Momentum Podcast: 832
Leadership, the Deficit We Don’t See Coming.
by Alex Charfen
It is relatively easy to see the tactical help we need when growing a company. When we get overwhelmed in sales, we need a salesperson. We need someone to handle customer service when there are too many customer inquiries.
A deficit we don't often see coming and catches so many entrepreneurs off guard is when we need more leadership in our business.
In companies I've owned and coached, I've seen this stall growth, create unnecessary challenges, and rob us of opportunity.
In this podcast, I share with you how you can anticipate where you will need help in leadership and how you can start developing people from within or recruit from outside your organization and have people quickly duplicate your decision-making.
If you are ready to install the systems that allow your team to duplicate your decision-making, automatically develop leadership within your company and get new leaders up and running quickly, go to predictablebusinesssystems.com and sign up for a call with our team.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
If you are growing a business and your business is growing quickly, there's a place where you are going to experience a deficit probably before you realize it and before most business owners have prepared. And I want to help you with that. It's in the place of leadership. Most businesses will experience massive deficits in the leadership positions, and usually it catches business owners by surprise. It catches us off guard. It's one of the places that stalls company growth and pulls us back into the tactics that we have tried so hard to get out of. Today's podcast is all about making sure you are preparing to have leaders in your company that can duplicate your decision making.
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.
In my career, I've had the privilege and the exciting situation of not just owning super fast growth companies. Katie and I put a company number 21 on the INC 500 list. We were the 21st fastest growing company in the country with 8,000% three year growth. And we repeated on the INC 500 list in positions number well INC 5000 list in 2011, we were number 21. In 2012 we were number 187. In 2013, we barely made the list of 5000 with 4846, but we were still on that list for three years. And I've had companies that have experienced hyper fast growth before I even understood what the 500 list is. And so I've been in the situation of growing companies fast more than once, and there is a place that catches us all off guard as entrepreneurs the first time we go through hyper fast growth. And it's this place of having enough people in leadership. See, when you start growing a company quickly, you can start seeing tactically where you're going to need help. Company starts growing really fast. I need salespeople because I'm on too many sales calls. And then you replace sales or you put salespeople to replace yourself in sales. And then it's, you know, I'm doing way too much in customer service. So I need somebody who's going to do customer service. And now I need somebody to help me in delivery and helping with all the things that we've made promises to our customers. But what we don't often think about is I have this growing population of people and eventually I'm going to need people to lead them. And I recently got a call from a friend of mine who said, you know, I think I'm having this challenge. Or not think I'm having this challenge, it’s like I can see a challenge coming. I'm already feeling it. I'm already in the place where it's affecting the day to day of the business. And he said, you know, I just want to know, is this something that's normal or common? Because I feel like I just don't have enough leadership in the business. And I find myself making decisions in different departments that I don't really understand. And even though I've got really good people in those departments, I don't have people who have been in leadership. I don't have people who understand leadership. And so they're giving me information that I need to make decisions. But when I press them on making decisions, they have a hard time telling me what they think we should do. And this has happened to so many companies I've worked with and quite honestly, so many companies I've owned, where the thing that stalled us out, the thing that stalled the companies I've worked without is not focusing on and developing leaders both from within and recruiting leaders from the outside. And, you know, if you think about it in the form of an org chart where you think of leadership at the top of an org chart, and then the more entry level positions are at the bottom of an organizational chart, those entry level positions are relatively easy to fill. It's relatively easy to find a good salesperson. It's relatively easy to find a good customer service rep. It's relatively easy to find somebody who can come in and help with delivery. But finding someone who has leadership experience or leadership potential and skills and understands how to make leadership type decisions, to look at the right numbers, the right situation, to make decisions based on data, to make decisions based on where the company is going. And what's going to happen next is not so easy. And for so many companies, this becomes a massive deficit because we haven't decided in advance. It's something we're going to focus on. There are several areas you can focus on leadership within the organization. So first, let's talk about identifying people from within that are leaders. You know, these are people who are growth oriented. These are people who want more. These are people who don't want to stay in the position they're in. They want more responsibility. They probably have told you they want more responsibility. They demonstrate they want more responsibility by meeting their commitments to the company, by making the right types of decisions for the company, by treating the company as if it was their own, by watching your profitability, by making sure you're not spending too much. When you see people like that within your organization, it's a good idea on the org chart that you keep on the notes you keep on your company to to identify those people in advance and start thinking about how and when you're going to need a leader in the area they work and how you will advance them into a position where they become a leader and how you will show them how to duplicate your decision making. I'll talk more about duplicated decision making in just a second, because the second way to make sure you