Welcome to the Unshackled Owner Podcast. The Unshackled Owner program, the whole concept is really based on three overarching ideas. The ideas of target, team and trust. Team is a very practical, very pragmatic thing to be working on and something that requires an eye for detail, for calling people quickly on things, for organizing people that are gifted. Let me give you some ideas, things that I really think of as being critically important as it relates to team.
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Teams Make Magic With Aaron Young
Welcome to The Unshackled Owner episode number six. This is Aaron Young, I’m your host. I’m so glad you’re here with me today. We’re going to talk about one of the most critical elements of making your business successful. In an earlier episode, I talked a lot about being focused on a target, having great clarity on exactly what it was that you are trying to do, exactly what goal, what destination you are trying to reach. The Unshackled Owner program, the whole concept is really based on three overarching ideas. The ideas of target, team and trust. Target certainly is all about clarity, focus, knowing where you’re going, having a clear, precise understanding of where it is that you’re trying to arrive and what you’re trying to do, how it’s going to feel and smell and taste when you get there.
The second principle is team. Team is a lot more pragmatic. Target has a lot to do with looking into the future, looking into the crystal ball of the future. Team is a very practical, very pragmatic to be working on and something that requires an eye for detail, for calling people quickly on things, for organizing people that are gifted. Let me give you some ideas, things that I really think of as being critically important as it relates to team.
If you look at a professional athletic team, teams are made up of the very best people that organization can afford to hire and put into a certain position. The problem with most business owners that I meet is they’re crummy at hiring people and they’re really crummy at managing people. It’s not that they want to be crummy, they just are crummy at it. The reality is that they need to learn how to look at their team members, their employees less as an expense, less as a hassle, certainly not as friends and also not as slaves. They need to be looking at their people as human resources, the very best resource they can possibly get their hands on to put into a certain position.
When you look at your team members as an investment rather an as an expense, then you’re trying to figure out, how am I going to get a return on this investment? How am I going to make sure that this investment is put in exactly the right spot, given the best likelihood of success, deployed into the market so that it can be its very, very best? How do I let this person, this human resource who I’ve hired because they’re brilliant at something that I’m not really good at, how do I get that person to really be all that they can be while they’re working for me?
The problem with hiring employees or bringing on contractors or using virtual assistants or whatever that you think are easy to manipulate, easy to control and so on. If you’re hiring people that are weaker than you, the likelihood is that they’ll only be as good as you let them be and they’ll only be as good as their level of skill. If you’re hiring weaker, lesser people, you’re going to end up with a team that’s so dependent on you to inspire them, to encourage them, to be both the carrot and stick. You’re going to be constantly, constantly managing those people.
However, if you go and say, “I’m only going to hire one person right now or two or three people or have some contractors or whatever. How am I going to find somebody who is brilliant at the things that I’m not good at?” In other words, you have to know what your strengths are and what you’re weaknesses are. Then when you acknowledge where you’re weak, you say, “We’re going to hire … I’m a great quarterback but I need a great receiver. I’m a great quarterback but I need a good running back.”
The running back’s not good at throwing the ball and the quarterback’s not good at receiving the ball. They’re all good at their own task. Who is it that I can find? If you’re good at marketing and sales, then who’s really great at technology? Who’s really great at accounting? Who’s really great at customer service? If you’re great at sales, you’re probably actually not very good at marketing. I think you are, but you’re probably not because it’s too different skillsets. If you’re great at sales, you’re probably not good at management because great sales people almost by definition are not great managers. They’re free agent, rouge, get it done, go for the kill kind of people.
The idea here is, what are you really great at and where do you need to augment your weaknesses with other people who, I love this expression, who play at the things you have to work at? How do we start to build that team and how do we organize a team in such a way that there’s a logical organization to the company. You might have 100 employees or might be you and a virtual assistant and some people that you use regularly maybe from Fiverr or Elance. You’ve got a team of people, “That company over there does my marketing. This company over here manage my website.” Whatever it is.
You, as the leader of this little burgeoning company have got to get those people, whether they’re your W2 employees or they have a specific task within your hierarchy, you’ve got to get them organized into organizational chart and with a specific game plan in mind so that they begin to … Actually, they’re not driving you, you’re driving the bus. They know what their task is and there’s an easy way to measure their efforts so that you know if you’re winning or losing in this game.
Here’s the cool thing. Let me give you one other little hint. When you are honest enough, vulnerable, maybe that’s too weak of a word for some of you, but if you’re vulnerable enough or if you’re honest enough to say, “Look, here’s some things I’m not very good at.” In my case, I’ll just tell you, I’m not really good at accounting. I’m not good at it at all. I’m good at reading the reports but I’m not good at creating the reports. Information technology, are you freaking kidding me? Fixing, building websites? Anything like that, I’m ridiculously, critically crippled. But I have great people.
If I can say, “Look, I can create content. I can teach principles. I can manage the organization. I can create the vision. I can fund it, but I need help with accounting. I need help with technology. I need help with marketing.” When I say that, and I’m open about it, some people might think, “If I do that, it’s going to make me look weak. If I do that, people are going to think I don’t know what’s going on, people are going to think that I’m vulnerable. Couldn’t be further from the truth.”
