HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVA Podcast 57- How do we balance out our tasks with our team’s tasks?

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Episode Summary

Well, some folks will say that if you have a team of 10 people, and you help each one of them get 10% more productivity, it's like having an extra person! So that would imply your teams tasks are most important.

But we would say that it depends upon the task. Is that task something that's really going to move the needle in your business? Will it save you money? Or is it something that you just want to get off your plate so you can focus on other things?
A possible solution to this is to allocate a small chunk of time during the day to help your team members move their tasks forward.

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Episode Transcription

Dave Braun
00:00:00
Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, where we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with Virtual Assistants without breaking the bank. And that means without breaking your bank. I’m Dave Braun, and I’m here with my partner, my co-host, my friend, mentor, and coach, Larry Broughton.

Larry Broughton
00:00:19
Hey, David. Handsome, Dave, how are you?

Dave Braun
00:00:23
I’m doing fantastic.

Larry Broughton
00:00:25
I love you, Dave. Thanks for being in my life. Thank you for holding me accountable and all the good stuff. I appreciate you, my friend.

Dave Braun
00:00:32
Yep. Appreciate you too, man. We’re having a fun time with this stuff together.

Larry Broughton
00:00:35
Yeah, it’s indeed.

Dave Braun
00:00:36
Well, let’s get into the question, and we’ve heard this before but it’s been inspired by a recent flashpoint that we’ve got. So, here’s the question. Basically, how do we balance out our tasks with our team’s tasks? In other words, what’s most important to accomplish?

Larry Broughton
00:00:56
How do we balance our task with our team’s task? That was the question, right?

Dave Braun
00:01:00
Yeah. That’s the question.

Larry Broughton
00:01:02
By the way, before we get going, you mentioned something, flashpoints. You’re referring to this book. So for those who don’t know, maybe you stumble on us on YouTube. This book is called the FLASHPOINTS for Achievers, and it’s really a daily journal that Dave and I had worked on together several years ago. It’s the first business project that you and I had done together after knowing each other for 15 years or so and now we’ve known each other for over 20 years. But it’s a daily journal that we did and we have sold thousands and I don’t even know how many thousands of copies of this that we’ve sold, but we know that there are nonprofits, we know there’s at least one-fourth of 50 company, we know there’s a lot of small businesses that use this as part of their daily or weekly standups. There’s a lot of good thought provoking stuff in there. So anyway, that’s a little shameless plug for the book flashpoints, and you can get that at our store or you can go to Amazon and get it. But how do we balance the needs of the team?

Dave Braun
00:02:14
Yeah, I mean—

Larry Broughton
00:02:15
The goals of the team with our own?

Dave Braun
00:02:17
Yeah. How do we balance out our tasks with our team’s tasks? Because we need to help our team, but then we gotta do our own stuff. I mean, what do we do here for that?

Larry Broughton
00:02:28
You know, before I dive into that, can I say it here? Here’s what I think one of the biggest mistakes that leaders make is, and entrepreneurs make is, is that we jam so much into our calendar that when our team needs help, we get resentful.

Dave Braun
00:02:42
Yeah. It’s like, just leave me alone. I wanna get my stuff done.

Larry Broughton
00:02:44
I got my own stuff to do. You should do your own stuff. Well, the truth of the matter is, as a leader, we’re also mentors. We’re also teachers, right? And so we have to have enough margin in our calendars, Dave, to walk the four corners of the business, as they say in the food and beverage industry that say, to touch tables. Which means, if you’ve been to a good restaurant, the manager comes around and they literally touch the table, which means they’re close enough, this was prior to COVID, close enough to actually have a conversation with you. As a leader, we should do that. Even if it is metaphorically, you do it through video calls and you check and say, how are you doing? What can I help you on? Are you, are you stuck on things? That way, you get moments to mentor. You get moments to teach. This question is particularly problematic when we have zero margins. You know, I’ve got my stuff, I’ve got to focus on this, Dave, don’t bother me with it. And you get resentful or you’re just way too short with them, be gone with you, go do what I hired you to do. So let start it with that kind of preface.