have the right people in leadership is to watch your organization. And when you find that there is a department or a group in the company, a sales team, a delivery team, a customer service team, a production team, whatever that team is, that is taking a lot of your effort. And it's becoming a distraction. It's where you're spending more time than you should. It's where you're spending so much time that there's other things in the business you should be doing, but you don't have time to do them and you don't have someone internally that you feel can step in the leadership. Or maybe there's someone that could eventually. But right now they're not ready for it or maybe they don't want it. You know that that always shocks me when people don't want more out of their position, but that doesn't make them a bad team member. Oftentimes people just want to be in the position they're in. They feel good in the position they're in. They feel like they're winning. They don't want more responsibility right now. Maybe they're in a life situation where they don't want more responsibility. Maybe they have a history in businesses where they took on more responsibility and it didn't go well. And so I would not suggest that you try and convince people that they take on more responsibility if it's not something that they are really excited about. And so the second way that you create leadership in your company is to go out and find leaders and find people who are in a business that are leading a department, or maybe they're the assistant lead in the department, like the one that you have, and you find people who have a successful track record, one as team members. And then too, in leadership and decision making and go out and find those people and recruit them into your company. And in both cases, whether you're growing somebody from within or you are bringing somebody from outside, you want to show them how you make decisions in your company. You want them to be able to duplicate decision making the same way you do. And there are some foundational principles in the company that allow us to do this. There are some foundational tools that we have in a business that allow us to have the people around us duplicate our decision making. And here's the key core foundational tools. So number one, first and foremost is core values. What are the core values of your company? What are the values that you have that inform people how they should make decisions? And there is so much published out there on core values. But here's how I like to think of them. I like to think of core values as behavioral tenets. What are the behaviors you want your team members to have when they are making decisions? What are the behaviors you want your team members to have while they are working in their position? I'll share a couple of the core values we have in our company. So first and foremost, we have this core value. We walk our talk. That means that, you know, we know as a company we have the best personal development and business content available in the market today for people who are like us, for entrepreneurs, for people who think entrepreneurially. And that's why our entire entire team uses our frameworks, our processes, our system systems and our tools for ourselves, our families and our work. And so that's a core value that's very important to me. Another core value we have, and I'm not going to share all of ours. We have five, I'll share three. The second one that I think is crucially important is we have this core value of minimum effective dose, which means the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. We don't want to overcomplicate things. We don't want to make things too heavy. We don't want to make things too difficult. Like what's the minimum effective dose that we can do to get the result? We want to get the result we promised. Because I feel like so often in companies we have this opposite view of like, how much can I do? How much more can I do? How much can I overdo this? And so we always talk about the minimum effective dose. And one of the other core values that we have is to correct the process, not the person. And so this doesn't mean we don't hold people accountable. We absolutely do. But in so many entrepreneurial businesses and companies in general, when something goes wrong, we blame the person. And in our organization, I want my team to always think about what went wrong with the process. See, when something goes wrong in a business and you blame the person. Very little gets corrected or changed. But when something goes wrong in a business and you say, what is wrong with the process, correct the process, not the person is a core value, Then we go correct the process. We will correct the system. We go correct the process, the routine. What is it that we're using? The checklist, the flowchart, the process document that we're using? If we make a correction there, then rather than blaming a person and putting it on an individual's shoulders, we go and we correct a process and we reinforce the strength of our company. So those are some of our core values and those are the decision making process. Those are tenants. Behavioral tends to make decisions in our business that I want my entire team to use. Another crucial decision duplication and decision making tool that we use is our client centric mission. I have podcasts on client centric mission. If you go to Charfen dot com forward slash podcasting, you search a client centric mission, you will find podcasts and tell you how to build this. But for us, it's four simple questions: Who do you help? How are you going to help them? What's the change you want to make and how will you know you're successful? And for us, it's “We help visionary entrepreneurs that can't turn it off and want to change the world and have world changing ideas.” And we help them by showing them the process, structure and routine through which they can plan and execute successfully with the team. And the change we want to make is that visionary entrepreneurs get the help they need and they can make the change they want to see in the world. And we will know we're successful when we're known as the place that can help entrepreneurs simplify their business, build world class teams and execute like crazy while working less in the business so they create a real company. And when my team is making decisions, I want them to pass it through the core values that I want them to pass that decision through. Our client centric mission that I just shared with you, like, is this moving us towards our mission? And then here's the third