Team Growth Mindset | 7 Lessons I Learned Growing My Team Quickly
Building a team is one of the fastest ways to remove yourself from the day-to-day of the business.
For me, it's fairly new.
AKA I'm still figuring it out as I go.
We went from a team of 3 to a team of 11 in about 8 months.
This led to a record year and some lessons and tips I want to share with you so you can avoid some of the mistakes I've made along the way.
I honestly think growing a team is one of the most challenging and rewarding things we can do as entrepreneurs.
I know many give up way too soon or shy away from building a team at all if they had trouble the first time...
But, for me, my team is amazing and I wouldn't be where I am without them.
It's challenged me to grow as a leader...
And a leader is what you'll need to become to build the right team.
Have you grown a team?
If so, I'd love for you to share your tips in the comments below the video.
Transcript / MP3
What's good. Everybody, Greg Hickman here with all firstname.lastname@example.org. And in this video, I want to break down the lessons that I've learned from growing our team from three people to 11 people in less than 12 months and things that you should consider if you plan on growing your team and really so you don't make the same mistakes... that I did. Let's dive in.
Welcome back guys,
Greg here. And like I said, I want to share some key lessons and things for you to consider. If you are growing your team quickly, or you are planning on adding more team members, I don't have much to compare this to, but three to 11 people in less than 12 months in real, actually less than 10 months was quick for me. And a lot of things broke. Uh, there were some things that we did well, a lot of things that we didn't do well, and it just recently we actually let two of those people go and then have already rehired two more people. And so we're still at 11. Um, but I wanted to share some key lessons that I've learned in kind of growing and managing a team inside of our business. That hopefully you can avoid some of the mistakes that I made and hopefully streamline things on your side.
So without further ado, let's just jump right in lesson. Number one is what gets measured gets managed. You've probably heard this quote before, and for me, it never really hit home until I had a team to manage, uh, specifically around our sales team, but this really applies to everyone on our team. We follow the concept of having a job scorecard, which is a concept that came from the book called who, where you actually have a document that States, you know, what KPIs someone should be hitting and, and all of those things. And when you start building out a team and you have these team members, it's really important to constantly measure their actual performance and make sure it's aligned and hitting the goals that you had originally set out for inside of that scorecard. When you start to measure things in, in this situation for us, uh, it was closed rate, um, specifically, and you see that decline and either a steady decline or it plateau and or you have, you know, uh, someone on your sales team have their best month ever, and then followed by two or three of their worst months ever having tracking to show you this as it's happening, it's going to help you course correct.
And for us, we weren't looking at all of the right things. And in many cases, we were actually looking at some of the things, but didn't really know what to do. Once we saw KPIs, weren't being met again for me, I hadn't managed a sales team before, uh, have hired coaches and consultants to help me figure this problem out. And we've since course corrected, but whether it's your sales team or your marketing team or your client success team, there should be KPIs. And there should be some indicators that will allow you to know if they are doing their job. If they're doing it well, if they're doing it on time, et cetera. And if you're not tracking any of those things, it's really hard to manage people and improve it. So it's one thing to have the data, you know, with this concept of what gets measured gets managed.
So you could be measuring it, but if you're not managing to the expectations that you had for those KPIs that you're measuring, things can start to fall apart. So pay attention to those KPIs and course correct. When you see things not going in the right direction. Lesson number two is to trust your instincts. We had some underperforming people, um, and we discovered by measuring and monitoring and we had to make some tough decisions and let some people go, letting people go is definitely a part of growth. It's not something I want to be doing, especially when they're great people. And you actually love them as human beings and you want them to win. But when there is a feeling inside of you that says like, this is not the right, but in the right seat, I think you need to trust that instinct a little bit more in my situation.
Um, there were some inklings and feelings, but we course corrected and we saw some saw some temporary improvements and things like that. But you got to trust the instinct on that. What I would say is when I had the instinct to say, Hey, something's not right here. I should have done something about it faster than I did. And tried to course correct faster than I did. And if it still didn't work, then be quick again to make a transition because I'm historically, don't like conflict. I think like many people, I wasn't a good leader and I allowed certain things to go on. Um, I kind of deflected certain situations, which is, is not really good for anybody and I'm not proud of it. But the lesson learned on this is I think sometimes we, we seek outside validation, whether that be from, Hey, I'm going to go to a mentor and hire a coach and then ask them if this is the right thing that I should be doing.
