Momentum Podcast: 456
Your Team Shouldn't Fight For Your Time
by Alex Charfen
When your team is fighting for your time, it's a symptom that there's a lot more going on. I remember how challenging it was when I was running businesses in my early twenties, to prioritize and have enough time for everyone on the team. Back then I didn't have the systems, processes, and clarity to be able to feel like I was in control. The question of having enough time comes up often in my entrepreneurial groups, it's something a lot of business owners struggle with. Being a business owner and a CEO does not mean that you have to sacrifice yourself to have a successful team and company.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex: 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.
Alex: 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. 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.
Alex: When I read the post in the Facebook group this week about the team fighting for time and who do I prioritize? What do I do? I was instantly taken back to running businesses when I was younger, especially in my 20s. I had a business where my team was constantly fighting for my time. It was a competition every day to see who could get me on the phone, who could get my attention, who could get my time because I had a large company that was growing quickly. We were doing a ton of things, and we really didn't have the clarity and the systems and the processes that we needed. My team was always fighting for my time, and I remember just how challenging it was.
Alex: In our business, we help people create clear strategic plans, and what that does is it prevents the owner of the company, it prevents the leadership of the company from becoming the biggest bottleneck in the company. When your team is competing for your time, you have to understand that that is the clearest indication you have become the biggest bottleneck in your company that there is. In my 20s, I thought I was doing things right. I would tell myself, of course, my team needs my time. I'm a CEO. I'm running this business. They contact me all the time. They're competing for my time. Two people call me at the same time and they both have questions. Of course, that's how it's supposed to be. I'm the person in charge.
Alex: I used to think to myself, I need to learn how to put up with this. I need to learn how to be better at this. I need to get up early, stay up later. I need to work harder, and I did. In my 20s, I never took time off. Saturdays, Sundays just felt like normal days to me. I would work 30 or 40 days in a row and then I would get sick, go down for a day and then do it again. I would get up as early as I could. I would stay up as late as I possibly had the energy to, trying to dig out from all of the issues and challenges and problems because I thought that's what it was like to be a CEO. I thought that's what it meant to be an entrepreneur. I thought that's what it took to be a business owner.
Alex: Later, I realized that that was a blend of ignorance and ego. Yeah, both ignorance and ego. Ignorance in the fact that I didn't realize that my team fighting for my time and constantly needing me and constantly having questions was a massive symptom that there were challenges in my business. When your team is fighting for time, that indicates they don't have clarity on their own. When you're in teams fighting for time, that indicates that they need you to tell them what they should be doing or they need you to resolve something for them, and that means the systems for them to know what they're doing and resolve something are not present in your business. That was ignorance on my part.
Alex: The second part, ego. Don't let your ego get in the way of your business growing. If you're sitting there saying, oh, my is contacting me because I'm important, and my team needs to contact me because I'm the CEO. If my team is interrupting me and contacting me and reaching out, things are going the right direction. That was my ego telling me that even though I was in pain, I was frustrated, I didn't like all the contacts. I didn't like my team competing for my time, but my ego was telling me, hey, everything is okay. You're in a power position. You're in a place where people need you. You're in a place where you're important. All of that kept me completely and totally stuck.
Alex: I can admit today that back then, those feelings of being needed, those feelings of my team needing they could reach out to me, those feelings of being important in the moment actually did feed my ego as a CEO. The offset was I was getting up early, staying up late, working way too much, running myself down, completely overdoing things, but I didn't get my ego out of the way for a long time, and it wasn't for a while that I started realizing this is unhealthy. This is actually incredibly damaging.
Alex: In fact, when your team competes for your time, here's what you need to know. If there's more than one person competing for your time, that means you have multiple bottlenecks in your business all at the same time because if they're competing for your time, it's not because they just like you. It's not because they think you're cool. It's because they need something from you, and they're waiting so that they can move forward. That means you have multiple team members who are in constraint waiting for you. What does it feel like when you are in constraint? You personally. Competing creates constraint. Competition for your time creates constraint on your team because here's what happens.
Alex: If there's a competition, by definition of the fact that it's a competition, someone is going to lose. You're going to choose to give your time to someone, and then someone is going to lose. On your team, you're setting up these landmines for yourself because when someone loses, they're frustrated. They can't move forward. They can't create momentum. What does it feel like for you when you're in constraint? You know what it's like.
Alex: As soon as you feel like you can't create forward momentum, your body starts breaking down. You physically feel like you don't have as much stamina. As soon as you feel constraint, what happens to you cognitively? You start getting brain fog. You start thinking unclearly. It starts making it harder to see the future and harder to make decisions to move forward. We all know the third part of constraint, that chemical feeling of constraint. When we're in constraint, we actually feel the chemical constraint in our bodies. We feel that chemical feeling of being held in place. Don't think that that isn't happening for your team. If your team is competing for your time, they are experiencing those three things. They are physiologically breaking down. They're cognitively breaking down, and then they're chemically experiencing that feeling of constraint.
Alex: If your great team members aren't performing anymore, you might want to ask yourself, are you creating competition on your team for your time? Is you being the biggest bottleneck creating massive constraint for your team? Is that competition creating chaos? Because competing for time increases chaos on a team significantly. Competition for time, for your time, makes it so that ... That was bizarre. Siri just yelled from across the room. I don't have an answer for that. Siri, I'm good. I didn't ask you anything but thanks for interrupting the podcast.
