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Eat, Live, And Breathe Success

Eat, Live, And Breathe Success

Eating, living, and breathing success is what it takes to actually be successful. What this means is, your lifestyle needs to change in order to reach success.

The Reality Of Success

Many people don’t really care about their success in the way that they should. They aren’t actively looking for it. These are the people who talk about it when it’s convenient to them or when they have an audience. To be fair to some of those people, a couple of them could have plans for success but are never actioned. You need to do more than talk about success to make it happen, just like you need to create a game plan of how you’re going to reach your goal, and then follow it up with action in order to get anywhere.

Success In Different Aspects Of Life

Becoming successful and living a life that leads to success, is applicable to more than just work. Finding success is dependent on your goal and which part of your life you’re trying to improve. For example, outside of a work setting, if you wanted to be a more successful father, mother, brother, sister, your steps to reaching that goal would be different. You would need to allocate more time towards this goal, meaning your professional and personal lives might mix from time to time. Your game plan and actions will be up to you, but in order to be totally successful you would need to fully dedicate yourself and commit to this goal, this form of extreme ownership is what will push you to achieve your goals.

Success As A Lifestyle

Success is a full time gig. While it may be possible to chip away at the planning, the execution, and the possible hot fixes or recalibrations you might need to do along the way, while not fully investing yourself into it, you’ll always only be halfway in the door. 

The easiest way to explain this is with a work example. If you aspire to reach a certain job title, you have to be focused on that goal. Arm yourself with knowledge, read books, watch videos, anything that you can do to improve yourself and further your progress. If you took 2 different people, someone who devoted all their time towards self improvement and working towards their goals, no matter what day it is, and someone who only gave partial effort towards their goal, without luck involved, the person who wakes up everyday and busts their ass will get to their goal faster. 

While educating yourself or after, you should start actioning some of the things you learned. This step is critical because without action, success will never happen. This doesn’t mean you should slack when it comes to making plans, but don’t get hung up on overplanning. Inaction is the enemy of success and will hinder your progress.

So with the example of getting a promotion to a job you want, you have to plan it out and put in the work. Grind it out, if this means working weekends sometimes to get ahead of your goal, do it. Looking at it from a personal perspective, if your goal is to become healthier, grinding could mean working out when you don’t feel like it. Motivation is fleeting, so replace it with discipline. You’ll need the discipline to do what needs to be done even when you don’t want to, this goes for all goals but becomes more important with bigger, more complex goals.

The Wrap Up

If you want true success, you need to consider your actions on a daily basis. What do you need to succeed? Are you doing everything you can to improve yourself? Can you do anything to further your progress? Another note to think on, devoting all your effort to reaching success. If you really want to hit your goals and become successful, this is what you need to do, otherwise it just won’t happen.

The Purpose And Attributes Of Effective Management

The Purpose And Attributes Of Effective Management

The Purpose And Attributes Of Effective Management

Effective management isn’t about bossing people around or waving your fancy title around in people’s faces. Effective management gets things done. It can break a business if done poorly and is the sole reason any business entity is successful.

The Purpose of Management

The purpose of management is honestly quite simple, they are put in place to help achieve the bottom-line initiatives and goals of the company. Anything else that comes with the job is a bonus. Managers are hired to achieve things that others have difficulty achieving. They can rally their team to meet their initiatives, hit KPIs, and accomplish goals.

Taking Ownership

Extreme ownership has been mentioned before, and just to really drive a point home, here it is again. As a leader, you need to take ownership of everything. When your team succeeds it’s because of their hard work and your management, when you fail it’s on you as you’re the one who’s supposed to help them succeed. The failure could also be shifted to other people involved but your job as a leader with an extreme ownership mindset, is to absorb that failure and not go around pointing fingers. An added bonus of taking ownership is the ability to protect your team. Leading your team from the front and absorbing any failures or negative feedback is your job. Showing your team that you’re willing to step up and take a hit for them when things don’t go as planned is part of being a great leader. It also helps build a culture of taking ownership which leads to better the overall work culture.

