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Stuart Kaufman
Personal/Business Coach
Seattle, Washington
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Get Your Team in Gear!

More and more independent business people are forming teams so they can spend more time personally connecting to important customers and prospects, while spending less time with administrative stuff. Learn how to achieve this with less stress and conflict.
Written Mar 04, 2009, read 921 times since then.


More and more independent business people are forming teams so that they can spend more time personally connecting to important customers and prospects, while spending less time with administrative stuff. They recognize that they don’t have to do it all. The challenge is how to effectively manage your team, no matter how big or small, and no matter if they are independent contractors or actual employees. Here are some ideas:

Set Clear Expectations – the first step in getting what you want is for you to know what you want. Dedicate time to clearly write out what you want and expect from each person on your team. Then clearly communicate it to them both verbally and in writing. A clear job description is a good place to start. One of the most common reasons people don’t do what is expected, is that they don’t know what is expected.

Hold People Accountable – Once you have clearly communicated what you want the people on your team to do, and when you want it done by, it is time to follow-up. Weekly meetings help everyone stay focused and accountable on the work that is most important. For example, when I was a manager, I expected people who worked for me to notify me ahead of time if they would not be meeting a deadline, rather than let the deadline pass and say nothing. This helps people develop their own internal accountability.

Delegate Effectively – The art of delegation combines providing clear expectations with holding people accountable. The key to delegation is knowing what you want, communicating it clearly, trusting others, and letting go of things having to be done your way. Being micromanaged is a major drag!

Be Willing to Confront – In order to get the results you want, at some point, you will need to confront people in a firm, yet respectful, way. This can be difficult if we have family or friends that are part of your team. We need to separate personalities from business needs since the work that is required is based on creating/maintaining a healthy business. In some instances, you have to choose what you most want – a viable and profitable business or a friendship with an underperforming individual. The choice is yours to make.

Be a Mentor – Finally, be a positive role model for your team. Model the behaviors and attitudes that you want the people on your team to have. If you show up disorganized, missing your own deadlines, and unclear of your goals, it will impact their ability to do their job. On the other hand, when you show up with a written plan and priorities, and are clear on what you expect of your team, they will meet, or even exceed, your expectations.

Being a business person who manages a team, no matter the size, is challenging. Your team is looking to you for direction, inspiration, support and trust in their ability to do their jobs. Spend the time it takes to effectively lead your team and you will grow your business with less effort, less stress and less conflict!

Learn more about the author, Stuart Kaufman.

Comment on this article

  • Freelance Writer 
Ferndale, Washington 
Sandra Rees
    Posted by Sandra Rees, Ferndale, Washington | Mar 11, 2009

    Your article makes alot of sense. The straightforward way in which you have presented your points is very compelling and enlightening.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

  • Process Consultant and Leadership Coach 
Eastsound, Washington 
Gretchen  Krampf
    Posted by Gretchen Krampf , Eastsound, Washington | Mar 13, 2009

    Important points, well made. Indie business owners are leaders and benefit from building and leading teams that help them succeed.

    Letting go of control is often the greatest challenge. Developing clearly defined roles and responsibilities, then honoring boundaries and maintaining clear communication will allow develop greater resiliency and bring your business much success.

    Thanks, Stuart.