Momentum Podcast: 708
Closer Teams Through Weekly Reports with Adam Liette
by Alex Charfen
Weekly reporting can completely change how you lead and manage your team.
Alex Charfen, a business growth coach who helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses, gives practical, tangible, and actionable tips that you can implement into your business right now.
This is a special presentation by Adam Liette, Operator of Musical U, at the Charfen Summit. The reality is that most entrepreneurs want to run and hide when they hear the words weekly reporting but you're about to hear first hand why this kind of reporting is different from anything you have experienced before.
By the end of this 13-minute podcast episode, you will understand:
– How a weekly reporting system can help your team communicate what is going well in their position.
– That allowing your team to communicate where they need support can increase transparency in your business.
– How a simple report on a weekly basis can dramatically increase your understanding of what is being accomplished in your business.
The Momentum Podcast is created specifically for entrepreneurs like you to get into momentum and take the rest of the world with you. If this episode helped you do that, take a moment and leave a review. Let us know how we have helped you make a bigger impact on the world.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
Weekly reporting can completely change how you lead and manage your team. This is a special presentation by Adam Liet, operator of musical You. Adam gave his presentation at the Charfen summit and is all about the weekly reporting system that we teach in our coaching program. The reality is that most entrepreneurs want to run and hide when they hear the words weekly reporting. But you're about to hear firsthand why this kind of reporting is different from anything you've experienced before on a weekly basis. Members of our team answer to questions what went right and where do I need support? And by the end of this episode of the Momentum podcast, you're going to understand how this weekly reporting system can help your team communicate what's going well in their position, how allowing your team to communicate where they need support can increase the transparency in your business and how this simple weekly reporting system can dramatically increase your understanding of what's being accomplished in your business.
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.
[00:02:06] So I realized I needed a way more creative title to actually change the title, so it's getting on the same sheet of music. I'm Adam Ladd, director of operations for Musical You, So Musical You. As an online music education website, we we provide passionate music learners with the most effective and enjoyable musicality training to set their international free and helped them reach their true potential in music. We have a membership site and many courses that we offer to our our learners. And in the past several years, we've grown to over 10000 students within our membership. Now, I was originally hired in 2017 and I was only the fourth higher on the team and we added a fifth a couple of months later and a sixth about 18 months after that. We are growing, but we are growing very slowly. And then covid happened, so the first quarter of twenty twenty was actually a very difficult quarter for us, so we were already in crisis mode before covid happened and then we immediately had to shift. We had to lean heavily into what we were doing. And by the end of the second quarter, things were starting to turn around so much that 20-20 became a banner year for us, was really a turnaround year for us and enabled us to double our team. So this picture here was from our bargaining session when we kicked off twenty twenty one. And in true fashion, we've already added another person to this. So this is already outdated because we've hired our 11th team member. And just this morning Christopher and I were talking and we made the decision we're hiring our 12th team members. So that's how quickly we've grown. Our team is fully remote and world wide, spread across mostly the UK and North America. And many of our team members are very part time. One of our team members only works one day a week for eight hours, another only 10 hours a week. So instituting something like daily calls just isn't feasible for us, not only in the time that we have available to all of our team members, but some of our team members do other gigs. Some are some our school teachers at public schools. Some have, you know, they perform or their tattoo artists. We have a very eclectic group in our team. And as we were reaching the end of twenty twenty and we grew this team, we took on a really major project which naturally formed us into departments without even me dictating. It just kind of happened. And as a result, information flow became increasingly difficult. So here's our team now. Prior to this, we are pretty much a flat team.