Build Relationships

Build interpersonal relationships with your staff. Get to know them better, this type of interaction will strengthen their trust in you. In addition, knowing your teams’ strengths and weaknesses will allow you to properly delegate tasks when needed. Be the type of leader you wanted to have before you were a leader, show them that you care about them as people and not just as staff. You have to display actions that you want your staff to emulate, if you want your staff to start taking initiative and taking over tasks then you have to show them how to do so. Not to beat a dead horse here, but you need to lead from the front, be the change you want to see and others will follow.

Effective Communication

Communication works in two directions, you need to be able to listen/comprehend as well as successfully express yourself in order to be an effective communicator. Active listening is a skill you’ll have to get really comfortable with in order to communicate with your staff effectively. You need to be able to understand what your staff is trying to tell you. As you are in a position of power, sometimes certain staff will tip toe around a subject and you’ll need to be able to either decode the message or ask if they can tell you what’s wrong. Avoid seeming biased during talks with staff, being closed off from ideas will discourage any more ideas being shared. On the same note, being able to see things from other perspectives other than your own will make communication easier as well as seeing things through unbiased eyes. In line with building relationships, check in on your staff once in a while, it can be small talk for most people, though small talk isn’t really the best idea for any introvert staff you may have. Learning what to talk about with who is a part of building relationships and it happens organically over time. 

Being transparent with your team is part of communicating effectively. Being able to give clear direction to your staff is crucial in getting useful results. Explaining the “why” behind a task is also important when being transparent. It allows your staff to make connections and eliminates any mystery behind actions.

Delegation

Learning to properly assign tasks to individuals or teams is essential in being an effective manager. Knowing each of your staff members’ strengths and weaknesses plays a huge role in this as delegating a job to someone with the skills needed can expedite a task and delegating it to the wrong person can cause major problems. Give feedback after the task is complete in order to better your team. You can’t do everything, in fact, your job isn’t to be able to do everyone’s job better than them, it’s to make everyone do their job better than before.

Bringing It All Together

None of these actions matter by themselves, like in a team, the sum is greater than its parts. You need to have everything to be a good leader. Missing the purpose but having everything else would render that leader useless, they could have the happiest staff in the world but if they aren’t hitting goals or initiatives then they’re useless as a leader. Being a leader is difficult and honestly not for everyone. Those thrust into leadership positions have to adapt and be able to have their team running smoothly and efficiently all while furthering their companies initiatives and goals.

All We Do Is Win – A True Win, Win, Win Explanation

All We Do Is Win – A True Win, Win, Win Explanation

Win/win is number four and number five is win/win/win. The important difference here is with win/win/win, we all win.” 

– Michael Scott 2006

A true win, win, win situation (TW3) isn’t just a quote from “The Office”, it’s a core value in my company and I stand by it. Most people overlook a triple win situation and opt for the standard win win. If more managers took initiative and ownership, and created ideas based around TW3 situations, business decisions would look a lot different than what we’re all used to.

What Is TW3?

A normal business transaction has a company and a client, where the company provides some sort of service or product and the client forks over the agreed upon amount of money. In this situation the business wins because they gain capital and the client wins because they get the service/product that they want.

A TW3 situation takes into consideration all the parties involved. They all need to come out with some sort of net gain or positive. In certain rare cases, TW3 situations could mean that all parties take an equal loss, but in a way that makes it so that every party loses the minimum amount. Take remote staffing or a business process outsourcing (BPO) center, when the BPO signs a new client they must hire employees for that client; those are the three parties involved. A very basic example would be: client wins because they get quality labor for a competitive price, the hired remote staff win because they have a job that pays well, and finally the BPO wins because they were able to close a deal and get all parties involved to win.

You may be thinking: “isn’t a win, win, the exact same thing as TW3?” At first glance yes, you can just jam a 3rd win into a win, win situation, but it wouldn’t be real. The reason I chose to use TW3 is because I make sure that all three parties actually benefit from the transaction. If the company and the client win but the staff member will lose, then I won’t move forward with the deal.

