We are discussing how much should we tell our teams when we don’t have all of the answers. We hear different experiences from Michael, Colin, and Jeff before turning to you, the audience.
Is it ok to say ‘I don’t know’?
Colin says there’s a common superhero mentality around entrepreneurs. However, those who put their hands up and admit that they don’t have everything worked out yet are supposedly better listeners because they don’t shy away from the truth. They aren’t afraid to admit that they don’t have the answer yet.
As a leader you need to convey an ‘everything is ok’ front. But by being truthful and transparent you exude confidence amongst your team and investors, motivating your team, even when they know behind-the-scenes, things are not going well.
As an entrepreneur it is important to realize that things are never as good as you think they are, and they are never as bad as you think they are.Jeff Sass
Mistakes will happen
It is common for leaders to ask ‘what went wrong and why?’ But these are the questions that could be reframed in order to dig for a better outcome. There’s always a lesson behind the mistake. Taking this approach will also empower a transparency culture.
When you believe in your business and things go wrong, you can come back knowing it was just a hiccup. You will be able to remain calm and confident that you are capable of resolving issues and using them for the better.
To practice this, Jeff advises to remain present in the moment and focused on the task in hand. Remain calm so that you’re able to continue motivating your team.
Michael adds to Jeff’s point, look at the facts! Facts don’t lie and they are emotion-free. We get so caught up in the emotion of it that we lose clarity in the moment.
Measuring success based on your own goals
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) can relieve the stress of difficult business situations. KPI’s are critical! You may be flying in the fog, but the KPI can give you a heads up on what’s coming your way and what you can expect.
Pay attention to those indicators! Don’t make any moves, before checking your leading indicators.
Once you have checked your KPI’s, you will soon understand what is going on and where your business is at. You can only solve a problem when you actually know what the problem is.
Protect your team for unnecessary stress
There are some things that the team cannot sort and only the leader can solve. A balance of transparency and putting in necessary precautions to prevent further difficulties is key.
Observe how your team manages failure. Can they handle the lows, the stress, and the failures? How do they react to not achieving a set goal or falling at a hurdle?
This correlates directly with how comfortable your team feels to put their hand up and say something has gone wrong. As a leader, you have to establish a safe environment for your employees to make mistakes and learn from them.
There are even more insights from this session. We encourage you to listen to the full recording above. You won’t regret it!
- TRANSCRIPT: The Complete Entrepreneur – EP20: Kill the superhero mentality (11-11-21)
It’s great to be here again for the favorite hour of my week.
And people would say, well, why is that where you’re here? Let’s listen to the complete entrepreneur. And why is it my favorite hour of the week is because I get to hear from you the audience of what it means to be an entrepreneur and your life experiences of being an entrepreneur. You see, in this section, we take a look at not just the business aspects of what it means to be an entrepreneur, but we look at what is it, what does it mean to lead the life of an entrepreneur?
And they’re almost two separate things in many respects. Like how do you balance family and work? How do you chase a great, big, massive vision? When you got to go to your kid’s baseball practice, like it’s all these different things. Uh, the things that entrepreneurs have to do. And that’s what we’re exploring.
This is a one hour show each [00:01:00] week at 5:00 PM Eastern time, and it’s great to be here. So, um, Jeff, uh, what’s going on with.dot club? Well, startup startup club is the largest club on clubhouse, and we’ve got a lot of great shows and we’ve been recording many episodes of this show, the complete entrepreneur in many other shows.
And then we post those recordings firstname.lastname@example.org, the website for startup club. And of course, we’re also turning a bunch of these shows into podcasts so we can reach a much wider audience than just the folks here on clubhouse. And of course, if you’re on clubhouse now you’ll be able to see. Uh, listen to actually watch and listen to the replay of this room.
So if you haven’t checked out replays, you can go over to start-up club here in clubhouse to search for startup club or tap the greenhouse at the top. And you’ll see there, the replays of shows that have been recorded and the replay feature, if you haven’t tried, it is really neat because it recreates the whole clubhouse [00:02:00] experience.
So you can see the speakers, you can see yourself in the audience. You can jump from speaker to speaker. Um, it’s really quite nicely done. So this show will be part of replacing. Fantastic. I should also mention that, um, this show as, as Jeff just said, will be recorded so it can be on replay. But, uh, so if you come up to the stage, you’re acknowledging the fact that it will be recorded and you could, um, be replayed, um, in the replay room or on startup.club itself.
But today we take a look in the complete entrepreneur at a really interesting topic. And it’s one which I think every entrepreneur I know of has to wrestle with and, and get through somehow. And that he is managing without all the answers managing without all the answers. Yeah. How do you provide an inspirational persona to your staff suppliers and even the bank that you have an old together [00:03:00] when you actually don’t deep down inside, you think I just don’t have the answers?
I don’t know how I’m going to solve this one today. And, but how do you give that that persona is if everything is good, sort of like the analogy of the duck on the water. Yeah. It looks calm on the surface, but his legs are paddling like crazy underneath. Yeah. How do you do that? And do you need to do that?
Do you need to be the person that everyone looks to in your business for the answers? Do you need to be the person that everyone looks to for the answers in your family, with your friends or whatever it is? Are you the person that a bunch of friends that, Hey, let’s go do something they all turned to you and sort of say, well, when are you going to organize it?
Are you that person? Are you the person at work where, um, all the staff look to you, how are we going to solve this problem with the customer? I use it, that person. Yeah. It’s a [00:04:00] say it’s a really difficult situation that many entrepreneurs find themselves in. I’ll be in that person, that everyone expects to have the answers, but you know, in many cases you just don’t have them.
You don’t have them at all. I must admit when I started one of my businesses, um, many years ago, um, I was asked the question by actually one of my partners, they even said, Hey, what are we gonna do with this situation? And I said, I, and then I said, I just don’t know. I just don’t know. And is it okay to say, I don’t know is okay.