And we almost put all of the weight and value of someone else, making sure that invalidating for us, that we're making the right move. And we de-value and de weight our own instincts. And that's something I learned over the last 11 months in many ways, but specifically around building up your team, growing and hiring, and unfortunately having to let go people on that team. So trust your instincts. If you have a certain feeling, whether it's positive or negative, there's a good chance that you're probably right. And whether it's positive or negative, that should be the trigger for you to go look and dig into something a little bit deeper, but trust your instincts, you know, you, and you know your business better than anybody else. All right, lesson number three is to inspect what you expect. Now, this one's really important because again, it kind of ties to everything in the business.
But as someone who runs a coaching and training business, it's pretty easy for me to coach my team, but coaching your team and saying, Hey, this is how something should look and coaching them to, to that is one thing. But then when it comes time to make sure that those things are actually happening, you need to actually inspect that. So for me, in multiple areas across our entire business, I would kind of coach thinking that I was communicating clearly what I expected my level of expectations and assume that that was digested and then being implemented. And it went on for too long to the point where I was like, it doesn't seem like what we have said is the standard is actually happening. And I actually haven't done anything about this. So I'm going to jump in and start to inspect. What's going on to see for myself if these standards are being met.
And if the expectation that I had in my head was actually what was happening in real life. When it came to how our sales team was handling our sales calls or how our ops team was handling, interacting, or client success team was handling, interacting with clients, whatever that situation looks like. If you have expectations for how a job should be done, and you want to make sure that that job is getting done at that standard, at that level, at some point you are going to have to inspect what you expect, even when you have really great people, you might just inspect what you expect and find out that everything's working great. Or you might find out that there needs to be changes, and then you can coach and train and lead your team into making better improvements. But the mistake I made was just saying, Hey, this is, I feel like it's kind of clear what the expectation is without ever going into inspect to see if those things were actually being met.
So number three is inspect what you expect. All right, lesson number four is the biggest detriment to your future. Success is your past success. And October of 2020, we had our best month ever. And then November was a really bad month. And what I've found is, and maybe you've experienced this in some way, shape or form too, is sometimes you are winning and you're winning and winning and winning, and you just then expect to win. Maybe if you're in sales, you know, you had a great sales month and you had a really high close rate that you hop on the next sales call. And you just expect that to be a close because you had a great month in the last handful of calls closed. Well, unfortunately that's not how it works. And if you pay attention to your success, you want to actually make sure you don't end up resting on your laurels.
And just assuming that everything is going to continue working in your way and that you don't have to work hard and, or do the things that you were doing before that led to said, success, be on the lookout, had your best month ever. I would look back and say, what were the things that we were doing that month and make sure that we're continuing to do those, not just say, Hey, we had our best month ever. Of course, this next month is going to be the best month or a better month because we're crushing it right now. So pay attention to that. I think if you have a really great month or you're doing really well in one area, I think that's when you should actually look at what are the behaviors and activities that are happening each and every day that led to that result.
And let's make sure we're doing it versus just assuming that it's going to continue happening that way. The next lesson, lesson number five is hitting goals without having the next goal in sight usually will result in a slump. Like I mentioned, in, from the last lesson we had our best month ever, actually we had our best year ever. And I did a video on that previously on this channel. But outside of coming into the new year with like a higher revenue goal, there wasn't that clear of a vision for what the business was going to look like, where we were going from here. We knew what we had to work on. Um, we knew that there was this bigger revenue goal, um, that was totally doable, mathematically speaking, but that was all I really sort of shared with the team. And January was a slow start to the month or a slow, slow starts of the year rather.
And what I realized is in many areas of life, if you achieve a goal and you then don't have the next goal, either insight at that point or creating it very quickly and identifying it very quickly, it's super easy to just a start to feel like you don't know where you're going or be plateau and see, or see worse decline because there's nothing to reach for. There's nothing to aim for. There's nothing you're striving towards or working towards. And you kind of just start going through the motions. And that definitely happened to us because of the vision and the next level goal. Wasn't clear enough. After we had met the first milestone, it's often a personal health example. I wanted to run a half marathon, finished a half marathon, and I didn't really have any sort of health and fitness goal after that. And I stopped running.
I didn't really, you know, I worked out here and there and it was just kind of a slow gradual, like, wow, I am back to not really being able to run even like five or six miles without being completely winded because I didn't really have the next challenge or the next thing that I was going to be working towards when it came to my physical fitness. And so whether it's your physical fitness or something else in your personal life or building a relationship and or something inside of your business, when you hit those big milestones, make sure that you're quickly looking to figure out what the next goal is. So you can start working towards that or else if you're an entrepreneur, which, you know, typically we're wired to be growth, oriented growth mindset, and you don't have the thing that you're going to grow towards.
