Who else is a likely candidate for this sort of exercise? Probably everyone! But I think I can hear some of you thinking about the dangers of micro-management. I would address that concern in two ways.
First, if you start this process by improving your own productivity, you can present that as an example of what you’re hoping to accomplish with an employee. “I micro-managed myself for a while and I think it paid off. Let’s see if I can help you to be more productive too.” That’s called leadership!
Second, let me ask you to do one of those 1-10 evaluations of each of your employees. I would consider eight or better to be an acceptable score, although I really want nines and 10s. I would consider seven or lower to be an unacceptable score, which means something needs to be done. Your choices are training/management or termination. Very few people have died from micro-management. Quite a few people have been turned into better and more productive employees. If you’ve got problems—especially employee problems—do something about them!
I was thinking about telling you to spend some time thinking about the direction of your business every day. I decided to take that one step further, though, and to tell you to do something about it every day.
I have a couple of clients who are suffering from “analysis paralysis” right now, and I’m talking about issues that range from long-term direction (like the transition toward being a marketing services provider) to much shorter term direction (like assembling a “suspect” list). I spoke with one of them this morning, and she’s spent the week since we last spoke trying to decide between focusing on medical offices or manufacturing companies. I’m afraid that I raised my voice when I told her that it doesn’t matter which one she chooses. They’re both good market targets for quick/digital/small commercial printers, and whichever one we start with, we’re going to get to the other one eventually.
This is reflective of a bigger problem, of course. She’s been hoping to succeed in business—although in this case, survive would be a better term—without really trying. Unfortunately, that’s not very likely.