Ever feel like your business is STUCK?

I meet entrepreneurs all the time who have gone down the path of building amazing businesses…

but as soon as they hit their first 7-figures, it’s like someone drops a big ‘ole rock in the way that they just can’t get past.

It’s like you’re doing all the right things, and giving it all you got – but you’re constantly pushing the big boulder uphill…

And the second you stop and breathe for a sec… the boulder starts rolling back down the other way – undoing all your hard work and progress.  

And after almost killing yourself getting the boulder to the top…

Now there’s a giant LOG in the way, and you’ve got to push the boulder OVER the log to get it rolling down the other side…

But you’ve already spent all of your time, energy, and resources getting the boulder UP THE DAMN HILL and you’ve got NOTHING left to give.

And all you want to do is sit down next to the boulder and cry in a fetal position because you just wish someone ELSE would push the boulder for a bit…

And you HAVE hired people to help you push the boulder. But half of them won’t push the boulder unless you’re ALSO pushing the boulder, so you never get a rest to regain your strength.

And the rest of them are just standing around telling you HOW to push the boulder – which is very nice of them – but what you REALLY need is for someone strong to just HELP YOU F-ING PUSH.

Sometimes it feels like this when building a team.

You either end up with a lot of expensive consultants telling you WHAT to do (but not actually doing it)…

Or a team of talented people who WANT to help, but end up standing around because they’re not clear on HOW to do the thing.

In both instances, it usually means you’re missing one (or both) of these key pieces:

A – communicating clear expectations – consistently and often
B – leadership and guidance on how to meet those expectations

After years of helping talented (and overwhelmed) Visionaries build strong teams so they can step out of the day-to-day, I’ve found there are common gaps in their business that are clearly missing.

These aren’t the ONLY pieces of “The People Puzzle” – and they’re certainly not the only keys to building a profitable and fulfilling business…

But they’re often the ones that move the needle most significantly.

Because when these 3 things fall into place, everything else gets easier.

#1 – Set clear expectations with your team

Seems obvious, but most business owners suck at this.

You’ve got this incredible vision in your head. All these genius ideas.

But it ‘aint always easy to that vision OUT of your head and organized into a clear plan that someone else can implement.

Unless you’ve got a strong Integrator to help make your vision a reality…

You may THINK people understand your expectations — but wind up with well-intentioned team members climbing ON TOP of the boulder instead of helping you push.

Or worse, accidentally pushing it back down the hill

This is all about getting all team members rowing in the same direction.

And I don’t just mean the leadership team… EVERYONE needs to be on board with where you’re going.

When I work with clients as an EOS Integrator, we hold a strategy and goal-planning meeting every quarter.

In those meetings, we take stock of what we’ve accomplished (or not), and then set a clear direction for the next 90 days.

This includes quarterly “Rocks” (the 5-7 things we’d focus on exclusively), scorecard metrics (the numbers we needed to track every week), and financial targets (both revenue, and bottom line profit).

This not only helps get the entire leadership team on the same page about where we were going — but also helps us get clear on exactly WHO is responsible for WHAT piece of the puzzle.

Because if everyone is accountable, then NO ONE is accountable.

So each Rock, or Goal, or Objective is assigned to a single “owner.” Someone who’s responsible for getting it done.

Now, that doesn’t mean they’re doing all the work themselves – but it’s their job to keep things moving forward, and take ownership of the project.

But that’s only the first step. It’s easy for the Leadership Team to get invested in the goals they set together – but what about the rest of the team who wasn’t involved in the process?

After those quarterly meetings, we always schedule a company-wide meeting to loop in the rest of the team.

Think of it as the “State of the Union” meeting, and use it as the Visionary’s opportunity to get the entire team EXCITED about where you’re going next.

Because telling people what you want them to do is only one piece of the puzzle.

You’ve also got to get their “buy in” – getting them excited about the goals you’re going after together, and helping them feel ownership of their part of the process.

#2 – Make sure you’ve got the right people, in the right seats.

So many times we’ve got great people on the team. They’re talented, driven, smart, and truly want to do a great job.

But they’re just not the right fit for the role they’re in.