Do that. If you are sort of sitting there in the audience, do you think, you know what? This is an interesting topic because I wrestled with this every single. They put up your hand, we’d love to invite you to the stage. And so you could share your own experiences or what does it mean to be an entrepreneur that manages a team or manages in situations and you don’t have all the answers.[00:05:00]
What do you go through internally and how do you actually manage your way through that process? So if you’re in the audience, please stick up your hand. We’d love to hear from you and here. Cause this is where I must admit as the host of the show, I get so much out of hearing other people’s experiences and that’s what makes this time, one of the most important times of my week for me, but Colin, this is people, um, stick up their hand and so forth.
How do you manage when you don’t have a lancers? What, what do you do? Like how do you, how do you work your way through that situation? Well, I can tell you, I remember a story when I was 28 years old. And a group of, um, Israelis had flown in from Israel to Toronto to acquire my, one of my companies called two cows.
And it was a pretty substantial deal, you know, [00:06:00] especially given where we were at time in our life and we’re at the table and we’re negotiating and it starts around 9:00 AM the negotiations. And as soon as it starts, they drop a document down that says, look, your traffic went down 50% in the last week.
And, um, and at that point I realized that, you know, it did it, you know, I didn’t realize this at the time, but it was a negotiating trick to throw us off, to try to get concessions and. Uh, it turned out that the traffic didn’t drop, they made a mistake. Of course, they came back and said, we made a mistake.
But when you were in a situation where we’re millions of dollars are at stake, staying calm, you know, not allowing the situation to get out of control or not allowing yourself to lose [00:07:00] confidence in your, in, in your, in the situation is key. Um, I think that that moment I realized that there are people who will do those types of negotiating tricks.
And yet you have to really continue to believe in your business and whatnot. And, uh, it’s just a lesson I learned in life just from that experience. So there are times when you really need to sort of show everyone that you are completely calm and you are confident in your, in your business. Uh,
Yeah, I think that is so, so true. Isn’t it? How do you actually maintain calm in the face of incredible adversity in circumstances? You don’t know whether what you’re being told is the truth or not. And one of the things I must been, I had a long conversation with a new employee and every day they wake up with some sort of [00:08:00] panic about a client or something like that.
All look what’s happening, what’s happening, there’s a panic. And the thing I kept on driving home to them was show me the facts. And then a space of like 15 minutes as we looked at the facts of the situation, the emotion of the situation, some that was, oh yeah, that makes sense. And traffic went down for their account.
Why? It was the 4th of July. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s always the thing I always try to say to, um, my team is show me the facts. I need to get hold of the facts. And if we don’t have the facts, show me some indicators that may point to the facts, show me those indicators that we can infer. Um, so we may not have the actual numbers or something like that, but maybe we can do some inferences, um, which is just a, [00:09:00] so-so probably powerful in your discussions.
And, uh, as you were saying, there was many years later, um, situation with the same guy again, and he was talking to someone else and he went along and said to the person, show me the facts. And I thought, wow, that is great. It like showed me the facts. What is the underlined. And what are the things I find with many entrepreneurs and, and this is absolutely true.
The state, many entrepreneurs is they get caught up in the emotion of it rather than actually getting to the underlying numbers. And that’s either because they’re really lazy or so it’s a really tough issue to solve. And nine times out of 10 it’s because they’re actually lazy. They would much rather do busy work.
They actually drill into the [00:10:00] numbers of what’s going on in their particular business. So I call if I come back to you and by the way, if you were just before hear from Colin, you’re in the audience saying, Hey, you know what? This is resonating with me. There’s this, this topic called managing without the answers, then please stick up your hand.
We’d love to hear from you and we’ll invite you this stage. It’d be great to great to see you see and hear you and hear from you. So, Colin, what do you find when, um, uh, when you’re trying to manage, uh, without all the, all the, all the numbers or something like that, do you find the first thing you do is try to drill into them or you get inferences from another set of numbers or what is it you do in your businesses?
Well, I’m a very big believer in KPIs, right there, leading indicators. And when you set those KPIs up, they can become your roadmap. They’re like, you know, without them, it’s like [00:11:00] flying blind, you’re flying in the fog with them. You can begin to see what’s going to happen. Uh, for instance, I don’t mean your revenue or your profits as a, as a, as an indicator.
I mean, as a KPI, sorry. I mean, you know, the number of phone calls you made today that will lead to two transactions or deals in your business. So I, I think the KPIs is a way of helping all of us are stick in line and understand where we’re actually at. And if you don’t have them, you’re guessing, and it creates a lot of stress and emotional stress in your life.
If you don’t know, if you imagine that you’re flying an airplane, you can’t see where you’re going. You know, that’s going to create a lot of stress in your life. Um, so I think KPIs.
Yeah, it’s interesting. You bring up the analogy of the airplane. I actually have a private pilot’s license and I remember, um, I was up with my instructor at night and, [00:12:00] uh, by the way, when you fly, uh, literally up craft at night and you look down, um, you just see blackness. Um, if you’re lucky, you may have like a town received below you.
So you see some lines, but if you’re over the country, it’s just black and it’s like that a business at time where you have no indicator of what’s going on, um, like where you are or anything like that. So we’re flying. And, uh, uh, I made sure that I was at my lowest safe altitudes. I wasn’t going to fly in the side, but America, which is very important as a very important thing for a business.
Even when you are flying along somewhere in your business, what you don’t want to be doing is flying headlong into the side of a mountain and suddenly crash and burn as a business. That’s not good. That’s not a good scenario, but anyway, so we’re flying along and, uh, and then the instructor said to me, okay, if you’d like to descend to 2000 feet or something like that, so said, okay, 2000 feet will descend.
And suddenly all [00:13:00] that side of the light at the aircraft, it just began flashing like crazy. What was happening was the strobes and the wings were lighting up a cloud bank. So as we’ve been flying, a cloud bank had come in underneath. And we didn’t know that cause we couldn’t tell. And it was just absolutely so disorientating.
It w it was unbelievable. And I remember I was flying the flying along and there’s all this crazy lights going off everywhere. And the, um, the instructor began playing with w w with some of the lights, everything. And I said to her, don’t touch that right now. And, uh, later on, he said, you act like the pilot in command, and it’s so true when you’re running your business.
