Welcome to yet another episode of Tuesday with Terry! It is getting better and better every week! The podcast hosted by Terry Blachek, Area Developer for Orangetheory Fitness, aims to shape your life and mind business. Terry’s rich experience can help you nurture robust relationships with your teams, evaluate your business processes, and create a sustainable path towards a brighter and more successful life.
Good morning and welcome to yet another mesmerizing day in Austin, Texas. What brings instant positivity when you get up is thanking the supreme power for an absolutely beautiful day. Every day is a new beginning, a fresh start, and a new chance to take control of your life for the better. It is a new day to bring a positive change and impact people’s lives. Today I want to share a little bit about management and expectations.
We are going to take a deeper dive into how your expectations affect your team’s performance by asking 2 questions:
- What do you want from a team of people?
- Are you a director or a delegator?
So let’s go over the difference between the two concepts and plan to reset your expectations to accomplish the goals set for your team.
Well, today, I want to start by sharing my recent experience of an “Aha” moment. Confused? Don’t be. Let me tell you that an “Aha” moment is something that switches on that light bulb in your head. You might keep asking yourself why did you not think of that earlier? Or you feel that you should have been thinking about it. Or why did it just slip out of your mind since you are not using it in your daily life?
In the last few weeks, I travelled with my good friends in Arizona and, yes, it was really, really hot. But what suddenly struck my mind as I was visiting my business was something that my listeners may experience in your personal business as it grows.
Let me explain it to you in detail.
Sometimes you look at your business and see that you hired someone to do a job, and then you have to keep reminding them to do their job! You might wonder if things are not going as planned. When I am talking to you guys and giving you pointers on how to build a business, I might, at the same time, be finding myself making some of the same mistakes. So I made a rule to listen to my own podcast. Reiteration is always a good way to learn things. Let us start by discussing a few points that might be helpful to you in building a business.
- You have to inspect what you expect. I know, we have all heard this a number of times. But what I can vouch for is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a part of the upper management or the lower level management; whether you own a business or try to start one, the bottom line remains the same: you must inspect what you expect. Because by doing so, you diagnose the situation like a doctor, and you get to know the correct facts.
- Once you have diagnosed the situation, you’ve to deliver just like a doctor does. Let’s assume you are a business owner or a high-level executive; it is your responsibility to inspect what you expect and diagnose the situation before you prescribe. What I’m really talking about is pulling back the covers and digging into the details of the situation. We all have heard that the devil is in the detail. Since you can’t see all the details, you need to spend some quality time inspecting the details.
- Let’s define the steps of diagnosing the situation.
- You have to listen
- You have to look.
- You have to ask open-ended questions so that people can explain what is happening in the business. Remember, you could find out a train approaching if you put your ear down to those railroad tracks; that’s what you do in business too. So you put your ear to the ground to listen.
- Once you finish listening, you come to a diagnosis and make a prescription according to the problem and then listen again. You may rest the expectations after inspection. You need to hear from the source and set realistic expectations. So if you’re the owner, you’re the source. An updated operational document can also be the source. You need to be clear about the outcomes that you are looking for.
- Once you know what to do, the second part of resetting expectations is how I do that as an organization? How to make that happen? How to accomplish the what? So what needs to be done is to put down the process on paper. Then, you need to communicate this process clearly and train the people to follow the laid steps.
- The next step involves reminding the people to follow these steps. First, the people need to understand the reason why they’re there. For example, Orangetheory fitness says that’s what we’re doing here is changing the lives of the people. So when I ask my people what are we doing here? I’m looking for an answer that we’re trying to improve people’s lives. That’s the why. That is what we are trying to do. Next, they need to know how it has to be done. For example, we try to use people’s names and greet people at the door as they walk in. So you need to know what and how clearly if you wish to meet the expectations.
- If you can answer and describe these questions, you will get better daily. Then the next part repeats the process all over again. So you need to create a process of creating the process and set a rhythm of inspecting, training, and auditing people regularly. Tell people what, how, and why. You can’t get the results that you want to get in a day. So you got to repeat that process. Ultimately, if you want the people to be able to self-manage, you need to put a process in place and create a culture so that people live up to the expectations.
So now, let me give you a little clarity. First, let me tell you the meaning of self-manage! What it means is no one likes micro-managers who ask you all the time, how’s it going? You must know what the business needs. Not all people can manage on their own and they may need follow-ups. But the important point is to know the difference between directing and delegating.
The difference has everything to do with competency and motivation. Let me give you an example. When you hire an employee, they are highly excited and motivated to meet people. But they have a low competency level initially as they are new in the system. Here they will need a lot of directing. This is where you have to tell them every detail and help them gel well in the work environment. That’s called directing. You’re guiding them exactly on what to do, when to do it, and how to do it?
Now, after this person begins to get competencies, they know where to sit, how to log on to the computer, how to access information, or how the software works; this is the time where you can do more delegation. First, however, remember to inspect what you’re expecting. As I say in Orangetheory, everybody needs a coach!
Professional athletes need a coach for strength and conditioning training and to help them with their mindset. They might have had a bad week or month, or their numbers are off. If this can happen in professional sports, it can happen in our profession. Shouldn’t we all have a coach to get better? They teach you, coach you, inspire you, and hold you accountable.
Accountability is critical in the process.
Here is a simple technique to self-manage. I call it the ‘Three before Me’ technique. It simply says that people are always coming to you with their problems. So when somebody says they have a problem, you put the ownership of that problem back on them as it is their problem, not yours. What you want to teach the people is that simply you are going to either ask other people in the network or you are going to try to find three solutions to this problem before coming up with the problem to the owner or the manager. Get the employees to solve their own problems. They may not have the best solutions, but let their mind work. Pretty soon, they will feel confident and start solving their own problems and making their own decisions. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard talks about this concept where people bring you their problems, and you make sure that people are writing solutions down when you meet them. The responsibility of the action is on the person that brought you the problem.
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is a great book about creating alignment with your team and helping them to understand who will do what, by when, and get the target dates down. I see that a lot of young managers simply don’t write. I would strongly suggest that if you get done with this podcast, listen to a podcast or go to training, and you must write stuff down. The people who don’t believe in noting down things are really not here to learn. Please write it down, make actionable items, and make sure your subordinates, employees, staff, and team create actionable items to follow up by writing down the points.
So, again, let me reiterate what I’m talking about. If you are not getting the desired result or the desired performance, then what do you do? Number one, inspect what you expect. Then, please listen, look around, ask many questions, gather a lot of information, get your ear to the ground, and dive into the details.
Reset your expectations accordingly. Create a process, train hard and then go back and inspect. This repetition is really important. Your aim is to chalk out a process, not look for perfection. My heart is so full, Arizona, if you’re listening to this! But are we there yet? No. But all this doesn’t matter. What matters is following the right path to do the right thing. I hope this was of some help to you. These tips can help you manage your business a little better.
Always remember, I am Terry, your friend, and supporter. You can connect with me for any concerns. Have a wonderful day!