Everyone was reporting up, but we didn't have these departments which had naturally formed. So most of the time that I've been on the musical team, we've had weekly meetings, we have a Weekly Standard meeting every Monday that all of our team can attend. We pick the time because it is accessible to both the UK and North America. And we are following what I would call last week, this week pattern where everyone on the team would take a couple of minutes to briefly recap what they had done last week and to talk about what they had in the coming week. But as we've grown into this, we jokingly call it a Brady Bunch Zoome call when we meet together. It was not sustainable. It didn't allow everyone the time that they needed to accurately report what they were doing, and especially not with what they were doing going forward. From my seat, I noticed an increased problem with follow through. Where? Something when get done or someone needed assistance on a project, and I want to find out about it until our Monday stand up call. So increasingly I was taking 30 to 60, 90 minutes after the call to reallocate resources, move people around, move projects. And it made my Monday's very stressful. Monday used to be the absolute worst day of the week for me. It was a day I dreaded because I knew I was going to be thrown about eight different curveballs and I didn't know how I was going to be able to handle it. In addition, as we're able to release Christopher and even myself from more of the tactical natures of running our company, we wanted an increased need of awareness from both sides. So the team understood exactly what we were doing and we were able to have a better awareness of what they were doing. So the first public facing side of the Charfen kadence that we presented to our team was the weekly report. Chrysta and I had already been working for about a month on our Q1 or our quarterly planning. We had done our strategic direction call and the team knew what they were working with, this mysterious Charfen group over here, but they didn't know anything about it. So this was the first thing that they were ever presented. And I don't think it's an accident that we installed it in November of twenty twenty, which ended up being our most successful quarter in the history of the company. By far and large, there's an immediate positive reception people took immediately to these weekly reports. I remember the first week without me even prompting it, like people were commenting on each other's boards, celebrating each other's accomplishments. It became another hub for our team to communicate with each other. I noticed increased productivity where people wanted to get their work done before they had to submit their reports so they could mark it done and let everyone else know what they had accomplished in the week. There's better visibility from both sides. As Christopher and I became increasingly disconnected from the day to day and some of the individual projects, we were still able to keep our fingers on exactly what was going on in our company. And it gave me actionable next steps so I could walk in on Monday morning with my weekly plan, my weekly commitments already nested out and ready for the team meeting. So our team meeting became a place where we were not only able to talk about what we had in the coming week, but did it discuss any issues that might come up. People knew what was expected of them and knew what was going to be on their plate before they ever turn on the Zoome call. From the team perspective, it was really funny, there is a pride in being first, the first person to put it in the channel, the first person to report, we've had a couple of weeks where that didn't follow through as well as we've been busy, but it became a part of our culture, part of what was going on in the black channels. And I loved how people were celebrating one another. There was so there are so many emojis and gifts and means that are shared on these reports. It's crazy. And and it's not only in what we're doing at work, but people are sharing stuff in their personal lives. Then it's made our team closer. They're able to see the bigger picture, see where we're going as a company. So it doesn't have to be something as formal as a presentation by the team, by far and large has an idea and a very clear perception on where we're looking at six months, 12 months, even 18 months from now. Now, this one is very important, and it's one that wasn't made abundantly clear to me until this past week, this gave them a place to ask for support. So Monday was my four year anniversary with the company, and Christopher gave a very, very moving talk to the team and everyone on the team was given the opportunity to have an open mic and to tell me thanks and anything that they wanted to tell me about my time with music. You and one particular team member, I'll never forget this. He said, Adam, you've given me a safe space. You've given me a place where I know I can ask for help. I know I can ask for support. I know I can ask to jump on a Zoome call. And not only do you hear me out, you're an active listener to what my problems are. But then you take the next step and you fix them for me. And I've never worked for a boss. I've never worked for a company that actually cared about the things I was feeling and took steps to help me. So that hit me hard. And I managed to keep it together on the team call. But it was it was very moving moment for me. Collaborations are also happening in very real time, we see people I need help on here.
Let's jump on a zoom call or let me help you with that. And at first, they were asking me permission like, hey, can I have a quick meeting with these two team members? I'm like, why are you asking me for like, yeah, just go do it, get it done. So our team is coming closer. And just like Alex talk this morning, that internal pressure is coming from the side as opposed to top down. That's been something that has naturally occurred from having this document. Some of the key benefits, this is by far and large of all the things in the cadence, the waterfall, the we could commit, this is like the easiest thing in the world you can implement. You could go on break, create a Google doc, make a copy, make a copy, make a copy, make a copy done like you just implemented it. That's it done. And the effects for us were immediate. We're able to take on larger projects, including a very expansive project that we just launched called Living Music, and that's a multi-year project that we're going under. It gave us everyone and a historical perspective on what they've done. And for me, when I'm doing 30 day reviews, I'm able to see what they've done over the last 30 days. And if there are problems, I'm able to trace it back to see where we might have taken them off track. And as we install more of the cadence and we start to do even more as a company, our team now has trust in Charfen they they know who they've never listened to the podcast. They've never been to any of these meetings. But they know who Charfen is. They trust the process. They trust what we're doing. And like, that's so huge to me. As a matter of fact, we have a Windows channel in our CELAC board where we'll share winds from the team. And when I was like for this, Christopher, but the little advertisement for the summit and everyone went crazy like Adam sharing on this summit. That's so great. And I went crazy because I get to brag about them and all the great accomplishments that they're doing. And with all that, we're able to be more aligned, more together, take on bigger projects, have more more interoperable operability with each other, and ultimately, at the end of the day, be more musical.
Hey, everybody, this is Eddie Kerr with Alex Charfen team. We created something called the Momentum Planner System. It's a scientifically proven method for creating momentum and it's specifically created for entrepreneurs just like you. You are going to love it. This has helped hundreds of people get more focused on their business and reduce the pressure and noise around them, figure out what to offload and stop doing and find the right direction, identify their top priorities, eliminate wasted time and reduce anxiety about the future. You need help getting into the mentality to get the momentum planners right.