Sometimes you need to make some very, very sharp decisions or shop instructions to people when it’s coming to a crisis like this. So what I was focused on was that you called them Colin, the leading indicators. I was [00:14:00] focused on my attitude. In other words, that true to the aircraft, I was focused on my Altima.
I was focused on the dials, on my dashboard in front of me. And as we went along, we descended, we came out through the clouds and so forth, and suddenly there was some towns beneath us. So we got aren’t going to the game. But so many people, when they’re flying in those situations, what they do is they don’t pay attention to their indicators and they end up literally flying upside down and they don’t even realize it.
And before they know it, they think they’re actually increasing their height and they just go straight into the ground. And it actually is quite a common thing, um, uh, for, for new pilots. But the thing to look at was those leading indicators. And I must admit in my own businesses, you call them KPIs column.
I have a series of KPIs. I look at every single [00:15:00] day and it helps me manage. When suddenly I don’t have all the answers because a client bank comes in underneath me. And I didn’t even realize that that had happened because what the KPIs give me is a sense of where my, my business is headed and a sense of momentum in my business that you don’t want.
I’m heading in this direction. I’m at this altitude. I’m not flying upside down. It is all is all good. So suddenly when something blindsides, you like a cloud bank comes in eighth or supplied goes along and, and says, sorry, we can’t supply you anymore. Or a major client goes along and, and, uh, uh, and says, Hey, we may be leaving.
You’re leaving your services. You can still be flying the plane along of your business. And why, because you’re looking at your KPIs or, you know, [00:16:00] the impact of those situations. And you can actually begin to, to keep on moving your business in the correct direction, because, you know, eventually you’ll come out of the fog bank, you’ll come out of that cloud and you’ll begin to reorientate yourself.
It was an amazing experience for me. Um, the one other thing that happened, um, that my instructor actually purposely did to me when I was learning to fly was he actually said to me, Hey, Michael, take a look at side my window. And I looked outside his window. I said, look at that over there. And I was looking over there and then I came back to my position and you’d get what’s called the lanes.
Um, the lanes, uh, the instruments are telling you you’re flying straight and level, but your ears are telling you you’re flying at like a 60 degree. And that’s because I linked across. And [00:17:00] so sometimes your natural senses in your business will tell you everything’s going crazy. Come back to your KPIs, take a look at your instruments.
And you know what? It’s still straight level. You have to learn to look at your, your KPIs. If you do not have KPIs in your business, then you need to work out really what they are and do that very, very quickly. Because if you don’t do that, you could be suddenly finding you lean a 60 degree angle, and you’re about to plummet into the earth, uh, before you know it, you suddenly a business is a disaster.
So get those KPIs. So I hope you liked those stories. That’s cool. That’s cool. And that was going to ask you or Jeff, I think maybe both of you, this question, you know, you screw up big time. You come in the office the next day you walk in the board room, you’ve got your executive team. How do you handle it?
Do you try to sweep it under the rug? Do you try to blame someone else or do you just open up and say, look, guys, I screwed up [00:18:00] and here’s what happens. Let’s work on fixing it. Like I’m curious. Cause most entrepreneurs, I think won’t do that. I don’t, I think there there’s this sort of superhero mentality around entrepreneurs that, you know, exists in our society.
Um, I had the chance to read a wall street journal article last week. And based on the article, it’s actually going to be tomorrow’s topic on the serial entrepreneur hour, you know, tips and tricks to raising money and you know, what does it take for an entrepreneur to raise money? And in that article, they talk about how humility can really help an entrepreneur win over other investors.
And they actually did a study. It was a French study, um, that looked. Two separate groups. One of, and there were sort of fake pitches that they did. One group was this highly confidence. They knew all the answers group and the other group was, well, we just really haven’t [00:19:00] figured it all out yet. And this was around.
Um, I think the topic was around, you know, drones or something like that. Transferring goods through drones. And they said the group that actually said that we haven’t figured it all out yet had, was twice as likely to get a trend transaction done versus the group that had said they had figured everything out.
And there was a sense that the VCs thought that this, these individuals we’ve be better listeners, um, versus, you know, sort of that, you know, you’ve got everything solved. So as entrepreneurs, you know, we make a mistake or something goes wrong in the industry. Do we come in and are we humble with our team or are we confident?
Is there a line between that. That you sort of have, cause if you’re panicking, you’re walking into the office and you’re panicking, you know, the world’s falling, that’s not going to help either. We all, we all know. I remember when I was running a public company, every time I had a cold, I swear the stock went down, people looked at me and said, oh, [00:20:00] something’s wrong?
Something’s wrong? No, I just have a cold. So there’s definitely, you need to exude confidence amongst your team and investors, but at the same time, humility can play. I think you brought up two sort of different issues in that one. One is, you know, when you make a mistake or when you screw up, do you come clean and tell your, your management team about it?
Um, the answer to that should definitely be yes, because you need to. Be transparent and you need to have the help of your team if you’ve assembled a great management team, part of why you did so is so that you have help when there’s a problem. And when, when, when something goes awry, something goes wrong.
So I think that’s one issue. The second issue is the notion of, of, of, uh, showing confidence and not fear and not freaking out when something goes wrong. And I think that’s not just important from an entrepreneur’s perspective, but that’s really a trait of [00:21:00] leadership, right? When you think about good leaders, all good leaders have to be able to, um, exude the confidence and the motivate the team, even when they know.
Um, behind the scenes, things are not going well. And quite frankly, anyone who has children knows this very well because it’s also part of parenthood, right? How many times is a parent, has something going wrong? And it could be, you know, you’ve hit a rough patch. Maybe you lost your job. You’ve, you’re, you’re, you’re having trouble paying the bills, but the kids never need to know all the details or maybe your marriage is, is Rocky.
And you’re having difficulties with your spouse. You know, you still have to convey a United front. You still have to give your children the confidence that everything’s going to be fine. And that, um, they shouldn’t be worried. It’s not their place to worry. Just like in many instances, it’s not your team’s place to worry when you know, something big is happening.
And I think. The lesson behind that. And the solution to that is, is partially understanding as an entrepreneur, that things are [00:22:00] probably never as good as you think they are, but they’re also never as bad as you think they are. So when you find something out and you hear about a new competitor, a big client is leaving, you know, you didn’t get the fundraising you were expecting.