Dave Braun
00:03:54
But I think as leaders, especially entrepreneurs, there’s always so much to do. You’re right, we’re jamming so much in. So guess what? We’re gonna have to, you know, if we wanna really be intentional, probably make sense to throw in 30 minutes in your calendar every day. Let everybody know that, Hey guys, here is when I’m gonna be here for you. If you have a problem you can’t solve or you really need my help. See if you can hold off till then, if not it’s okay. But hold off until then, and then we’ll get it done. Otherwise, they can go on to something else. Right?

Larry Broughton
00:04:27
Yeah. I think that’s a good point. If you have an organization where you have a handful of team members. Set up a peer-to-peer mentoring program as well. So, that they’re not always coming to you as the leader of the organization to answer their problems. The problem that I see over and over again, Dave, is that if you have team members who have worked under bad leadership in the past, they’re gonna bring a lot of those habits with them. You know, there’s a saying in the business about, you know, the monkey-on-the-back. When it comes to dealing with leading teams, oftentimes that means that the team member doesn’t wanna make the decision. They wanna get that monkey off their back. And so they wanna come to you, they’re gonna peek and poke their head in your door, Dave, and say, Hey boss, what should I do here?

Larry Broughton
00:05:19
And if you let that become a habit, then they’re always gonna be coming to your door saying, Hey boss, what decision, what should I make here? And so I’m a big believer in putting it back on them and saying, well, what would you do if you were in my position? That does take an initial investment of time and energy in the beginning. But if you take the time in the beginning, then you won’t be doing it six months from now. But oftentimes, we get into this mindset, Dave, I don’t have time to train them. I don’t have time to walk them through the decision-making process. So I’ll just make the decision right now. So they go away, but that’s very shortsighted.

Dave Braun
00:06:04
Oh my gosh. It is. And that’s such a great reminder for everybody. And especially for me, it’s like when they come to me with a question, I automatically want to try to answer it.

Larry Broughton
00:06:13
Well, you have the Messiah complex. You have hero syndrome a little bit. And so, what do we do with that?

Dave Braun
00:06:19
What do we do with that? We’ve gotta actually be aware. We gotta just say, okay, next time they ask me a question, I’ve gotta turn it back on them. And I love the way you said that where it’s like, well, what would you do if you were in my position? How would you advise yourself? And then I think we can also start working with them and saying, you know when you’ve got questions and problems, why don’t you come with a couple of different solutions?

Larry Broughton
00:06:47
Well, first of all, Dave. I think, the first couple of times, the first few times, you let them know why you’re doing this.

Dave Braun
00:06:53
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:06:54
That’s it. I’m doing this so that we can help you become a better leader. You become a better professional. I’m not shirking the responsibility, but let’s go through this a little bit, let’s role-play a little bit, and make it kind of fun. Get them to chuckle, because they’re gonna be very uncomfortable in the beginning. Very uncomfortable because they’re not used to this. Most team members are gonna come to us, Dave, having been beaten down in the past. They have been reprimanded for making decisions or they’ve been ridiculed for making a bad decision in the past. And so it’s our job almost like—Many of us have adopted a dog from a rescue in the past. And when you bring a dog into your home, that comes from a rescue, it brings all the bad relationships that it had with it. And so we have to retrain them a little bit. I had to do that with my dog Boddy, he was almost two years old when I got him and he was not in a great family environment before he got to me.

Dave Braun
00:07:56
Yeah. Oh, my God.

Larry Broughton
00:07:56
And so we had to build trust. Well, it’s the same thing with team members. I’m not equating, please don’t send stupid emails. You know, Larry’s equating team members and employees with dogs. I’m not. But we are all animals. We reflexively learn to reply to stimuli based on what’s happened in the past

Dave Braun
00:08:19
Habits. Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:08:19
Habits. Thank you. And so I encourage you, to take the time to tell your team member, let’s walk through this because we wanna make you into a stronger professional in the future. You’re gonna get really jazzed up by making decisions in the future. So let’s kind of go through that now. But Dave, we were talking before I got sidetracked, my apologies, about the hero complex, how that can sometimes short circuit the process, which means we’re the one short-circuiting. It

Dave Braun
00:08:51
Yes. You know, we wanna stand there with our hands on our hips and looking up.

Larry Broughton
00:08:59
Look how great I am?

