Momentum Podcast: 839
Let Your Team Lead the Way
by Alex Charfen
As a speaker and entrepreneur, I know the aspiration of every business owner with a team is to have the team work independently and achieve the company's goals, moving towards the intended vision and impact on the world. Unfortunately, very few entrepreneurs experience this due to missing a crucial component.
Recently, I participated in a monthly planning meeting for a client's $60 million company and was inspired to address this topic. I have seen too many entrepreneurs, including myself in my twenties, running businesses without understanding how to lead a team. I used to run a consulting firm without knowing what was needed to lead a team and constantly felt overwhelmed with daily tasks and challenges. I used to work all day and put out fires, but still, projects were always late and clients were dissatisfied. I finally realized that the problem was the lack of a clear plan for the business that everyone on the team understood. Less than 2% of entrepreneurs have a clear plan for the business, which is not the traditional business plan or financial projections, but a monthly directive that shows everyone what the company is doing.
In this podcast, I will teach you a process for creating this plan and achieving clarity in every project, policy, process, and personnel change. When you have this plan, your team knows what to do, and you can focus on more strategic tasks.
If you are ready to get out of your business's day-to-day, go to simpleoperations.com and register for a call with our team.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. The dream of every entrepreneur with a team is to be able to get our teams out in front of us, accomplishing getting things done, making things happen, and moving us towards the vision that we have for our company and the cause and effect we want to have in the world, the change we want to make in the world. And so few entrepreneurs get to that place where they actually feel like their team is leading the way because they're missing one. Crucial component to being able to get your team out in front of you and let them lead the way. 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. I just got off of a consulting call that I'm dealing with a large client of RS $60 million Company, and I participated in their monthly planning meeting there, planning meeting where they are creating their plan for the month. And I was inspired to do this podcast because so many of us as entrepreneurs would teams. We have this vision of hiring a team and having them accomplish and having them get things done and having them do the things that we no longer should be doing so that we can move on to more strategic things and having the team really lead the way. And for so few entrepreneurs, this becomes a reality and it's for too few entrepreneurs, this becomes a reality. It frustrates me that so many entrepreneurs are running businesses like I did in my twenties. You know, I talk about this a lot. I had a consulting firm where I didn't understand how to lead a team. I didn't understand what components were needed for a team. I didn't understand what I'm gonna share with you today that will help you lead that team and get to that place where they're out in front of you. And as a result, I ran a business with a very large team. But every single day I was in the day-to-day. I was in the tactics. I was putting out fires. I was getting questions from my team. I was in that place where our projects were late. We were missing deadlines. We were missing complete projects. We had delivery issues, all types of challenges that fell on my desk every single day. And as I talk about this, I can feel it in my body. I can remember that feeling of waking up in the morning and almost instantly feeling an acceleration in my heart rate because I knew something was going to happen that day that I was going to have to fix. I knew that something was going to happen that day where there was going to be an issue or a challenge or somebody was going to be upset or a client was going to be upset and I was going to be putting out the fires. And back then I felt like that was just what it took to run a business. You know, I listen to people around me who said things like business is a sacrifice. And, you know, you have to work all day, every day if you're going to make it happen. And you have to be the hardest working person in your company, you have to be the first person in and last person out. And I did all of those things. And still I was overwhelmed in the day-to-day. And it took me forever to figure out why. And I finally did. What I realized was and what I learned from the people around me that were far more successful than me was that I didn't have a plan for the business. I didn't have a clear plan where every person on my team understood where we were going as a company and what role they played in that plan. And so as a result, we were all scrambling on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and constantly trying to fix what was going on and catch up to where we really wanted to be. And we always felt like we were behind. I always felt like I was behind. I always felt like I was doing something wrong. And the crucial component that the vast majority of entrepreneurial businesses are missing. So if you're missing this, don't think, Oh man, I can't believe I'm missing this. You know, I can't believe I didn't know this. I talk to entrepreneurs all the time, every day, and I would say less than one or 2% actually have a clear plan for the business. And here's what I mean by a clear plan. I don't mean the business plan that you assembled in college. If you ever had to do one of those. I don't mean the business plan that you do using business planning software. You know, in both of those you like, write a thesis statement, you do financial projections, you do all these other things. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing those, but once you have a team and once you're up and running, what you really need is a clear directive that shows everybody what the company is doing. Everybody on the team should know exactly what the company is doing and the way you Assembly's plan is on a monthly basis. You take all the projects that you're doing as a company and you're going to accomplish as a company. All the policies you're putting in place as a company, all the people that you're hiring or promoting or changing their positions, and all of the processes that you're documenting or improving, and you put them all in a single document so that your whole team understand it understands this is the body of work that we're working on this month. And, you know, in our program, we teach a process to do this with your team. We teach a process to do this so that there's clarity in every project and every policy and every process and every person people change that you're making. And when you have this plan, here's what happens. Your team now knows where the company is going. Your team now knows what they're responsible for because they understand what they're accountable for in those projects. And when you put together a plan like this, this is when your team can finally