Category

Team & Outsourcing

#TeamTalk Live – Join me?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Team is the lifeblood of any growing business. When everything is working with our team it’s dreamy.

And when it’s not working it sucks! For you and for them.

Facebook Live - Full ColorI’m feeling rather passionate about team leadership these days and am doing a series of Facebook Lives to answer the most common questions I get around team and leadership.

Would LOVE to have you join me if this tickles your fancy – CLICK HERE to like my Facebook page and get notified when we go live each day. You can also click the links below to set a reminder for that specific topic or to take you direct to the video when we go live (or to watch the video later).

Have a question re: team leadership? Pop a comment on this post or email me privately at tina@tinaforsyth.com and I’ll answer it for you.

Monday, November 6th (Day 1 of 5)

11am pacific / 2pm eastern

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> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Tuesday, November 7th (Day 2 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Wednesday, November 8th (Day 3 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Thursday, November 9th (Day 4 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Friday, November 10th (Day 5 of 5)

10am pacific / 1pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<

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My (slightly unusual) perspective on being a good team leader…

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

My goal as a leader of my team is simple – I want to be their favorite client.

I work with a team of contractors (not employees) so I am not their boss – I’m their client.

And if I am their favorite client I know I’m on the right track.

I know that I’m treating them well.

I know that they are getting to do work they enjoy and have opportunities they may not find elsewhere.

I know that I’m respecting their time and not asking for unrealistic deadlines and last minute tasks.

I know that I’m paying them well for what they bring to the table.

I know THEY know how much I value the time, energy and effort they invest in support of my business.

If I am NOT their favorite client then I need to take a look at my leadership and see where I need to shift/grow.

That’s how I choose to measure my success as a leader.

And you?

** An Invitation **

If you are interested in leadership I invite you to join me for a brand new webinar I’m doing lovingly entitled:

“3 Ways Your Leadership Style May Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Team”

I’m going to get real on this webinar – and perhaps a little edgy – because there are simply too many people struggling on both sides of the coin. As leaders and as team members… and that needs to change.

>> Click here to register 

It is really possible to build a freedom based business?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

There are varying degrees of freedom in business.

On one end of the extreme is the soloprenuer – the person who does all the work themselves. If they don’t show up work doesn’t get done.

On the other end of the extreme is the owner who has structured a business that runs and grows without them. They don’t have to show up at all for work to get done.

Everyone talks about the second option as being a ‘real’ business – that it should be the ultimate goal of every business owner. And that if you fall into the first category you don’t have a business you have a “glorified job”.

That’s such BS.

Being in business is all about the freedom of CHOICE. The choice to do what we want. When we want to do it. And with the people we want to work with.

I was a soloprener for the first 10 years of my business and I loved it! Yes, I had to show up to do the work or I didn’t get paid. But it was on my terms. I set my own schedule. I (mostly) did things I wanted to be doing. I got to work with some amazing clients.

Beats a job any day imo!

I shifted to a leveraged business model in 2009 and had to learn (the hard way) how to shift my role in the company. How to get the right support and structure in place so I could do LESS of certain things and MORE of others. How to become a CEO.

But I am still working. I am still doing. Yes, I take weekends off and don’t work myself to the bone. I have an amazing team who takes care of the day to day running of my business. We have worked hard to setup solid systems to create ease for all of us. I can take an unplugged vacation and my business runs fine while I’m away.

But I’m still here. I’m showing up in my business.

I want to work. I like to work! And I dare say most of us feel the same… eating bon bons on the beach all day would bore the life out of me in short order. (what the hell is a bon bon anyhow?)

It’s more about doing the right things – and knowing that what we do makes the impact we want to make – vs doing nothing at all.

It’s also about recognizing that great missions require a great deal of support.

When you are looking a bigger mission in the eye, you are also being called to create a deeper level of support.

This can be especially challenging for powerful women who are rock-stars at making it happen and getting stuff done. Our default mode is carry it all and push through… which works up to a point, and then it doesn’t anymore.

Put simply, we can only take things so far on our own. We aren’t meant to carry the weight alone (believe me, I’ve tried!)

Great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve got a few things brewing in this space and would love to connect if this speaks to you. Send us an email and we will get you the inside scoop.

Lead. Manage. Do.

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | One Comment

Originally posted on Sept 29th 2016

I lead our first Best Team Ever Intensive last week and it was awesome. The ladies who joined us rolled up their sleeves and got clear on who they need to hire next and how to find the best people. Here’s to support on your terms baby!

