I’ve been thinking a lot about the “People Puzzle” lately.

The People Puzzle is the (seemingly) never-ending quest to find (and keep) the right people, in the right seats, at the right time.

It’s one of the hardest things to do in business, and also THE most important.

So far, I’ve been doing pretty okay at it.

Of course, not everyday is a home-run. I’ve been steering this big ‘ole ship for awhile now…

​​And sometimes I still get a split-second of sheer panic when I realize I’m supposed to be the adultiest adult in the room.

Seriously – I’m so unsupervised. Who knows what could happen!

If I’m honest, there are days I want to give it all up – run away to some rocky desert out West, and grow my hair out in a long, gray braid… spending my days painting salacious-looking flowers on rocks for the lizards to enjoy.

But so far I’ve restrained myself, and there’s more wins than losses.

At Copy Chief, we’ve grown from a scrappy little team of a few loyal marketers – all wearing multiple hats and straddling as many seats as we can…

To a cohesive team of over 20 employees, core contractors, and passionate volunteers – all with a distinct “seat” on a robust Accountability Chart, which we use to drive the company toward big-hairy-audacious goals using the Entrepreneurial Operating System.

We haven’t gotten it perfect – and there’s still a few key puzzle pieces missing – but it’s pretty incredible to think how far we’ve come in just a few short years.

​​I’m so freaking proud of the team we’ve built, and the talented, hard-working people I get to work alongside every day. They teach me so much, and inspire me even more.

Which is so important, because the People Puzzle has a steep learning curve.

For a company our size – that runs lean, and moves fast – every single seat on that Accountability Chart is absolutely critical. There’s no room for extra seats, and every single seat needs to be filled with an absolute rockstar.

That turns the People Puzzle into a high-stakes game, and sometimes you have to have hard conversations with good people who weren’t a perfect fit for a seat that’s tough to fill.

​​But sometimes having those hard conversations is the most respectful thing you can do for someone.

I’ll admit, it’s not easy – but the beauty of getting the People Puzzle (mostly) right…

Is that you no longer have to do it alone.

​​If you’ve done your job right, you’ll be surrounded by smart, resourceful people who care deeply about their work, and can solve any challenge that comes our way.

And when you’ve got the right people, in the right seats, and you’ve made it crystal clear what you want them to achieve – the best thing you can do is get out of their way, and trust the system to work its magic.

Here’s to another day of growth, lessons and the love of the game.