Trust is a concept we all struggle with but think we are experts at. It is something we all say we give someone but most of us make the other party earn our trust. Something we want but do not give enough of. So how do we change this? Why do we act this way? What doors would open with an open mind to it? Trust is something that can be understood even across language barriers.
Leverage is not just an action at the end of a long lever to help with mechanical force, but is the use of others’ money or time toward your cause. When you use leverage correctly it allows you to grow in ways that were never available before. For the purpose of this blog post we will touch on leverage gained through other people’s time and some key rules to think about in regards to leverage.
Using a Labor Force as Leverage
Having employees, subcontractors, or other labor sources will open your business world to endless opportunity. Each time you need 40 more hours of work, you hire a new employee and for the talent-demanding or short projects you hire an independent contractor. When we work alone, no matter how talented we are or how much drive we have, time is a limited resource that seems to dwindle as we get busier and this is why we need leverage off of other people’s efforts. Hiring a labor source will free up your time so you can focus on the things that matter most to your business and growth.
Growth is not easy and calls for constant work and this is where the labor comes in. When we hire a labor source, it is a time to be careful and make sure to hire qualified candidates — a process we cover in another blog post. Once we have qualified candidates, it is time to start sorting out who will be responsible for what tasks.
This is the point where most people fail due to one of two major factors.
- Hiring people who are under qualified in order to save money can, and will be the worst mistake of your business. When we hire employees — or better yet, subcontractors — they are a face of our business and make it possible for us to focus on other initiatives. Make sure to hire good quality people no matter the costs.
- Once they have good qualified people they do not trust them! With lack of trust no one can perform to their maximum level. I do not care who you are in charge of, if they feel you do not trust them, they will not trust you. Furthermore, they may even do negative things just to spite you. Sometimes we can never explain or understand it but people who are judged in a negative way sometimes work to prove that negative narrative correct, even if it is not. Though this is a strange phenomenon, let’s move on.
Leveraging Labor Effectively
I spend a lot of time reading and studying self help and business growth books and there is one idea they all have in common; your employees and contractors never come to work looking to fail or do a bad job! I know you are probably saying, “bullshit” but truly think about it. Make sure you hire good help and give them the guidance they need. People want to succeed in everything they do so they can get the natural adrenaline and high from the feeling of success. This feeling of success they get is why they allow us to leverage off them. If you pay them well, help them reach their goals, respect them, and give them trust they will be happy to help with your cause.
In order to build paths to success, you must first establish what it is you are trying to accomplish with each job. What tasks will the person take on? How will the tasks be given to the worker? Where will they work? How will they be paid? And most importantly, how will this leverage free up your time to grow your business? Upon establishing these simple plans and goals it is time to hit the white boards and brainstorm.
Creating a business plan, job descriptions, an operation manual, cheat sheets, an employee handbook, and other great resources will blaze the trail for your workers. There is never time wasted in creating great documentation on how to do every task that needs doing more than once in any operation. Not doing so is just one more self-limiting action that YOU choose.
Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Enacting all the concepts that I mentioned in this blog will help make your business more successful, but one of the most important and final steps is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals for each of your workers. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific Measurable Agreed-upon Realistic Time-based goals. This should be done a minimum of every six months but I am a fan of weekly meetings and daily goals. Without a goal where are you steering your path?
The human mind is simple, and when we follow what it wants we are capable of amazing things. I dare you to start setting S.M.A.R.T. goals with your staff and see where it goes. My advice is to start with goals so easy that it makes people laugh and then work to grow the expectations everyday from there forward as a team. Once you assign these projects and set the goals, then it is time to show your workers that you trust them.
Back off and let the magic begin as they follow the plans and goals you set. Call the meetings at the time set forth with the plan. Do not micro-manage the job, but rather, trust your team to get it done. As they reach each one of the S.M.A.R.T goals that have been set, make sure to make a big deal about it. Make sure that the workers know you trust them and that they are succeeding and reaching hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and life goals. When we reach only a small distance from one goal to the next, then we set actions in motion that can only grow exponentially. This growth can be explained by only one thing and that is your ability to leverage off of your employees
Make it your first S.M.A.R.T. goal to take this blog and put it into action and I promise that your life will change. Living in fear of who to trust and when to trust is wrong. Trust your instinct and hire capable people to leverage off of. Give those people your amazing energy, attitude, and guidance and watch your business expand!