78. Maybe The Problem Is You

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/78. Maybe The Problem Is You

78. Maybe The Problem Is You


If you have a team, then you’ve likely encountered a time when they weren’t performing as well as we’d like them to.

When this happens, most managers will want to explore what’s going wrong and why they aren’t getting the job done.

But let me ask you a serious question…

Have you ever considered that the problem may be you?

Discover ways that we can impede on their performance and how to quickly mitigate this in today’s episode.

Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Discover how to work with me: https://www.adamliette.com/work-with-me

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Look, we manage team members, we manage people, okay. And there's a certain art to managing people, there's a certain expectation that you must really approach this with. And the number one thing that you will hear a group of people talk about when they talk about their teams. Maybe not number one, but definitely something that you'll hear on a regular basis from people is that man, their team members just aren't quite getting it done. You hear this a lot with people that are kind of in that first time delegating role or trying to get stuff off their desks that they wanted to kind of hold on to, and they're in that growth phase and their team members might not be performing up to their expectations. Now, the natural urge and the natural way of approaching this is to blame who the team member, right? Well, let me ask you, have you ever stopped to consider that the problem is you this is a difficult thing to realize, for us to even grasp that we might be the problem, we might be the person that's standing in the way of our team member really contributing at the way at the level that we want them to and being able to really have their fulfillment and be able to help us grow the company.

The fact is, if you're an entrepreneur, most likely you have a high D personality on the DISC profile. So you are a get it done decision maker, you have no holds barred about just seeing a problem and going and fixing it. Right? Sound like most of you, I hear, like I got this intuitive. I can hear y'all just shaking your heads, right? And I know I have to. Because when we see a problem, when we don't know how to fix it, what do we do we go fix it. Right? That's part of our natural tendencies as part of what we do. But we're not always hiring people for that. In fact, if you're hiring intelligently, you're deliberately not hiring all the people hide the people, because honestly, you're gonna drive each other crazy. You know, they're not, not everyone is suited for this, the different roles that you're going to need to hire for just one example, you really want a high AI person for your customer service rep. Why? Because those people, man, they feel feelings, right? They are good at dealing with people and getting them to calm down to de escalating situations we ate. Okay, let's be honest, we're not. So for our team members we require it's required of us to build more structure to actually have different mechanisms that we're putting in place to help them be successful.

So again, maybe the problem is you take a moment before you blame someone to assess how you're, you're contributing to the problem. And really, there's four things I want to go into that are just so critical. I found I've used them repeatedly. And they've never disappointed me. Okay, the first is, when you're delegating, you must, must, must, must have solid processes that are built out. You need to have that SOP Law Library, right? You need to have things developed to the point where someone can take what you did, take what you built and roll with it. Okay, SOPs are a continually evolving monster, right, you're gonna build an SOP, you're gonna change it, you're gonna rebuild it, you're gonna build it again. Right? So you're not going to get it right the first time. Don't put all your stress on yourself to get it right the first time, we're gonna get into ways that you can improve it here in a little bit. But let's just start with the fact that you need to have solid processes for your team to follow. If you don't, maybe the problem is you. Okay? And especially for you operators out there, like that's your baby. Okay, you are the process guy. Doesn't mean you have to be the one doing them all, but you're the one driving it. So if there's not a process, get it done. Even if you're enabling someone else to do it, empowering someone else to do it for you. Get it done. All right. So let's first step solid processes that they can follow.

The second step is you need to have KPIs key performance indicators. The key though is it's yes, have KPIs have reasonable KPIs is what you're asking something that is reasonable? Can they actually accomplish that number that you've put in front of them for the day? Or is that a pie in the sky? Is that something you can do? Is that something that anyone can do? Or do you just pick a number out of the hat? Say, Okay, I want 35 leads today, Mr. Senator, is that reasonable? Like, let's be honest, if I ever find a senator, it's getting me 35 leads a day dude is going to be making a ton of money really quick. Make sure the KPIs that you're putting in front of your team are reasonable, and they're fact based. Okay, well, Adam, what do you mean fact based? How do I know what my people can do before I give it to them, Well, start monitoring their outputs before you give them their KPIs. This is why we collect historical data. This is why data is King data will set you free and show you what to do. If you're collecting data over a period of time, you're going to have your baseline, you're going to be able to make reasonable KPIs from that. So create those KPIs, communicate them. Make sure that your team member knows what their expectations are, not just do their job, not just come to work every day.

