Momentum Podcast: 529
Measurement Eliminates Micromanagement
by Alex Charfen
One of my all-time heroes in the history of the world is Peter Drucker. I think there's people who have heroes that relate to them. And for me, Drucker just epitomizes, well, a lot of what I want to do by the end of my life. I want to demystify business like he did. I want to help people grow businesses like he did. I want to help entrepreneurs understand how businesses grow, like Drucker did.
It's a common misconception that measuring or “tracking” your employee's work is micromanaging. But in reality, without measurement, you will be forced to micromanage. Here's why, when you're not measuring, you have to consistently check in with people to know what's happening and what the issues are. When you don't have a perspective as to what someone is doing, you are going to step into transactional management naturally.
Eliminate micromanagement by adding measurements around each team members role. Make sure every person on your team has measurements tailored to their job, and they know exactly what is expected of them. They need to know what you need from them and if they're achieving their measurements on a scoreboard. I've talked about it in previous episodes, but ensure each member on your team has a clear outcome, a clear perspective, and accountability in place.
When you have measurements for your team, you can step into transformational leadership. When these metrics and milestones are set in place, you will notice growth in your team, yourself, and massive momentum across your organization. Measurement moves companies forward!
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: One of my all-time heroes in the history of the world is Peter Drucker. I think there's people who have heroes that relate to them. And for me, Drucker just epitomizes, well, a lot of what I want to do by the end of my life. I want to demystify business like he did. I want to help people grow businesses like he did. I want to help entrepreneurs understand how businesses grow, like Drucker did.
And he had a statement that he would make often. He said, "You can't manage what you don't measure." Well, I want you to understand something: You can, but it sucks and you're just not going to be very good at it. There's a better way, and I want you to understand why.
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.
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I love Peter Drucker. But for just one moment I'm going to contradict something he said. You know, he would say, "You can't manage what you don't measure." And I say, "You can." In fact, entrepreneurs do it every day, all day, over and over again. There's very little measurement of any kind in most entrepreneurial businesses, so we are managing. We're just doing it poorly. When you don't have measurement, you're managing by feel. When you don't have measurement, you're managing by what comes up every day and impressions that you have. And let's be honest, as entrepreneurs, we're not that great at managing in general. But we don't have measurement? It's horrible.
And so we have this discussion with our clients all the time about adding measurement and making sure that every person on their team has measurement around their position, that they have an awareness of what they're doing. And here's the reply that we get most often: "Well, when I put measurement in place, what you're talking about, it makes it feel like micromanagement." That's what we hear from the entrepreneur. "It makes it feel like micromanagement." When I ask people for how many calls did they make, or when I ask them for what they did, or when I try and get milestones of what parts of the projects they finished, "It feels like micromanagement, and it's that I wouldn't want to be done to me."
Well, I want you to understand something about the difference between you and your team. They crave measurement because here's the reality: We believe that measurement feels like micromanagement, but I want you to understand something. Without measurement, you must micromanage. Let that sink in. Without measurement, you must micromanage. Because when you're not measuring, you have to consistently check in with people and see what they're doing and understand what's happening, know what the issues are. And that is overwhelming. That actually creates micromanagement. It creates a culture of aggressive micromanagement.
And what happens is, when you don't have measurement, when you don't have perspective as to what somebody is doing, you are going to naturally and instinctively step into transactional management. That is where we tell people what to do, check that it got done, and tell them what to do again. Then we check that it got done, then we tell them what to do again. Then we check that it got done, and we tell ... You getting the picture? It's brutal.
And for you and I, that type of repetitive management is excruciating and painful and terrible. And so that is why measurement is so important, because with measurement, you can step into transactional leadership or ... Sorry, transformational leadership, not transactional management. Transformational leadership, which is where you give your team clear outcomes. You track their progress along the way through measurement, through milestones, through metrics, through knowing what's going on, and then you coach their success. See, you can't coach success unless you know what's going on with somebody. Otherwise you're just using feel and how they feel and how you feel, and there is no reality behind it. So this is why this is so important.
So number one, as entrepreneurs, measurement to us feels like micromanagement. We don't want to be measured as entrepreneurs. We don't want ourselves to be measured. But here's the fact for your team: They need it. The team needs measurement. They need to know what you want from them, and then they need to know if they're achieving it on a scoreboard.
Measurement is such a crucial element of momentum. In order for a human being to be in momentum, they need three things, and you've heard this from me before: They need a clear outcome, they need clear perspective, and they need to understand what their responsibilities are.
So in other words, they need a clear outcome. They need scoreboard and they need accountability. And the scoreboard is so crucial for momentum, because when you don't have perspective as to what you're doing, there is no momentum. When you don't have perspective that you're actually moving forward, you won't feel like you are. But when you add measurement, the same behaviors, the same outcomes that previously did not feel like you were winning, they will instantly feel like you're winning. So your team needs measurement.
