One of the most exciting things about watching a team grow around you, is knowing that there will be a time for you to step back and let go of control as your business starts to really grow.
Letting go and learning to delegate is the only effective way to scale; but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Especially when it feels like you’ve built this business with your heart and soul. So, how do you let go of something so close to you?
The answer is really in the people you’re handing the reigns over to. Having built a business that is renowned for its customer experience, I can say with certainty that how your people feel is how your customers will feel. The people you hire are the people who are on the phones taking customer calls, the people who sell your product, and the people who live and amplify your brand, which means if you don’t have the right people on the bus — people with the right mindset and values and commitment — then your customers will suffer, and so too will your business.
This is why hiring for culture is critical for any expanding business. Or any business, really, whether they’re experiencing growth or not. I resonate strongly with Verne Harnish’s work in Rockefeller Habits, and the concept of having the right people on the bus. It doesn’t matter where you bus is going – if the right people aren’t on it, then you’re either not going to get where you want to go or you’ll be driving uphill and struggling for the entire journey.
Whenever I’ve hired someone skilled but whose values and work ethic were slightly off-step with those of RedBalloon, I’ve known my mistake within the first two weeks of them starting. And I’ve always regretted that decision. I get it; we make rash hiring decisions and sacrifice cultural fit when they’re desperate for a resource, but in my experience, those decisions are costly.
Mindset matters. Values matter. Hiring for culture is the difference between having a committed employee who cares about your company and its success, so willingly goes above and beyond, compared to someone who’s indifferent or resistant and clocks in and out because of obligation, as opposed to drive or passion. I’d like to think any capable leader will aim for the latter.
Do you have the right people with you, doing the right things and for the right reasons?
If you can calmly, hand on heart, say “yes”, then you’re on the right track. Next to cash flow, I’d say people problems are one of the biggest things keeping leaders up at night. If you’re concerned about the people on the bus with you, then stop and re-assess. Either your people are there to help you or distract you. And I don’t know a single business owner who wants more distractions!
The team behind Redii has put together nine principles when it comes to building a strong, resilient team within your business.
People who are on the same page and get the right mindset. You can check out the slide deck below for a few of the key points. Download the ebook for the research, customer case and habits you can start putting in place today.
Naomi Simson is the founding director of Australian online tech success story RedBalloon and Redii. She has written more than 900 blog posts at NaomiSimson.com, is a professional speaker, author of Live What You Love and is one of five “Sharks” on TEN’s business reality show Shark Tank to return in 2016.
This article was first published on Linkedin.