Um, it seems like the end of the world at that moment, but the reality is it’s, it’s, you know, it’s probably not going to kill you. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a, it’s a problem and a challenge that is surmountable. So I think you have to learn to not think like every little crisis is the end of your company.
And then secondly, staying in the moment. It is a way to exude that confidence, you know, you need to be in the moment and even if something bad happens right now, what’s more important is keeping the team moving forward, keeping the team focused on all those important KPIs that, that Michael and Colin have mentioned, um, and not let this potential crisis or thing that went wrong, become the moment.
Um, so that would be my, my thoughts [00:23:00] on it, but it’s an interesting topic and I think it’s important, not just for entrepreneurs, but any type of a leader, think about a sports coach. You know, what does a coach have to do when the team is scored? No points in the first half of the game and they still need to keep them motivated to win that game.
It’s the same concept, I think. Um, yeah. Jeff, good answer there. Um, just before we come across a Shambo, maybe I can help answer what goes through my mind. They’re calling because I think it’s a really interesting question. The first one is this. I asked two questions. And if, if I have my team in front of me, the question I ask is can they help, can this person I’m going back to share with actually help the situation?
Are they part of the solution or am I just dumping on them? Um, because I’m stressed. Uh, are they part of the solution and just sharing with the managed Cisco stress, they map now as well. [00:24:00] And, uh, or is it just gossip? Am I just spreading gossip and nothing like gossip to destroy an organization? Yeah. So that’s the first question I asked because there’s some things the team cannot actually help with and it actually needs the leader to sort out, um, many times that’s not the case, but it says a question I asked, another question I ask is, can they.
And, um, the thing I found over the years is that some people compare different types of loads and different size of loads as well. And so the question I asked is can this individual bear what I’m about to share with them? Or is that just a burden I need to carry most of the time they can cause otherwise they wouldn’t be in that leadership position.
Uh, but that’s a question I do ask, and those are the two questions I ask also in [00:25:00] interpersonal relationships, not even in the office or anything like that, but just generally I ask, can they help what I’m about to share with them? And can they be. And, uh, there’s two, there’s two questions I found to put me in good stead column, um, in determining what I share and how much I share with my team.
Generally speaking, I earn on the side of transparency, but I always put those two questions upfront in my thinking. Um, uh, because what I don’t want to do is destroy the team that I, that I love and care for so much, um, in the process. But anyway, just moving on right here, you’re listening to the complete entrepreneur and we’re taking a look at the topic of managing with that.
All the answers on sham, both Shambo. It’s great to have you here on the complete entrepreneur. Welcome to the stage. I’d love to hear from you and your thoughts. [00:26:00] Thank you so much, Michael, it’s been such a pleasure hearing from all three of you guys, Collin and Jeffrey, uh, of on this topic. It’s, it’s exactly where I’m at in my business.
Um, and I’ll introduce myself some with way a shamble. I’m the founder and CEO of BlackRock digital. So at Blackwell digital, we broke our brand deals between major agencies, brands, and black creators. And in building my team and growing the company, um, we face a lot. Different challenges. Um, well I, as a CEO, I face a lot of challenges as it relates to managing, um, what I like to call, uh, entrepreneurs, you know, cause some of our team members, they have their own entrepreneurial journeys, um, as well as, uh, corporate entrepreneurial corporate intrepreneurs.
So they’re, they, some of our team members still work their nine to five, which is fine. Um, and what [00:27:00] I’ve learned, uh, throughout the growth of the business is this the key point, I think Colin had mentioned about KPIs. I cannot, I cannot stress that enough and I KPIs across all departments. It is, as Colin mentioned is not just about your sales KPIs, which are important, but the KPIs really are this benchmark where.
Th the team members know what they have to work towards and deliver. It also helps me as the CEO come back and measure their level of success. So for example, um, my social team, I plan out the whole year, um, for all the departments, I’m like, this is the vision. This is where we need to go and grow. And this is the goal.
So, um, for example, for, let’s say Instagram, if I’m like, all right, you know, the KPI we need to be at 10,000 followers. Um, I, in my mind, I’m saying I have a vision of how [00:28:00] we can get there, but I’m also open to you coming back to me, my social media manager, with the strategy on how we’re going to hit this KPI.
So, um, I’m inclusive in, you know, how we’re going to get to this benchmark, but I’m also very much holding them accountable and saying, oh, let’s break down this, this goal. Let’s break down these KPIs. Per month, so it’s not overwhelming. And now we know every month, this is the KPI that we need to hit, and it helps manage my anxiety as well as their anxiety.
And it also says, you know what? I’m performing and when they hit their goals, it makes them feel good. And when they don’t hit their goals, here’s the next point that, um, I might’ve been calling her Jeffrey mentioned accountability. So now when they know the goals that they’re supposed to hit and they do not hit them, it is my responsibility.
You know, it’d be great if they even say, man, I didn’t hit my goal. [00:29:00] Um, I’ll do better next time or we didn’t. Um, but for me, I approach it from the perspective. I want them to feel comfortable being accountable for why we didn’t hit this KPI. And talk to me about. What ha what, what went wrong or what didn’t work, what did work and how can we amplify and push forth more of what worked so we can hit those KPIs next month.
Right? So analyzing the, what didn’t work, but putting more emphasis on what did work. So they’re not feeling like they’re, they just did a shit job because something worked. We got somewhere, we achieved something. So what did we achieve that was successful that we can continue to do and an amplify so that we get closer to our KPI again.
Um, and, and go ahead, Michael.
Yeah. I was about to say, I think what you you’ve [00:30:00] really highlighted there shamba, which is fabulous and people in ordinance, I think you need to really, this is this. It’s not just having the KPIs, but what you’ve put in their shampoo is the constant reinforcement of learning and using them as the guidepost of how can you improve your learning?
Would that be what you’re trying to say? Yes, exactly. That’s exactly right. Yeah, that feedback loop is Shanda is absolutely insane. Essential for businesses. If you don’t have that feedback loop in there, then, uh, the goal maize will be in the outer darkness. Like you, you’ve gotta be constantly learning as an entrepreneur.