One of my favorite teachings in this intensive is about the role of leading, managing and doing. All 3 are essential for success but the question is – who does what? Where do YOU need to spend your time? Check out today’s new video for the inside scoop.

The 3 Ways You Can Pay your Team

By | Team & Outsourcing | 7 Comments

Originally posted on Feb. 4th 2016.

Alright folks, this video is on the longer side… but it’s juicy stuff that I get asked about A LOT and I wanted to give you the goods.

When it comes to hiring outsourced/virtual support – ie: a virtual assistant, online business manager or other get-it-done experts – should you pay by the hour? A package rate? And what’s up with this incentive stuff?

There are 3 different ways you can be paying your team members, so let’s break them down here for you:

By the hour – paying someone an hourly rate for the TIME it takes them to do the work. This is the simplest arrangement as it’s the easiest to calculate, BUT the downside is that you have to keep track of hours (annoying!) and have no control over how long it takes someone to do the work. Some people are fast, some are slow, and you run the risk of getting a “surprise” bill from someone when work takes longer than expected. That being said, hourly is the best option for many ‘doer’ roles (ie: virtual assistant) or whenever there is uncertainty in the business (ie: when you have a new role and aren’t sure yet on the workload.) Always be sure to have strong agreements in place – especially around reporting weekly on their hours – along with expectations as to work being done within reasonable timeframes.

Pay for a package – this is paying someone a flat rate for a specific DELIVERABLE. For example, if you are hiring a web designer to create a new website for you and you have a clear agreement on what specifically they are going to deliver. The beauty of paying for a package is that you know exactly what you are getting, what you will be paying for it and it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to do the work. This arrangement is NOT ideal when there is not a clear deliverable or specific start/end to a project… any uncertainly will lead to challenges in a package agreement.

Incentive Based Compensation – this is when someone is paid a simple flat rate base (or retainer) amount with the option to earn more based on the RESULTS that they are helping to create in the business. This is ideal for the people on your team who help contribute to the overall growth and success of your business. A launch manager who is running a launch for you A to Z. An Online Business Manager who is responsible for setting the foundation for growth in your business. A sales person who is bringing new clients into your business.

The key to incentive is that the person has a bit of “skin in the game” – and that they don’t get paid more unless there is growth in the company (results). Again, hourly can be taken out of the equation here by giving the person a base/retainer that is enough to keep them engaged without having to track time and get caught up in the hours. Instead, they know they can truly make more money as the business grows and that the investment of time/energy on their part will pay off. Incentive can take the form of a percentage of revenue (5-10% or more in some cases), percentage of profits or a flat rate bonus based on reaching certain milestones.

 

Leadership is not a title

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

leadership is not a title

Not everyone is a leader by title, but we can all be leaders by choice.

A choice in who you show up as everyday.

A choice in what you focus on (common goals vs personal interests.)

A choice to speak up and share your wisdom & expertise (even when you aren’t specifically asked to do so.)

A choice to have the tough conversations and deal with challenges head on.

A choice to take radical responsibility in your work and do whatever it takes to honor commitment.

A choice to treat people with respect and trust that they are bringing their best to the table.

A choice to continually improve your leadership ability (there is no finish line.)

I don’t care if you are the CEO or the assistant – the face of the company or behind the scenes. How are you choosing to show up as a leader today?

Don’t expect to hire motivated people and not be challenged.

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Simon Sinek2Don’t expect to hire motivated people and not be challenged.

Motivated people are leaders – they aren’t ‘yes’ people.

They are going to challenge your ideas. They are going to ask why you want to do something (to ensure that it makes sense and they understand where it fits in the big picture.)

They are going to challenge your timelines – to ensure that they can do great work in a reasonable time frame (vs. scrambling to do everything last minute, dropping balls and ending up with a half-ass result.)

They are going to challenge how you think things should be done if  – based on their expertise – they know there is a better way to accomplish the goal. They aren’t just always going to default to ‘the way it’s always been done.’

They are going to get frustrated if you try to micromanage them – If you hold on too tight or hang over their shoulders watching their every move.

They will get bored and leave if you can’t make up your mind – if they are left waiting for you to decide what you want next.

They will get annoyed and leave if you keep changing your mind – there is nothing more frustrating to a motivated person than having to start over ‘yet again.’

Motivated people ask for your trust and clarity so that they can do what they do best.