start executing on a daily basis without you. And the speed with which things happen will absolutely shift in your business. You know, like I said, this. I was on a call where we put together for the first time for a large company, a strategic plan for the month, and they had their entire leadership team there. Each person on the leadership team shared the projects of policies that people the processes that they are working on for the month. Everybody else on the leadership team understood that now that the plan is going to be shared with the entire company and this entire population within this organization, perhaps for the first time, is going to know everything that the company is working on right now. This changes everything. It allows your team to understand what's really happening. It allows you as the entrepreneur to say, hey there, this month, here's all the things we're doing. You've called your shot. You, you, you know, point to where it's going. The company is going to go and your team now understands exactly what's happening and how to get there. And in most entrepreneurial businesses, there really isn't a plan. There might be some projects that have some planning behind them. There might be some things that you're doing that you've talked to your team about, but there's not clarity as to everything that's going to be accomplished for the month. There's no context as to what everything is, to what everyone is working on. There's no clear plan that says this is where we're investing our resources, our time, our effort, our energy, our focus and our cash. And as a result, that's why so many entrepreneurial businesses end up like I did, where you're missing things, where you're not accomplishing what you want. Whereas in the entrepreneur in charge, you feel like there's no way you'll ever get out of the day to day. And I know it might seem like a reach to say, Look, if you're overwhelmed tactically today and you're in the day to day and you're putting out fires and you're in that place that I described, a plan is going to get you out of it. But we've been teaching these materials now for over a decade to entrepreneurs. And I can tell you that over and over again, what I've watched is entrepreneurs who are in that painful place of being completely stuck in the business and overwhelmed by the business and feel like they're the biggest bottleneck. I know I felt like I was the biggest bottleneck, man, when I even say that. When I say I felt like I was the biggest bottleneck, I can feel like chills go through my body. I can feel pressure in my body. I can feel that tension of what it used to feel like. So if you're there, I empathize completely. And when you are willing to sit down and look at all of the things that you're doing and organize them into a plan so that the team can start helping you prioritize and you understand who's going to do what and you understand what you're going to measure to be successful. It changes everything about how you run the company and it gives your team the intelligence as to what's going to happen next. It gives your team the intelligence as to the entire scope of work. It lets them see everything that you're focused on and everything that you as an entrepreneur were previously thinking about just in your head. This isn't typically documented or shown anywhere. And when you do this on a monthly basis, here's what happens. The entire team can contribute to that, contribute to that plan, and you start achieving and getting things done and executing together. And then at the end of the month, you take a look at that plan. You look at everything that you accomplished, you now have perspective and an entirely different measurement of what your team can accomplish in a month. You understand capacity better, better than the vast majority of entrepreneurs. And then you do it again the next month. And what happens is that next month you understand capacity even better. And the second month that your team has a plan, they will execute even better. They'll get more used to it. And if you do this over and over again, month after month, you will hit the month where your team's out in front of you. You hit the month where you don't feel overwhelmed in the day-to-day, you will hit the month where you're not getting interrupted. And there is not constant challenges and you're not putting out fires every day. There still may be issues. There still may be challenges. Let's be realistic. Running a business is inherently bringing those things towards you. But. When your team is out in front of you and they understand everything that's going on, it completely shifts your involvement in the company and. My goal is to help every entrepreneur understand this concept. My goal is to. Share with the entrepreneurial world how much changes and shifts when you put a strategic plan in place, when you put a planning process in place, when you have a monthly plan that your team can execute, when everyone, everyone understands, understands what's going on. Because as entrepreneurs, we all are in this role of running a business in one way or another because we want freedom. But what happens is we start running a business and that business becomes consuming because we're so stuck in the day to day. And when we get put in that place of bottleneck, not only are we stuck in the day to day, but our days are completely and totally unpredictable. We don't know what we're going to be doing. We don't know what fires we're going to be putting out. We don't know what challenges we're going to face. We don't know what issues there are going to be. But when you create a plan and you start executing it monthly over and over again with your team, you understand capacity. Your team starts getting way more effective, way more efficient. They can see what's coming next. They can anticipate what they're going to need. They can anticipate the questions are going to have before they become a fire, before they can become a crisis, before they become a client problem. And having that plan in place will change everything for you. I want you to have that entrepreneurial dream that I've experienced, that our clients experience, that I've seen hundreds of entrepreneurs go from being stuck in the day to day to having the confidence that when they assemble a plan, their team is going to get them there. And while there may be challenges, there's going to be a fraction of what there was when there wasn't a plan, when there wasn't clarity, when there wasn't context. I want to help you get there. And so if you're an entrepreneur who's ready to get out of the day to day of your business and truly understand the capacity of your team and make sure everyone on the team is fully utilizing executing day to day, and you can reduce the challenges and fires and frustration that you feel. Reach out to us. We love to talk to you. You can go to simple operations dot com. Register for a call with my team. We would love to be able to connect with you and show you how you really can let your team lead the way and it changes everything. Go to simple operations dot com. Thanks for listening to this podcast. I really appreciate it and I look forward to talking to you on the next episode.