Momentum Podcast: 792
"A-Players" Fear This More Than Anything
by Alex Charfen
There is one simple thing that the team members you want to recruit, hire, and bring into your company fear…
And this might shock you. It's underutilization.
A person with talent, skills, abilities, and a desire to contribute is someone we call an “A-Player”. They are the kind of team member that you want on your team. They work hard, they deliver quickly, and they are motivated to help your business grow.
There is one thing, however, that entrepreneurs need to be especially careful of when it comes to these A-Player team members…
Make sure they are fully utilized, or else!
In this episode of the Momentum Podcast, I will show you exactly why you must fully utilize your team, and why the opposite is their greatest fear.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. Last week, I held one of my favorite calls to hold every month. We call it the CEO call. So we have a membership where we show companies had grown scale their businesses and we focus on really three disciplines, creating a clear strategic plan on a monthly basis. So everyone on your team knows where you're going. Second communication system. So understanding the cadence that you should use, the meanings you should use, so everyone on the team knows where you're going and no one's left behind. And then really, the last one is building a team of true believers and building a team that really protects and supports you as a entrepreneur. And I love getting on calls and answering questions for all of the CEOs. And this week or sorry, last week when I was on that call, we had a really interesting conversation with one of our CEOs. And I want to share with you about why a player's the people you want on your team fear underutilization more than anything else. 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. Should 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. So first let me share with you what happened on the call. So one of our members shared that, you know, they've been going through some pretty stressful times. They have they had a nine person team and they let go of two people. And I asked, you know, what are you feeling? What are you seen after letting go of those two people going from 9 to 7 people, that's a pretty significant percentage decrease in how many people are working in the company. And she said, you know, it's interesting. I thought people would be upset. I thought people would be frustrated. I thought they would be upset with more work. But most of the team is a lot happier. You know, some are neutral, but some are a lot happier. And I laughed and I said, you know, I call that multiplication by subtraction. And she said, Well, why is it that it feels that way? And I said, Because a player's fear, underutilization more than anything else. And immediately one of our members, Gabe Arnold, was like, Oh, I listen to a podcast on that. And so that's why I'm recording this, because this is one of those concepts that takes way too long to learn as a business owner, way too long to learn as a leader. And often times we actually work in the wrong direction as leaders, and we push players out because we underutilized them. We don't give them enough. We don't give them enough so that they feel utilize and a little bit more. And utilization is is a term for how much is somebody being used of the time they have available. And for an eight player, that means 8 hours a day you have them doing something that is productive, that feels exciting, that feels like they're part of the team, that feels like they're moving the company forward. And if you're doing it any less than that, A, players get scared and players are scared when they're under utilized because because they're a player's either consciously or subconsciously or less consciously, they know that if they're underutilized, there's something wrong. There's something wrong with your leadership because you have them in a full time position. They don't have full time work. There's something wrong with the company because the company doesn't need them in the position they're in. And so why are they there? There's something wrong with with the, you know, the work that they're doing because they don't have enough of it to do. And somewhere in the business, there's a problem. If a player doesn't feel totally utilized, that's just how they feel. They don't feel like they have enough to do. That's how they feel. And so I can't tell you how many times I've been through the scenario where somebody comes to me and says, I think I need to let a few people go. You know, I have a ten person team or one person team or a 15 person team, and I'm really worried on what effect is going to have on the rest of the team. And more often than not, I tell them, hey, you know, in these situations, what often happens is you get multiplication by subtraction. They go, What does that mean? And I explain, you know, you take a few people away and you get exponentially more out of the team. And it's so hard to believe until you've actually been through it, until you've done it yourself, until you've seen this transformation of a team when they feel you fully utilized. Because here's what happens when an A player's fully utilized. They're no longer worrying about all the issues in the company that could be causing their underutilization. And when it appears fully utilized, you actually get more out of them in every hour that they're working because they're fully engaged. They're excited. They see the company moving forward. They know that they play a vital role and players want to be needed more than anything else. And players want to do well. Maybe some be needed. Eight players want the company to need them more than just about anything else. They want to be happy with what they're doing. They want to be doing work that matters. They want to be making sure that the movement you are starting this or growing as a company is going to survive. They want to make sure your customers are happy, but they also must feel needed. Few years ago, I remember coaching another entrepreneur and I'm not going to use names because I have not gotten permission to share this story, but I will change enough of the details so that there's no way you can line it up. But another entrepreneur I was working with had a was in my membership and I hadn't talked to her