Momentum Podcast: 793
Let Your Team Hold You Accountable
by Alex Charfen
When I first started my entrepreneurial career as a leader growing a business, I learned a ton of lessons. I struggled with immaturity, short-sightedness, and a lack of leadership. The more I have walked this path, the more I have learned about what it means to be a true leader.
One of the areas where I have felt this the most, and one of the most important lessons I've learned in entrepreneurship, is to let your team hold you accountable.
In this podcast, I will explain why.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. You know, a lot of the podcasts that I record are to a specific person, to. A specific human being in my. Membership, somebody who I've. Interacted recently, somebody who's told me something recently, and then some podcasts I record for my 20 year old self. This is one of those podcasts with one of the most important. Leadership. Lessons in a business that I ever learned. It's allowing your team to hold you accountable. 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 when you're the CEO of a company, when you're the owner of a company, especially for me. For a lot of people I've coached, when you're just starting out, you know you're in charge. And for a lot of us, it's the first time we've been in charge of an entire ecosystem in our lives. And, you know, the reason we're doing that, a lot of us a lot of the reason that. There's entrepreneurs out there that even get into entrepreneurship is we're looking for a place where we make the rules. We're looking for a place where we are in charge, where. We're the person who. It says what happens and dictates where things are going and is in control and or at least relative control in a business. And here's what happens. To a lot of early leaders. And man, do I know this happened to me when. I would be in a meeting or I. Would be with my team and somebody would say, Hey, Alex. You committed to do this? Or, Hey, you were supposed to do this. Or maybe it wasn't even in a team meeting. Maybe it was via. Text message or back. Then via email these. Days. Via slack, you know, I'll often get reminders. From my. Team. And today I think, man, I'm glad that they're telling me that. I'm glad that they're reminding me. I'm glad that they're not just pretending like the problem isn't there. And I'll tell you why in a minute. Because when I was younger and somebody would remind me that I missed something, I would sometimes feel outrage. I would think. You know, who do they think they are? I'm the person who's. Running this company. I'm the owner. I'm in charge, you know? What are they managing me? Are they trying to tell me what I need to do? You know, and I would I would actually be really angry. And frustrated with the person that reminded me sometimes. I mean, I'm one of those people, especially when I was younger and before I'm mature, matured out of a lot of bad habits. I used to hold a grudge. And so if somebody would remind me of something, I'd be like, okay, I'm going to show them over the next few days. And it was just such an immature and today for me, inconceivably short sighted way to manage people because here's what you want. As a CEO. And this is what I was when I said, I'll get to this in a little bit. Here's what I was talking about. Here's what you want as a CEO. You want a team that will tell you when you're missing something. You want a team that will tell you when you made a commitment and you haven't fulfilled it. You want a team that will tell you when they need something from you. You desperately want a team that will tell you when they need something from you. And you know, this this podcast is aimed at those of you who are maybe just starting out building a team or maybe this is your first team, or maybe you've had a few teams, but you're always trying to get better because when you allow your team to hold you accountable, when you give your team permission, explicit permission to hold you accountable, when you say things like, Hey, matter if I'm ever. Missing something, I expect you to tell me. Here's what happens to. The dynamics of growing a team. And here's here's one of the reasons. Why it's so important. So first, let's talk about what happens to the dynamics of growing a team. What happens is you never. End up the emperor with new. Clothes. Your team reminds you. When you're missing something. Your team tells you when something's not there. Your team tells you. When you're about to make a mistake, when you're about to jump off a cliff or to step off a cliff. When you're about. To make a big mess, your team will tell you. And part of getting your team to tell. You those things. Part of getting your team to have your back like that is giving. Them permission to hold you accountable. And then when they do, being kind about it, being welcoming for it, being saying like, thank you so much. I was going to ask. You know, and you made it so that I didn't miss. And so it's so important in the early days of building a team because as you grow your business, things change. And as you grow your business, the way that you operate within the business changes. And as you grow your business, here's what eventually happens. And we have. This this framework called the billionaire code. And if you listen to my podcast for any period of time, you probably heard me mention it before you can go check it out at billionaire code dot com. So the word billionaire and code icon. And it's the nine levels that you go through in order to. Become a $100 Million entrepreneur. And there's this really interesting transition. That happens in the fifth and sixth levels. In the fifth and sixth levels. I'm sorry, I'm not fifth and sixth. Sixth and seventh levels from. Leader to owner. When you're at 3 to 10 million in revenue and then 10 to 30 million in revenue at leader, you have the progression. Of delegating success. And so let me let me give you what your delegation looks like starting at Builder, which is 300000 to $1000000. You're working overtime, you start getting some help. Then at 1 to 3 million, you delegate time, then it's 3 to 10 million, you delegate success. And then at 10 to 30 million, you give up. Autonomy of time. And here's what that means. That means at 10 to 30 million, you want your team to tell you where they need you. You want your team to let you know where you they you can help them because it 10 to 30 million if you're still trying to have your eyes on everything going on in the company, if you're still. Trying to control everything going on in the company, if you're still trying to understand everything that's going on in the company. At a granular level, so much so that you know exactly where you can. Help the team at the highest level, you're. Probably missing something. And here's what I mean by give up autonomy and time, your team tells you where they need you so you don't miss something. Now, here's the challenge. Even those early levels of delegating. Time, you know. OPERATOR One, two, 3 million. You're delegating time. Builder 300000 