Friday, January 24, 2014

Don't Let the Amazing New Hire Wreck Your Team

Natalie and Melissa: rock stars.

At the Main Street Cafe and at your business or non-profit, people come and people go. We hope and pray that the newest hire will fit in with the current team, really have the skill set, and will catch on fast.

We hope for these things, because guess what: everyone interviews well and everyone's resume and references are amazing. Why is this amazing person even looking for a job?! ;-)

Recently we added someone to our rock star team at the Main Street Cafe, and guess what: she's amazing. That's what I've heard. Sandra came home after her first few days with unsolicited glowing reports. "Oh, she's this and she's that...the crew loves her...she's amazing."

This (hopefully) is a typically scenario for most of our businesses and non-profits. We hire well and then let the accolades flow pretty freely, "Oh, he's great...having you seen him do this?...Oh she's soooo good...Unbelievable!" Odds are (hopefully) we're saying these kind of positive words around the new employee and the rest of the team. But...

We need to remember that bringing the new baby home from the hospital without doting on big bro and sis will go badly for everyone. So this is a great time to verbally let your people who've been with you for a while, know how amazing you think they are.

We would hate for the excitement around our amazing new hire to accidentally lead our other great employees to think, "Great. What am I, chopped liver?" Or worse, other archaic 1930s catch phrases.

So as you dote over the amazing new hire, remember to also verbally appreciate the amazing people who've been shouldering the load for months, years or more.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

4 Things to Learn from Shark Tank

ABC's Shark Tank is a show where the millionaire panelists choose whether or not to invest their money into companies owned by participants who come on the show and pitch them. It's a fascinating look into what sells, what's successful, and what doesn't and why. I see the takeaways of this show to all kinds of businesses and even ministry. (Currently runs Fridays 9am)

1. Listen to people with proven success

When you’re around proven professionals, people who are doing it successfully, listen to everything they say. None of the Sharks may invest, but one may say a sentence that can be the missing piece of strategy to be successful. Or they may simply say, “You’re on the right track. Stay the course. You don’t need more money now.” Some participants get on and are working their mouth more than their ears; bad plan.

Do you have proven successful people in your life and are you listening to them?

2. Your passion can be misplaced.

Often participants love their product so much they miss the point. E.g. It’s really a bad idea. It needs a major shift to be successful. It’s a great product but not a good money-maker.  Also the method of making the product successful can get swept up in the passion for the product. Your passion needs to be on the end result. Passion for steps in the process of getting to the end result can be misplaced enthusiasm. Put your passion into the mission, not the means to the mission. As soon as there’s a better way to achieve your end result, you’ll miss it because you love the current path to it too much.

Given your mission, is your passion appropriately positioned?

3. You can be working a bad plan.

It’s not uncommon when a participant starts explaining what they’re doing, for the Sharks to all shake their head at the same time. They immediately know the participant’s not on the right path. What that means is you can execute perfectly but not get to your goal because you’re perfectly executing the wrong play. See point #1. And also constantly evaluate if your plan is actually producing the goal instead of just making you feel productive.

Are you honestly evaluating and measuring what you say your mission is?

4. Subject yourself to brutal truth.

It’s called Shark Tank for a reason. These successful people say it fast and unedited, especially Mr. Wonderful. They find weak spots and blind sides almost immediately. It’s amazing how much scrutiny and wisdom a company can be exposed to in just seven minutes. And if applied, potentially amazing how this brutal truth can redirect a company.

Do you have people who will speak brutal truth to you?

If you watch Shark Tank, what other takeaways did I miss? Post below.