LAST MAN STANDING - In small business America, there are all sorts of wacky business practices. Many of them come from people just making stuff up. From people just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. One such practice is what I like to call Musical Chairs.
Not another sports analogy. Teams. Roles. Both important things when you’re trying to grow your business. Every team needs a coach. I was talking with a friend the other day about teams. He loves the concept of autonomous teams. Teams where everyone is pumping at full steam. But what happens when teams struggle? What happens if your team loses a few games? What happens when your team is in a slump?
The odds are in your favor. Hiring can be an adventure. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people. It gives you insight into other how other businesses are ran. How they treat their people. And all sorts of other experience, education and exposure. Over the years I have spent a lot of time honing my hiring chops. But one thing holds true.
Does a company’s culture match their tech? I think so. If your company is generally disorganized. Chances are your tech will also be—out of sorts. By the same token. If your company has a lot of rules and policies then more than likely… Will have tech with all sorts of intricacies with your tech, that may or may not need to be there. Chaos begets chaos. Calm begets calm.
Years back I worked in San Diego for a Telephony Service Provider. While there, I had the opportunity to work with a bunch of really great guys and gals. We did some really cool things both from a technical and from a business perspective that really made a difference in our success. One such project was creating and publishing a culture code.
Pull apart rolls are delicious and fun. They stick to your hands as you enjoy their sweet goodness. A pull apart culture at your company is not a fun experience. First, let me elaborate just so that we are on the same page. A pull apart culture is where the staff at your company is actively working against you.
Just tell me what you want me to do.
It’s the most disheartening phrase any person can tell you.
To me this means…
I give up.
I have no input.
And worst of all I don't care.
As a leader, if you hear these words you're in trouble.
You're doing something wrong.
Now there are certain times when this phrase is totally acceptable but that's not what I'm talking about.
It's that frustrated person on your staff.
It's that person that feels like they have no control over anything.
It's that person who has given up.
Very likely it's a person you have given up on as well.
All-around this is it this isn’t a good situation.
In the tech world the attitude of just tell me what to do is very common.
It's like a virus that spreads quickly.
You see this in candidates when they apply.
You see it in their attitude and lack of enthusiasm towards obtaining a new role.
At times you may even see this with your staff when they’re disengaged and feeling like outsiders.
When you see this behavior it's important to focus on yourself - and focus on the individual.
Find out where the disconnect is.
Work to see if the situation is salvageable.
The change needed may very well be you and your behavior.
So be honest with yourself and make that change.
I like to work at a happy place.
A place where everyone gets along.
A place where everyone participates.
Creating and sustaining a positive work environment goes along way towards building and maintaining a healthy culture.
One where the phrase just tell me what to do is not the norm.