Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Are you herding buzzards?

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on December 10, 2009

EntreLeadership Makes a Measurable Difference:

Mike Disbrow is a client of ours, and he attended the EntreLeadership Master Series event a year ago in Cancun, Mexico.  Mike’s company offers high end selections of horse stalls and horse fencing systems for farms and barns…they do fabulous work.  Mike was already doing very well before I met him, but I was thrilled when he told me that this past year has been his best year ever because of principles he’s implemented from Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership event.

  • In 12 months Mike’s company has paid off 1.2 million in debt
  • He has increased his retained earnings from 50k to 300k
  • He told me that everything about their organization is running so much better

Wow!  When I asked him what has made the biggest impact for them he told me that he had a buzzard problem.  You see employees in a small business are either eagles or they’re buzzards.  Eagles soar to new heights and bring energy to the organization.  Buzzards feed on dead stuff and attract other buzzards.

Great Question to Ask Yourself:

At the EntreLeadership event, Dave Ramsey teaches a great lesson titled ‘Team Math: Hiring & Firing’.  There’s a place in this section where Dave challenges our group with this question out of Jim Collins’ book Good to Great:

If you wouldn’t hire them again today then why are they still working for you?

Mike told me that he really took this to heart, and he had to make some tough decisions about buzzards that he allowed to stay on his team for too long.  The buzzards were bringing down the moral across the entire organization.  Mike told me that it was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do to let people go who had been with him for years, but it’s made all the difference in the world to the energy level for the eagles on his team.  Mike had to make a tough call but I applaud him for serving his team well by leading them to a better place.  Thanks, Mike, for giving me permission to share this story.

Take Away:

Firing someone should never be comfortable for a leader, but there are times when the best thing for vitality of the organization is to get rid of the buzzards.

Have you ever been on a team that improved once the buzzards left?

Don’t get married yet!

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on October 8, 2009

rent_me_tshirt-p235044901218092157tr3q_210I spoke with a small business client yesterday who is experiencing some trepidation about hiring a new team member.  He knows he needs the help but is a little uncertain about how and when to pull the trigger on creating this new overhead.  He has been a ‘one-man-operation’ so far and naturally wants to make sure that the person he hires is going to be perfect for the position.

We discussed several steps that should be included in the hiring process but the one thing that I encouraged him to really think about is to start off by making the position a temporary one.

If you communicate on the front end of the hire that this position is only for 60 days then you have very little obligation to them, BUT if you make it a full time position it gets a lot more awkward for each of you if this person does not work as well as you initially thought.  There are plenty of highly qualified people ‘on the street’ right now who will be thrilled just to get a temporary position.

I advised him to plan for 3 temporary positions with 60 day terms for each.

This six month ‘trial period’ will give him a lot of valuable information on his strenghts and weaknesses in the areas of:

  • Communication: Everyone has a different personality style and will ‘gel’ differently with your style.
  • Delegation: Can they complete tasks AND concepts?
  • Leadership: Some of your blind spots will be relieved.
  • Compensation Structure: You might not get it right the first time and will want to have a second chance on this one.
  • General Chemistry: Sometimes there’s just not a good vibe and you can’t put your finger on it.

You can always offer a full time position to any of the temporary employees if you find one who is a champion and a great fit for that role.

Take Away:

Whether your a sole practitioner or have an established firm consider taking some pressure off yourself on your next hire by lowering the commitment to the new team member.  This will give you time and options on finding the right person for the job.

P.S. I would also recommend getting a temporary tattoo before getting a real one.