to. 1000000. You're, you're working overtime. At one, two, 3 million. You're delegating time at 3 to 10 million, you're delegating success. And then at. 10 to 30 million, you're giving up autonomy on time. And on these earlier levels, if you don't allow your team to hold you accountable, you will create a culture. The as your company grows, people will tell you less and less. And here's the equation. As entrepreneurs that we're always trying to solve in growing a company, we're trying to. Make increasingly important, increasingly critical decisions with less. And less information. And I've been you know, I've been debated on this more than once. I've had people say, what do you mean, less and less information? As the company grows, you can get more information. From more people. And I always have to say, like, slow down a second, let's just look at this logically. When you have a company of one, you know everything. Going on because you are doing. Everything. When you have a company of two people. You now don't know everything that person. Did in the day. You might think you know most of it. You might get a report about it, but you don't know everything that person did. And when you have a company of ten, you certainly don't know everything that. Every single person did in a day. You might get some type of a summary, but you don't know how they did it. You don't know the process they use. You have less and less information. Let's take that up another ten x. When you have a company of 100, you don't even know what some of those people did in a week. You might know the results, you might know the outcome. You might get a report somewhere, but you don't know how exactly every. Member service person is answering the phone. You don't know exactly how every sales person is following the script. So as your company increases, you naturally have less and less information. And as your company grows, each decision you make. Becomes more crucial, more important, more. You know, more likely to. Give you a challenge if you don't do things right. And so the reason it's so important in the. Early days of business to. Build the habit of letting your team hold you accountable is that as your company grows, it only goes in one direction. You need more and more. Information from your team. And here's why I focus on this one point. Letting your team. Hold you accountable. In my experience of working with entrepreneurs for decades now, here's what I've seen. This is the one place where entrepreneurs get emotional or one of the most common places. Not the one place. One of the most common places where entrepreneurs get emotional is around team members telling them that they're missing or around team members saying, Hey, I need this from you. Or a team member saying, Hey, you missed this. It's where entrepreneurs will get emotional. It's where they will have irrational feelings of, like, what I was describing, like, rage and frustration and anger and hurt feelings. And it's where we will most quickly create the environment where we do. Not get feedback from our team. And that is one of the most dangerous things to have as an entrepreneur. If you have a team who's. Not giving you feedback, if you have a team who's not telling you when something's wrong, if you. Have a team who no matter what. Is going on, is going to let things go off of a. Cliff. You are fundamentally. Exposed as an entrepreneur. The person in charge is always the one that's most exposed because. We have the most responsibility and the more responsibility and responsibility means exposure. And so how do we counter that? How do we how do we counter that exposure? How do we make it so that we can still run the company, we can still be successful? We get feedback. From our team, we get intelligence from our team, we get ideas from our team, we get insights from our team. And if we don't, because we. Create the environment. Where our team won't give us feedback because we. Don't let them hold us accountable. We create a dysfunctional business where we will. Consistently be putting out fires and we will consistently be shocked. At the things that are happening and the outcomes that are happening. And we won't. Understand how to make the business grow. And so if you're in one of the situations. I described earlier, just starting building a team or maybe you're growing a team or maybe you're in a place where you have a team, but you want to get better. Consider this consider actually giving your team over permission and telling them on one of your daily huddles. Or in the next. Meeting you have. Hey, everyone, I want you to know, like, if I make a commitment and I don't fulfill. That commitment in the week, I want you all to tell me that I'm missing. You know, if I tell you I'm going to do something and I don't do it for you, I want you to reach out and let me know. And, you know, if there's something you need from me in this business, every one of you has the right. And you have the responsibility so that. Not so that you have the right and responsibility to tell me where I'm missing so that I don't continue missing. And then when your team does, when they bring something up, when. They tell. You the immediate response, really the. Only response is to thank them and to say, you know what? You're right. I'm glad you told me. I appreciate it. I feel like I'm missing it here. I feel and I didn't realize I was missing. You know, you you helped me out this week. And so. Let your team hold you accountable. Set up habits in the early days that will carry through the growth of your company to the point where when you're giving up autonomy of time and you are coaching a larger and larger team to take advantage of their time, and you have maybe a few dozen, maybe a hundred, maybe like some of our members have had a few hundred. Maybe some like some of the companies I've worked with, you have. Thousands of team. Members. You want to make sure that you never create an environment where those people are afraid to tell you what's going on because they are you're linked to what's actually happening in the company. So remember, let your team hold you accountable. If you do end up having. A team meeting. And sharing this with your team and telling. Them. Let me know. Reach out to me on social media. Tag me in a. Post telling me just how this affected you, your team, how the conversation went. I'd love to hear some feedback from you. It's one of the things that just lights me up and makes me excited to do what I do. And if. You're interested in seeing the. Billionaire code, those nine levels that I talked about, and even downloading a. Copy of The Matrix so that you can see what you're doing with. Your time all the way from when you're at 0 to 40000, what we call Sega, all the way to entrepreneur, which is $100 Million Plus go to billionaire code dot com and check it out. And thanks for being here with me today. I appreciate it. And I look forward to sharing my next insight and lesson that I learned with you. Because let's be honest, that's where most of these podcasts come from.