Why It’s Important

We should always strive to have all parties win. I’m not talking about having 2 people get what they really want while the third party gets shorted. I truly believe that all parties need to win in order for a decision to be actioned. If the planning stage reveals that any party involved will get shorted, then it won’t be worth moving forward with that idea. In order to visualize this, imagine having to push a car up a hill with 2 other people, if you own the car and promise to give 1 of the other 2 people a ride, the person who gets the ride will push like they mean it, while the person who gains nothing out of their expended effort will do the bare minimum or even quit outright. Any plan where one party sees the inequality will eventually do more harm than good in the long run. Using a BPO example, if a new client is signed and the BPO agrees to hire people under the market salary in order for the client to save more money, the staff will be the ones shorted. If the staff find out that they should be getting paid more based on the standard going rate of their position, they could all leave suddenly, which puts the client in a bad spot and means the BPO has to work double time to fill and train those empty positions before any damage is done to the client.

If all parties see how they fit into the idea and what’s in it for them, the success rate for that plan, idea, etc., will go up. You get people who work harder when they know exactly what they stand to gain when they work efficiently and as a team.

It’s Use For Managers

Managers should always be mindful of TW3 situations. You really want to push ideas that let all parties win. Thinking about more than yourself is what will set you apart from the other leaders in your office, it’s what will make people want to work for you. Your style of leadership will move onto the next level when you tweak your mindset just a little bit.

5 Strategies To Prepare Your Company For Remote Staffing

5 Strategies To Prepare Your Company For Remote Staffing

Being prepared for change can be difficult if you don’t know what’s changing. In the case of hiring remote staff (or outsourcing), you should be aware of what is happening and can prepare accordingly. Being prepared or over preparing allows you the luxury to make mistakes as you can always look back on your plan to get back on track.

  1. Inform Your Current Staff

Part of preparing your company for remote staffing is being transparent. Make sure you explain to them the long term goals and benefits of having remote staff. Talking to them about how remote staffing will affect their work will help quell any initial pushback to the change. If no one is being let go, make sure to stress that point as the initial worry about hiring remote workers is the fear of being replaced. If your goal is just to add staff in order to ease the downward pressure your team has on them, let your team know.

  1. Identify Who/What/Why You Need Help

Using data, such as KPIs, make a list or where you need help or what areas could be improved. Generally, if you’re starting up, the weakest points of your company should be the ones you outsource. You shouldn’t have enough time to fix these issues with all the other items on your plate, so hiring professionals to take over the task is a viable strategy. From this list you can narrow it down even further, create a list of jobs that have to be done continuously and then create another list of temporary jobs. The temporary jobs can be done by project or contract based freelancers as there shouldn’t be a need to keep them on a retainer after they do their initial work. The jobs that make it onto the continuous list, are the ones you want to hire remote staff for.

Once you have your list of jobs, you’re going to want to create a job title and a description for it. Don’t worry as these job titles and descriptions won’t be set in stone and the remote staffing company you hire will help you through this process. It is always good to know what you need before going with remote staff. Having a draft job title and description helps speed up the recruitment process, so you get to have your staff start sooner.

  1. Setting Up Points Of Contact

It’s always a good idea to have your points of contact established or at least roughly sketched out before they’re actually needed. The types of contact needed with remote staff are: 

  • a contact for the actual staff
  • a contact for their oversight team

The same person can do both or you could add more people. Throwing out an example, you could have one main point of contact and a couple of secondary POCs for when the primary is busy. You just need to find the right mix for your company. You should also establish rules for contacting one another. If you’d like to have a free and open style of communication then you can use communication tools that allow for this, something like Skype or Slack that lets you message from anywhere at any time. Some people like setting boundaries so messages are only allowed during working hours, this works as well, just make sure that no matter the style of communication you choose to use, your staff clearly understands what is being asked of them.

  1. Create A Timeline For Your Remote Staff

You need to map out what you want from your staff and when you want it. Creating a timeline for when you want staff to be able to hit certain milestones or goals is necessary when trying to gauge if they’re going to be with your company long term or if you’ll need a replacement in the near future. Having a clear document noting all of these milestones and goals will help everyone involved. Your remote staff will know what is expected of them, your contacts at the BPO will be able to create a sort of structure to follow in order to help your staff hit those goals. If you elect to hire people who can just be plugged into the role and immediately perform, you can forgo a training schedule, but make sure to still have a system to measure their effectiveness so you can decide whether or not they’re a right fit for your company.

