Working on the business means focusing on the big-picture strategic stuff. Working in the business means…well, it means working in the business. Spending time in the day-to-day running the company. As a leader, you need a balance of both.
Vision, Values & Culture
Entrepreneurs can be control freaks and micro-manage everything, which stunts a company in so many ways. But, on the flip side, I know a lot of “leaders” who rarely get their hands dirty in the actual work their team is doing. If you spend all your time working “on the business” and no time working “in the business”, you can quickly lose touch with the actual business itself. A good example is that time I scored some leads.
No matter what role I am interviewing for, and what I have already asked, I have one critical question that I ask everyone at the end of final round of interviews. When a candidate has made it through all the hoops and I think I am ready to make them an offer, I end the final interview with…
When I was running ion interactive, I excused my personal inconsistent content production by maintaining that it was less important that managing the company. Perhaps that was true. But, perhaps it wasn’t.
Many times in the early days of running our first company, I lost my temper with an employee. I criticized and I complained. If things weren’t done exactly as I wanted them or if someone had not lived up to my impossibly high expectations, I was pretty vocal in my displeasure. I didn’t go on rampages, and I didn’t scream at the top of my lungs. But I would be too candid, too firm, too upset, too frank, too unpleasant about whatever the disappointment was.Here’s how I learned to contain my emotions at work.
I only have a few entrepreneurial regrets, and losing my ability to do deep work is one of them. As we grew, I wasn’t doing the deep work myself anymore, I was supervising the people who did the deep work…I blame myself and the choices I made that let me slip into this distraction-filled, adrenaline-fueled existence. A company needs its leaders to do deep work, so this was definitely a shortcoming of mine. I was allowing the shallow, urgent work take all of my attention, and lulling myself into thinking that was my job. Here’s how I am fixing it.
I was a very late adopter to adopting a work from home culture in my last company. Here’s how I came around, and a few guidelines that worked well for us as we fully embraced a remote workforce.
I’ve given feedback that landed perfectly and was received well. But I’ve also botched the delivery more times than I care to think about.
Feedback is important. How it’s delivered, how it’s received, how it’s acted on and how it’s followed up on all matters. It’s a key skill of a great leader.There are three questions I ask myself that help me get it right.
Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? A manager’s framework for providing feedback the right way.
If you are an entrepreneur running a bootstrapped business, there are periods of time you will be stressed. Very stressed. Like, the word “stressed” doesn’t do the actual feeling justice.
You might be unimaginably, incomprehensibly, unsustainably stressed 110% of the time, actually.