Root Out Perfectionism First @ the Day Job

Root Out Perfectionism First @ the Day Job

Len wants to leave his job to start his own design studio. As Len smartly assesses his entrepreneurial readiness, he wants to rid himself of one habit that could doom his startup — perfectionism.Mark Cuban of the TV series Shark Tank said, “Perfectionism is the enemy of an entrepreneur.” It cannot be cured over night, but can be broken down gradually through coaching.Frustrated with the indecisiveness and stress that come with perfectionism, Len agreed to apply a strategy to a current problem: Len owes HR five staff performance reviews (perfs) by the end of the week. They are six months overdue.In light of other tasks that beg for Len’s attention, I asked him to describe what an “adequate” perf would look like. Would it sufficiently meet the expectations of the employee and HR? How much time would it take to do each one? Len could not identify any downsides to an adequate perf.A “perfect” perf would include more flowery language and several links to training videos that would likely be ignored. Compared to an adequate perf, Len admitted that a perfect perf was excessive and a poor use of time with no upsides.Contrasting the two versions in terms of time and benefit was a practical step towards tempering Len’s perfectionism. It eased the ability to get started and complete the task in time.Perfectionism may require more than coaching, however. It is essential to manage this behavior efficiently before starting your own business. Contact me at [email protected]  

Hiring Mission-Driven Employees

Hiring Mission-Driven Employees

You believe in your mission wholeheartedly.  As a founder, you are fired up to work hard every day. And when funds are tight and resources are limited, or when a crisis like COVID erupts, you need employees to do their best work.Based on the numerous requests I receive for coaching up unmotivated and underproductive team players, it makes sense to identify a candidate’s motivation and commitment at the hiring phase. Here are some interview questions that may give you a window into a candidate’s motivation to work hard and buy in to the mission:How do you relate to our company’s mission?What is the first thing you do when you are assigned a task with little or no direction?Tell me about a time when almost failed to meet a deadline. What happened? What steps did you take?We may have situations where I need ‘all hands on deck.’ What sacrifices are you willing to make in those situations?Have you ever proposed changes or innovations to the betterment of the company? Were they implemented? Give me an example.What motivates you to meet expectations?Are you still being fooled by candidates who misrepresent their motivation and commitment to hard work? Perhaps we need to probe further. Contact me at [email protected]

Motivate Your Employees to Their Full Potential

Motivate Your Employees to Their Full Potential

Once you’ve hired your “A” team members, how can you keep them engaged and working to their full potential? Even if benefits and raises were available, they can’t be the solution.As one VC told me, “There are many factors that contribute to an employee’s desire to work to their potential…the mindset they bring to the startup is one thing. The rest is up to the founder.”According to an industry-wide SHRM survey of 14,500 workers in 2017, only 15% of workers claimed to be working to their potential on a regular basis. The survey found that employees work to their full potential when:they are clear about expectations.they feel safe asking questions.they are not overwhelmed with rules and unproductive meetings.their suggestions are taken seriouslythere are rewards and recognition for jobs well done.supervisors demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence.they see purpose and meaning in their work.At your next meeting, get some feedback from your team on each point. See how you can ignite greater motivation and commitment by doing your part.Notice how all those factors are related to communication? Need help? Contact me at [email protected]   

Lasting Words

At some point in your life, you’ll need to set aside time to manage a health concern or a crisis. It may be for you, a family member or a close friend. Either way, it will interrupt the flow of your venture, so it’s good to be on the ready. My lapse in posting much […]

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5 Ways to Tank an M&A

Aside from unfavorable market dynamics or insufficient due diligence, investors will back out of a deal if they: 1) sense a lack of trust or discontent between team members. Savvy investors will pick up on the vibes between team members by the way they communicate in person and online. 2)  sense dishonesty or intentionally unrealistic […]

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