Many entrepreneurs have similar characteristics or qualities that allow them to ultimately be successful. They are visionaries who see the end result of their endeavor often before even typing the first word of their business plan.
They are risk takers in that they often are willing to quit a secure job, take a second mortgage out on their house or max out a credit card with crushing interest rates in order to fuel their dream. They show themselves to be resourceful because at the beginning of their endeavor they often have to singlehandedly put out every fire that arises while simultaneously addressing their target market's initial feedback by fine tuning or recalibrating their services or products.
While these are all admirable and essential traits, it must be noted that this big picture thinking often does not make these individuals great managers or day-to-day tacticians. By definition, managers must be great at managing people in their day-to-day activities as well as ensuring that these people understand and flawlessly execute short and mid-term strategies. Visionaries initially play the most important role but at some point in time they must become or must recruit a great tactician manager to ensure their ultimate success and the full fulfillment of their dream.
Below are some tips to help the entrepreneur or even the new manager ensure they are leading in an effective way.
1. Be slow to hire. Although you may feel the pressure to hire someone quickly, be mindful of the fact that if this person does not have the skill set to quickly perform at the level of your expectations a quick hire will ultimately be a disservice to them and your entire company. Taking the extra day or two or even the extra week or two to find the right person will pay dividends in the long run.
2. Be clear and set expectations early on. Once you have identified someone who you believe is a good fit for your company you must take the time to understand and articulate your expectations of this position. If this is a sales role, what are some concrete numbers that must be attained? If this is a customer service role, what constitutes excellent customer service? If this is a manual labor role you must lay out the expected number of completed assignments, per hour, per day, or per week.
Once you are clear on the definition of success it is recommended that you formalize these ideas in the form of a job description that you and the employee can refer back to if need be. You will then want to take the next step, which is to ensure your employee is also clear. When communicating with your new recruit, do not take anything for granted. Speak clearly and most importantly give him/her the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
3. Give feedback early and regularly. If you truly want your new hire to be successful you must monitor their work consistently especially in the first couple of weeks. This does not mean stand over their shoulder and be a micro manager, but it does mean that you monitor the quality of their work more than once or twice during their first few weeks. You must be quick to give positive reinforcement when the work deserves it as well as constructive feedback to allow them to improve.
As all great managers know, these three steps alone will not make you an effective leader, but what they will do is help you build a solid foundation on which to build a robust and profitable company.