A business coach defines the connection point guardrails. It is SUPER IMPORTANT that each member of your team understands the boundaries and guardrails associated with each step of the workflow process. If this understanding is not there, you will soon find that a slacking and manipulative member of your team will begin to dump their work on the people who are focused and committed to completing a different aspect of the workflow. By investing the time to actually define the boundaries and guardrails for each step in your workflow and then insisting that all members of your team sign off, you will confirm that everyone knows the boundaries associated with this step of your system.
An Ample Example Provided By A Business Coach:
In our photography business, we used to have a dude who worked for us whom everybody liked because he was charismatic and an overall fun guy. However, when it came to doing his job, I began to realize that he was dumping a good amount of his work on someone else’s plate. As a salesperson, he was responsible for collecting all of the customer’s relevant information and e-mailing them a receipt after collecting payment. However, this dude found out that the dude in accounting did not have the mental capacity to push back when work was dumped on his plate. He discovered that if he did a half-ass job of collecting the information and simply wrote a note for accounting on the file that read, “The customer must be called to verify their address and the start time of their wedding,” that the man working in accounting would actually do the work for him. This game went on for a few months without me knowing until the man in accounting started getting way behind. I asked him why he was getting behind and he explained to me that it was taking a huge part of his time to collect the information from new sales and he wanted to make sure that he did that job right so that our sales diva could keep on selling more. My mind almost exploded and I went to the salesperson to hold him accountable to the system. He acknowledged that he did know the system, but had become lazy. This, my friend, is an example of what happens when somebody does not respect the boundaries and guardrails associated with their step of the workflow process.
As a sought after business coach, I cannot stress to you how important it is for each member of your team to understand the role they play in these key connection points. Most people need to know “why” they are supposed to do a specific task in the system and how the quality of their work impacts the customer before they are willing to consistently do their job well. This used to blow my mind. I’m old school and I believe that you should do your freaking job because you are being paid to do it, but people today have a great big government safety net waiting for them if they get fired so many are not willing to work hard without the proper motivation. After reading an unhealthy number of leadership books and interviewing some of the most successful business leaders on the planet, I realized that I was fighting a losing battle on this front and so I no longer push back when members of my team want to know why they need to do something before they are willing to do their jobs right. I still don’t necessarily understand it, but that is just the way it is. This business coach has found time and time again that members of your team will get more high quality work done when they truly understand the “why” behind your systems.
“When you are in a senior leadership position you must be an inspirational leader and not just an administrator if you want to get the results which are possible with a team of inspired followers. So many top leaders today are just administrators who focus on doing things instead of inspiring people.” -Lee Cockerell (Thrive15.com Mentor and the former Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World Resorts)
Bestselling author Simon Sinek explains the importance of stressing “why” your company does things in his beautifully and powerfully written leadership book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Penguin, 2009):
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
This business coach wants you to understand, you must invest the time needed to specifically write out your processes on a white board in a linear way. Before your team begins to execute the workflow you have designed, ask yourself, “How can I simplify this process and remove wasted time and resources?” After you have mentally marinated on the process to the point it is almost unhealthy, then you must figure out the best way to take your white board workflow and to turn it into a visual document that your team can actually use (a checklist, a timeline, etc.).
For a video showing the actual process of creating a linear workflow with clear connection points, visit: www.Thrive15.com/how-to-create-a-linear-workflow
If your mind is on the verge of exploding because you don’t know where to start, as a business coach, I highly recommend that you ask yourself the following three questions (out loud so that your friends are 100% sure that you are crazy…it’s easier that way):