Here’s to the motivated people in our lives and on our teams – together we can do it all (and more!)

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

“Help me Tina! I’m too busy and something needs to change…”

Young overworked business woman sleeping on floorYou are right – it does. Being too busy isn’t sustainable and doesn’t serve you or your clients. The good news? It’s fixable, so grab your to-do list and ask yourself the following questions.

Question 1: Does this really need to be done? (If yes, now or later?)

We often have things on our to-do lists that either:

  1. don’t need to be done at all – they are ideas, maybes or “wouldn’t it be nice ifs”. They are things we are thinking about, but that we haven’t actually made a firm decision on yet. Ideas are not to-dos – create a separate idea list and get those things off your to-do list!
  2. don’t need to be done now – if you aren’t strategic about planning ahead, then as a default everything on your to-do list feels like it needs to be done NOW. Work through each item and ask yourself – when does this really need to be done? Could it be put off until next week? Maybe even next month? Take your list and put realistic due dates beside each item.

You should be left with a list of things that are actually do in the next week or so – and a list of things that aren’t due yet (or are ideas and are no longer on the list!)

Question 2: Do I need to be the one to do this?

If you are anything like I was for years, as a default you feel like you must do everything. You are good at what you do. You are used to being the one to get it all done, but now things are starting to fall behind and slip through the cracks.

Run through your list again and ask yourself – could someone else do this for me? Be aware of the following when you answer:

  • “Well yes, someone else could do this for me but it’s only me so I have to” If you don’t have anyone working with you right now this could be true, and you also have the power to change. Growth dictates that you will need to hire help at some point – when you do it is up to you.
  • “But no one can do it as well as me – so I have to be the one to do it” This is a dangerous spot to get stuck in, because as long as you believe it to be true, it is… and it could be the thing sucks the life right out of you. Yes, you may be the best at doing something but that doesn’t mean you can’t train another person to be as good as you (or at least close enough 😉 or find someone who does it already and bring them on board.

The goal here is simple – identify the things that others could do for you. It doesn’t mean you have to hire a bunch of people tomorrow, but at the very least you can look to give more to the people you have already and plan ahead for getting more support (which becomes a light at the end of the busy tunnel!)

This second question can be a doozy as it brings up all kinds of stuff for many of us – it can have our inner control freak kicking and screaming! I highly recommend getting the support of a coach or OBM to help you here if you go through your list and still have your name beside every task. An outside eye can often see what you can’t.

Question 3: How can I create more space?

At this point you should have a realistic list of what needs to be done in the next week or so. Now you want to ensure you have the space and time to get it done. Here are two of my favorite tips:

  • Plan ahead –book the time in your schedule to get stuff done. You might book in specific tasks, or you might book in time for types of tasks (ie: writing time, client time).
  • Set boundaries – distraction is the death of productivity. Be it team, clients, family or social media – every time you get distracted it takes you off track, and for many people it happens all day long! Close your door. Turn off your phone and email. Let people know when you aren’t available and when you are. And get really good at saying no (because they will test your boundaries!)

Question 4: Do I need to renegotiate any deadlines?

If you are truly in over your head and can’t get everything done, then you need to revise your deadlines. I get that this sucks and you may hate having to do it, but it’s better for you to own up to something ahead of time vs. having people get upset with you because they are waiting/asking. To simply say to someone “Hey, I got in over my head here and that’s on me. I won’t be able to get X to you until next Monday and wanted to let you know.” Yes, you might need to make concessions for being late if this affects their timelines.

Even if they are frustrated, people will respect you for stepping up and being real with what is going on – and quite often they are OK with adjusted timelines if they know ahead of time.

The beauty of these 4 questions is that you can use them over and again. Every time you find yourself too busy work through this process, and ideally overtime you won’t need to anymore.

Let me know how it goes k?

The Top 3 Reasons Why You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Many of my clients come to me because they are too busy.

They are working too many hours.
They spend most of their time putting out fires and trying to keep up with everything.
They are having to say no to opportunities because there literally isn’t anymore time to do more work.
Their family members are mad at them for working too much.
They are tired, frustrated and demotivated because they can’t see a way to change it.

Before you can make a change it’s important to first recognize this simple truth.

Being too busy is the result of our choices, it’s not the cause of our problems.

It’s easy to think that being too busy is the problem, but it’s actually the symptom of the underlying causes that need to change. The good news? It’s fixable! The bad news? We are the only ones who can fix it. 😉

The first step to fixing it is understanding the top 3 reasons why business owners are too busy.

