According to most “serial business builders,” bad hiring and firing decisions are among the most important mistakes entrepreneurs make.
1. not spending the time and energy to recruit the very best employees
2. not paying close enough attention to an executive’s performance
3. waiting too long to fire someone
Think about the people who report to you. How would you rate them? Good? Very good? Excellent? Are they better than you at what they do? Can you think of anyone who could do the job better? As we said in Message #266 (“Why You Need Professional Management When Your Company Passes the 50-Employee Mark”), you can effectively manage only six or seven people. So when you think about it, your primary job is very doable. You have to find, train, monitor, and inspire no more than six or seven people.
Take a look at how you spend your time. How much of it is by yourself, working at your desk? If the answer is “most,” you are probably not doing your primary job very well. If you spend 10 hours a day at work, at least half of that should be spent: * looking for better people * paying attention to what your key people are doing * educating them * rewarding and punishing them * firing them, if necessary
MANAGEMENT TIP: SHAKE UP THE PERSON AT THE TOP
One of your profit centers has stopped making a profit. What do you do? The answer is simple: Give the profit-center manager a deadline for turning things around. Make the date and turnaround definitions realistic. Then hold him accountable. If the numbers disappoint two years in a row, it’s time for a new manager.
THE GREAT POST-SUCCESS DELUSION
In Message #718 (“Is It Really Possible to Have it All?”), I reminded you that the single-minded road to success is the surest way to achieve your top goal. However, there is a price to pay when you focus exclusively on that objective and make everything else secondary: the effect it has on your personal life. Having made that decision, many success fanatics look back with regret and delude themselves into thinking that they could have done what they did and yet have spent more time with their families.
It’s just not possible. If you decide to take that path, understand that you’re going to have to devote almost all of your time to it — much of it away from your family. But there will be fewer regrets later on if, during the few hours you have with your spouse and children, you forget about work and give them your complete attention.
[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]