And the reason why many small businesses, uh, CA can move and pivot so quickly is because they have a shorter learning cycle compared to some of the big businesses they may actually be competing against is they’re able to move and diet and sort of swinging around the pitfalls and that sort of [00:31:00] stuff.
So do you find that that’s the thing that do you talk about with your team? Is that whole new. Absolutely. I suggest books. I’ve read all the books that I read. I suggest they read. If I read an article, Hey, you guys read it because yes, I’m the visionary and the CEO, but I lean on everybody and push everyone into leadership.
No matter where you are in the hierarchy of the team, you are a leader in your role. And I rely on you to tell me new things, you know, previous present new strategies, um, and, and helping us push the vision forward. Because if I’m saying this is the big, this is the business goal for the year, everyone has a role on their contribution.
So let’s talk about it collectively, if you feel like I need to do something, do more of one thing, let me know. Um, I’m [00:32:00] happy to learn. I’m happy to grow, but I also want you all to learn and grow and, and provide information as. Yeah, that’s so true. Schanberg like calling you quite often use that terminology of assign responsibilities.
Don’t assign tasks. And, and is that really at the core you think of what champagne has been talking about? Just there is give those risk people responsibilities in your team. Yeah. And you know, that don’t delegate responsibilities, not tasks is the key concepts that entrepreneurs need to embrace if they want to scale their company.
Um, there’s, you know, 99% of businesses in America are small businesses and they failed to scale. Um, and that, the reason for that, I think primarily is that delegating responsibility, not task because you are letting go, you’re really letting that go and allowing others to run with that, with that responsible.
And also make [00:33:00] mistakes and sometimes you ha you know, we need to let them make mistakes as well. And by doing that, we can actually create a scalable enterprise. I don’t know if this is on topic or not, but that’s, that’s pretty much what I do talk about here as, as well on the serial entrepreneur, our, yeah, look, I think it’s a really good scene.
It’s a bit of a as a, um, uh, not a red hair, but going off a little bit there, but in that process of, uh, of managing without all the answers and managing a team, it can be really challenging, um, in those circumstances. And the question I always come back to is, are we managing with that? The answers, because I’m like, And I just haven’t bothered it to get the answers, or is it a really top issue to push route?
And I must admit if it’s a tough issue to put through, I get really excited. I love car problems. [00:34:00] And the reason why I love top problems is because if I can solve the answer to the tough problem that I know probably my competitor account, or I’ll get the jump on them. And that means I’m building a moat around my business.
And you used that illustration. I think it last week they call it, but class a it’s great to have you here on the complete entrepreneur. So what if you got to share on this topic of managing without all the answers, love to hear from your class
and the class this as we wait for class, uh, like to skip it all there. Come on now. Uh, thank you for that. Um, I’d like to Wade, you’ll mix the case of being intimate and the private life, because, uh, when you’re independent, uh, it could, uh, influence both things. Uh, I was at a meeting in Sweden the other day and they wasn’t exactly sure what A’s [00:35:00] are.
So, um, it’s like the CRI performance in tech jar and I’ll compare it with the USP, unique selling points. Um, and what I use it for is going further to the Boston matrix. Uh, it’s simple, you fold a paper two times and then you have four squares, uh, where you can like the, see what’s going well, what you should focus on.
Um, what do believe is going well, but be honest, maybe it’s not going that well. The Boston matrix is like the stars, you know, can count on it, but you never know when it’s going to stop. It’s the question marks should I use my energy on it is the Cass cows where, you know, you earn money on it. Uh, you don’t always know how the future is going to be.
Uh, and didn’t dogs. [00:36:00] Dogs are nice, but not always reliable. Um, what I mean is that you can use both, uh, KPIs and you and extend opponents privately and as an entrepreneur. Uh, but just want to mention that I use this to do on the Boston medics too. Thank you. Thank you for that input class. Yes, they all, they’re all, um, Boston salting group matrix can help us a lot.
I think they also develop the SWOT analysis, uh, as well. Um, it’s tremendous tools. There’s a lot of great tools out there to help businesses chop the way in, in times of ambiguity when you don’t have all those answers. So the question I was going to ask them is this is, do you have to be an expert in everything you’re running your business?
Are you the expert in everything? Do you have to be the expert of her? The I you the ultimate Jack of all [00:37:00] trades. Yeah. So boat. So what’s your thoughts just on that. And from Shambo, we’ll go across to Malik. Are you the Jack of all trades and new business? Absolutely not. I specifically look for specialists and experts in their respective departments.
I am the jail in, this is how I is our standard in how we want to communicate. And, but not, I don’t need to know how to do everything. I need you to come in and know how to do everything. Happy to train you on our standards, but specialists and experts can handle their respective roles. Yeah, but shamba, let me, let me cut to the chase here.
That can be quite threatening when you have someone that comes in and they know more than you, and you’re supposed to be the entrepreneur and you’re supposed to be the one with the answers. Like how do you handle that? Like suddenly this person has a great idea, which is different for your idea. Um, you say, okay, [00:38:00] let’s.
That’s a good question. Um, so I don’t, I don’t necessarily feel threatened when people bring forth new ideas in their respective role. Um, my skillset is very special in that I re I understand my business model and it would be very hard for a lot of people to execute. Um, so, but I’m very respectful in everyone’s ideas and I take it on if it’s going to push forth the vision further, I am here for it.
And like I said, I also had many entrepreneurs within my organization. So. I allow them to run their business, how they see fit as long as there’s no direct conflict in what it is that we do. So I’m, I’m open to everyone, having their ideas regarding the vision. And I just don’t focus on if it’s a threat to what it is that they do and them kind of doing their own things, if it’s [00:39:00] meant to be for them to go and start a similar business, then good luck.
Yeah. And that’s, that’s so true. It’s an interesting challenge though, for entrepreneurs with their hiring really good talent, if they’re able to attract really good talent, is that, how do you let the good talent be good? If you take the mentality of, I need to be an expert in everything and you know what?