1) Saying yes more than you say no

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. This also means that 80% of our efforts contribute to only 20% of our results.

In other words, we may be spending up to 80% of our time on things that don’t really matter. Ouch!

essentialismThis happens when we default to saying yes to everything that comes our way. Yes to every new project. Every new client. Every new idea.

Every time we say yes to something there is less of us to go around. We end up making small progress in many areas, vs. measurable  progress where it matters the most.

Greg McKeown summarizes this beautifully in his book Essentialism.

“Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone [and everything], you can make your highest contirbution towards the things that really matter.”

2) Still seeing yourself as doer vs. leader

For the first 10 years of my business it was just me. I was a soloprenuer working 1-1 with my clients was able to handle all the work on my own. 2009 was the year that I shifted to a leveraged business model and began to focus on growth. It was the year my business officially became bigger than me and I quickly started to feel the pressure of getting it all done.

The simple truth was that there was more work to do, and I could no longer handle it all on my own. Something had to change, and it started with redefining my role.

All activities in business can be categorized into doing, managing or leading. The more time & energy you spend in doing, the less time you have for managing and leading.

Doing is a habit. If you are anything like I was, you are simply used to being the doer because you’ve done it for so long. You may take pride in the fact that you are a doer and can ‘get it all done’! If you continue to identify as the ‘doer’ you will always be too busy, for the simple fact that you won’t be willing to let it go.

3) Not building a strong foundation of team & systems

You’ve embraced your role as leader and are ready to let go of the doing – great! Next step is to bring in the right people to do the work and build a strong foundation of systems for everyone to work from.

It’s not rocket science to say that you need to hire a team – I’m sure you’ve heard it before! And yet many people struggle here when they don’t know who they need, where to find them and how to lead them to success.

Most of us aren’t naturals – finding, hiring and leading a team is a learned skill. If you are committed to getting out of the ‘too busy’ cycle you need to be willing to invest in your own leadership skills & development. You need to be willing to invest in hiring great people who can help you take your business to where you want to be.

If you are too busy I invite you to explore these 3 areas and let me know which of them you are going to work on next. I assure you that even small changes in any of these 3 areas can make a measurable difference.

Here’s to your freedom!

Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Team & Outsourcing | 6 Comments

Originally posted on Feb. 25th 2016.

When I used to do corporate recruiting back in the day, one of the questions we always asked people was:

“Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?”

I love this question and have continued to use it in my business – with team & clients. It’s important to understand this distinction for ourselves, as well as for the people we work with.

A starter likes to get the ball rolling – you are a visionary. You see the world through a lens of opportunity and how things can be changed for the better. You are passionate and driven by your ideas – nothing gives you more pleasure than a great (new) idea and the possibility it creates.

A finisher likes to get stuff done – you love to plug into someone else’s ideas and help bring them to life. You naturally see what it will take to accomplish a goal – the steps, resources and timeline – and don’t feel satisfied until measurable progress is being made.

A maintainer likes to keep the engine running – you are driven by stability – chaos, messes and surprises drive you crazy! You have an eye for detail and a heart of service, knowing that a strong foundation is what keeps the vision (ideas) alive. You are satisfied when everything is running as it should, on a daily basis, with excellence.

Which one do you identify with the most?

Could be more than one – I’m both a starter & a finisher, but I am NOT a maintainer.

I am great at coming up with big ideas – solving big problems – and I love to bring them to life. (My business is built on programs we’ve created to solve big problems – Certified Online Business Manager and CEO Business School to name our biggies)

Once the programs are created and serving where they are meant to serve, then I start to disengage. Once the creation is live my natural inclination is to move onto the next thing.

This is who I am but I fought this for YEARS! I thought that I should want to keep focused on the same thing – I created it, this is my baby, how could I possibly be ready to move on? (Or dare I say, bored!) I beat myself up because I thought something was wrong with me.

It’s only in recent years I’ve come to accept that I’m not a maintainer, and because of this I need strong maintainers on my team. Because of this I have structured my business to allow my starter/finisher nature to play while building on the success of past creations <– this took me a LONG time to figure out.

How can your team compliment your nature? If you are a starter you need strong finishers around you (our OBMs are GREAT at this). If you are a finisher you need to connect with powerful starters. If you are a maintainer you are needed to keep the success engine running!

Know yourself. Honor yourself. Let go of what isn’t true for you. That is where real success is found.

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