A common problem that entrepreneurs face over and over again that I see as a business coach is finding good managers. When it comes to duplicating yourself for being able to trust someone to oversee aspects of your business, most entrepreneurs tend to believe that they have to do it all. This is a trap that I’ve seen many clients fall into. They do not seem to have the ability to duplicate themselves in such a way that they can empower someone to manage their team or different aspects of the business. This, of course, cannot be directly blamed on the potential manager. This comes down to the entrepreneur themselves not implementing the proven processes and systems that they need to have in place in order to successfully empower their managers.
“Without friction success is a fiction”
Jonathan Kelly is not only the one who manages the staff here in our business coach organization, but he is also Clay Clark’s business partner. As I observe Jonathan’s management style there are several key things that I have learned. The first thing is that having a strong manager is essential to a healthy organization. If Jonathan Kelly did not show up to work and effectively manage the team, then the culture and the effectiveness of our organization would drift. Jonathan Kelly is responsible for keeping the staff on point and on a mission. The problem with drifting is that much like an airplane if you’re off even 1°, you can end up in a place that you never intended to be. Jonathan Kelly is like the pilot that constantly brings the aircraft back to the center so that we can accomplish our goals and get to our destination.
Jonathan has also taught me that a little (or a lot) of fear is necessary in a good manager. Now, when I say fear, I am not referring to being afraid. What I’m referring to is a healthy respect and an understanding of the authority that a manager possesses. The Bible, it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The Bible is not wanting us to crumble in terror when it comes to God, but it is communicating to us that we must respect and understand the authority that is God’s alone. As Clay Clark likes to say, “Without friction success is a fiction”. Jonathan Kelly is the man that Clay is able to empower to create that friction. It creates friction if you have to correct someone who is off course or not doing their job. It creates friction if you have to fire someone who does not fit in the culture. Jonathan Kelly does this exceedingly well. I think one of the reasons that he does this so well is because he is not afraid of conflict. He is willing to engage with the conflict because he understands that a little fear is necessary to successful management.
The other side to this coin, as I observe Jonathan, is that a good manager must be willing to have some fun. It cannot all be fear and trembling. It cannot all be hellfire and brimstone. What I have observed as I watched his management style is that as long as everyone is doing their job and staying on task, then the occasional fun moments can occur. For Christmas this year, Jonathan Kelly received some Nerf guns from some of the business coach staff. It is not out of the ordinary now to find yourself the target of a Nerf gun war, providing that you are doing your job and hitting your targets. Jonathan is able to weave in a healthy amount of fun so that it creates a great atmosphere, but at the same time balancing that with the understanding that the job must get done, and if it does not, then you will be confronted.
Finally, one more foundational piece to excellent management that I observe about Jonathan Kelly, is that his management is built on a foundation of knowledge and experience. He has put in his time and done the work. He is a source of knowledge and wisdom. He knows his stuff and he practices what he preaches. He models the way. On any given day, Jonathan Kelly is the first one into the business coach office and one of the last ones to leave. He demonstrates it on a daily basis that he is not leading any of the staff to do anything that he wouldn’t or hasn’t done himself. If you’re going to hire and develop an excellent manager, then you want to make sure that you are training someone who practices what they preach. Additionally, you need to make sure that you are living that out yourself.
Having strong management may seem impossible, but I promise it is not impossible. You must do the things necessary in order to find and develop good management. Additionally, as you are building your management team, make sure that they understand these key components to successful management. One, if you want a strong manager, then make sure that you have an individual who understands the culture and can keep your people on culture. Two, make sure that they understand that without friction, success is a fiction. Three, ensure that they are willing to have a healthy amount of fun so that you create a good culture. Finally, make sure that they know their stuff and they practice what they preach.