Dave Braun
00:09:00
With our Cape flowing and the wind behind us, I solve the problem. And ends up, our ego gets in the way. It does. And I think, we all face that sometimes and then we’re always tempted to make the quick decision because we’ve got so much to do. We just wanna move on and we want to get this done. So we’ve gotta sit back, slow down, and think about, well what’s best for my team member. What’s best for my organization long term.

Larry Broughton
00:09:36
That’s absolutely right.

Dave Braun
00:09:37
And then at other times we’ve gotta just schedule the time in to do that, to force ourselves to do it because it’s tough. It is tough but like you said, I think with practice, it’s like with anything else, practice, you know, how you’re training, your team members do. We have to train ourselves as owners than entrepreneurs. We have to train ourselves to do that. Right?

Larry Broughton
01:10:02
Yeah. We’ve talked about this in the past, Dave, about this to-do list that I’ve created, that I used for myself, where I actually delegate things to the different people that are on my teams. But also, one of the most important sections on this daily to-do list that got one-page staple together for each day or the questions I have done at the bottom, that I ask myself when I meet with my team members. So a couple of these questions might actually help you as you’re trying to figure out how to navigate this. Whether you meet with your team members regularly, and it’s scheduled each week, or you having prompting meetings with them throughout the week, be sure to ask them at least a couple of these questions. What decisions do you need from me?

Larry Broughton
01:10:48
What problems are keeping you from your priorities? All right. What plans are you making, which we haven’t discussed? What progress have you made? So I’ve got six of them that are on here. But I think if you ask at least those first three questions. What decisions do you need from me? What problems are keeping you from your priorities? What plans are you making that we haven’t discussed? Those will help as well to develop your team members. Here’s the key I think at the end of the day, we need to have margin in our life to be the mentor that our team members need to grow. Most people want more professional development in their place of work.

Dave Braun
01:11:31
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:11:32
It’s our obligation I believe, to help them with that.

Dave Braun
01:11:36
Yeah, I agree. I guess in a lot of ways it’s, I don’t want to —this shouldn’t sound negative, but in a lot of ways, the way we wanna work with our team members is similar to the way we would want to raise up our kids.

Larry Broughton
01:11:54
How so? Tell me a little bit more.

Dave Braun
01:11:56
Well, like you wanna raise your kids to be able to think and make decisions on their own good. Yeah, critical thinking. So that you’re not watching them because you can’t be there all the time. And because I think one of the things that we’ve talked about before is, if you want to have freedom, you’ve gotta give up control.

Larry Broughton
01:12:19
If we want freedom as business owners, as a leader. Yes, we gotta give up control.

Dave Braun
01:12:23
But it’s the same thing with our kids. If we wanna have freedom, if we want our kids to have freedom, we’ve gotta give up control. That’s gotta let them go out.

Larry Broughton
01:12:32
Make the mistakes, learn.

Dave Braun
01:12:34
And then mentor and coach them.

Larry Broughton
01:12:37
That’s a great point.

Dave Braun
01:12:40
Okay. Anything else on this question?

Larry Broughton
01:12:42
Well, what I would remind people of is, Hey, smash the subscribe button on this if you’re finding this on YouTube or one of the video platforms. Gives us a thumbs up. Give us comments. How would you handle this if you were presented with this question? And if you have other questions that you’d like us to answer, ask us a question in the comment section below, or you can actually email us at [email protected] We’ll put that in the description and hopefully, we’ll get to one of your questions and we’ll call you out when we actually address it on one of our podcasts.

Dave Braun
01:13:20
Yeah. I agree. Okay. Well everybody, thank you again for joining us. Remember, building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom and we are here to help you. The three things we’d love for you to do. And we’d really appreciate it. I think it may be more now. But subscribe to the podcast, click on that subscribe button. Subscribe, subscribe. Subscribe. And then give us a rating. Obviously, we want five stars, do that. Leave a comment below, if you’ve already given us a rating. Put in a question, any comment like Larry says, it will help us get the word out because I think we’ve got some pretty good stuff here that we’re talking about out. And then the third thing is to go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course and community. Remember, even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with Virtual Assistants. Larry and I have helped a lot of folks. We get new people coming in and we’re helping them and they’re changing their lives all the time and we wanna help you too. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
01:14:21
That’s right. Hey, my friends, do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Go do something significant today. All right. God bless you. God keep you. God hold you. All right, my friends. Go get them.

Dave Braun
01:14:32
Okay, bye.

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