POP: Management According to Dick Winters

As I sat across from him in an absurdly small and armless chair, he kicked his feet up on the oversized executive desk and began unpacking the events of the last 12 months. Not understanding how these details were relevant to his website rebuild, I listened intently in an attempt to follow the breadcrumbs to his final destination.

Life had been hard, and it wasn’t his fault. He’d been hustling, everyday working toward a better business. But finding good help is tough. People don’t want to work and can’t be trusted. It’s the nature of his industry. While there’s a grain of truth to every story, this grain was pretty tiny. Nonetheless, that was the narrative bouncing around in his mind.

His solution, treat his employees as though they were the enemy. “Trust no one” had become his mantra, and it was obvious the intensity of his paranoia had grown with each passing day.

Doing my best to continue listening, all I could think about was the fact that his company would be a lot less effective, if not belly up, without his employees.

“One day my grandson said to me, grandpa were you a hero in the war? And I said to him, no I’m not a hero, but I have served in a company full of them.” – Dick Winters

So many “leaders” behave as if their organization would be nothing if not for them, but in my experience that sort of “leader” is usually holding those around them back. That sort of “leader” tends to cling to the idea they’re supposed to be the smartest person in the room. And that sort of “leader” thinks they’re the hero. They must be, right? They’re in charge.

“There is no need to tell someone how to do his job if you have properly trained your team.” – Dick Winters

At Greyphin, we live by this philosophy. In fact, we’ve seen it pay off so many times that we’ve given it a name. POP: People + Operations = Profit. If you hire the right people and train them well, they’ll create the operations that make you profit. I know it sounds too simple to be true, but it’s not. It worked for Dick Winters and Easy Company, and it’ll work for you.

So, where do you go from here? Follow these 6 easy steps to start running a POP driven organization, today.

  • Thoroughly Vet Candidates Before Hiring. Check Facebook and LinkedIn for mutual connections. Once you’ve found a few connections, reach out and see what they have to say about your candidate. If you’re struggling to ask the right questions, take a page out of Brian Halligan’s book. Ask, “On a scale of 0 to 10, what is the likelihood you would hire this person again in the future?” If they don’t answer with a 10, ask “Why not 10”.
  • Hire The Best Person For The Job.
  • Make Your Expectations Clear. Once the candidate’s been hired, make certain they know exactly what it is you want them to do, by clearly and frequently communicating your expectations to them.
  • Develop Your Team to Deliver Results. As a leader of a team, your job is to make certain they have all the resources (education, authority, time, money, etc.) they need to execute the job they’ve been hired to do.
  • Institute a Weekly Check-in. Check-ins are an amazing tool that can help leaders and team members alike. This is a weekly 30 minute meeting broken down into three 10 minute blocks. The first 10 minutes is for the team member to discuss any successes or issues they might be having. The second 10 minutes is for the team leader to provide positive affirmation or constructive feedback to the team member. And, the third 10 minutes is to make plans to address anything that came up in the meeting that might need resolution.
  • Hang Tough. “Lastly, hang tough! Never, ever give up regardless of the adversity. If you are a leader, a fellow who other fellow look to, you have to keep going.” – Dick Winters

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