Furthermore, measurement protects your team from you. Let me just say that again. Measurement protects your team from you. Because you, my friend, are an entrepreneur just like me, and you have a tendency to be reactive because we are evolutionary hunters. Millennia of conditioning have programmed us to react, to go into fight-or-flight, to make things better or to destroy something or to move forward. But we are programmed to take our feelings, the feelings that we get in the world, and then physiologically react. We are always on a hair-trigger to go into fight-or-flight because we evolutionary hunters. We never know when the next woolly mammoth is going to be there. And so what happens with measurement is if your team has measurement in place, if you're triggered or upset or frustrated or think you need to talk to somebody, you can go look at the measurement first.
Let me tell you how this rolls out from me. You know, no matter how long I've been in business, no matter how many systems I've had in place, no matter how much I trust my team, I'll wake up one morning and say, "I wonder if this person is doing what they're supposed to do." And I'll think to myself, "Well, I haven't checked in with them a long time. I don't know what they really do. What are they doing? Do we need them? What's happening?" And it's just those feelings of insecurity that creep into an overactive entrepreneur's mind. And I don't know how to turn them off. I've never been able to.
But here's what I do. I go look at that individual's measurement, and I can see what they're doing. I can understand what they're doing. I'll look at the metrics, the numbers they've recorded of what they're doing. I'll look at the milestones, the things that they've checked off as getting done. And then that will bring me back down to reality and calm me down when I'm reactive with a team member. In fact, measurement, in so many ways throughout your business, will relieve and eliminate entrepreneurial anxiety.
You feel it. I feel it. We all feel it. And anyone who says they no longer feel it, I usually think, "Well, if you're no longer feeling entrepreneurial anxiety, you're probably not trying to do that much." Or maybe it's a temporary relief. But because all of us feel it, all of us have that feeling, sooner or later, of "Things aren't going right. What's happening? Is everything okay?" And what happens is when you have those feelings, you can go back and look at the measurement, and it will confirm everything's okay.
And here's what's happened to me over years. As I felt anxious, I would go look at the measurement. And now I felt anxious, I would go look at the measurement. Now I look at the measurement, I skip feeling anxious. So a lot of the times I don't even have to go into that feeling of anxiety, of reactivity, of rushing, just because I have measurement in place. It's so crucial to have measurement in place because it eliminates micromanagement.
Now here's what you need to know. There's two types of measurements, and I get asked about this all the time. "I have an easy time with measurement for my salespeople or my customer service person. I know how many calls they're making. I know how many calls are on. I know what their conversion rates are. How do I create measurement for my assistant?"
Well, there's two types of measurement. One: Metrics, which is numbers and measurement, like number of calls, number of emails, number of whatever somebody is doing, conversions, whatever it is for whatever position you're in. But then a second type of measurement is milestones. What are the actual activities that any person on your team has completed?
And in some positions like sales, you're going to be very heavy on metrics, very low on milestones. And in other operational positions, like your assistant, you're going to be very low on metrics. Even if you have any number measurement, you're probably going to be almost exclusively milestone measurement. Either way, whether you're measuring numbers for a person or milestones for a person or both, you'll have measurement on the individual that you can look at and understand what their value is in the company and what they're doing.
The next thing you need to know is you should have measurement for every position in your company. Whether you're collecting milestones or you're looking at metrics, every person in the business should have them, because it helps them not just stay accountable, but by putting measurement in place, you let your team members know what's important. By requiring milestones, you let people know that what they're getting done is important. By looking at numbers around a sales position or a customer service position or any other position, you're letting those people know that what they're doing on a day-to-day basis is growing the business, it's important to you, and they're relevant.
And then the last reason why this is so important and what you need to know: Look at your data first when communicating with a team member who you have a challenge with, or when you plan on changing something in your business. You know, this is one of those things that feels like and should be a no-brainer, but so many of us don't think about this. But before you make any type of a change in your business, before you modify what you're doing in your business, before you change somebody's role or outcome or position, take a really close look at their metrics, their milestones. What are they actually producing? Look at the measurement around that person, and it will give you more insight as to what types of changes you should actually consider making.
Measurements and milestones change an entire business. They eliminate micromanagement. They protect your team from you. They will relieve your anxiety. And they will get you and your team into momentum. You know, when we start working with entrepreneurs, rarely is there adequate measurement in any business we work with. And after a few months, there is preliminary measurement. It might not be perfected, it might not be all right, but what we see almost immediately is growth in the entrepreneur, growth in the team members, the removal of anxiety, and the introduction of massive momentum.
Measure your team members, help them protect themselves from you, and help them get into momentum through perspective. Measurement moves companies forward. If you're ready to start moving your business forward and you want some help on putting the right systems in place, understanding how to measure, where do you keep all this information? How do you review it? How do you make it so that you're actually using actionable intelligence to grow your business? Let us help you. You don't have to do this on your own. In fact, go to billionairecode.com, answer a few questions from my team, and download a copy of the Billionaire Code Decoded, our ebook that explains the entire Billionaire Code, and set up a call with a member of my team. And we will discuss how we help entrepreneurs around the world create world-changing companies, get into momentum and leave their dent in the universe. Billionairecode.com.