You can actually start to go backwards. All right, lesson number six is that as a leader, I think you have to be willing to let some of your team members potentially struggle and or fail. Not in a way where like the business is going to explode, even if it costs you some time or money. Because if you always jump into the rescue and save the situation, they're never going to build up the skillset or the confidence to effectively remove you from that part of the business. And it's kind of like, you're just always the convenient band-aid or the duct tape. That's going to come in and fix the issue. If you want a team that's going to help you run your business and grow without you. And you want to be able to successfully have a business that runs without you. You need to be able to remove yourself, which means you need talented people that are confident and you can trust inside of there.
And if you always save their butt from failing, it's going to be like them operating each and every day with a little bit of a crutch, which limits you because you won't be able to remove yourself like you had planned AK, you don't get the freedom. And B is that you actually don't position them to grow and build as leaders. So you have to be willing to let your team struggle a little bit and find the answers and figure it out for themselves. Even if that might cost you a little bit of time or money, because in the law long run, you're going to actually help them grow and become a more useful and effective. As there as leaders inside of your own organization, that'll allow you to get the freedom that you had hoped for by bringing them onboard in the first place. It feels a little bit counterintuitive because it's your baby.
I want to make sure that everything is okay, but if you truly want that freedom, you got to build up your people so they can help you build a business. And that's a quote from Dan Martel, a friend and mentor of mine. All right. And now, before I jump into the last lesson, if you're liking this content and you're new here, please go ahead and subscribe to this channel and click that notification bell, because we release a new video every single Thursday. Now the final lesson is to honor your word and the standard that you are aiming to set that, that you want to set or else you risk losing good people. So here's the deal. If you have a team and someone, and some people are in a similar role, and one person is like an, a player and excelling, and then another person is a B player or worse a C player, and they're not performing.
And you as the leader tolerate that C-level performance that a player is going to get de-motivated, especially in sales roles, but like, I think really across the team, if, if you're on a team and you see someone slacking or not trying, or they're not performing a K and not, not AK dragging you down, but in essence, maybe the energy comes down and the results are coming down. And then they look at you as the leader. And you're tolerating all of this. They'll start to think that either a, they can probably find a better gig somewhere else where they're more challenged and there's a, a higher standard where there'll be more motivated and, or they'll just start to Slack themselves. They'll be like, well, they can get away with it, then I'm okay. And then you'll see their performance decline. So I think you actually risk losing good people if you tolerate either the wrong person or a negative person or poor performance inside of your organization for too long.
So you have to pay attention to maintaining a culture and setting a standard that, and then honoring that. So if you say, Hey, this is what we expect of you. And then they're not hitting those expectations multiple times in a row. You should do something about it because if you don't and the other team, other team members, see, you said, Hey, we expect this, but we'll tolerate, you know, down here, they're going to lose respect for you. And you could actually lose team members in the process. And so I think that was a really interesting lesson for me. And, you know, as you're obviously growing more people on your team, you are building a culture. And if you're entrepreneur, you probably have some sort of growth mindset and or high performance mindset. And you want to instill that to your team as well. So if you're cultivating a bunch of high performers and then you tolerate a few low, you know, low level performers, you're going to risk losing those high performers to either to another company or their performance is going to go down.
They might have a rough month. They're going to be like, well, nothing. There's going to be no penalty if this happens, because look at this other person. So I think it actually creates a poor culture, which kind of allows for negative things to happen inside of your business. So I hope you found that helpful. Those are kind of seven lessons that I've experienced personally, as we grow our team from three people to 11 in less than about 10 months, uh, which for me, it was very quickly. I'd love to hear your lessons. If you've grown a team in the comment section below. And if you, you are a digital or creative agency, owner service provider freelancer, I'd love to invite you over to, to our free Facebook group, all agency.com forward slash group. You can check out that link right here and in the description below each and every week, we do a whiteboard Wednesday, like trainings, like, um, how to get unstuck from fulfillment, the seven figure systems for a high ticket consulting and coaching program, and examples of how to productize your service. Six methods with 27 examples, all of that free training each and every week continues to grow inside of that group. So all agency.com forward slash group, hope to see you there. And we'll see you in the next video.