in a while and she came to one of our events and she painted this scenario of she had a person who was her operator person in the operations role and the operator had had a baby. So she had to take some maternity leave and she came back afterwards and had a baby. And this entrepreneur that I worked with and her operator were in the under there in the habit of getting together every morning before they got together for the daily huddle. And they would just talk and say, you know, what do you have for the day and what do I have? And so she came back from maternity leave, the operator did, and they get on their first call and she says, you know, hey, how are you doing? How are things going? And the operators like, you know what, I was not ready to have a baby. I didn't realize how much it took. I didn't realize how much she was going to need me and, you know, how how different things really are. And, you know, I feel like I'm being pulled in so many different directions and it's just overwhelming right now. And so as a result, the entrepreneur thought to herself, What, okay, I need to take some stuff off of her plate or I'm not going to give her as much. And so she had just come back from maternity leave. And, you know, part of the conversation was, hey, what do you have for me? It was like, you know, I think we're good. You can, you know, do what you feel like you need to do. You're just getting back. We'll take it easy. And so here's what happened over time. This was this was through an intervention in a class and having a conversation that we figured out what happened. Because over time, here's what happened. The entrepreneur, you know, a few weeks later and in each subsequent day, they're having conversations with the operator and the operator telling her how overwhelmed she is by the baby and how the baby didn't sleep and how she didn't realize how many diapers it was going to take. That is really typical new parent stuff. And as a result of the explanations, as a result of what the operator was telling her, the entrepreneur kept holding back more and holding back more and doing more herself and really trying to cover for her because she knew that this was like a really good team member and she also had had babies and she's like, you know, I'm just I'm going to make it really easy on her right now. And so what happened was over the course of about 6 to 9 months, that pattern continued of the entrepreneur pulling back more and the operator telling her how overwhelmed she was with the baby. But here's where the entrepreneur made a crucial and permanent mistake. She never asked the operator if she was overwhelmed at work. She just kept making the assumption that she couldn't do more. She kept making the assumption that she needed to pull back. She kept making the assumption that she shouldn't put as much on her shoulders. And as a result. And about nine months, maybe a year in, the operator came to her and said, you know, I am I'm leaving the company and I'm going to this other company that's growing a lot faster and they need a lot more help. And honestly, for the last few months, I don't really feel like you've needed me. And, you know, I feel like there hasn't been enough for me to do. And they really need an operator. And I remember the entrepreneur and I'd say, you know, what did you say? And she said, No, I need you. I've just been holding back. I've been, you know, trying to make it easier for you since you had a baby. And the operator, like, said, you know, I appreciate that, but I didn't really want you to hold back. I've actually felt like there wasn't enough for me to do for a while now. And I've already made a commitment to this other organization. They're giving me a big pay increase that, you know, I know is going to help me and my family. And so I'm going to take this other position. And I remember the entrepreneur in our event sharing this with everybody and the faces of the entrepreneurs in the audience, like kind of thinking, okay, this is something we have to be really careful with because here's the issue. If you assume that in a player is overwhelmed, you will often put them in a position of underutilization. And again, a players fear underutilization. A players will not stay in a place and under utilization, a players are not even really productive in a place of underutilization. In fact, I think part of the story with entrepreneur holding SAP back in the op ed not getting as much in hole near as a bag, was that the operator started making some small mistakes after a while and then started making mistakes kind of everywhere after a while. Why she was underutilized. She's worried. She was probably looking for another job. She was probably like completely torn on where her focus was because she felt underutilized. And so. For you and your company. I want you to remember something. When you find somebody good. When you find somebody you know can help you get to the next place as an organization. When you find somebody you're excited about working with. Make sure they have a full time position in your business. They know how vital they are. They know how important they are, and they are fully utilized within the company. And you can do this if you're running on an operating system, if you're running in a cadence, if you're running in like I said earlier, if you have that clear strategic plan, that communication system, and the way to build the infrastructure and build the team. And so if this is something where you want help, if this is something that sounds like something you want to explore, then go to the new homepage for my company, Simple Operations dot com. Why we call them that? Because we simplify the heck out of our operations for entrepreneurs. And right there on the homepage you can click to set up a call with a member of my team and let us explain to you how we help entrepreneurs do exactly what I've talked about on this call and grow businesses predictably so that you can get what you always wanted out of your company and make the effect you've always known you could and go out there and change the world. So we'd love to hear from you. Simple operations dot com. And remember when you have an eight player on your team, utilization is one of the most important factors that will keep them there. Simple Operations Icon, Thanks for being here and I look forward to hanging out with you again.