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Management For Entrepreneurs… May Luck Be With Us
If there is one thing that entrepreneurs have trouble with it is being managed, however if there are 2 things, the 2nd would be managing others.
The reason for this trouble is that entrepreneurs think differently than employees and, at 1st have trouble relating with individuals who work for other people; this is despite working for other people being the norm. When I 1st started as a manager, I was 25 and don’t think I became good at it until age 29. It was a long, high opportunity cost learning experience, though I’m lucky I got it over and still live to talk about it.
With that being said, here are some tips that took me 5 years to learn… may luck be with you.
1. It’s called retention, and you have to buy it. The worst thing that entrepreneur or any business owner can do is to make significantly more than any of their employees. My father was a sole proprietor internist in southern New Jersey and felt badly about even driving a new Toyota to the office as some of his employees did not make enough money to buy a new car. I’ve always used this philosophy and I always will.
They say that money does not buy loyalty, though underpaying buys resentment, turnovers and headaches. Never be over flashy and always implement some sort of profit-sharing or stock options, but I recommend staying away from giving out equity.
2. Not all employees are created equal. Any manager who does not play favorites will eventually lose those favorites as those who work hard, execute and are loyal to the company should be rewarded more than those who are just at the office. When I 1st started managing people (multiple people), I treated everyone as if they were the CEO of the company – openly speaking about issues that only the most crucial employees should know about.
You always want to think the best about people, however employees leave, the world goes on, but the world goes on a lot harder if you give away secrets to people who are not your best and most loyal employees. The most detrimental factor of not treating the best employees as if they were the best employees is that the resentment for not doing so can be more extensive than that described in the 1st example.
3. As the chief executive officer of a company, your job is to train, be hands-on and grow the existing and new employees. There is no other way to do it. Jack Welch wrote in the book “Winning” (which all of my employees and interns are required to read upon coming on board) that his job as a CEO was to find the best talent within the company and reward them for their work.
Many entrepreneurs have this dream where they are the CEO of a company and get to hang out in the board room on their own time and host meetings from a golf course in the South of France. This dream never seems to come through as there are no meetings when you can’t grow others and there are no lavish trips to St. Tropez.
The reason this doesn’t work out is because the CEO should know his or her company best and, therefore pass on that knowledge tirelessly to those that give their time as an employee of their organization.