They may be Google. I’m always going to be better than this. Is that really true? Or have you just sowed the seeds of destruction in your own business? So, John, what do you think about that? And John, what else do you have to share on managing with that? The answers so welcome to the, okay. Um, my name is John and Lebow my background.
So he kind of understand I’ve been on the both, uh, both ends of things. You know, I’ve, I’ve run call centers have also, uh, been a rep at a call center and also done door to door sales for over four years on both ends managed people and also, you know, [00:40:00] been the rep. So I feel like going back a little bit on the, um, aspect of KPIs.
Um, I agree, and that is very huge, but I feel like in America, especially in, I experienced, I think we’ve lost that human touch as managers. A lot of times where, um, and I like what, uh, was Shambo said about books and everything. I think it starts to do. It’s just start there. And the KPIs will show because of the mindset that you’ve built into your, your team.
You know, the, the mindset is really what, what, uh, triggers the results in my, in my experience. And if your team is not having a good mindset, then the KPIs won’t matter. Cause they’re, they’re not gonna look good anyways. Um, that that’s my, uh, experience on that. Um, when it comes to, you know, kind of letting go, cause I’ve seen it in myself, I’m a little hard-headed when you know, I see people not [00:41:00] doing it things as good as me and when people are actually better than me and doing things, I’ve seen myself kind of feel a little bit, you know, I’m, I’m a competitive guy, so I’ve always played sports.
And, uh, I do kind of want to be the top dog and everything I do. And especially if it’s your own business, you want to be the person that, you know, has a hand in everything. But one thing that I’ve learned, and I think a lot entrepreneurs will learn is that the smartest entrepreneurs are the ones that are going to have like Shannon bell said experts and people that know more than they do in all aspects of your business, because that’s, what’s going to really scale your business.
Um, and I think about it like a basketball team, you know, basketball teams have. Role players that play the role they’re expert at either shooting or either blocking playing defense, passing, scoring, you know, there’s over roles that every single person on that team has. And that’s the approach that I feel like [00:42:00] I take into my business is really bringing that, that a sport mentality that I’ve had in the past and bringing that experience into it and having that mindset of like it’s a team and, and if they win.
Long-term if they win and I’ve, I’ve build them up or duplicate them some to summer to what I am, I’m going to get even bigger. You know? So that’s, that’s my Tuesday. Yeah. Th th that’s a great attitude there. John, I’ll tell you what, just letting a person, who’s an expert, be the expert, because ultimately it pushes you forward as well.
And you and your business, that can be actually quite tough. Now, let me share with you with a story. Uh, many years ago, I was doing some consulting work, uh, in a consulting firm actually. And I was sitting next to this guy and, uh, and it, and it was really sweating up. So I just tell, I was working on different projects.
He was really sweating away and trying [00:43:00] to work something out and, and, and I looked at him and said, what’s the problem? He said, well, I’m trying to get the answers, this question. I don’t have the answers to it. I’m worried about speaking to them, to my boss and all that’s your stuff. Cause he was new to the firm.
And I said to him, see that device on your desk? And he said, yeah, the telephone. I said, yeah, that telephone is amazing. My guess is you could probably pick it up that risk, that handset and call some of them that does have the answer. The question is who is that? So, yeah, it could be your network. It could be, it could be, um, a supplier could be a potential partner.
It could just be the flippant, local library, whatever it is. Uh, you know what go and get the information you need to no longer managing without all the answer. You do have the answer in that situation then. And then he [00:44:00] looked at me terrified at this telephone. I said, the major thing is if you’ve got the right phone number, I can pick up the telephone and call up the Pope.
And his face is when, why did that stay? But yeah, it is a telephone is an amazing device, amazing device. It really is. And it’s a device where it’s a transference of information. And when you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have the information. Ask yourself. Who does I got a quote for does, because then you’ll be able to get it.
Yeah, it’s so important. So Colin, just questions, John, and also shamba brought up the fact of hiring experts. That sounds great. But how do you manage internally within yourself, in your own businesses when you got this expert that you brought in, that’s recommending something and you’re thinking, yeah, they’re the expert, but you know, I just, my guts is telling [00:45:00] me that’s not the direction I, and this is where you’re managing.
Not necessarily without all the answers, but you’ve got this, you got, uh, in your experience versus the expert’s advice. What do you do in that situation? They call them. Got that’s it. Got it. You got it right. Got right. No, I mean, look, look, um, it’s like when you write your exams, you know, told in school, like always go with your first answer.
Um, You know, I, I don’t know. I mean, like when you’re in, into, you know, especially today, when we have so many of these consultants that come in and they have all the answers and all in all the ex experts come in and they share with the team, the things that they’re doing, look, you brought the expert in for a reason.
So most likely you trust the expert, but the scenario in yours here is that you’re saying that you don’t trust what they’re doing. You don’t actually believe in what they’re doing. And I actually think you actually, can you actually, I’m sorry, you can actually [00:46:00] bind to it called you could say, yeah, what they’re saying is something, but there’s something not right there.
Your spider sense is telling you something’s not quite right. If we go down this path and, uh, you know, I, you know, I’m going back now to 1997, when we used to run these advertisements of the computer papers for our internet access company. And one month we decided just to shake it all up. So. We usually would run a nice ad with a baby, you know, in the internet and all this like really kind of fun stuff.
And then the next month we ran a, an ad with national slash and it showed a big knife we’re slashing prices. And he was a famous Toronto singer and we hired him to do the ad and we ran with this ad and man was it controversial? And all the experts were saying, don’t do it, don’t do it. But then, you know what?
Our business went through the roof, it’s just the same as GoDaddy. If you’ve ever followed the GoDaddy story, I’m not saying what the did is right or wrong. Right. The fact of the matter is they created controversy and they actually were able [00:47:00] to, you think they would have approved those Superbowl ads, even the Superbowl ban the rods, you know, it’s, it is what it is.
They, they succeeded based on controversy, but it took the gut instinct of Bob Parsons to sort of stick his neck out there and do something crazy, which in my opinion, and especially today, given what everything we’ve gone through with the me too movement and everything, what he did was just absolutely.
