In any work environment you’ll have your A players, B players, and C players, and one of your biggest jobs as a manager will be to hire, train, and retain your A players. I’ve asked a lot of talented friends of mine from all sorts of backgrounds about their jobs and noticed common themes among the A players: almost every employee who is good at their job but doesn’t like it is frustrated by the indecisiveness around them.
Think about it, the most talented employees want to see action, not procrastination. They get annoyed when their boss won’t listen to their recommendations, or when the business is too slow to move on an action. People are too slow with their decisions, they constantly deliberate and say that they need more information, and they end up putting things off. The best employees hate that and want an environment where people work quickly and grow quickly.
As a business owner, you need to be able to make decisions quickly, both for your sake and your employees’. This is a learned skill, and there’s nothing that I can tell you that will make you better at it. I’m good at making quick decisions because in 2012 my partner and I were moving boxes around and had to come up with answers to all sorts of hard questions every day. The best thing that you can do is practice; make decisions, get back to your team quickly, drive the business forward, and learn. Entrepreneurship is about making decisions with limited information, and if you procrastinate on these decisions you’ll have a hard time growing your business.
When making decisions, you can’t lose the forest for the trees. There are hundreds of variables in any decision, but you need to focus on the few that really drive the outcome. In the self-storage market I can look at property sizes, family sizes, average income, whether or not houses in the markets have basements, competition, and all sorts of different factors. But I’m mainly focused on if we can raise rents in the first year and if the location makes an attractive investment option. If both of these are yes, they represent serious opportunities, and I don’t need to worry about basements.
Get uncomfortable, make decisions, and move, and you’ll learn so much in a short amount of time. Too many people are afraid of making decisions, so developing the skill will set you apart. Making the wrong decision can be costly, but it’s indecision that will cost you the most at the end of the day.
Great employees are also frustrated when they see low competence around them. If an A player is surrounded by people doing the bare minimum or who can’t figure out how to do their jobs, they’ll get frustrated and leave. B players are fine, but C players will drag the people around them down, and you need to let them go before you lose your good people.
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