Alex: Competition on your team increases chaos. It makes everybody feel like the whole team is chaotic, and it decreases what we call the three C's; clarity, confidence and commitment. This is why this is so important. When your team has clarity, they will move forward fast. When they are confident, they will actually perform at a higher level. When they have commitment to what you're doing, you and your team will achieve consistently. It is the opposite of putting your team in constraint or in competition. When they're in competition, competition creates constraint. It lowers clarity, lowers confidence, and it lowers commitment to what you're doing.
Alex: The fear that oftentimes entrepreneurs or CEOs have is if I'm not hearing from my team, then something is wrong. Well, I want you to flip that completely. If you are hearing too much from your team, if your team is competing for your time, if you don't have time to get back to your team, if you are leaving your team hanging at the end of the day, then that is something you should be afraid of. You need to realize that that is creating more constraint for your team members than anything else in your business.
Alex: Remember, everything you do as a CEO is seen through a microscope and heard through a megaphone. If you're not available for somebody, they feel that with an intensity level much higher than a normal person. If you're consistently not showing up for your team, if you can't get to everyone, if there's competition for your time, if there's people who are left hanging on a daily basis, you are constantly creating huge constraint for that individual, for the work that they're doing, and for the projects that they're on in your team. Eventually, you are going to make them look bad.
Alex: The biggest issue with this is that oftentimes, the team members that have been experiencing constraint, competing for time, trying to get stuff done don't and then it looks like they're doing something wrong. When that happens in a business, it's depressing because that means a potentially strong team member who could help you create momentum has now been made to look incompetent or incorrect or they're not doing what they should.
Alex: This is how you switch this around. You have to stop your team from fighting for your time or it will become an issue in your business. The more your team gets used to it, the more you get used to this dynamic, the more challenges it's going to create for you. Here's what you do to avoid your team fighting for your time.
Alex: Number one, you have to have a clear strategic plan. I talk about this all the time. Less than 10% of businesses in the world have a clear strategic plan. I think it's less than 1% of entrepreneurial businesses. We talk to entrepreneurs all the time and rarely, maybe once or twice every quarter, we talk to someone who already has a clear strategic plan. Most of the time, there's nothing there. If you don't have a strategic plan, your team doesn't know where you're going, so they are going to constantly have to compete for your time to clarify where you're going. You are in fact, by definition, almost through the planning you've done by avoiding the strategic plan, by not having a strategic plan, you have made yourself the biggest bottleneck.
Alex: Second, when you have a strategic plan, you have clear outcomes. That means you have clear outcomes for the company. When you create clear outcomes for each department, and when you create clear outcomes for each individual, when you have clear outcomes, when people know where they're going, there's a clear plan and they know where they're going, then you will create momentum with your team. When there's clear outcomes for your team, they can ask you clarifying questions. They'll ask you detailed questions, but they will not be competing for your time because they know where they're going. You will cut down significantly on how much your team needs to know or needs to contact you when they know where they're going, when they have clarity as to what the outcome is.
Alex: The challenge of most entrepreneurial businesses is that the only person who really knows where everybody is going is the entrepreneur and then wonder why everybody is not on board with going there. You have to correct this in order to get your team to move forward with you.
Alex: The third thing you need on your team is clear roles. Let's review. One, you need a clear plan. Where are we going? What is that strategic plan? Two, clear outcomes for each person, for each department, for each role. Three, clear roles. What is it that you want from each individual? We spell out each person's roles using what we call a 4R document, which is the role, responsibilities, results and requirements. What are they doing? What are they responsible for? What results are they driving? What requirements do we have of the person in a position?
Alex: When you have a clear plan, clear outcomes and clear roles, your business will move forward so much faster, and you will create momentum, and your team will stop competing for your time. They will be able to create momentum on their own. They will no longer need to interrupt, bother, got a minute you in order to be able to move forward. The results is when the team doesn't ... When your team doesn't fight for time, when you have a clear plan, clear outcomes and clear roles, and you don't cause your team to have to compete for your time. When you give your team the clarity they need to autonomously move forward like human beings want to do, you will feel the momentum.
Alex: There is nothing like being on a team where every member of the team has clarity as to what their role is, where every department in the company knows what the outcome for that department is, and where every member of the team knows the strategic plan for the business. When you create that dynamic, you will be shocked at the intensity of the momentum you feel in your business, and you will be blown away at the progress you make in timeframes that previously would have felt impossible or just unbelievable. When you stop your team from fighting for your time, everything in your business will shift, and the momentum will become real.
Alex: If you're ready to create a clear strategic plan for your team and have a system where you can give each person, each department, each role outcomes and have everyone on your team understand exactly what their role is, let us help you. You don't have to do this all alone. In fact, all you have to do is go to billionairecode.com. Fill out the application on that site, and my team will review it, and we'll jump on a call with you and show you how we can help. We work with entrepreneurs to create the infrastructure in their businesses that creates growth and takes care of your team. We will stop your team from fighting for your time and reverse the dynamic to where you can coach your team to higher levels of success and create the outcomes you have always wanted.
Alex: Go to a billionairecode.com. Fill out the brief application. You will get a copy of our new ebook, The Billionaire Code Decoded, that will show you the exact path from zero to $100 million, and you'll have an opportunity to set up a call with my team, billionairecode.com. We look forward to hearing from you.