All organizations are hierarchical. At each level people serve under those above them. An organization is therefore a structured institution. If it is not structured, it is a mob. Mobs do not get things done, they destroy things.
-Theodore Levitt, Management for Business Growth
Draw up an Organization Chart that outlines all of the positions that will exist in your company once it has reached its full potential.
At the beginning, not only will you be working in each position, you will be working on each position; basically, you’ll be doing the work that the position requires but you should also be evaluating and improving the position itself.
If everybody is doing everything, no one is responsible for anything.
Once you’ve refined the procedure for fulfilling a position, document it in an Operations Manual – then your employee prospects theoretically don’t even need experience.
Job procedures that are documented in Operations Manuals should primarily be Technician jobs (fairly straightforward labour work).
Two keys to working with employees are to treat them seriously and with respect, and to take your business seriously. When you treat your employees respectfully, they’ll want to return the favour; by demonstrating how seriously you take your business, the only way for your employees to reciprocate your respect is to respect your business (and the jobs they currently hold in it!).
Gerber shares a story about an amazing hotel he visited that embodied every great characteristic a small business can hold. He asked to talk to the manager and some of the employees in order to understand why this business was so great:
“The first thing that surprised me when I came to work here,” the Manager said, “was that the owner took me seriously. I mean, think about it. Here I was, a kid, with absolutely no experience in this business. But he never treated me that way. He treated me as though I were a serious adult. Somebody worth talking to about what he obviously considered important.” (197-198)
“It was like the hotel was an expression of who he was, a symbol of what he believed in. So if I hadn’t taken the hotel seriously, it would have looked like I wasn’t taking him seriously, as a man whose values I respected.”
People do not simply want to work for exciting people. They want to work for people who have created a clearly defined structure for acting in the world, where they can test themselves and be tested – a “game”.
Hiring experienced managers can be a downside because they will manage by the standards they learned at someone else’s business, not your standards.
You need people who want to play your game, not people who believe they have a better one.
-Michael E. Gerber
People that attribute their problems externally seek to fix the world so that they can remain the same.
When you hear something, you will forget it.
When you see something, you will remember it.
When you do something, you will understand it.