  1. Set Up The Proper Tools

Having the proper tools to do the job makes a world of difference for any staff member, in office or remote. These tools can be split into three main categories:

  • Main tools to do the job
  • Communication tools
  • Organizational/Team Management software

The main tools differ from job to job. Most jobs will require a mix of hardware and software. Take a sales representative for example, they need a PC, a phone or a phone dialer application, and leads. Digging deeper, they need good leads if you want sales. If they spend half of their day calling wrong numbers, people who aren’t interested, people who can’t speak the language your sales people speak, then time is being wasted. Other examples would be the Adobe Creative Suite for designers and editors, AutoCAD for architects and engineers, and the list goes on with different positions. Good or proper tools allow for efficient work and help raise employee morale.

Proper communication leads to better results, which is why having a method of communication or a way to engage with your remote employees is important. You should select an application that can be used in whatever location your staff are in, setting up an entire system for communication only to find out that it’s region locked, isn’t a fun time. This may require you to do a bit of research or you could simply ask your point of contact at the BPO what apps are being used there, in order to get a list to choose from. Commonly used examples of this are: Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, and Zoom. As stated above, make sure that you select how frequently your staff can message you, if you’re okay with having messages sent 24/7 then by all means communicate that with your staff, but if you don’t want to be messaged during certain hours or days, make that clear as well.

Last but not least, team/project management tools. These help your staff stay organized and on track to meet deadlines. These software usually have 3 main features: scheduling tools, task/project management tools, and a collaboration feature. The scheduling tool essentially works like a calendar, where you can set deadlines for anything, this is closely related to the task/project management feature as the deadlines for these can be set as well. Project management usually comes in the form of a kanban board, where a project is put onto a board with different sections that represent the different stages of a project, from conceptualization to completion. This project card can be moved from section to section by the people involved in the process, this allows you to see where everyone is at with a project and is also the collaborative aspect of the tool. Notes can also be added to the project card so people can ask for help or for clarification while others can answer. Some examples of this are: Trello, Asana, and Basecamp.

If everything is done correctly, you should be as organized and ready as you can to have your remote staff start working. The best part about being organized and having the right tools is the ability to grow or scale up easily. In the event that your business hit’s a hockey stick chart type of growth, having a solid foundation allows you to just add more staff, the organization, tools, and culture are already laid out and it should be smooth sailing from there.

The Importance Of The “Why”

The Importance Of The “Why”

People often start a request by mentioning what it is, this makes it seem much more like a chore and a command. There’s a way to make people more interested and actually listen to you even when you have a request. Talking about the “why” of a subject helps create a sense of trust and give off a feeling of belonging.

Explaining The “Why” To Your Team

As stated before getting people interested is part of having tasks done without complaint and in a more enthusiastic manner. As social beings, we have this innate need to feel included, explaining the “why” instills this sense of trust, which translates into being included in a group that knows why. The other half of this is our brain’s need to find connections, by explaining the “why” then the “what”, the association is instantly given. Knowing the reason behind a move, task, or project also helps ease in change, there is less resistance to a command if people know why it’s being done.

Real World Example

I had my executive assistant send a weekly email to managers giving updates on ticket statuses. It was done for a week then it didn’t happen the following week. I take full ownership of this because I completely forgot to explain the why to the task. After I took notice of the incomplete task, I rectified my mistake by explaining to my EA exactly why the task was so vital. After she understood the importance of the task, it became a weekly thing and happens like clockwork.

Consistency

Just like with giving feedback, it is important to consistently explain the “why”. Make it a habit to explain the “why” for all projects so it becomes a regular thing in your company. If you’re a part of a meeting and you need people to do certain things, open up with the reason behind it. Having other managers do this for their team will also benefit everyone in the company. No matter the size of the task, make sure the reason is revealed and explained.

