Whose Job Is It?

See if you recognize this scenario…

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would  do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

The point of this confusing, but poignant story is simple: no one took responsibility so nothing got accomplished.

It’s a story that happens in organizations and companies and on teams—anywhere there is culture that lacks accountability.

Accountability

Patrick Lencioni talks about building accountability best when he said, “teams (companies) that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards. What is more, they don’t rely on the team leader as the primary source of accountability, they go directly to their peers.”

Holding each other accountable is difficult, but the cost of not doing so is incredibly high. An avoidance of accountability leads to:
* unintentional lowering of standards and acceptance of mediocrity
* reduced performance, missed deadlines, and wasted time/effort
* strained relationships and weak teams

The good news is, if you’ve been building your company with a foundation of trust, holding each other accountable is accepted, even desired because it leads to greater growth and success.

One of the best ways to build accountability is to utilize a tool known as The Accountability Chart. If you are familiar with EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), this is a “go to” foundational tool. Most people are familiar with an organization chart so what is the difference in these tools?

Organizational Chart vs Accountability Chart

Organizational charts focus on who reports to who, but they typically don’t address one of the major issues most companies struggle with: a lack of clarity around what the major functions of the organization are, and who is accountable for what.

Accountability charts, on the other hand, focus on the structure of the organization. It provides clarity about who owns the major functions of an organization and identifies the primary roles and responsibilities for which they are accountable.

Remember, there should be only one person for all major responsibilities, and everyone should understand who owns what. After all, if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible.

New Paradigm Advisors believes you deserve to enjoy the benefits of a profitable, growing and well-run business. We help you create your accountability chart and break out of the old way of doing things and press forward with a renewed passion and focus. We’d love to hear from you.

The Opposite of Servant Leadership: Power Leadership

We’ve discussed servant leadership at length, showed you examples and introduced you to experts.  But to truly understand the concept, we should really discuss the opposite of this leadership concept.

Meet power leadership.

Leaders who use power as their main motivator, usually rely on negativism, fear and misdirection to guide or direct an organization the way they see fit.  They typically are not collaborators or team players.

Power leaders tear down.  They thrive in economic downturns because cutting, not adding, is what they do to shape an organization. By cutting budgets, costs and employees, they destroy morale, drain resources and reduce organizations to shells of themselves.  They typically are short-term thinkers.

“Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.”—Seth Berkley

In the mirror, opposite the power leader, is a servant leader.  Servant leaders build up, see downturns as opportunities, and do things up front and in a transparent fashion.  To them, power is in the organization and its people and ideals, not in them.

The four elements of servant leadership are in direct opposition to power leadership:

  1. Servant leaders put service before leadership and are focused outwardly; power leaders are focused inwardly.
  2. Collaboration is central to servant leaders and relies on consideration of what others think; power leaders believe there is an “I” in team—them.
  3. Mentorship is important to servant leaders as it helps grow the team and the organization; power leaders believe all starts and ends with them.
  4. To be a servant leader, you must have foresight and that comes from listening; power leaders only listen to themselves.

Where do you begin to develop and build a culture of servant leadership? Start by looking within and taking stock of what you already have.  And then consider enlisting the aid of a partner.  We are here to help with skills assessments, systems and programs as well as one-on-one advice.

Call or contact us for more information on servant leadership.

The New Paradigm Advisors Team

Fashioning a Team Environment

Before you get into too much of hurry to flee from your company, are things in place that will allow you to depart?

Delegated authority? Check.

Flat organization? Check.

Company sufficiently “you proofed?”

Created a team environment?  Wait a minute…

Oh, yeah.  Have you put the right team in place AND have you put the right, minimal structure in place for them to operate?  In other words, is it a TEAM environment?  Let’s look at the attributes you should have in place for your team:

  • Do they have a team mindset? That is, are they willing to give in for the right decision?
  • Can they agree to agree?
  • Are they respectful of one another and their roles?
  • Any slackers, willing or unwilling?
  • Do they not tolerate gossip?
  • Are the contributions of all team members recognized?

So the environment is possible.  Do you have the right people as team members?  Here are the attributes of a good team player?

  • Always reliable.
  • Communicates with confidence.
  • Does more than asked.
  • Adapts quickly and easily.
  • Displays genuine commitment.

That a good guide for team players.

OK, let’s review: a solid team in place with a team environment.  Check.  You should be in good shape. If you still have doubts, drop us a line or give us a call.  We can be part of your team, too.

Affirming Personal Detachment

If you founded your business and have been involved in it from Day 1, then you are truly invested in the enterprise.  It’s hard to step away, even for lunch.

However, for your health and the health of the company, you need to consider how to detach yourself from the company. But you also need to affirm this detachment in a positive way.

