Building your business coach systems is not an event, it’s an ongoing process. Think of building your business coach systems as more similar to brushing your teeth than to getting married. Unless you are a real sick freak, you are going to want to brush your teeth twice per day on an ongoing basis to maintain your oral hygiene. On the flip side, unless you are a real sick freak, I don’t recommend that you attempt to get married twice per day on an ongoing basis. (I don’t recommend you get married twice per day, ever.) When you first start building your business coach systems, they are going to be very simple and incomplete. However, as you update these systems week-by-week, they will become the solid foundation upon which your company is built.
Alright, now let’s talk about the humans you are hiring.
“Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results predictably.” -Michael Gerber (Bestselling author of the E-Myth book series)
5.4 – Building the A-Team
I realize that up to this point we have focused much of our time on discussing building business coach systems, but later in this book we will get very specific about how to recruit, hire, inspire, and retain top talent. But for right now, I just want to clarify that you will not make copious amounts of profit just because you have incredible business systems. To build a success-driven, healthy, and growing business, you are going to need systems and a great company culture. When you have a great company culture in place, it will help reinforce your company’s values and will ensure that your business is a positive place for customers to shop and for your employees to work. Don’t get overwhelmed. Throughout these posts, I will teach you the best-practice and proven systems that will show you specifically and systematically how to grow and develop a winning company culture.
“We will hire someone with less experience, less education, and less expertise, than someone who has more of those things and has a rotten attitude. Because we can train people. We can teach people how to lead. We can teach people how to provide customer service. But we can’t change their DNA.” -Herb Kelleher (The co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines)
5.5 – Installing the Guardrails
As your business team climbs up Mount Awesome, it’s very important that nobody on your team falls off the side of the mountain on the way to the top. To prevent your team members from falling off the mountain to their certain death, you must develop systems called GUARDRAILS. Guardrails are created to keep any one member of your team from ever being able to make a MASSIVELY COSTLY MISTAKE due to negligence, idiocy, carelessness, or just plain “JACKASSERY.”
A very practical example of a guardrail would be making sure members of your sales team are not responsible for both calculating and paying themselves commissions. Another example of a good guardrail would be making sure that the person who makes your daily or weekly bank deposits is not the same person who reconciles the account balances and bank statements. Years ago I worked with a doctor who hired a man whose entire job was to “handle all of the finances for the business.” This man would deposit 95% of the money the business brought in and take 5% of the money for himself. Without exaggeration, this man deposited well over $500,000 of money within a year while embezzling around $25,000 for himself. To make matters worse, this man was also allowed to use the company credit card as he saw fit without any oversight. Within a year, he had charged over $10,000 on personal purchases before he was caught.
How was he eventually caught, you ask? When I was hired to improve the business systems for this doctor, I began setting up guardrails. When I insisted the same person not both deposit the money and reconcile the statements, this guy lost his mind. He pushed back, he attacked me, and asked repeatedly, “Why doesn’t this guy trust me?!” I calmly pointed out that we were simply setting up best-practice systems to ensure that no one person could make a catastrophic error that could kill the company and that these systems would take the pressure off of him, placing the pressure on the systems themselves, instead. Within two weeks, the man submitted his resignation – just before we collected enough information to press charges.
This is a true story and unfortunately, it is a story that is repeated every day all over the world of business because companies have not installed the proper guardrails to hold people accountable for being both honest and accurate. You must install daily key performance indicator reporting systems within your business to keep your team focused and on target.
You may be wondering how you can possibly delegate more and more of the daily tasks of your business without completely losing control. Unless you just started your business yesterday, you have probably already witnessed firsthand the dangers associated with delegating key aspects of your business to a person on your team who absolutely screws up and drops the ball. My friend, I want you to circle this and highlight this and do whatever you need to do remember this statement: YOU WANT TO BUILD AND INSTALL SELF-REGULATING SYSTEMS INTO YOUR BUSINESS THAT ALLOW ETHICAL AND DILIGENT PEOPLE TO GET THEIR JOB DONE RIGHT WITHOUT EVERYTHING HAVING TO GO THROUGH YOU FIRST.
You must grasp that no business coach systems will work well without ethical and diligent people executing them. Don’t build great systems and then delegate to dishonest idiots. You must build great systems that you then delegate to HONEST and DILIGENT PEOPLE.
“My #1 job here at Apple is to make sure that the top 100 people are A+ players. And everything else will take care of itself.” -Steve Jobs (Co-founder of Apple and the former CEO of Pixar)
5.6 – 8 Examples of Effective Guardrail Business Coach Systems