Create A “Why” Culture

Coupled with being consistent with explaining why something needs to be done, you should strive to create a “why” culture. Having everyone explain why something is being done will help everyone at every stage of the process. For example, if someone on the team is holding up the process, they can explain the process and what they’re doing to try to speed it up. From that point on, people will know exactly why something might take longer than expected and not jump to conclusions. Encourage people to ask “why” or just get everyone to explain “why” before saying the task. The latter is what you want to eventually happen, the former is just a way to help you get there. Take note, it is important to ask in a respectful manner. Referring back to the saying, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you said it”, your choice of tone/intonation plays a huge role when you ask a superior “why”. If you need to, build up to it, “my team will get right on it, in order to ensure your end goal is met, I’d like to understand the reason for this task, if you could give it to me so I can break it down for my team, that would be great.”

Explaining why something must be done is as important as explaining what must be done. It helps build trust with your teams as well as fostering workplace comradery which translates to a happier work environment. Try explaining the why and measure its effectiveness with your team.

Choosing The Right Remote Staffing Model For Your Business

Choosing The Right Remote Staffing Model For Your Business

After I spoke with a party interested in remote staffing, I realized that there are many different business models to actually choose from. In an attempt to make it a lot easier for people to select which model will fit their business best, I’ll explain how 4 of the main types work. These 4 include: general remote staffing, hourly services, incubation/seat leasing, and the BOT model.

General Remote Staffing

This is also called outsourcing or cloud staffing. This model is where you hire staff from outside your immediate area and they work from a remote location. This model is for people who want to grow a department without spending excess amounts of money on staff and infrastructure needed to accommodate new staff. When you partner with a remote staffing company, they will have a building and depending on their terms, may provide your staff with a workstation. You also get the peace of mind that all your HR and IT worries will be taken care of. This also includes oversight in the form of In addition, if your staff doesn’t meet your requirements or they quit, the remote staffing company will recruit for you. 

Hourly Services

This style of business is essentially like the general remote staffing model except the payment is, as its name suggests, per hour. The amount of hours your staff work each day, week, or month is determined by you. The staff that will do said work is usually chosen and trained by the remote staffing company. The hardware and software needed to do the job is usually also provided. Hourly services work exactly like how contractual employees would but working remotely. Do note that most companies will require you to hit a minimum number of hours before you can avail of this service and prices may vary depending on the skills you require.

Seat Leasing/Incubation Services

As the name suggests this model is all about the seating or infrastructure. Picture general remote staffing except the only thing provided is the space and workstations, all of the administration, IT, and HR tasks are yours. Seat leasing or incubation services are for people who have a complete set of staff but no infrastructure. For example if your building is too small for your growing team, this would be a great set up as you would have access to the location and technology that you’d need to operate. This option is also great for startups that already have staff but are looking for a temporary place in order to start.

Build. Operate. Transfer.

The build, operate, transfer, or BOT model is where you take an idea, share it with a remote staffing company, and then they will build you that business, get it stable, then transfer everything over to you. Companies generally have different time frames for how long it will take them to transfer everything over to you, make sure you pick a partner who will deliver in a time frame acceptable to you. Breaking it down step by step:

  1. Sourcing, recruiting, and building your team (based on your requirements)
  2. Planning and consulting
  3. Daily management of everything from staff to infrastructure
  4. Workspace is finalized along with all of the tools needed for the business to run properly
  5. Company registration
  6. Finalizing of the entire office space
  7. Transfer of the team and all other assets
  8. If needed, continued consulting (there may be additional charges for this depending on the company)

Selecting the right model for your business is important because it determines how successful you will be. Even with these descriptions, make sure to talk to your prospective remote staffing partners about the options and discuss which would be the best fit for you and your needs. Take note, giving accurate requirements such as the right job description or the right qualifications the first time around drastically cuts down the time needed to find staff, for applicable remote models, the more correct information you give, the easier the search for staff will be.

How Do We Win as Leaders?

How Do We Win as Leaders?