When you are open and clear about saying, “Here, I need to hire a great person to run my accounting department. I need a great person to run my marketing department. I need a great person to run my sales department. I need a great person as it relates to technology. I need a great person for customer service or whatever.” Whatever your needs are.
When you do that, when you’re honest about what you need to augment your own strength, you look like a freaking winner, you look like a smart leader, you look like somebody that others want to get behind and follow. Because you look like somebody who knows what’s going on. Everybody knows, everyone knows that you can’t be a master of all things. You have to be an expert in what you’re an expert in and then outsource or engage or hire the people that do things where you’re weak.
Then you start bringing a team together. There’s a saying Henry Ford said years ago, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford was the ninth wealthiest person ever to live on the planet. When you adjust for inflation, of the top ten wealthiest people ever to live on the planet, Henry Ford was number nine. He had a fortune that was worth, in today’s numbers, just shy of $200 billion. Richer by far than anyone on the earth right now.
Henry Ford knew a little something about what to do. He changed transportation, he changed manufacturing. He was a phenomenal guy. His company, by the way, is still owned … Ford is still Ford. They haven’t bought and sold it like everybody else. Here’s what I say. Henry Ford knew what was going on.
He understood that when you get the right players together, you get the right designers, right engineers, the right marketing, the right manufacturing, all the pieces in place and everybody’s talking and everybody knows what their job is and everybody’s doing the thing that they’re assigned to do and they know how they fit into the big picture and they know how their efforts are moving the whole body forward. When they know that, then guess what? It’s a miracle. Then what happens is everybody starts moving the business forward as fast as it can go and success takes care of itself.
I’m a big believer in teams. I’m a big believer in hiring the best people you can hire, of letting them have a little bit of rein. If you’re riding horses, you want to give them the reins and let them run. Because if you hold them back, if you’re their bottleneck, you won’t ever hit the level of success that’s possible. If you let people be brilliant in the area that they’re brilliant and if they understand what their task is and how they’re being measured and you let them be successful and you don’t look over their shoulder constantly but you have good ways of measuring, “Are we getting towards our goal?”
When you do that, you change the nature of your business, you build a culture of trust, a culture of innovation, a culture that self corrects so that your people, when somebody new comes in or somebody does something that’s out of alignment with what our business is, people will say, “Hey wait. We don’t do that here. That’s not how we do it here.”
Folks, let me tell you, if you want to be an unshackled owner, you want that kind of group of people that are empowered, that are inspired, that are motivated and they’re self correcting. They’ll know that you’re monitoring, they’ll know that you’re measuring. When you’re with them, when you’re in that office, you want to be leading, you want to be the bar that everybody else just try to jump over that bar. They want to be working as hard as you.
I’ll tell you what, you’re the one that will set the mood in your business. You’re the one that will create the energy or create the doldrums. Guess what, you should write this down, we get what we tolerate. If yours is a culture of complacency, you’re going to get complacency. You’re going to flat line and people will work harder when you’re there and when you walk out the door and the cat’s away, the mice will place.
If you have a culture of enthusiasm, people will know what the goal is, they know what the world class problem is that you’re solving and they’re trying to help each other be as successful as possible, that my friends, that is when you have a business that’s getting to the place where the owner is now unshackled. Doesn’t mean you’re not working, doesn’t mean you don’t show up, doesn’t mean you aren’t amazingly powerful in your skills. The point is, even if you’re not there, the team, the culture, the goal will still be working because you have a great empowered and brilliant team who knows exactly, exactly what their job is.
Somebody wrote to me today and they said, “We can’t do a certain thing because we’ve got this family troubles right now. We’re trying to take care of some family obligations that are really serious and that’s where we have to put our first priority.” Consequently, things in the business are suffering.
It occurred to me, and I want you to think about this, the reason you need to learn the lessons that I’ll be teaching you here on this podcast is so that when those family troubles come up, when you need to go off and take care of a sick family member, a friend, when you want to go off on that world class vacation, when you want to go and serve in your church or in the community or serve in a public office or whatever it is.
When you must go away or you choose to go away, you want to have a business that doesn’t shrink, that doesn’t diminish, doesn’t flat line, but that continues to grow, continues to flourish, because it’s not all based on you. It’s based on what you’ve built. It’s become something bigger than you. It takes a team. If you’re not at a place in your business yet where you have a bunch of employees, you still have other people that you need to be outsourcing stuff to and you need to be creating an environment where they understand what your goals are, how they fit into your goals and how they’re being measured so that we know, are you winning or losing.
That folks, I’ll tell you, that’s the magic. Your team will make magic in your life, will create wealth. Not only will you become wealthier, they’ll become happier, more fulfilled, wealthier. They’re going to go out and take the money that they’re earning from the job that they love to go to for eight hours for you and they’re going to take their money, their skills, all they’ve learned under your tutelage. They’re going to go out and do the things that matter to them, with their families and their hobbies and their social endeavors. They’re going to be more and more successful people out there in the world because of this environment they spend most of their waking hours in that you’ve created. Because the team is the magic, folks.
That is the lesson today here in The Unshackled Owner podcast. I look forward to seeing you again real soon.
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