Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, the challenges seem endless; that’s why we love it, right? Collecting after-sales fees, finding new business, and delighting and wowing our customers are the activities that make running a business exciting.
The pressure we face comes from work. Being responsible for the income of 5, 10, 30 or even 500 families is daunting. Sustaining a successful business so you can get paid every week is a lot of hard work. Lately, rampant inflation and skyrocketing shipping costs have been another huge pressure.
but you know what? None of these factors are keeping you up at night. These factors can be studied, researched, improved, put into a spreadsheet and monitored. They can be adjusted, renegotiated and eventually resolved.
It’s people that keep you up at night. Management, as well as the leadership of the association, needs to oversee a team. Maybe oversight isn’t the right word. As leaders, we strive to encourage, motivate, support and challenge our teams. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, and sometimes it’s irritating.
Managing people is so challenging because people are people. Unlike spreadsheets, invoices or tulips, they have free will. They make good decisions and they make bad decisions. These decisions directly affect our business, leading to the hardest part of running a business: managing people and managing their strengths and weaknesses.
To be clear, I’ve had the privilege of working with many people who are rock stars in sales, management, production, and various positions. But to be honest, it always seems that the weight on your mind is people with amazing abilities, often unknown.
It could be that your star sales rep is loose and fast in reality, which has serious missteps. It could be that a person is struggling with alcohol, which affects their performance. It could be health issues, kids issues, mental health issues…you name it. You sign up to work not only to help these individuals reach their potential, but to find win-win situations that benefit your company.
The key to success and a good night’s sleep is taking the time to really care about your team and take their questions, concerns, and sometimes messes to heart. Yes, it requires some sleep loss, but once you get over that, the sleep will come back.
Success is not defined by numbers on a chart, success is how your relationship with your team builds and develops, overcomes challenges and drives toward shared goals. It might even be parting ways with team members, ideally amicably but especially respectfully.
The best part of this kind of success is building a base of trusted people you can rely on as your team members learn to thrive and overcome their problems and stay with your company. Many times, after you’ve made your way through the flames and come out the other side, you’ve turned the person who used to give you insomnia into a team member who can now help you sleep better.
Bill Prescott is the Mass Market and Wholesale Sales Manager for Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata.Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org