All successful businesses share 1 trait: strong leadership. Strong leaders find solutions and lead their teams to success. While there is no one true way to ensure success, there are a couple of strategies that greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Take Action

Opportunities come and go, sometimes the door is only opened once and for a brief moment. Being ready at the time of the opportunity is more often than not, a luxury. Taking the leap and seizing the opportunity while it’s still available is something you’ll have to get comfortable with.

Overplanning can potentially lead to a missed opportunity. Preparing once you hear about an opportunity is difficult and oftentimes it’s already too late to create a fully-fledged plan. If you have processes already in place for that scenario, then it’s a no brainer, take the opportunity and run with it. Having a plan set for a specific situation is highly unlikely and treading uncharted waters may be daunting, even with a dependable team behind you.

Taking action is better than inaction. If problems arise, they can be analyzed and solved and the situation can be salvaged. If no action is taken and the door closes on an opportunity, there is no telling if it will ever present itself again. The value given to actions is that you will have chances, if you hit obstacles, you always can always put in work and get over them. The cost of inaction is a completely missed opportunity, with no opportunity to get it back.

The Ability To Lead Up And Down The Chain Of Command

Leading down the chain of command should be self explanatory. It is the act of guiding a team that works under you to success. The ability to properly lead is a bit more complex. You have to be a part of the planning stage as well as the execution of said plan. While you can let a member of your team take ownership of a situation, it is always good to give your insights on the matter due to your unique perspective. While your success rate is clearly tied to how you lead your own team, leading up the chain is a bit different.

In relation to how your views are different compared to your team’s views, they are also different from your superiors. Essentially think macro vs micro, you are the bridge between the higher ups and the boots on the ground, thus putting you in a very unique position with valuable insight. When leading up the chain of command it is important to note that you will have to be as tactful and as skillful as you can be. Situational awareness is the driving factor you must use to convince upper management that your decision is correct. You must stay professional, you will be talking to people who outrank you so situational awareness, experience, influence, and proper communication skills are your tools to lead upwards.

Make sure you’re able to accept criticisms. You’re able to see a unique view of a situation, but don’t forget that your superiors also have a unique view and they might have been in your position before. If you go in with the mentality that they know more than you, you’re more likely to treat them with respect, even if your goal is to change the overall plan.

Discipline

People often say money buys freedom, but what if you have no money? Are you always going to lack freedom because of the lack of capital? If you rephrase the saying to “discipline buys freedom”, then anything is possible. If you need more money, you need to be disciplined in order to save up. You need to stop yourself from spending on unnecessary things, you need to devise a plan that allows you to spend less money to get things done and you do these things by being disciplined. 

In a different example, being disciplined gets you more free time. By following a schedule and maintaining your time properly, you can optimize the time you spend working, thus freeing up time later on. If you’ve set up a decentralized command style of management, you need to trust your team to do their part, micromanaging them breaks your schedule and removes any free time that you might have had if you stuck to your schedule.

It all begins with small steps. Self discipline doesn’t happen overnight, you have to start with small victories in order to condition yourself to make the right choices. From something as simple as forgoing the snooze button and getting up can later evolve into completing your goals in the time you’ve allotted.

Putting it all together

All three combined points create a recipe for success. Taking opportunities as they come gives you a chance to succeed, being able to lead your team and those above you in certain situations also raises the chance of success as the coordination will allow for actions to be made quicker, lastly being disciplined enough to make the right choices gives you the advantage in any situation. The work culture these strategies create also benefits the entire organization. Performing at a higher and more efficient level inspires others on the team and as a leader that’s what you should strive for, as your team’s success is your success .

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

The concept of decentralized command has been around for a while. It was presented to the business world in a big way when retired Navy SEAL commanders Jocko Willinks and Leif Babin and their book “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win”. In the book they explain that decentralized command is about empowering the people under you in order to build a culture where people take ownership of problems and solutions without passing blame.

Empowering Others

By giving authority to those under you, people own up to more things. For example, if you task someone to lead a specific assignment and give them almost full autonomy to plan and strategize, they will give it their full effort as it is their plan. Should you still be there to help tweak things in the plan? Of course. As a leader you have a different vantage point that lower level individuals do not. Share this with them and teach them to do it. This system helps breed a culture of success that can be sustained no matter the size of the organization.

