How to Manage a Team Who Knows More Than You
You know one thing a lot of entrepreneurs don’t talk about?
The Boss Inferiority Complex.
When you’re building a company from the ground up, you get to a point when it’s time for you to grow beyond just you and perhaps your co-founder slaving away, ink, blood and sweat at bringing your vision to life.
And when that time comes, you’re going to have to hire people who do things better than you.
Better marketers, better salespeople, better tech staff.
While hiring competent, specialised professionals is the right thing to do, it comes with its set of challenges:
How do you know you’re hiring someone with the right skill set?
How do you gauge performance?
How do you orient them to their jobs and answer their many questions?
As a result, a lot of business owners end up hiring below them.
They hire interns and young people who are still learning, people who they can take under their wing and nurture.
They shy away from the experts who, from that first conversation onwards, have questions that a business owner isn’t sure how to answer.
While hiring fresh graduates might make for a great team-boss dynamic, it’s a decision that holds companies back from the leaps-and-bounds growth that an experienced team would make happen.
Now let’s talk about managing these experts.
As the head of the business, no matter how open your office-plan is, and no matter how flat your organisation structure is, you’re still leading the pack.
You need to be able to hold a position of authority and lead from the front, take calls on big and small aspects of the business and its operations, and it’s all just inevitable.
Here are four great ways to manage your team of superstars and still elegantly retain your captaincy:
While being the owner of a company, or the "Head" or "Chief" of a department might formally earn you a spot at the top of the chart, you need to keep working at earning respect.
Work hard, be a good boss with high empathy, tune into your team’s needs. Make it your responsibility to create an environment where these talented people can shine.
When they see what you’re trying to do for the team, it won’t matter that you don’t know the difference between HTML 1.0 and 4.0.
Learn from the best
Use this opportunity to learn from these virtuosos! Ask them questions about their work.
Don’t be afraid to let them know you don’t understand a technicality well enough to make a decision around it.
When you make the whole relationship a mutual mentorship of sorts, everybody feels valued and motivated to bring their best self to the table.
Be confident – it’s sexy
It's pretty hard to follow a nail-biting boss who's always second-guessing themselves.
Don’t be that person. Tap into your strengths, lead with confidence and authenticity.
Remember, you can ask a question or make a mistake, learn from it and still carry on with confidence. That’s not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of progress.
But beware, there’s a very thin line between confidence and overconfidence, so tread carefully.
Drive the vision
As the head of the team, it is your job to keep your eyes on the bigger picture. It is your job to drive all of this expertise into accomplishing goals. When you’re leading the team towards the greater good, the pettiness disappears.
You'll find yourself charged with a meaningful, fulfilling purpose, and your able team becomes an asset rather than a complex.
It also means that you’re in a position where you take charge of everything that goes wrong just as much as everything that’s going right.
That’s a lot of responsibility, and shouldering it with grace naturally commands respect.
Turn to some of the greatest leaders in history for inspiration. Learn from the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Martin Luther King Jr.
These leaders evoked emotions and trust that surpassed common comparisons.
Their followers believed in them. Heck, they elevated them beyond their positions of power.
They were allowed to influence minds and lead movements because they proved they could.
As a small business owner, you need to be a sponge and absorb everything positive, everything valuable, and one brick at a time build yourself to be the phenomenal driver of your vision.
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