Horrible. But the fact of the matter is he did it and his company became the largest domain company in the world. So gut instinct, when it comes to that, I don’t, I would never replace it. W you know, entrepreneurs, we need to sometimes rely on that and go with it. Yeah. I I’d agree with you on that. Um, it’s, it’s funny.
I say to my team, I just tell them, just share, but numbers. Yep. Sure. And I feel like a sip sitting in my seat and I just let the numbers just wash over me and I can share this with my wife. I said, I just let the numbers [00:48:00] wash over me. And it could be just general numbers in many respects, and I’ll suddenly go, the problem is here.
And I point to it and let’s say, how did you know that? How do you know that? And I’ll say my. My gut just tells me there’s a problem. Say in programming code or something like that and is right. Yeah. And nine times out of 10, they go away. They, they, they, they. And it’s true. The very beginning of the business.
Yeah. I’d say there’s a problem over here. And they, they say, yeah, sure. Michael. Yeah. We’ll, we’ll go sort it out. Yeah. Okay. If you want to, I’ll give you a bit of leeway on that one, but yeah. But now nine times out of 10, they began looking at the direction yet. There’s something about the gut of an entrepreneur, which allow you to manage without all the answers.
But you can only do that. If you’ve been constantly input into yourself over extended period of [00:49:00] time, your KPIs, your numbers, what’s going on and there’ll be something you’ll see something that’s just changed by even 1%, 2%, and you’ll go, what’s going on there? What’s going on? And you’ll one of the thoughts I had with respect to this topic is something I often say is that every entrepreneur has to create a pyramid of belief.
And what do I mean by that know. If you’re trying to raise money, investors need to believe if you’re trying to hire employees, you need to attract the best talent and they need to believe in every startup is simply a story. That’s all it is at the beginning. And so that’s such a critical thing. This concept of creating a, a pyramid of belief where employees, customers, investors can all believe and every single startup has to do that, but we need to do it in a way [00:50:00] that’s confident, but also humble.
I guess that’s sort of the lesson that I learned earlier from the article that I was reading. Um, and I just thought that’s an interesting aspect to the question that you got raised here in today’s confident, not cocky calling. That’s the way I like to say it. You want to become. Yeah. I agree with you both on that.
Yeah. It’s an interesting one that the business, while the reason why people hang around, like I’m talking about good talent hanging to a business is because the belief in the vision, it’s actually less about payback. It’s all the, obviously the, the, those are rewards are important, but it’s quite often a belief in the business that when you take a look at say, um, Elon Musk with space X, we need to become a Monterey multi-planetary species for the survival of humanity.
Cause one day a rock made us hit us or. And that’s the big vision out [00:51:00] there and he’s articulates it time and time again. And you look at the different people in space, X they’re believing in that vision. What do you think compared against blue origin, which is Jeff Bezos company. And I read an article recently where they just lost a whole lot of the key engineers and everything out that across the space X Y because what’s the vision, how has the vision articulated, uh, versus we need to become a multi-planetary spaces.
I’m not putting Elon Musk up on a pedestal, the role, but it’s an interesting thing that, that sometimes the vision will allow you to manage when you don’t have all the answers, because you know where you’re headed and you may not have the answers now, but the vision will empower you to get to the place.
And I’ll drag you through. Is Steve jobs used to said that vision is the thing that drags and. But anyway, I mean, you’re listening to the complete [00:52:00] entrepreneur and we’re discussing the topic of managing without all the answers. And Steve, it’s great to have you on the stage and welcome to the complete entrepreneur.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Can you hear me? Hello.
Hey, great. Great, thanks. So, um, I’ve been listening as I’m driving here really interesting topic. And I think that, uh, the gentleman who was on previously a couple of minutes ago with the sports analogy was humbly. I think he was moving in the right direction. I relayed a lot of the sports and in listening to a lot of conversation and topic of how to manage without having all the answers.
I think there’s a lot of nuances that need to be explored. So when you’re asking the young lady. You know, do you need to know all the answers or do you need to be the smartest person in the room? I think a lot of people equate smarts to almost [00:53:00] being what you want is more experienced person, right? So if you go along the same similar sports analogy, if you want to become a better coach, you’re going to surround yourself with guys who have been around coaching longer.
Not that they’re necessarily the smartest coaches, but there might be more experienced. They might’ve seen more things. They might not have to go up against a certain defense or whatever, just like in business people might’ve understood distribution, supply chain management. They might’ve been through the battles a little bit longer so they can help you avoid.
The pitfalls and you’re kind of learning off of their mistakes. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re smarter per se. And then if you, and I’ve gone through quite a bit of this, uh, especially technology speaking. So, you know, when I was coaching basketball programs, if I didn’t know anything, like you had a great team around you, right?
So if I didn’t have had a splice of video, I’d give it to the guy who was awesome at splicing videos, same thing with building a tech company or any other kind of [00:54:00] tech enabled company. I don’t know UI UX. So of course I’m going to go outsource it, but just because they know UI UX, it doesn’t make them necessarily a smarter person in the room.
And if they tell me, oh, I think this is how we’re going to do this. They don’t get to make that decision. They’re smart. They’re enabled they’re the pro in their area. They’re professional. I’m never going to question them on UI UX, but to your point, the vision is what pulls through. I know exactly what end result I want.
I know what I wanted the technology to do. I know I want to build a. Community of engaged fans of my company. That’s what I need this to accomplish how we get there. I really don’t care. That’s why you’re the tech guy and you’re going to help me do that, but don’t start changing the vision of my company.
And that’s why I think people rely on like gut and spidey sense. The reason why something, I think personally feels uncomfortable is because we’ve been there before. And that alerts us to, Hey, I’ve been here before it didn’t work out well, that’s my [00:55:00] gut. And my spidey sense telling me I got go. I got to right the ship.
And the reason like it’s all formed. So we’ve watched a lot of horror movies and we’ve lot watched a lot of TV. So, so now I know walking down a really dark alleyway by myself in a bad area at midnight, that’s when my senses go up. So I think anytime an entrepreneur’s senses get kicked in it’s because they’ve read a book, they listen to podcasts, they listen to the show and clubhouse and said, oh shit, you know, I’ve heard this go bad before I’m in that exact situation now.
