Jennie’s passion for helping clients work through the challenges of writing a book led her to start training other book coaches on her process. And so Author Accelerator was born. To date, the Author Accelerator’s executive management team along with a suite of coaches that Jennie has hand-picked and personally trained has helped hundreds of writers bring their book ideas to life. But Jennie and her team had a big problem: as they grew, the growing complexity of managing over 150 writers and 30 book coaches became increasingly untenable with their cobbled-together back end that had accreted over years. Which was significantly slowing their growth.
There’s a trap many of us fall into when we expand our team. It’s the management trap. It happens when we expand our team quickly – bringing on multiple new team members at once or in a short period of time – before we have systems in place to help us grow efficiently. Suddenly, we find ourselves managing and training a new team, creating and documenting systems as we go, and struggling to find a way to pay everyone when there’s no time left for generating new business.
How do you find the money to support a growing team? It’s a common problem. You need help in order to expand your business activities and generate more revenue. But, you need to generate more revenue before you can get the help you need. The proverbial chicken and egg scenario…
Many creative entrepreneurs resist systems, incorrectly believing that systems will somehow limit creativity or reduce the flexibility of the team. Nothing could be further from the truth, as my client Jennie Nash discovered. Jennie is a successful book coach and founder and CEO of Author Accelerator, an online book coaching service. As Jennie discovered, systems provided the support she needed to successfully lead her growing company and scale her business.
Motivating virtual teams can be difficult, even for experienced managers. Our global economy has shifted from the mechanical (or labor based) economy of the past to an economy focused on creativity and high-level knowledge based work. Rather than working as a part of a production group in a factory, many of the most valuable employees in our economy do creative or analytical work as a part of a virtual team. Our methods of motivation need to shift too.
Shifting your mindset to embrace a leadership role can be difficult. It takes time and practice to fully make the shift, and along the way your team can struggle a bit. Today I’m sharing 3 team management problems many business owners face as the team grows and suggesting ways to solve them.
Adding a team member won’t help you reach your goals unless you change the way you manage. Bold statement, I know. But it’s true. That independent, “can-do” spirit you’ve used to run your business as a solo-preneur is actually an obstacle when leading a team. Let’s explore a few essential mindset shifts you need to consider when you begin leading a team.
Leading a virtual team presents a unique set of challenges. As a leader, it’s up to you to create a collaborative, supportive atmosphere among people who are separated by distance, time zone, and culture. Your remote workers need to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves, and they need to form strong relationships with each other in order to create the best advantage for your business. Being a true team leader includes empowering each person on your virtual team to feel connected, inspired, and important.
Carrie Green is the founder and driving force behind The Female Entrepreneur’s Association, an online community with thousands of members and a tremendous reach. As FEA has grown, Carrie has built a large team of amazing, talented, and dedicated people to support her. These people are absolutely committed to Carrie and her vision for the FEA, and they work virtually to fill multiple roles and responsibilities. As you can imagine, managing a team of this size can create challenges.
I don’t think anyone wants to micromanage their team. We want to trust our team members to deliver results. But, it is challenging to do this when the value we create for our clients is at stake. So we micromanage, checking and double checking progress and trying to control the results. We become frustrated – and so do the members of our team. There’s a way to break this cycle.