Making a Team in Your Small Business

In a previous post, I made the mention of “Management By Walking Around” and some of you might have thought, by my comment, that it wasn’t a useful component for an entrepreneur.    

Not at all!  It actually arose from Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, founders of Hewlett-Packard, and was a critical part of measuring and articulating the H-P Vision.

Using this idea, as well as creating and using the metrics you identify, is critical to the growth of your own business. 

Once you identify the wide range of metrics and measurables your company needs, you HAVE to look for concrete ways to communicate them to your team. 

It’s one thing to have a strategic metric of, say, a “5% increase in same-day sales over last year,” but to an hourly employee, those may simply be words on a page.  A savvy leader can make a real impact by engaging in conversations with the men and women doing the work by discussing the impacts and metrics you’ve set – and why it is critical to achieve those. 

Now, you might be thinking, “My business is made up of just me!  Why should I worry about how I’ll interact with my team … when I finally have one?”

Leadership isn’t something you magically achieve when you hire people.  A leader leads by consent.  All these metrics I shared with you?  They can only easily be measured when you have the buy-in of your team, and as the leader, you cannot expect great results without your followers. 

There’s another component at work, too…

Remember last week’s post?  You were asked to discover some metrics your business should reasonably be prepared to measure? 

Do you remember the sense of overwhelm you felt, trying to decide if suit color, or time of day, or font size should be considered to be a measurable component of your  success?

Guess what? 

As a leader, in the truest sense of the word, you can inspire your team to help you discover the metrics that will work in your business and industry.    

In fact, your ability to expand your business beyond a “company of one” depends on it!  This requires – you guessed it, two things – the metrics to measure how to inspire your team to innovate AND the men and women who will assist you in making your business the Great, Growing Company you’ve committed to build. 

With all that said, I’ve got a challenge for you – if you’re up to it…

As you go through your week this week, running errands, doing business, and so on, pay attention while you’re in three businesses – in any industry – and interface with their hourly team.  It might be a server in a restaurant, the orange vested fellow in Home Depot, or the Hygienist that cleans your teeth at the dentist this week. 

Find out how their leaders share goals, discuss metrics, and how open the lines of communication are within the business.  Do these men and women have Systems Metrics they are responsible for? 

…Hint, they should!

Pay attention to the good and bad ways those employees feel about metrics and leadership, and don’t be afraid to ask – if it won’t cause conflict – what the employee would change about those metrics.

Seriously!  What have you got to lose? 

Try it out and then think about the answers you get – and how they relate to your own business – or where your business is growing. 

Have a great day-

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