Lazy Delegation VS Decentralized Command

The main difference between being a lazy leader and a leader who has a successful decentralized command is the culture it breeds. Lazy leaders can be seen as people who delegate jobs to others due to the dislike for the task. Another example of lazy delegation by a leader is when they give tasks that they’re supposed to do to subordinates. In the business world, if a manager is told to create a business report but doesn’t want to do it, they just tell someone on their team to do it instead; this sort of lazy delegation gets noticed and the attitudes within that team and even that organization will change negatively.

In a proper decentralized organization, leaders complete their own tasks. In some cases leading by example means you do tasks others would find to be “beneath you”. The tasks that get delegated are meant to promote growth and instill a sense of ownership with said tasks. Letting someone lead a specific project allows them to get a feel for a leadership role, it also allows you to step back and look at the bigger picture while they focus on the more granular aspects of it, which in turn lets you give them advice that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Quick To Act

A short answer as to why businesses will benefit from a decentralized style of command is: reaction time. In a regular hierarchical structure, decisions have to be approved by the boss, it takes time for this to happen if the action is at the bottom of the chain. When you empower all team members, you have multiple points of decision making. What used to take days or weeks to be approved can now be done in a day. This also impacts the efficiency of the team. If lower management needs to acquire pens for their team in order to finish a project, it would make no sense to wait a week to get approval to buy pens from the person at the top of the chain of command.

More Time For Leaders

All of the aforementioned things allow leaders to focus on the bigger picture as well as all tasks that require quick reaction time. With a team taking burdens in different departments, a weight is lifted from those in higher leadership roles. Not having to deal with multiple small items in a day frees up so much time. Having a much bigger window to meet with important clients or planning the company’s expansion are some of the other tasks leaders could be doing with their newly acquired time.

Growth Of People And The Organization

Having a decentralized command structure allows for groups of any size to stay agile and quickly react to change. Being a controlling type of leader in a small organization is still a viable strategy because all of the staff probably work the same hours and having them all need supervision at the same time would be a rare occurrence. Once a group grows to where people are on different shifts and where there are subteams it becomes physically impossible to micromanage. The great thing about starting with a decentralized structure is that it can scale infinitely. By instilling a culture of success where teamwork and owning everything you do is valued, growth happens organically and whenever new members are added they still exhibit the traits your original team has. It essentially becomes a self sustaining and self growing organization.

Ultimately your goal is to build leaders in order to have a stronger organization that will allow you the freedom to focus on priority tasks. You allow people to lead, in order to get better at it. You provide your unique insights whenever help is needed and this encourages growth instead of inhibiting it by punishing mistakes. By allowing anyone to take ownership and step up to lead a project, you’re fostering a culture built around success and coordination that will show throughout your organization and everyone will be better because of it.

Extreme Ownership Explained For Business Leaders

Extreme Ownership Explained For Business Leaders

extreme ownership explained for business leaders

Extreme ownership is a book written by two highly decorated, retired SEAL team commanders, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In it, they talk about a leadership style where you take “extreme ownership” of everything. This leadership style is being used by one of the world’s most elite teams and has proven itself to be effective as the two now have a company that consults with business leaders on how to properly lead.

Taking Ownership Of Everything, The Good And The Bad

Taking ownership of mistakes is hard for everyone, our egos don’t want to be bruised by failure or blame. Getting over your ego allows you to say “this was my fault, let’s analyze this and do it properly.” The book talks about the human aspect of leadership, people aren’t flawless and they will make mistakes, SEAL team members are the exact same way, except unlike most people SEALs will look at what they did wrong, what options could have been done instead, and implement them. When you display this sort of behavior in front of your team, they’ll start to pick up on it.

Taking ownership of the good is definitely something you should do but in a modified way. Instead of taking the glory all for yourself, make sure to commend your team. To put it bluntly, distribute the credit among your team and watch the positive attitude spread. The effects of sharing success among a team greatly outweighs the small amount of achievement you may feel by taking all the credit for your success. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel successful, you should own that success, but in a much more humble way.

