Whether you’re a seasoned Business Owner or 1st-time manager, we all face similar problems and there’s a lot we can learn from one another. This year I’ve had the privilege of working with different businesses and interacting with their top management, especially the owners of the business and CEOs/MDs as their outsourced Human Resource Manager; and I was able to observe how the successful CEOs manage their teams effortlessly.
Key takeaways from my interactions. (1st part- CEO 101) -I will share more of my learnings in the next newsletter.
Focus on core work
Most successful businesses focus on their core business. For example, when it comes to Recruitment – they get a professional services firm like Alternate Doors to provide this service, the work of management is only to meet the final 3 candidates, whereas in other companies the CEO is part of the whole recruitment process from advertising, shortlisting, interviews; even if its 100 people they take part in this process. This is counterproductive and the CEO is involved in activities that should have been done by an expert. The biggest mistake I see management doing is hiring the wrong people or offering above the market offers because they are too tired to interview more people. Recruitment is an exhausting activity and can even take months.
Take Away: They engage experts in non-core work activities
Empathy and Emotions
Their empathy is based on bigger goals. For example when it comes to letting employees go- This will probably always be the hardest part of any manager’s job – and it’s something you never want to get too comfortable doing. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way around this one and it doesn’t become any easier, no matter how much experience you have. Their focus is on bigger goals, for example, the non-performing employee will affect the whole business performance or will make the business lose a client. The option is between keeping the non-performing employee or not being able to meet payroll for the other employees in the business because you lost clients.
Take away: They are very practical and don’t make decisions based on emotions.
Performance Management – Direction and Clarity
Performance problems are always going to be a concern for any manager. If employees don’t have clear targets and goals in place, it can be easy to fall short of what is expected. Clearly communicate targets and outline expected results to each of your team members. This way, if any results are falling short, you’re able to tackle the problem head-on by comparing expectations to actual performance. Make sure that you’re continuously monitoring actual performance in comparison to these set targets. You can then spot any problems early on and provide constructive feedback – helping to avoid larger issues down the line.
Having clarity removes any ambiguity, at times companies become petty and raise non-performance issues to their employees. I have seen companies lose their top performers, close and even taken to court because of pettiness.
Take away: They are clear on what they expect from their employees.
They develop people and think 5 years/ Future. There are many people out there who might have the experience and skills that you might be looking for and they’re probably perfectly capable to do the job. But this doesn’t mean they’re a perfect match to join your team. A good manager is able to decipher between good skills hire and a good cultural fit. Therefore they start selecting future managers early. In their organisations if someone leaves they are not in chaos, they always have a backup plan, there is an intern, a management trainee, or a junior staff member who has been prepared to take up the role.
Take away: They focus on future managers
Outcomes and End goal Vs Micromanagement
They focus more on outcomes than tasks; that is why they have been successful in ‘working from home’ and remote working. Focus is on the end results – how effective their teams are at achieving their goals. One company wanted Human Resource Support-however the support they wanted was for us to police their staff -We should call them every day ( 3 times) and collect details on what they are doing. This was very interesting as if you can be able to invest in someone to police your team, it would have been best to hire the right team from the beginning, if they are not meeting the targets then they are not the right team in the first place.
Take away: They focus on outcomes
If a team member seems unwilling (or unable) to take in constructive feedback, it can seem like a red flag. To build up that trust, successful CEOs focus on connecting with their teams. They truly care about what is going on in their life outside of work. Most of their employees felt comfortable talking about their weaknesses and problems – not just their triumphs at work and how the company can support them better. The employees get a total buy in- They enjoy their work and go above and beyond on what they are expected to do.
Take away: Build Trust
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