Crew? Or Cargo? Get the Staff You Deserve

Crew? Or Cargo? Get the Staff You Deserve

Businesses are most often started and built by initiative… entrepreneurs who see an opportunity, jump on it and make it sing. They have the drive and take the risk to create a business from a blank sheet of paper. But then, the business grows to the point where delegation is needed and managers are hired to run various departments. That’s when the trouble starts.

When you become a manager, you also need to become an initiative giver instead of an initiative taker. If you can’t make that transition, you’ll discover that instead of a ‘crew’, your staff has become ‘cargo’. Why? Initiative doesn’t exist in the air, it exists in people, and when you take the initiative (because you’re the captain of the ship and it’s in your genes), you take it away from the very people you hired to help you grow the business.

Here’s an easy test. If one of your staff pokes her head in your office and asks you “how is it going?” it might be a sign that you’ve been taking too much initiative. If you’re in charge of all the ‘its’ – the projects, the reports, the results – the people you’ve hired to do the work (or at least the ones who haven’t yet given up and quit) are curious to know how “it’s” going. No wonder they aren’t enthusiastically engaged in the business.

Clearly, “How’s it going?” is what the captain should be asking. Your crew takes the initiative, they’re moving the business forward and you want to know how all that is going.

So, in your business, is the initiative-taking gene that got the business started also the very thing that’s preventing it from becoming what it needs to become? If you’d like a candid opinion on that question, let’s talk.

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