way. And this is crucial, and it's one of those disciplines that barely any entrepreneurial organizations have. It's planning and decision making and prioritization. As a company. See, in our company, we use our systems, the systems that we teach other people to make successful decisions in their business, to increase the probability of success in their business. And one of those disciplines is creating a monthly plan. Now, we do planning on an annual basis where we decide what we want to do for the year. We do planning on a quarterly basis where we decide what are the quarterly outcomes we're going to shoot for this quarter. And then we do planning on a monthly basis where we say what part of those quarterly outcomes are we going to get done every single month? And that's what we make commitments and we make things happen. And because we have this structured planning process and meeting cadence, the simple operations system meeting cadence, our team members get to see how we make decisions. And you know, the way we go through a decision making process is we analyze everything we could do. We prioritize what we will do. We commit to an execution period, which in our business is 30 days at a time. We execute like crazy and then we renew by going right back through, analyze, prioritize, commit, execute and renew over and over again. And when a team member works in a structure like that or a new team member is brought into a structure like that, they immediately see how we methodically and systematically make decisions. We make decisions by looking at all the possibilities and we prioritize the ones that are most important for the company. We commit to executing those. We allow our team an execution period. And then once that period's over, we look at how much we should get done and we renew and we do it again. And those three elements in our business and elements that could be in your business of having core values, a long term client centric mission, and then a planning and execution process where you're making decisions methodically with team input, all help a team duplicate your decision making. And in duplicating your decision making, you're preparing not just one person on your team. By showing them a process like this, you're preparing everyone on your team to step into leadership, or you're creating a process where you can bring a new leader into a team and have them very quickly get up and running and make decisions in the right way. And so if you're growing a fast growing company, start thinking now and make it one of the thought processes you go through often of what leadership are you going to need, What department is requiring the most from you? What part of the business is growing the fastest? What part of the business is feeling like it has the most deficit? That's most likely where you're going to need a leader. And when you start feeling those things, start asking yourself, Do I have someone on the team or am I going to need to bring somebody in and ask yourself, Do you have those fundamental elements in a company to help them make decisions? Do you have clear values? Do you have a clear, client centric mission that is the long term inspirational mission for the company so we make decisions pointed at that. Do you have a planning and execution process that is methodical, where you show people how to make decisions, or is it haphazard? We come up with an idea on Monday and we execute it by Wednesday. You know, that might work when you're growing, that might work when you're starting out, but as you grow an organization, you start maturing. The more you can make decisions in a process that everyone understands, or at least the people who are involved in decision making understand, the more you will be creating leaders in your company, don't let a leadership deficit sneak up on you and stall your growth, challenge your profitability, pull you back into the business in a way where you can't act as the visionary and make things more difficult than they need to be. And if you're interested in understanding that, analyze, prioritize, commit, execute and renew the process, we created a free report on that first step. Analyze. You know, so few entrepreneurs do thorough analysis of their business when they decide what they need to do. In fact, I can admit to this when I was early in my business, it was what I felt when I heard from somebody else, what I saw in a mastermind, what I heard in an event, what I read somewhere, a YouTube video I saw where whatever it was that would help me make the decision of what we needed to do. And sometimes I got lucky and it would reinforce that pattern of, Hey, this is the right way to make decisions. But once my company was growing and once I had enough people on the team, I started realizing I needed a consistent way to analyze the business. And this free report that we created on the five core functions of your company that's available at Predictable business systems dot com, that's predictable, business systems dot com is crucial. It will help you analyze your company in a way that I would say less than 1% of entrepreneurs consistently do on a quarterly basis. It will help you identify where you should focus and will help you make better decisions for your company, which is your responsibility as the leader of your organization. And the better you can make decisions, the higher the percentage chance you have of success. So I'd love for you to go download that free report. By the way, this is our most appropriate new content. I think the homepage says this is our most stolen content and it's something that I put on there kind of tongue in cheek that so many people use this content in their products. So many people use it in their presentations. A few months ago, I was at an event with Alex Formosa and he started sharing what he now calls the six core functions of business. He broke down the last one you'll see in the report what I mean by that. And I remember thinking, my gosh, this is so funny how many different entrepreneurs have found this five core functions process is so crucial to growing a business that they now teach it. And so if you want to learn it from the source, go to predictable business systems dot com. It'll show you how to get that first step analyze nailed down in your company so that you can start showing everyone in the team what you should do next, how you made the decision and start that process of duplication of decision making. It will change the game for you and it will help you develop leaders within your company.
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