Of course, you can’t figure this out without first deciding exactly WHICH seats are needed to take the company to where you want to go.

– What are the roles needed to achieve the goals we’re setting?
– What are the clearly-defined responsibilities of each role?
– What measurable metrics will clearly show whether or not someone is successful in that role?

Only AFTER you define those 3 things, can you decide WHO goes in each seat.

This one can be tough, because most of us are compassionate entrepreneurs who actually care about the people we work with.

What often happens is – instead of figuring out which “seats” are truly needed to make your goals a reality…

Instead we look at WHO is currently on the team, and try to mold and form the seats around those existing team members.

But there’s a saying when making management decisions around roles and responsibilities: “Never protect a person, paycheck, or process.”

If someone pushed back on this, here’s what it might look like:

  • “Jack has been in the Publishing role for a while. His graphic design is kinda “meh” – but it’s okay. He does make a lot of mistakes when sending out emails – broken links, typos, wrong dates –  but he really is trying his best. Plus he’s a great guy and we love working with him.” (Protecting a person)

  • “Having Kelly run customer service would be a dream come true, but it pays less than she’s earning in her current seat. She has 3 kids and needs the money.” (Protecting a paycheck)

  • “Our project manager Jill uses her own system to manage our tasks and files. It does slow things down and cause bottlenecks, because she’s the only one who really knows how it works, but we’ve always done it that way. ”  (Protecting a process)

It may FEEL like these are all valid reasons to have someone in a particular seat… but they often create more friction than you realize, and hold your business back.

When establishing the “seats” needed to get you where you’re going – and choosing who would be the best person to sit in that seat – you’ve got to be objective.

And if someone is NOT the right fit for that seat?

It doesn’t mean you have to give them the boot completely. There may be another important seat that is perfect for them!

But by trying to squeeze them into a seat that’s not meant for them – you’re only going to hurt them AND your business.

#3 –  Empower them to truly “own” their role

Once you’ve got the right people in the right seats, the next step is to empower them to “own” their role – then get the F out of the way.

There’s LOTS of ways to empower key team members in your business – and I won’t dive into all the intricacies of good leadership here, but here’s 2 places to start:

A – Give them permission to take charge and feel empowered in their role (then let them make mistakes])

This might sound like:

  • “What do you think we should do?”
  • “I totally trust you on this. Do what you think is best”
  • “Here for whatever you need, but happy to let you take the reins on this.”
  • “I defer to your good judgment on this one. It’s your show.”
  • “You let me know what you need, and I’ll get out of your way.”

B – Remove all the micro-decisions about HOW they should approach their role (so they can feel free to just do it!)

While it sounds counterintuitive – sometimes it’s about creating MORE structure for them  

For example, every week our team meetings:

  • Are held at the exact same time, on the exact same day of the week
  • Always start on time and end on time
  • Have the exact same agenda where we:
    – Review our weekly scorecard metric
    – Check in on our quarterly Rocks
    – Give quick “just FYI” headlines about what we each see from our “seat” to loop in the rest of the team
    – Report on the tasks we committed to doing last time we met
    – Identify, discuss, and solve any issues holding us back from meeting our objectives
    – Review what each person is committing to do before our next meeting

Everyone knows when and where to show up.

Everyone knows the rest of the week is open for them to focus on their work (instead of tons of calls)

Everyone knows what to expect.

Everyone knows where to find the agenda and notes.

Everyone is clear on what’s expected of them before the next meeting.

Everyone knows where to get the resources they need to do their job, and help if they need it.

This seems simple, but it is a complete game changer.

By using the simple tools in the agenda, and defending them rigorously so you’re creating consistency for your team, you’re removing all the exhausting nitty-gritty parts of managing themselves.

You’re also replacing micromanagement with personal accountability.

Replacing babysitting, with empowering people to truly “own” their roles and responsibilities.

These 3 things are simple – but not always easy. They’re worth it though.

If you set clear expectations, get the right people in the right seats, and empower them to truly own their roles…

Then all of a sudden, it’s like the rough terrain flattens out and the load becomes much lighter.

When strong people are all pushing in the same direction, you’ll be amazed at how much faster and further you’ll go.


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