So my sense has got kicked up. And shore or in some, excuse me, I think a lot of these conversations about leading without having all the answers, it’s okay to have really smart people. Don’t let them change the vision. And I don’t think you’re necessarily delegating or giving up power, giving up control or anything.
Like in some cases with distribution, if someone’s going to distribute your product for you, absolutely giving up control, you just have to maintain it. They’re giving the same message to the company that you want. There there’s a lot of nuances and the things that have been [00:56:00] discussed in the past to me half hour, 40 minutes, I think we’re all talking about the same thing.
It’s just very how you word things and how you present things, I think is where the devil lies in the details. Right? So you’re talking about control ownership, delegation that doesn’t necessarily mean the version are more experienced. It doesn’t mean they’re smarter. It means they’re really, really good at what they’re doing.
And they have a skill set in which you might be weak, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up control or let them decide the vision of your company. Absolutely not. You’re the entrepreneur CEO, visionary. You own that. And then just have others help get you there. But knowing nobody is going to change the vision before.
Yeah. Steve is great to have your input there and thank you very much for that. Yeah, no, one’s going to change the vision because you own the vision and it’s so true. So true. So true. Yeah. I sometimes wonder when I look at this topic is what we’re actually talking about. In managing without all the answers [00:57:00] is when you get to that point, we don’t have all the answers.
That’s when almost like intelligence fails and where wisdom begins. Yeah. It’s a, it’s that, it’s that knife edge where, okay. My intelligence is no longer providing me the answers. The situation therefore are needed really be wise what I do in this period of time so that I can go along with it, through my wisdom, learn and increase.
My intelligence is such as entrepreneur, as it moves forward. And I sometimes think that’s really what we’re talking about. We’re talking about intelligence and wisdom is how as entrepreneurs, we can be both intelligent and wise. I have a guy he’s a, uh, an entrepreneur. I know he’s one of the smartest people I know, but one of the most unwise.
So, and I look at his businesses and time and time again, they [00:58:00] ended up dying and he starts up another one and then it dies and so forth like that. Why? Because he’s unwise during and times of managing without all the answers. So, Colin, what’s your thoughts on that? On between intelligence and wisdom in this time?
You know, I, I will say this is that there’s a, uh, an author Jim Collins who wrote the book good to great. And in that book, he describes level five leaders. And with level five leaders, he talks about this concept of leaders who are humble, but also are optimistic and can share a vision. And they’re clear with their vision.
But they actually are also humbled. They’re calm and they’re humble. They’re not the big there. I used to say Steve jobs was the ultimate level four leader, you know, based on the, the, the, uh, um, the personality of [00:59:00] Steve jobs. He, what Jim Collins did is he studied all of these companies and figured out what traits these level five leaders have that turn these companies around, and that made them successful.
And of course, Steve jobs is probably the most successful at that. So there’s always exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, it was these level five leaders, and they were humble and they were able to share that vision and be optimistic that there is a future, but we have to look at the facts, the reality of the situation.
We have to be aware of the current reality, but this is where we.
Yeah, that’s so true. It’s great. Just to wrap things up, um, on that note. Yeah. There’s one thing for sure. I think I’ve learned from this session is managing without all the answers is the state of the entrepreneur. It’s how you manage yourself and your minds. That makes a difference in your perception as being in a state of opportunity or [01:00:00] terror in many, many respects as how do you manage that and developing that emotional intelligence, maybe it is the intelligence wisdom.
Maybe it’s what you’re talking about. Colin or Steve or Shambo or other people have shared on this, but it’s it’s, it was a great time. And I know I got so much out of it, so, uh, which has been good, but column or Jeff, what’s going on with startup.club what’s happening there. I know some big things are going on.
That’s for sure. I’ll jump in here, Jeff. Um, We have a website startup.club. And I recommend you sign up to the email list because we have a number of speakers coming on to start a club. And you really won’t be aware of them unless you’re on the email list. I do have an author. He’s agreed. He’s a top selling.
He’s probably one of the top five authors of all time in business and he’s coming on in January. Um, we’re just trying to lock down the date and some specifics [01:01:00] around that. He’s never been on clubhouse before. It’s actually pretty funny. We’re pulling them out of retirement, but, uh, if you’re not on the email list, you’re not going to know who that is.
And when that, when he comes on, so go to start-up dot club, sign up to the email list. We have an excellent calendar. I was just looking at that today. And we record all of these shows every week. The complete entrepreneur and a number of other shows are recorded and they’re available on the site. I tell.
You know, people often on the show that I host, which is with Jeff and with Michelle on the serial entrepreneur hour, every Friday at two o’clock Eastern, I always say, you know, it’s like, if you just go back and listen to these shows, you’d have an MBA in entrepreneurship. It, it really is, uh, unbelievable the amount of content and the community that’s come forth with startup club to make us the largest club on clubhouse.
And also the content that we have, you know, a hundred plus episodes recorded. Now it’s phenomenal tomorrow, two o’clock Eastern tips and tricks of how to [01:02:00] raise money for your startup. Please join us on the serial entrepreneur hour two. O’clock Eastern. Thank you, Michael. Great show, Michael. Yeah, thanks very much for that calling and I must admit next week is going to be an awesome time topic.
We’re looking on the complete entrepreneur is I’m exhausted. Um, he’s also been entrepreneur. Entrepreneur is tiring, disappointing, but exhilarating learning to tap into your own inner strength is often the mark that separates successful entrepreneurs from those that fall by the wayside. It’s going to be a fabulous topic.
So it’s 5:00 PM Eastern time. Next Thursday, I’ll look forward to seeing you there. I just want to thank my fellow moderators. I want to thank those people who have shared so openly on the stage and also you and the audience. Thank you for coming and joining us. You constantly inspire us by in your tenants.
The thank you very much. And if you want to go along and, follow any of the speakers, it feel free to do so by tapping on their photo in [01:03:00] clubhouse, and you can then go and follow them, and find out what they’re up to and beyond even the complete entrepreneur. See you next week. God bless. Take care.