But man, here's your numbers, hit them go. When we put a number to something, we give people a target. We give people something to aim for. Have you ever tried to do something without having something to aim at? As an example? Like, I was a little league dad for a long time. All my get my boys played little league. And what did dad have to do? Dad had to pitch and catch with them. Do you know how hard it is to pitch and catch to do batting practice? When there's no catcher there. That's a skill set. Because you don't have a glove to aim at. You're aiming at air. I can't tell you the number of times I beamed my own kids. Because what happens you get fixated on it. Do you know that is actually a thing where motorcycle drivers will drive headfirst into a semi truck. Because they see that headlight. And they get fixated on it, it becomes a target. It's not a it doesn't happen that often. But it is a known thing. And when you go through most motorcycle training courses, they teach that to you how to fight veering towards the target, we are naturally oriented towards targets and we will orient ourselves to them. So if you're not giving your team a target, give them the target so they know what to do. Third thing you need to have feedback loops. Okay, information revolves in accompany multiple different ways. Yes, it comes from the top down.

It also goes side to side between our team members. But guess what, my friends, you must have a way for information to come back up. You need to have a mechanism for your team members to give you feedback. So you can know what they're experiencing from the bottom up. For me and my program, I teach my students to use one to one meetings as the main conduit for that. So if you're one of my students, every month you do a sorry, you do a one to one meeting with all of your direct reports. That one to one meeting is not about their performance, but it's about yours. What are you doing for them? It's a vulnerable thing for us to put ourselves in that position to be evaluated by our subordinates. But let me tell you, my friends, the feedback you're gonna get from that will pay off in spades. If you take it and you action, what makes sense to action. There have been so many problems that I fixed for my team members, that was no skin off my back. It's not like I was asked to change the world and change how we're doing everything in the company was always the little things. But it's how we continually refined our processes and our systems to make them work better for our people. So what did that do for my team members? It gave them skin in the game man. They felt like they were empowered to actually have a say in what is going on in the company. They knew I was going to listen to them and going to action things that I could action. What did that do? Do that bought me so much credibility. It was insane. And then long term, you're gonna have employees that stay. Wow. All because you took the time to have a 30 minute meeting where you allowed yourself to be vulnerable and allow your team member to give you feedback about

you Wow. And it's hard, I get it. None of us want to be in that position, but my friends, you will be a better person for it, you will find out things about yourself, you will become a better leader. Because of that. The worst leaders I know Are always the people that you cannot criticize to their face. Ask yourself, are you up to being criticized? If not, maybe you weren't born to be a leader.

I'm serious. I'm serious as a heart attack. You need to be willing to get vulnerable here. And the last thing is lifelines. You need to have ways for your team members to reach out for help.

ways for them to say I need support, someone helped me. ways for them to get a mulligan when they mess up, when things aren't going right, where they can do it in a way that they know, everything's gonna be okay. They just need a lifeline. It's just like, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you gotta give them a lifeline, a way to reach out, we can build these mechanisms into our business with relative ease, we have so many different tools to do it with. One way that I do it, is I do a daily update to my team. Daily. So yeah, once a week meeting, like that's what you'll hear people say now do every day, five days a week, daily update. That daily update is a conduit for my people to ask for help. If they have something that they're not going to be able to get done, or something that they're struggling with. They know all they have to do is let Adam know, before the daily update is filmed. And I'll put it in there. I will get them that help, I will reach out to the rest of the team and find out ways that we can support them. You're not going to need to do this all the time. But just knowing it's there, just knowing there's a way to reach out.

It's a bit like, you know, having that net under you if you're walking a tightrope, I've never walked a tightrope. But you know what, I've walked on high stuff, right? You know, part of special ops training is we do some dumb stuff. The hardest things were always when you didn't have protection. Build that protection, build that safety net, do that through lifelines, you can do it really easily. And even if your team member never uses them, because most won't. Just knowing that they're there. We'll provide that structure that they really need will provide that safety net. People work better, more effectively when they know there is a safety net when they know that they're not left to their own devices. Right. So let me ask you hearing these four things, what can you implement right now right here. At least one of those feedback loops are pretty easy to implement. KPIs, take a look at those that's pretty easy to implement.

Taking a look at your processes, building lifelines, you're not gonna be able to do this all at once, but

pick one and go with it. And start implementing start creating these structures. You're gonna see a team that performs better a team that performs more effectively under stress and under pressure, a team that has more affinity for you as their leader, and a team which will ultimately rise to the occasion. And then my friends, you're not going to have to whine about your team members not performing because they're going to perform. And now you've done everything you can do. Now, my friends, if you've done all of these things, if your team members not performing well, then maybe it's them. But you've eliminated you as a possible source for the problems. And that's what this is all about. It's about eliminating the possibility that we can be contributing and instead, leading our teams and helping them get to their next level. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Please do take a moment go give us a review on the podcast

app. You know it's starting to creep up there. We're getting a whole lot of listeners and I love it. Thank

you so much for listening to the show. You have no idea how much it means to me. I hope you're getting some good stuff. of out of this, and until next time operators go lead the way. Alright, that wraps up for this episode but don't let the learning stop here. Join us in the Facebook group where we'll be sharing the latest tactical techniques and tricks that we're seeing working companies just like yours. Go to Adam liette.com/facebook That's ADA m li e TT e.com/facebook.

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