At its basic level, leadership needs one thing and one thing only:
Team members to follow you!
And anyone who’s been a leader for more than five minutes knows that some team members rise from the rest and become indispensable and probably leaders in their way.
Losing these people is a gut punch, so today, I wanted to talk about keeping the team members you can’t live without.
Businesses As Systems
I think about my career and the career of so many clients.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with, throughout my coaching career and even just peer-to-peer career and mentoring career before becoming a formal coach so many years ago, hundreds and thousands of people.
I think about the way that I was brought up and the way I was taught.
And I honor my education from Michael Gerber when I went to the E-Myth academy back in December of 2000.
I’ll date myself a little bit on this.
I went and started really understanding what it meant to systematize a company in my own path.
I read the E-Myth Revisited based on my accountant’s recommendation.
And at the time, I was like: Oh man, I can’t get enough.
Systemization is what I can create.
Systems that run the business.
I wanted to learn more. What is it really like?
What’s his E-Myth academy situation?
I went there.
I became certified as an E-Myth consultant.
Systems Do Help, But Not All The Way
My friends, I was so excited to help other people.
I’m going to fix my own service business at the time.
This would have been 6 years into my being in business at that time.
My business was probably four trucks, $800,000, something like that.
Then I started the E-Myth thing and systematizing my business.
All of a sudden, I didn’t have time to work with other people.
This is a lot of work.
I’ve got to fix this business.
Then I’ll go help other people, which is kind of the path that evolved for me and why I’m here with you so many years later.
One of the reasons I’m on this planet is to help people think about their thinking and choose their own reality of what they want to believe, who they want to be, and how they want to execute their next level of life.
That’s what I do in my leadership advisory work.
It’s what I do in my life architecture group work.
It’s what I’m here to do.
And so when you think about designing your own life and business, and regardless of whether you’re an owner or a manager, you are the designer of your experience.
Systems, Systems, Systems
One of the fascinating things to me is that as I kind of evolved through that process and went: Oh man, I’m going to have systems that run the company.
I unconsciously went into a state where team members almost became commoditized in my mind.
Spoiler alert for later on: This isn’t a good thing.
I’m about our system creator.
The better systems I create, the more people can come in and operate those without issue.
If Joey doesn’t operate the system effectively or Joey decides to leave, it doesn’t matter.
It’s the system; it’s not Joey.
I went through that phase in my career, and it wasn’t a fun phase.
It wasn’t fun for me.
It wasn’t fun for my team or anybody that I really impacted as my business grew.
I learned a lot, and I got really good at systemization and understanding how to create them.
You know what Tony Robbins says:
And that is true.
As you create repetition-based systems and benchmarks in your company, your company is going to grow.
It’s not rocket science; it’s simple math and execution.
But it’s only part of the equation, and I’d say it’s not even the most important part of growing and scaling beyond your expectations.
Team Members Are The Heart Of A Strong Business
I want you to think today about a team member that you can’t live without.
Think about three people that you could not live without if they left the business.
As you do it, I want you to think about what that means to you.
How many of you got a pit in your stomach right now?
Oh my gosh, man, if so-and-so left my business, that would leave such a hole.
I know for me, in many parts of my career, I would go into fear, and I would go into anxiety, and I would go into pain.
Here’s the reality:
There’s a balance between self-image, confidence, and fear.
I talked about this before and the war of confidence and fear. Click the link to check it out.
Some of you won’t even write anybody down on that list of what the team members that you can’t live without.
Your ego is too big, and you can’t write it down because it’s all you.
You’re the one that makes it work.
You’re the founder or the CEO.
It’s all about you.
I know I’ve fallen for that a couple of times (or maybe more).
Anybody can come and go, and back in the day, I was like:
Oh, I’ll just create systems, and anybody can run the systems, so they don’t matter.
Or you won’t build your lists long enough because you’re an optimist.
You have an optimistic point of view, which you have to have to be an entrepreneur, or you pretty much have to have to be a successful manager and a leader.
Make Your List Bigger
But let’s talk about increasing your list here.
Is your list too big?
Do you feel like every cog is crucial, and you can’t function without them?
It’s about finding that balance.
Leaders need to honor their purpose and the purpose of their team, so we need to be willing to allow the people to step into their individual greatness.
That Joey that we just hired in installations.
We could live without him.
What if Joey had so much talent and was such an incredible human that he might be the general manager one day?
He’s got so much talent.
He has so much ability.
And he has so much growth potential.
I don’t ever want to lose Joey.
Here’s the thing:
We’ve been taught that to think about people as this commodity.
I’ve said for years that I think people should show up on the balance sheet to be quantifiable.
I believe that we’re in the human capital investing space.
The number one most important asset to your business is your team.
We all say that on some level, but do we truly believe it?
If we did, then we would take this investor mindset and go:
Oh my God, how can I grow this person? How can I help them elevate their game? How can they become even better?
The Danger We Fear
There’s that old adage that was floating around for years.
What if I trained them and they leave?
Well, what if I don’t train them and they stay?
What if you just eliminated that dumb conversation in your mind?
Get it out of there.
Don’t even worry about it. Look at it with this attitude.
I care about them, and I want them to grow.
And how about everybody that is a team member here.
I want them to be the very best in their own unique space and their unique genius in the best like capacity that they can possibly be.
So I’ll soften it a little bit.
Maybe it’s not the like, “Oh my God, I can’t live without them.”
But the business would not be the same.
It might shift in my change.
It might even grow.
What if we took a mindset like that?
We are 11 or 12 team members at the time I’m writing this at Blue Collar Success Group.
I don’t know what we would do if any of them left now; it doesn’t mean that they’re not replaceable.
It doesn’t mean that if somebody left if there was a tragedy, and we lost somebody to this human experience, that Blue Collar would go away or that it would stop existing.
But it would definitely be changed because we’re building a team of unique geniuses within their unique ability.
We’re not there yet. I’m not even in mine yet completely, but as I’m committed to that, to go more and more into my genius to spend more and more time helping you think about your thinking more and more.
The Great Concept To Keep Your Team Members Growing
“The team that you can’t live without.”
What a concept, my friend!
What if we built all of that?
We’re building a team of unique geniuses that we can continue to help them get more and more in their own capability with higher capacity, with higher output, with higher performance, with higher fulfillment, and with higher love for what they do.
That’s ultimately what it’s about.
Chris is running Blue Collar right now, and if Chris left, it would suck.
Are you kidding me? I want nothing less than for Chris to leave.
I don’t ever want him to leave, but that would massively wreck this business for a moment in time.
It would keep going. Sure, it’d evolve in different ways, but it will continue.
Things would be painful. Things would be challenging.
There would be a new evolution process because it would be a change.
Leadership is hard. No one said it was easy.
I never did, but I did say it was simple.
Want to keep the team members you can’t live without? Care for them, push them to new levels of greatness, and let them step into their unique purpose.
But don’t build your business around one person. Don’t build it around three people.
Build it around a whole team. Yes, you’ll be able to survive without them, but they need to be able to have their heart and soul and expertise invested in order for your systems to run well and your business to explode to new levels.
I want you to take some time and journal or at least reflect on the following questions:
- Do I care for my team? Do I show them I care? How?
- Who are the people with the most heart invested in the business?
- Am I allowing these people to step into their own unique strengths?
- How do I encourage and push my team to find their own purpose in the team and step up?
- Am I modeling this myself? Do I show confidence, or do I sow fear?
It’s a fine line to walk, that place between building systems strong enough for anyone to do while also allowing people to become more important in the business without becoming so important everything falls apart.
But you can do it. Start by reflecting and caring. And keep it going by improving as a leader and following our content here.
Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic day!