I’ve noticed a trend over the past few years of entrepreneurs working harder, longer and faster in hopes that they would set an example and their team would follow them. This is a flawed strategy from the start. By running faster, harder and working longer, all you’re doing is exhausting yourself.
That exhaustion frequently manifests itself in bad behavior, in terms of interpersonal reactions with members of your team and, therefore, reduces the team’s productivity while you’re exhausting yourself.
Another negative manifestation as a result of this behavior is the fact that you overwhelm yourself through multitasking and inadvertently create a situation where your employees become spectators.
So, the very people that you’re trying to motivate to work harder, faster and longer actually are incented by the behavior of the entrepreneur to work slower and have a much lower sense of urgency. This is the ultimate irony of this flawed strategy.
A good manager will achieve his/her goals by making sure that they have a team that can do and, more importantly, will do the job the way you want it done.
Don’t waste your time, energy and precious moments of your life trying to set a pace that your employees are not interested in following. As Michael Gerber (the author of The E-Myth) says, the most successful companies are built around processes and systems that enable the vast majority of their employees to produce profitable and predictable results.
Spend your time and energy building these systems and processes.
Once they’re documented, make sure that everyone knows how to execute their tasks, and I do mean everyone. If you have a feeling that you must work harder to get your team to work harder, then you clearly have people who are not following your systems and procedures. At that juncture, the decision to retain and/or terminate an employee becomes a proverbial “no brainer”.
Make your life easy and, as I’m fond of saying (with tongue partially in cheek), a good manager causes stress; he/she does not suffer from it. I don’t mean negative stress and I certainly don’t mean disrespectful stress, but stress in the sense of setting objectives and goals that require some stretch, some effort to achieve, on the part of the employee.