Truly, if you have the correct organization and team in place and have empowered them to make decisions, you are half way there.  The other half lies inside you—you need to give up on some things and you can do that with some simple acts:

  • Before you leave the office, leave instructions on any critical projects with your team lead in charge at the end of the shift.
  • Have the day start and end at a specific time. 8am is early enough and 5pm is a good time to close up.
  • After hours leave your phone off or in the charger in your garage. 99% of decisions can wait until morning.
  • Close your home office door. Office hours ended at the office and have at home, too.
  • Make standing appointments for exercise and other non-work pursuits. And keep them.
  • Take up and pursue a hobby that gets you out of your head—draw, paint or color.

You aren’t abandoning your enterprise, just freeing it and you up to go in new directions.  While you have earned the right to pursue other things, the enterprise itself has also earned something.  It’s time to consider the next act for the company.

But it all starts with you positioning yourself as a detached part of the organization.  Important, just detached.

Call or contact us should you want to explore this topic further.

 

Building an Environment of Structural Flexibility

Every organization needs to have some structure.  If, for nothing else, to allow for how things get done.  But the days of rigid structure in an organization are gone.

Particularly if you want to be able to not have the organization be too dependent on any one person.

Gee, sounds like a recipe for being able to break those chains and allow your enterprise to operate without you.  “You proofing” at its finest.

Where does one start? Well, if they want to create and then operate an organization that is an environment that allows for competent decisions as well as being flexible, then start with these attributes:

  • Allow it to be organic. That is, let decisions and decision-making come naturally to the leaders.  Don’t let the organization get in the way of the work.
  • Make sure it is flat. In other words, remove layers of management.  Without middle management, employees become more self-reliant and empowered. Too many layers slow down decision making.
  • Let it be part of a larger network. This means that if sometimes the work can be done outside the organization most efficiently, then let it.
  • Ensure that it coexists with your team. Besides, if your team is formulated to support your company, it should integrate symbiotically with your flexible, flat organization.

What this all boils down to is this: build a functional yet simple organizational structure then populate it with an empowered team.

It will free up the leaders/founders/principals to either work on the company, plot its future or depart. Freedom first, then value, and, finally, future.

Call or contact us should you want to explore this topic further.

The Culture Balloon and Your Company’s Value

In our work with companies, we talk about culture.  A lot. And we always get asked, “What does that mean? Culture?” and “Why is culture important when it comes to the value of my company?”

The standard elements for valuing a company are the following:

  1. Financial performance
  2. Revenue projections and potential
  3. Cash flow and cash position
  4. Market position
  5. Reputation with customers and vendors
  6. Ability to operate independent of any one person, vendor, or client
  7. How dependent is the company on you and your contribution?

These are all common elements that we work on with you. But the real secret sauce lies in your company culture. Let me give you an analogy.

Let’s compare two companies with different cultures. All else being the same – equal size, equal market position, and so on. All things equal except this thing we identify as “culture.”

When you walk into one company, it’s like walking into a room full of balloons. All the balloons are filled with helium and are floating on the ceiling. When you want to address the staff, you’re looking up at them and trying to keep their enthusiasm from getting the best of them. You’ll have to grab the strings and pull them down to talk directly to them. Then you let go of the string and they float back up to that higher level. Keep the windows closed!

The other company is full of balloons too; but, when you walk in, all the balloons are inflated but with just regular air. They’re all there but resting on the floor. When you want to address them, you’ll be looking down at them and probably having to kick them up into the air, catch them, talk to them and then when you let go, they’ll just drift back down to the floor and wait for you to come back and kick them up again. Don’t worry about the windows.

Are you picturing this? In the second company, you can probably implement a program that will be like running thru the room kicking all the balloons and getting them up in the air but as soon as you end the program they’re all going back down to the floor. In the first company, you’ve got so much enthusiasm, you’re all going home everyday thrilled at what you’ve accomplished. (and talking like Mickey Mouse.)

Between those two companies, which do you think would have a higher value to anyone that walked in the door?

Get my drift?

Culture is important! Especially in this new age where the millennials are starving for careers with companies that “care.” Care about their community, the society, and the employees. Treating them as individuals, not as time cards in the slots on the wall. But, don’t fool yourself. Even our older employees have a deep need to find value in their work. They, too, want to work at a company and with people who “want to be there.”

Ok, I hope this makes sense to you. Go either kick the balloons up or grab some strings. Your culture. Your value.

If you need help kicking all the balloons up in the air, don’t call us. If you need help in making the changes necessary to create the company helium, by all means, call us. It will most certainly increase the value of your company.

Blessings!

Dave