little bit mean. She intimidates people on my team. See clients have a hard time with her. I have a hard time with her. And I said, okay, how long has this been a problem? She goes, well, she's worked with me for about nine years. And I remember thinking of those nine years, how long has it been a problem? She goes probably about eight and a half and I won't tell you the woman's name, but I use her name and I said, like, what are you doing? What do you mean it's been nine years? And she said, well, you know, it kind of snuck up on me. I've had a hard time with it. I said, well, how often do you tell her she's frustrating you or being mean or giving you a hard time running those things? And she said, well, I don't know that I ever have.
And now this is an extreme example, but I think every entrepreneur including me has been in a situation where someone frustrates you or irritates you or does something that like gets under your skin. And what do we do? We tell ourselves, oh, deal with it it's probably me or I'll just ... I'll suck it up. I'll be patient. I'll give them a chance. I'll see if it gets better. Well, I've got news for you. If you don't tell someone that their behavior is bothering you, your silence is the equivalent of a sanction. Your silence is the equivalent of saying the behaviors okay. Your silence is the equivalent of approval.
And so when you don't say, hey, that you're frustrating me when you don't say, hey, I don't like how this is. When you don't say, I would like you to change this, you are actually telling them that what they are doing is okay. You are conveying to them that they're doing the right thing. You're letting them know that everything is moving in the right direction and until you stop and say, hey, I'm uncomfortable with what's going on here. You can't expect anything to change because your silence is literally a sanction. It's an approval and what's happening is you aren't communicating your expectations and then they're getting missed and this is a massive challenge. Not just in business but in relationships.
When we want something, when we are missing something and we don't communicate it, and then we have missed expectations and there's this massive frustration because our expectations aren't met, but here's the problem. Expectations that aren't communicated are never met unless you get lucky. If you don't communicate your expectations and they are somehow met you were fortunate or you have very few expectations. But if you're in a situation where you're an entrepreneur and building a team, gaining momentum, growing and wanting to move forward, you have to get used to being real and transparent with your team members. You have to get used to telling them what you like and what you don't like. You have to get used to letting them know how to show up so that you can show up in the right way.
You know, I used to hide things from my team like crazy. I didn't tell them what was really going on for me. I didn't tell them what happened to me or what was happening for me in my twenties, my twenties were an exercise in growing a massive business in the least transparent way possible. It was a joke. I almost killed myself. I would never do it again. I grew up $250,000,000 company that I didn't trust, that I didn't like and quite frankly, that I didn't even want to work in and I wasn't really proud of. I was proud of the accomplishment, but I was not happy with or proud of how I had to work and how my team had to work and how it felt and one of the biggest challenges that I had in that business was I didn't tell people what was really happening for me.
You know, I'm dyslexic, dysmorphic, dysgraphic. I have a hard time with calendars. I mean, when I say I have a hard time with calendars, when a calendar opens, I get heart palpitations. I have a hard time staying focused when the calendar's open. When it comes to planning, I have a really difficult time. I need assistance and help from my team around all of these things. So when I hire a new assistant, like recently we hired an angel named Haley Hart, who is ... who has been just such a game changer for my team and I because she's come in to help me. And in those first few weeks and months that we worked together, I would tell her, Haley, when you asked me about a calendar in this way, it makes me uncomfortable because I really, I don't understand calendars. So I need you to give me options instead of asking me, hey, when do you want to do insert whatever it is?
And when we first started working together, she, you know, I would tell her, Haley, when you come to these calls, if you have a solution for me, it's so much better than ... if you have a [inaudible 00:12:14] solution, it's so much better than me trying to come up with one. And I explained to her Haley, you know, here's my sensitivities. These are my frustrations and when I travel I told her, Haley when I travel, I want everything in my calendar, ironically since I hit calendars, but I want everything in my calendar at one event with all of the travel information so I don't have to go into the calendar more than I have to. And that way I'll keep everything straight.
And so us working together is an exercise in me telling her exactly what I want because I love Haley and I want her to succeed. If Haley and I worked together for the next 10 years, I would be so excited about it because she's absolutely extraordinary. So every time I feel uncomfortable and I expressed it to her, I look at it as an investment in our future together because make no mistake when you hire incredible people, your desire should be to keep them around for as long as you possibly can. When you hire people who are game changers, like Haley, who come in and can organize things and make you feel comfortable and make you feel better and feel more efficient.
And actually, I mean there is a real efficiency to what Haley is done in my life and she has changed how I show up. She's made it easier for me to get my week scheduled. She's made it easier for me to get things done during the week. She keeps me on task. That doesn't just happen by accident. I mean sure she came into this job with an incredible amount of talent and a huge amount of desire and drive to succeed. But the reason we worked so well together is we hired well, we made sure we vetted her personality and that she was going to get along with me, we went through the process and made sure that we liked each other and that we wanted to spend time around each other and then since she's been hired, I've been completely and totally transparent with her.
I've told her what I like. I've also told her what I don't like. She's never been emotional about it. In fact, when I've told Haley, hey, you know, it would be so much easier for me if you did it this way. She's actually said things back to me like, oh, thank you. I want to make sure that this is better for you. I want to make sure that this is easier for you. And so by being transparent and by being real for her, it's gotten ... we've gotten it to the point where she doesn't feel ... she doesn't slow me down.
She feels like momentum all the time. When I talk to Haley every time I hang up, I'm smiling because it always moves me forward and that is the situation we built together through being transparent and being real and I would never count on somebody like Haley to just get lucky because she came to me with skillsets and abilities and a passion and a drive that for me are vitally important to the growth of my business and so I want to make sure that I'm supporting her and helping her and guiding her and coaching success so that we get massive results along the way and that's exactly how it's working.
So for you, as you build out your team, don't count on getting lucky. Let them know what you like. Let them know what you don't like. Be transparent with them. When you're frustrated, tell them you're frustrated. When you're excited about something, tell them you're excited about something. When things are going well, tell them that they're going well and why and your team will lean in, understand how you want things done and help you create massive momentum. Because if you're just counting on your team to get lucky, sooner or later you're going to lose your best people because the ones who innovate and the ones who try really hard and the ones who care and the ones who have massive amounts of passion will do everything they can to get things done and every once in awhile they're going to step out of line in a way.
Now, and I don't mean step out of line in a way that that is like stepping out of line in a way that's unethical or untoward or anything like that. I mean step out of line in a way that's just going to make you feel uncomfortable and your job as the CEO, your job as the entrepreneur, your responsibility is to let your team know when you're uncomfortable so that they know how to react and help you and support you in a way that causes you to create momentum and never feels like constraint. Don't count on getting lucky and you will build a world class game changing team. Be honest with them. Be transparent with them and tell them what you need.
And if you're ready to build a game changing team. If you're ready to have a world class organization around you, join me on my webinar next week called how to build a game changing team without ever having to manage people. All you have to do is go to billionairecode.com/team, register. It is a 100 percent content, no pitch webinar where we are sharing the strategies on how you build a world class team without ever having to manage people. Go to billionairecode.com/team.