To succeed as an entrepreneur you must constantly overcome countless factors that are beyond your control; market changes, employee attrition, and tech/product issues. You have to keep moving quickly towards execution or competitors will swallow you whole.
But you can’t do it all by yourself. You need the support of employees who will require mentoring to reach a level of competency where they can work independently. In an outcome-focused business with scarce resources, it is tempting to give only as much direction as necessary to get results.
Here are 5 ways to go a little further and actually cultivate employees who will eventually work autonomously, and experience enough satisfaction to stay at your company for years to come. Read More
Do you remember when you were first hired as a manager or were promoted from within? Perhaps you founded your first company and had to lead and support a staff for the first time. Just thinking back to those days might make some queasy.
Transitioning to a management role can be a bumpy ride, and many new managers struggle with the same issues — miscommunication, delegating vs doing, and reporting up the ladder. No one gets it all right, right off the bat.
While mistakes often provide excellent learning opportunities, having some guidance will save you from being overwhelmed or embarrassed in your new role. Anticipate these 9 common struggles and you can experience all the fulfillment of people management without the turmoil. Read More
Ever since my days as an executive coach, my passion has been to facilitate open and honest business communication, providing company leaders with access to their greatest potential.
I fulfill this passion at 15Five by guiding customers through an automated question and answer process, which leads to conversations about everything from how to improve an employee’s role to the creation of brilliant product innovations.
Every question that you have ever asked your team and every answer and comment you provide are securely and permanently stored within the application. But as the days and weeks fly by, this information ceases to be top of mind and opportunities often fade into oblivion.
Until now. Read More
Have you ever had a job interview or sales meeting fall through and you weren’t sure why? Within the first moments of an encounter, people begin making judgments about whether a partnership is possible and feels right, whether a candidate is a good fit, or whether to purchase a product or subscribe to a service.
Think back to that meeting that quickly fell apart. What did you do to make them judge you so unfavorably? Read More
Hiring intelligently is one of the most direct ways to build a company’s success. I’m not just talking about developing a detailed procedure for recruitment and interviews, I mean you should look for the most intelligent and capable candidates, ones whose brilliance exceeds your own.
A hiring manager might compare a candidate’s qualifications with the job description but not sit back and think, What can I learn from her? Some managers just don’t want to be outshined by the creativity, skills and experience of a new employee.
Business leaders have to be vigilant about crafting a team of excellence. Nobody sets out to hire B and C players but sometimes this is the result when ego gets in the way. And if those hires end up later hiring B and C players, the company can end up being a total failure. Read More
Few adventures are as exhilarating as building a company from scratch — and that’s coming from a once avid kite-surfer like me.
That feeling when you land your first customer, close a round of funding, or mold your product into something powerful and elegant is indescribable. But once you hit certain milestones and invest a certain amount of money and time, the stakes start getting pretty high. There’s a growing pool of customers, investors, and employees that all have an interest in the success of your company.
Your employees live somewhere between the excitement of that success and the fear of failure. The countless initiatives they undertake every quarter can promise unparalleled growth or unfortunate disaster.
So how do you keep your employees’ minds out of the shadow-world and keep them excited about the possibility of changing the real world? Read More
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say what most of you are probably thinking, performance reviews suck. I used to get an email from my manager once a year asking me what I did over the past twelve months, how I think I performed, and what were my strengths and weaknesses. So instead of working that day, I spent hours carefully crafting a document that painted me in the best light possible.
Sound familiar? That is the standard performance review. It was invented by cavemen to see how other cavemen were doing with their wheels. The only problem is that many companies are still using this outdated process. Read More
In the exciting fast-paced world of technology startups, communication failures between different departments can spell disaster. As the founder of a company that builds software to streamline and optimize communication on teams, I know subjectively and from customers, that this problem is pervasive between technical and nontechnical teams.
And the communication gap can’t be bridged with project-management software. Basecamp, Trello and other scrum platforms are amazing, but the kind of communication breakdowns I’m talking about run deep. It’s almost as if one party were speaking English and the other Chinese, and all are tossing their heads in misunderstanding. Read More
What if senior management didn’t “run” the company? We usually think of it that way –the executives make the decisions and everyone else follows orders. Right? That’s certainly how insane asylums are run. It’s time to change that frame and start trusting employees.
No matter how well you multi-task or how varied your skill-set, you have to develop a team that can work autonomously as the company grows. I am not saying to just hand over the keys and head to Maui. But try to micromanage it all, and before long you will be the one requiring psychiatric care. Read More
With limited funding and resources, a startup has to stay results-focused while racing against rapidly changing market conditions, consumer demands and overnight competitors. Founders and other business leaders have plenty to do without micromanaging employees — especially when they should have their eyes on the prize and not over their employees’ shoulders.
Without constant supervision, how do you keep your team focused on results? Read More