On Christine’s third day out in the field, one of my clients called. “Can you please ask Christine not to talk on her phone right outside our door during breaks. It's super disruptive to the office manager.” The next day, I got another call from a different client. “When you’re here, you always ask lots of questions about my books, but Christine doesn't ask us many. Are you sure she’s not missing something?” Then there was the call a few weeks later. "Our bank balance is not reconciled, and I'm lost as to how much money we have in the bank."
I’d been a fool to hire help, I told myself. I’d believed Christine when she’d said she knew how to do the work. I dreaded having to talk with her about my concerns. My previous career had taught me the pitfalls of having resentful staff. In an effort to not have a confrontation, I casually mentioned the client calls I’d received. I noted that it would be a good idea if she curbed her phone calls, asked more questions of clients, and made sure the bank accounts were reconciled fully before she left. Christine seemed to think that she could do all that.
About the fourth week in, Christine showed up to our regular Friday meeting a few minutes late. The following week, she kept me waiting for ten minutes; the next, a half an hour. Each time, she offered an excuse, which I accepted without much complaint. A few more calls came in from unhappy clients. Work didn’t seem to be getting completed as I’d expected. It was clear to me that she wasn’t taking ownership of her job.
What was I going to do, fire her? I’d just spent a lot of time telling my clients how great she was and how she would take good care of them.
Worse, in an effort to make sure she was doing everything right, I spent my time reviewing her work that I was already paying her for. The arrangement was not saving me any time or money. I felt like I was going to lose my clients, my shirt, and my mind.
If I wanted to grow a great company, one that didn’t run me into the ground, I needed to be more effective in directing Christine and holding her accountable. I knew that to do these things well I’d have to learn how to be a better manager - after all, other people were successful at this, what didn't I understand?
To this end, I began studying the great thought leaders and pioneers in the field of management and leadership. I became a veracious in my quest to find the answers. And I did. I then took all that I learned and applied it to my business, and continued to grow my team and my company.
For over 20 years now, I've been teaching what I learned to hundreds of business owners and managers. The results have been they, and I have, have created the ability to be away from our businesses for extended periods of time, and have it run smoothly without us.
We've learned how to build teams that take ownership, pride, and accountability in what they do.
In the next six weeks, I’ll be teaching you how to up level as a manager and leader and produce these kinds of results too. In the process you'll discover how you can be away from your business for extended periods of time and have your company keep running smoothly in your absence.
By the way, Christine worked for me for over ten years and was an outstanding asset to our team. I bet you’d like to know how I righted that sinking ship!