Learn To Take Criticism

Being able to own criticism then analyze and learn from it is critical to growth as a leader. If you take criticism with a respectful mindset and tell yourself “this person knows more than me”, you will get more out of it. You’ll stop seeing it as an attack and instead be able to make adjustments in order to better yourself. Even if you come to the conclusion that the person wasn’t correct in their assessment, you can still use it as a springboard, think “what might have prompted them to say that?” 

Leading Your Team

Being responsible for a team is simple in theory but it doesn’t end up being that way in practice. Leading doesn’t mean giving out orders, the human element stops that from working. People want to have a back and forth, they want to work things out, and they want to come up with an idea of their own in order to solve a problem. If you led a team of robots that did anything you wanted, whenever you wanted, you could bark orders all day and find success, but until technology reaches that point, you have to learn to lead properly. You have to handle people with more tact, leading by example, and exhibiting qualities you want to instill in your team has a sort of trickle-down effect. Like owning your mistakes, when others see you doing it, they will follow suit.

The idea of owning the good and bad is a very basic concept, someone probably thought of it long ago, but why has it only become a topic of conversation in recent times? The answer is because an elite team of people got it to work with proven results. By incorporating these techniques into your leadership style, you’re going to see changes within your organization that will better it as a whole. 

Remote Staff And Real Estate – The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

Remote Staff And Real Estate – The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

Remote Staff And Real Estate - The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

All jobs come with additional tasks that make the initial job more laborious. The real estate industry is filled with passionate agents who are motivated to sell and break records. They excel when dealing with customer interactions and can quickly switch between different clients on the fly. They don’t however enjoy being bogged down in the paperwork, to be fair, not too many people enjoy the backend tasks associated with sales, I sure don’t. That’s where a virtual assistant (VA) comes in.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant or VA is an assistant that works remotely. Think of them as a one-stop-shop, they don’t specialize in one area but instead have numerous skills that allow them to fill many positions. They can do tasks ranging from appointment setting, organizing calendars, updating listings, content creation and editing, and the list goes on. They focus on the backend tasks so you can focus on the front-facing tasks that you’re passionate about.

The Value Of A Properly Trained VA

A VA can bring value if they’re trained properly. As mentioned before, they can keep everything organized. This means never missing another appointment, never losing any documents, and more importantly, you get to stay on top of your game, going from one client to the next, seamlessly because the backend weight of your job is being lifted. On top of organizational skills, they can create content for you as well. Things like blog posts and graphics can also be handled by them. Having pictures on your listings that are edited to look as clean as possible will help entice people, as cleaner images draw more attention than pictures taken from a camera phone and directly uploaded onto your site.

Setting Proper Goals and Communication

In order to get the most out of your new remote staff, you need to be clear on what their goals and milestones are. Without clear and measurable markers, you won’t be able to measure how much value they’re bringing to your business. It also allows you to easily engage with your new VA. Keeping communication with your assistant is important for two reasons, to ensure they’re developing into the type of VA you want and to foster loyalty. This seems counterintuitive as you’re hiring a VA to eliminate the backend tasks not so you have to babysit someone. Communicating with your staff could be asking what your schedule looks like for the week to simple office socialization like how their weekend went, are they okay, topics like that.

Tools For Success

Having real estate marketing tools in place makes everyone’s’ lives easier. Your assistant can handle working on a CRM so you don’t have to, so giving them access to your specific CRM would give you even more time to go out and make more sales. Having a communication system that allows your VA to have a voice is also a great tool. It solves the communication problem and it also empowers your staff, giving them the ability to voice out their concerns. Organizational tools other than your calendars, such as Trello or Hootsuite gives your VA the opportunity to be more productive and it saves them time, allowing them to perform other tasks, which in turn means you have more time for sales.

With all that freed-up time, you’ll be able to ramp up your sales numbers. Of course, it will take time for everything to stabilize and become self-sustaining, but the end result is what you’re after. Don’t think of your VA as a sidekick, this isn’t a Batman and Robin situation, it’s more of a Marvel’s Avengers situation. You’re a team and you’ll get more done and perform at your best when working as a cohesive unit.