THE BLOG
08/26/2014 03:06 pm ET Updated Oct 26, 2014

5 Support Systems Entrepreneurs' Staff Need to Thrive

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Today, successful entrepreneurs are the ones driving breakthroughs in society. We can rattle the big ones off by name. Gates. Bezos. Musk. Page. Branson.

Behind each of these visionaries is at least one assistant or project manager who coordinates every speaking engagement, schedules every meeting, and has the tremendous responsibility of protecting the entrepreneurs' integrity -- ensuring the team completes projects and deliverables on time and under budget.

Entrepreneurs have a wealth of resources to support their professional growth, from masterminds and membership organizations to magazines and books -- and rightly so.

But what about their key team members? Who helps the helpers?

Imagine if every entrepreneur had at least one key team member who could self-manage, continuously become more effective, communicate efficiently and excellently, and still have the time and energy to lead a fulfilling life.

What would it feel like to work with this person? He or she would be a beacon of positivity and productivity, always inspiring and influencing others to similarly maximize their efforts. Surrounding team members would catch on, and this attitude would naturally become a part of office culture. The entrepreneur would be able to delegate more of his or her own work and feel confident in the knowledge that the team is executing behind the scenes.

How can entrepreneurs foster this attitude in their key staff? They must enable the following support systems:

  1. Emotional support: In most cases, your team members have no one in their social circle who can relate to their workday. (The only exception here is if their family or friends have worked in similar roles for an entrepreneur.) I've had dozens of conversations with good friends about my workday, and inevitably their interested faces turn into blank stares. So I stopped talking about work -- but I still need to debrief, celebrate and even occasionally vent, just as we all do, to relieve stress.
  2. Productivity and skill training: Project managers and assistants working on entrepreneurial teams don't get a training manual on how to continually excel. Our skills and capabilities must constantly evolve, just as our entrepreneurs continually evolve business models and push new boundaries.
  3. Mentorship: Aligning a team member with a mentor boosts motivation, confidence and engagement at work. Entrepreneurs have an abundance of possible mentors -- the challenge is finding one for your team members.
  4. Resources: Those in skill-based jobs can seek continuing education from traditional sources like online or brick-and-mortar universities. Your team members must get creative -- project management, organization and time management are far different in the entrepreneurial world.
  5. Wellness: This area is the easiest to overlook, but it's the source of the fastest performance gains. How are you enabling team members to live fulfilled lives? Are you giving them tools to be healthy, get and stay fit, and take care of their stress and anxiety? Without a wellness plan of action, it's just a matter of time before even the best team members burn out.

An engaged, fulfilled team is happier, more productive and more effective. Such teams have the tools and support to supercharge entrepreneurs' impact and achievement.

What next?

One simple yet meaningful action entrepreneurs can take right now is to schedule a 10-minute meeting with their assistant or a high-performing project manager. Ask him or her the following:

  • What motivates and inspires you to excel?
  • How can I help you grow and flourish?
  • What resources can I provide or connect you with to fuel this growth?

Let's rebel against employee disengagement, once and for all.

Inspired by my experience working with visionary entrepreneurs, I created the REBEL training community to mentor, learn from and connect with my peers -- other project managers who work for successful entrepreneurs. Learn more and register here: Rebel.so