2. I'm Broken

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/2. I'm Broken

2. I'm Broken


No matter where you are in business, things are going to be broken. Processes are going to not work. Workflows will fail. It’s inevitable.

That’s just a fact of life and it’s very emboldening as the operator in a business. Thinking of things this way is a mindset shift for me personally as I no longer get anxious when things break. Instead I look for them to break and see that as a sign of progress.

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Welcome back to smooth operator, I am your host, Adam Liette. So great to have you for the second episode. And thanks for tuning in.

So what's on my mind today, it's, it's about the thought of our businesses being broken. Because no matter where you are in business, things are going to be broken. Processes are not going to work. workflows will fail.

Like this is all inevitable.

And what my business coach says I have to give them credit, his name is Alex scharffen. Alex says your business is broken. And if everything goes well, it always will be. That was profound when I first heard of it, when I first heard it, like, took the shade out from over my eyes that I was gonna be able to create this perfect business and went, Oh my gosh, it's just incredible because this is a fact of life.

And honestly, for me, it's emboldening as the operator in a business, it thinking of things this way, it's this a huge mindset shift for me personally, as I no longer get anxious when things break. Instead, I now look for them to break.

And I see that as a sign of progress.

Why? Because like I said, it's inevitable, we should be pushing our teams and our company to the level where things don't work. Because when things don't work, that's the only way to expose the connections that need to be reinforced, or entirely reimagined, to provide better support to the process.

And as Alex also says, you fix the process, not the person, it's a lot like when you're lifting weights, so it's anyone else lift weights out there, what you're really doing when you're lifting weights, is you're making all these micro tears in your muscles. And by making those micro tears, when your body goes to fix those micro tears, it's actually building up your muscles stronger. So you're breaking your body down in order to build it back up.

That's exactly what we do when we're doing weightlifting. And it's any good weightlifter will tell you that. And that's the reason you're sore after a really heavy weightlifting session, because you've literally torn parts of your body and now your body has to repair itself. Why wouldn't business be any different than that, like, you're not going to improve a process unless you expose those little tears, unless you pull it apart just enough where you're going to break it.

So that you're then able to come in and see what wasn't working and then fix it. Now, it's really easy in moments of failure and brokenness to try to place that blame on someone because there are people on your team that are responsible for that area of the business.

But that's missing the point, okay, because that person that you're going to try to blame, like you need that person, let's be frank about that the people you're surrounded with on your team on that Zoom call. If you're working remote, like you need every single person on that team.

And if you're placing the blame on them, you could be alienating, alienating them by placing everything on their shoulders, bullshit, you need to put on your shoulders, you're the operator, you carry the heavy load. Because that person, they have the institutional knowledge needed to keep moving your company in the right direction.

It's just that the process failed them in this moment. So fix the process, and honestly have swung around to the point where if something doesn't break, I get nervous. I'll be honest, I walk into every week waiting on things to break so I can fix them. Like if we're not breaking stuff, like we're not moving far enough. We're not pushing ourselves far enough.

I tell my team every single week, tell me what's broken.

Tell me what needs fixed.

You just put me to work, I will fix it.

That's my job.

It's kind of like in a marketing campaign. If you've ever done email marketing, or Facebook ads, like if I don't get told the buzz off in the initial emails, like, I'm not marketing hard enough, if I'm not doing it right, if I'm not pushing those buttons, same thing for your operational processes.

So really, now I look for those broken opportunities because they're just that they're opportunities, opportunities to fix things, opportunities to make things on your team work better.

They offer really opportunities to make your team closer because what happens is, when you're fixing a problem, and everyone on your team knows that it's a problem, there's a way where you can bring the team together in order to help solve it.

What does that do for your team when they have a stake in helping to solve the problem? It gives them ownership. It gives them the ability to help shape the direction of the company imagine what that would do if you were a junior team member on a rather large team.

And a suggestion you made was taken by the operator putting the process and was being done by the team, the very next week, like what would that do to your psyche and your level of not just ownership, but like affinity with the team. We are building teams, we are building people, at the end of the day, we're in the people business, I don't care what you're selling. If you're an operator, you're running operations, you are in the people business.

And by doing this, honestly, your team will love you.

Because you're fixing what's actually causing them consternation, you're fixing what's causing them discomfort, because discomfort is just about the worst feeling any of us can feel. And it's in that moment of discomfort that we start to doubt ourselves that we start to think maybe we are up to it. And if I can take that discomfort away from one of my team members who I need to be in a creative mode in order to accomplish their task.

And I can provide them clarity instead, how quickly are they able to get to the finish line. Like I said, your team will love you for getting in front of them for you being the one to take the arrows to shoulder that burden, right on your backpack and run with it.

That's the quickest way to establish yourself as the leader of that team, and to make your team members, your loyal followers because they know you have their back, and will take it upon yourself to get things right. So they can do their job.

So I really just say this as a challenge.

Keep looking for the broken.

When you find what's broken in your business document, you don't necessarily have to fix it right there on the spot. Matter of fact, that might be counterintuitive, because sometimes those problems you need to let stew for a little bit to really think about what is the actual solution.

So embrace this overall and just repeat it in front of your team, let them know you're looking for what's broken. Before you know it, you'll have team members is reporting broken stuff all around your processes, you're gonna have more work than you know what to do with. But that's great, because now you have the opportunity to fix it.

And I would count yourself lucky.

Because you have that opportunity.

So I'd say like, just go get after it, get after it operator, fix those problems, fix those broken things in your company.

And when you get to the other side of it. Guess what? You're just gonna find more? How lucky can we be?

Alright, thanks for listening.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing