Learning how to lead your managers and implementers is a key part of running your business. In this episode, I am picking back up where I left off in the last episode and talking about more transitions that are helpful as you move from leading implementers to managers on your team.
You’ll hear about why I don’t believe in the notion that feelings don’t belong at work and why you need to honor your feelings (and those of your team members).
I also share why you should let your team lead in whichever way they feel is most appropriate and how to create a safe space for your team that allows for constructive and supportive feedback.
How to Lead Managers vs. Implementers (Part One)
The Importance of Incorporating Your Values and Beliefs in Your Business
Download the Episode 79 Transcript
Welcome to The Scale Your Way podcast episode number 79.
You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done for you service based companies here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time, money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hey, everyone, welcome back to the show, I am doing a two part series, this is part two of my leading managers versus Implementors series. If you missed part one, definitely check that out. It was last week. I’m going to do a quick recap. But if this is something that you are interested in and you haven’t listened to that episode, I highly recommend that you do. So the reason why I wanted to do these two episodes is because this stuff that I’m talking about, which is really developing your leadership, it falls under the leadership category, has made such a difference for my clients when they start practicing these things. And this, as many things are, is a practice. It’s something that we have to practice. We’re not going to always get it right or always remember. Right. But the point is that we keep showing up and we keep practicing some of these transitions.
So last week I talked about the top two transitions. I wouldn’t call them the top two, but they are they are my favorites. They seem to move the needle when I talk about them. And the first is transitioning from being a manager to being a coach to your team, allowing your team to come to the table with solutions and feel comfortable offering solutions, asking your team better questions so that you get better answers and empowering your team to ask better questions so that they get better answers. And then the second transition is teaching your team how to make judgment calls. So giving them the guidance that they need and the priorities and your priorities, your company’s priorities, so that they can start making some decisions that maybe they would normally have come to you for. Right.
This is a big thing that I get when I first start working with clients. And honestly, even as clients grow, is that like people are coming to them with questions and it’s like they move from doing client work, then answering a ton of questions and it’s just too much. Right. And so there’s ways to transition into having your team ask you questions that are actually going to move the needle and then remove you from being the bottleneck. Right, because we don’t want them coming to you with every single question. Right. There’s going to be some questions where your advice will be needed and others where it’s like, just go figure this out yourself. It’s totally fine. Right. But we it’s our job as leaders to be able to give them those decision making parameters. So that’s what we talked about during our last episode.
So today I’m going to give you a few additional transitions that may be helpful as you move from a leading implementors to leading managers on your team. And this could be if you don’t have managers or it could be if you’re hiring a manager right now, it could all maybe you already have a manager on your team and you want to learn how to manage them and lead them in a better way.
OK, so let’s move on to transition number three. So this is all about modeling the right behavior because your team is watching you and the way that you show up will trickle down to everyone who’s in your business, your attitude like how you show up, if you’re aligned with your values or not, if you’re upholding your boundaries, if you’re doing what you say you will do right. Your behavior is what will be modeled throughout your organization. So what’s important here and what comes up? Like I invite you to think about this. So one thing is living your values. Your company has a set of values that you use to make decisions and that your team uses to make decisions. And that’s actually something I didn’t talk about last week. But something that’s important to mention when it comes to decision making is, is this aligned with our values? Right. Because your values should be helping you to make decisions. And I did an episode on values. I also linked out to a few resources for creating values, which we will have in the show notes here, but really making sure that you’re living the values of your business.
That you are upholding your boundaries. Right. If you want your team to uphold boundaries with clients and it’s important that you’re upholding your boundaries as well, doing what you say you will do. I remember working inside of different businesses. And, you know, it was so interesting because I felt like the businesses where, you know, people on the team, the business owner, where they would make a statement and saying what they would do. And then when they actually did it, it totally had this trickle down effect. Right.
I found as a manager and as a project manager specifically, that if the business owner kind of committed to what they said that they would do and actually did it or if they didn’t, but they were like, this isn’t working. We need to change it because I want to continue to do what I say I’m going to do. Right. The whole team functioned in that way. The whole team showed up. They did what they said that they would do. And then when we had leaders who did not say who who said that they would do something and didn’t do it, that also trickled down to the whole team. So it was like super interesting. You know, something that actually took me a while to figure out what was going on as a project manager when we would have teams that just weren’t hitting deadlines. And it’s like what’s happening here, right? It was very much. A trickle down effect.
And another thing, this leads right into it to show up the way that you want your team to show up. So if you have a team that tends to oh my gosh, OK, so I’ll just give you an example here. I used to work at a company where there was a leader who would throw temper tantrums like total temper tantrums. And so, you know, when I thought about, well, how would I prefer this person to show up, I would have really appreciated if they would process those feelings before coming to the team. It didn’t mean that they couldn’t share that they had feelings. Right. But it was what was happening after. It was the actions and behavior of literally like hitting a desk and yelling, that sucked.
It sucks so much. It wasn’t productive. The whole team morale went down. People would start focusing on things that just weren’t efficient or important because this was happening. Right. So how do you want your team to show up and how can you help them do that? Right. So I would have really appreciated that person being able to process those feelings before and getting out whatever that anger or rage or whatever it was before showing up to meetings. So my big takeaway from that is, OK, like when I come back to my team, what do I need to do better? Because I often find that there can sometimes be a domino effect, especially when you are like mentoring people into a managerial role. A lot of times they will model the behavior of whoever they’re learning from. And this is with anything, but it also includes managing. And so if you have a manager that’s not that leads and uses certain tactics to lead or that, let’s say in this case, throws temper tantrums. Right. And then you show up and you do it for your team, like, that’s not helpful. So how do you want your team to show up and how can you show up better so that they they know like what’s acceptable and what’s not?
So in my company, I believe that feelings belong at work. I believe that bad behavior does not. So just because I I totally understand that people can feel panicked or upset or anxious. Right. But ultimately, you know, I feel all of those feelings, too, at times. And there’s certain things that I do so that when I show up, I am behaving in a way that’s productive or I’m saying, you know what, we need to take a time out. I’m not like in a great place right now. Can we come back? Right. That’s honoring my feelings.
So what do you need to do before you bring a team members in? What information do you share with the team? What thoughts do you share with them, with the team? Is it helpful? Right. So, you know, this can happen sometimes if you have multiple team members and two of them aren’t performing well or two of them leave. Right. How are you talking about those team members with the rest of your team? What thoughts do you share with them? Is it helpful to them? And this is this is if you’re the CEO, the CEO of your business, it is true. If you’re a manager inside of a business is true if you are just another team member on the inside of the business. What thoughts are you sharing? And are those thoughts and feelings and communication? Is it helpful? Is it getting you closer to where you want to be? Model the behavior your team is watching you.
The next transition is to catch people doing things right and tell them. So, so often we see what’s not working right. And it is important if something is not working, to be able to give feedback and give feedback quickly. And because usually that is more urgent. Sometimes we tend to only focus there.
So we want to give equal airtime to what is working and share with them what they’re doing well and then describe exactly what you love about what they did. So, for example, if you had this happened with me, I don’t know, a few months ago where I had a team member, she’s incredible. She’s probably listening to this who does a lot of like writing for me. And we had been working on certain content. And I always review the content and offer feedback and look at, you know, the language that’s being used. And, you know, when we first started doing this, I was getting more feedback. And then suddenly I was reviewing these things and I wasn’t having to give any feedback. And so I made sure to say, like, listen, I’m not just saying, like, this is approved, right.
But like, you’re doing such a great job. You did this way better than I would have ever done it. I really loved how you like some of the questions that you asked. So we do some polls inside of our Facebook group. And so, like some of the polls are really, really awesome. And I made sure to say specifically what I liked about it so that she would know what was really great and keep, you know, keep doing it or kind of understand why I was saying, like, this is amazing, right?
Because some mean. It’s like, OK, great, I’m so glad that you think it’s amazing and that feels good, right. But like what about it specifically so that I know I can keep doing that. So the next transition is observing your team in action so you can participate in their team meeting. So if you’ve hired in a clean and team manager. Right. You can have them run your team meetings and you can still participate in them, but you can watch them. You can give them feedback. You can give them guidance before a call and debrief afterwards, especially if they’re coming on your team for the first time. Compliment them on what they did well. And and again, be quick to offer feedback on what they can improve upon. And you can tell them ahead of time that you’ll be doing this so that it’s not a surprise.
So one of the things I do when hiring is to make sure that the person who’s coming in is comfortable with feedback. And I look at feedback as feedback and it’s a practice. So one of our values, which I’m actually it’s funny, I’m probably going to shift the wording of this, is to never stop improving, like focus on improving. And it’s not in the sense of like we all need to be doing better. Right. But it’s more about learning.
So I want to be focused on growth, which means that I have things that I need to learn and improve upon. And the same thing goes for my team, like I want everyone to feel like they’re learning every day, but still have that balance of having the confidence in themselves. Right. We don’t that kind of goes back to catch them doing something right. We don’t want to just catch them things, doing things that they need to improve upon. But we also want to balance it with things that they’re doing really well.
So when you observe them in action, you can say like, hey, listen, I’m going to be joining this call. I’m sure you’re going to do a great job. This is what I’m going to be going after. And if there’s any areas I feel like you can improve upon, I’m going to let you know, because we can always be doing better with this, like I’ve learned, X, Y and Z. Right. You can you can allow them to know that you’re learning too, right?. The next transition is to lean out. So after you have given guidance, observe them, transition them into the role. We do this inside of my program AGENCY. We have a whole training on onboarding our team members, either new team members, or if your current team member is taking on a new role, there’s a process that we go through. Right? So we want to make sure that we’ve given them the guidance, we’ve given them feedback. We are transitioning them properly. We have a process we’re following. But then you have to let them do their job right?
You have to allow that individual to lead in their own way. So I’m sure if you are here, I know many of my clients have a hard time stepping away. They have a hard time letting go of control. And the reason usually why is because maybe they’ve done it in the past, but something hasn’t gone well. And so it creates that evidence that when they step away, something bad’s going to happen.
And so we slowly want to shift this because sometimes things don’t go well, because maybe there wasn’t that guidance that was given that maybe they weren’t observed, maybe they weren’t transitioned properly. Maybe they don’t have the information that they need. Right. And so there’s always things that we can be doing differently, ways we can be learning so that it doesn’t have to repeat itself again, or maybe it was just not the right person in the role. That happens too. A big fear that people have with hiring is that they’re going to hire the wrong person. I 100 percent guarantee that you were going to hire the wrong person probably multiple times. If you were really looking to grow your business. It’s just going to happen. There’s certain things that are inside of our control. There’s a lot that’s not right.
And so we can’t let one or two or even three or four bad times when something hasn’t worked out dictate the future. Right. We want to learn from them so that we can continue to move forward. So with leaning out the next transition is that you also need to lean in too. So I call leadership, leadership To me, it’s an art. It’s kind of like a dance. Right? We know what we need to know when we need to lean in. We need to know when we need to lean out. Right. So leaning in. Right?
Talking with your team, you can have weekly updates or reports or check in meetings. Right. What’s going well, what are they focused on? How are they supporting? If this is a manager on your team, how are they supporting the team and whoever’s quote unquote reporting to them, asking them like, who are the people that need to be developed? What are the processes that need to be developed, you know, and really talking about coaching them in helping the people that they are managing. Right. And making it very positive and forward thinking. And also if they’re having a challenge being there for that. Right.
That’s part of the leaning in, you know, and that leads to the next transition, which is creating a safe space for feedback. So we want to make sure that in order for them to come to the table and raise their hand when there’s a problem they feel like they can’t solve, we need to. Be able to create a space for them where they can come to us. So this is a balance, right? Because at the same time, we’re also leaning out, right? We’re letting them do their job. We’re telling them and empowering them to make their own decisions. Were having the mass better questions. But at the same time, we need to make sure we’re creating a space for them where they can come to us if there is an issue that needs to be escalated. Right. So that is equally as important. And so a lot of this is it’s it’s a balance. All of us is a balance.
And like I said during the last episode, it’s important for you to take some of these teachings and some of these transitions and make them your own. Not all of this is going to resonate with you. You know your business better than anyone else and you know the people that you work with better than anyone else. And so it’s important for you to be able to take this and really work it in and make it work for your situations.
And so I’ve mentioned this before, but this is something that we do inside of my program AGENCY. So the program agency is for agency owners who are looking to delegate at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less and be able to run a business where their people feel empowered. And the people that I talk about are your clients, your team and yourself, too.
And so there is something really magical that happens when you start implementing these transitions, whether it be with a manager on your team or even with your implementers. Right. So I believe that every person on the team is a leader. Right. They lead in their own area. And so you can apply these things to not just managers, but also implementers on your team and really create an environment where people feel like they feel good about doing their job. Right. That’s what we ultimately want.
And that when challenges do come up, they feel empowered to handle them. I want you to think about something that you have handled recently, a challenge that you’ve handled recently, that you know, that maybe like two or three years ago would have been devastating to you. But now it’s like whatever. It’s just not that big of a deal anymore. Right. Like, how great does that feel to really, like, build that resiliency and. Right. But it takes some some time. And so we want to have our team members be able to do the same thing where, you know, they might be experiencing challenges, but it’s just not that big of a deal anymore. Right. You feel like more capable of handling these things, right? That resiliency, that competencies really is there. But it’s like true competence. It’s not like the showy competence where it’s like, oh, I have to, like, appear confident until I know this is like true deep down confidence.
And I believe that that’s built when you are human, when you show up as yourself, when you are vulnerable, when you start practicing some of these things. And, you know, the whole point of coaching team isn’t to say like, you have a question. I’m not going to answer that for you. You’re going to answer that for you. That’s not the point of it. The point of coaching is to show and understand that people have the answers. Right, that they can do this, that they can think through this, too, and that when needed, you were totally there for guidance. You were there to be able to brainstorm and help move things along and also to show them that they have everything that they need to be able to to move forward.
So this wraps up part two of our leading managers versus Implementors podcast, mini series. I hope you have enjoyed this. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram. I’m at Nicole Jackson Miller, and if you are interested in actually taking this stuff and applying it to your business. Right, because there’s lots of nuances and little things that you say, like, OK, this sounds nice in theory, but like when I actually have to jump in and and live up to my values or uphold these boundaries, it’s so much harder. Right.
I highly recommend that you join us inside of AGENCY or at least consider it. So head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply, read about it, see if it might be a fit for you. You can always apply and you’ll get some more information and really be able to step out of client delivery and empower your team and step into your own leadership, too, which will help in every area of your life. All right, everyone, I will see you next week.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you are ready to stop settling for being a done for your service provider and really fully step into the role of agency owner and CEO and lead a team that you love that just delivers excellent client results, then you have to check out my new program called AGENCY, which is specifically designed to remove you from at least 50 percent of client delivery in twelve. Months or less, so that you can have the time and the space to be able to run your business and, you know, to take a tech free vacation, too. That’s always nice, right? So if you’re interested in learning more, head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/Apply. You can learn more about the program. If it looks like a good fit, then apply. And we will send you before our call. We’ll send you a free business assessment that will really explain more about the framework that we use to remove you from client delivery. And it’ll give you an assessment that you can take to really show where you are now and where you’re going. We’ve had so many people get a lot of insight just from taking that assessment, so I can’t wait for you to check it out.