Are you too controlling? (No, seriously — are you?)
Listen, if you’re reading this, then odds are you might already suspect that you’re too controlling. So, first things first: It’s okay. It’s normal to want to take control of situations, and to want to create the best possible outcomes in situations. It means you care.
At Cardone Ventures, we have a high degree of control over our work environment. We do not believe in creating these loosey-goosey working conditions where everyone just does what they want when they want to. How would we ever achieve our goals? But you have to keep in mind that there is a balance you need to maintain.
You can be too controlling, and when your behavior is negative in that way, you can close yourself off from new business opportunities, suffocate key employees, or lose sight of how you could be working on the business because you’re too distracted with controlling what’s happening in the business. (And the “in the business” things should be activities that are documented so people are trained on them.)
So, let’s talk about the difference between too much and too little control, as well as go over steps toward having the right kind of control, which will give your team the freedom and flexibility they deserve to innovate in the business while giving you the peace of mind you deserve in knowing your people are moving the business forward as you’ve trained them to.
Remember what it was like when your business first started
Take just a moment to visualize what it was you wanted to accomplish when you first started your business. What did you think it was going to be like? Did you imagine having an incredible team that was aligned with you and was working to push your business forward?
Did you imagine having a level of flexibility where you could work from virtually anywhere, and have the freedom of choice those so few others do? Now ask yourself, “How is today’s reality different from what you imagined back then?” Better yet, when you see how other business owners are running their businesses, how does that compare to how you’re running your business?
Look at it this way, do you think business owners like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk or Bill Gates get hung up on the small stuff? Like, do you think they’re worried about following up on a missing customer invoice or are concerned with certain aspects of a front office staff person’s performance? Like, in a macro way, sure, they think about these things, but when it comes to the specifics, that’s what department heads and managers are for, right?
So, in order to get to where you want to go, you need to learn how to duplicate your knowledge across your employees, and you need to make absolutely sure that your employees can duplicate themselves when new team members come into the fold. This is how you create the space to focus on the things that should matter to you as a business owner, as well as how any employee learns how to make space in their lives. You must be able to duplicate.
And this is one of the scariest things for any business owner to do, because it requires letting go, and it requires confidence in your team, but also confidence in yourself and in your ability to have communicated clearly and effectively.
People are going to let you down. They are people after all. We all do it. So then the perpetual
question becomes, how do you set up team members to be successful and to duplicate themselves over and over again so that you can collectively scale and grow.
Over the last two years, I’ve been responsible for hiring our team, and of the 75 employees we currently have, I was directly responsible for the hiring of at least 50 of them, so my advice here comes from a place of experience. But hiring is just one aspect of building a team. You need to know how to train them to be successful in the manner in which you want them to represent your mission and vision and values.
The first step in effective training: Show me
The first thing that you need to do with your new employees is to show them what you want them to do. Seems obvious, right? But it’s not. We tend to overlook important things that new hires need to know because we have so much institutional knowledge stored inside of us.
Now, if I just hired a new salesperson and one of their responsibilities is to make sales calls, then the last thing in the world I should be doing is just letting them loose on the phones. Why? Because your brand should be making your sales calls in a very specific way, and they need to know how to make those calls in a way that reflects who you want to be in the marketplace.
Either you or your department head (who has been trained by you, right?) should sit down with them and make at least 20 calls in front of them so they see precisely how the process works. They’re gonna see you get hung up on, get disconnected, and maybe even make a sale. The point is that they’re seeing exactly how your business handles these situations in a very crucial part of your sales process. Nothing is left to the imagination.
The second step in effective training: Tell me
Now, this might seem redundant to some, but it’s not. It’s crucial to the training process. After showing your new hire what to do, you need to tell your new hire what to do. These are different things. Yes, you’ve just shown them how to make a sales call, but now it’s your responsibility to tell them in no uncertain terms what it is that you’re trying to accomplish at every step in the process. It provides more context, and it allows them to consider what you’re doing, ask questions, and get a deeper understanding of your unique approach.
This is a part of the process where documentation is especially important. If there are 15 steps to your sales call process, then you should have training documents already in place that outline these steps that you can go over together with your new hire, so they can study them and ultimately use them when you get to part three of the training process.
The third step in effective training: Let me
Alright, you’ve shown them. You’ve told them. Now, it’s time to let them. Ideally, you’re sitting with them while they make their first calls, and ideally, they’re gonna need your help. Why, you might wonder? Because, one, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be perfect right out of the gate, but, secondly, this helps you establish your credibility as a leader at a crucial time in their onboarding.
They’re not going to do things exactly right, and there’s no doubt going to be some natural tension that takes place in the relationship, but you can use that energy to make yourself a better leader and to help make them a better employee.
The fourth step in effective training: Coach me
Coaching your new hires should start as early as possible in your onboarding process. Again, this helps you establish yourself as a leader, but it also sets the tone that your organization cares about employee and organizational growth, and the way you’re able to achieve that is by setting expectations early on that you can revisit throughout their tenure as a team member in a certain role.
But you have to be clear in your coaching, and you have to document your conversations, not just for HR purposes (which are crucial), but to make sure that you’re both on the same page at all times about what you’re working toward together.
You also need to be absolutely direct in your communication style. We worry so much about hurting each other’s feelings that the message we’re trying to convey gets lost in couched language. Don’t be afraid to be direct. This doesn’t mean you should be cruel, but if you’re concerned about an aspect of someone’s performance but have never made that totally clear, then you can’t bring it up six months later and expect them to understand or care in the same way that you do.
Letting go of control takes effort, but duplication creates success
If you spend the time to duplicate yourself, then you’re creating confidence in your organization that things are running the way you want them to, and it allows you to focus on broader, more visionary things for the business. You’re creating a system. It’s a system for success.
Cardone Ventures has done this for thousands of business owners who face the same sorts of challenges you do in your organization. If you have a specific pain point that you’d like to discuss, then I want you to reach out to us at CardoneVentures.com/10X so you can speak directly with one of our team members. It’s a ten-minute call, but I promise you it will be one of the most impactful experiences you’ve ever had for your business. Don’t delay!