Should you watch while your team fails?
Normally, I would be the first to say "that won't work". However, this wasn't the time. It was a small project and it wouldn't harm anyone by being a failure. Instead, it would be a lesson learned and I was willing to pay the price.
For the past 16 years of being an entrepreneur, I have taken everything about my business personally. Every high, every low. I have felt it all. Every single time.
Something changed this year about how I was feeling about the business. There was a shift. A gigantic shift. The business was no longer mine. Maybe on paper it is, but all of a sudden my mindset changed and I realised that this business belongs to the people who work here and it is they, not me, that needs to take it forward.
I am a creative at heart who understands the numbers, so that suits me fine. Over the past six months, I have watched people in our team create game changing marketing campaigns for clients, and a few that may have missed the mark - for a variety of reasons. The latter may be because a client is still stuck in the 90's, or they focus on things that are not important and don't let our marketing people get on with the job. Other times, its just simply because the market has shifted. When this happens, I have noticed the impact it has on our people. Sheer devastation. It is as if the clients company is actually there's. They care about the client and they care about our brand, Marketing Eye.
How do you get employees, particularly Millennials to put your business first? I didn't plan it, but it just happened. It may be because my leadership skills improved, as they should every year, particularly given my investment in coaching and conferences related to this subject. Or it's because we have hired people who don't feel entitled.
Whatever the reason, I could not be happier.
This is their business and they can do what they like with it. They have to fail in order to succeed and when its something small, its a good test ground for them to perhaps surprise me with a new way of doing things. I am certainly open to that. In fact, I embrace change because it gives me energy and power to move forward.
Our team are not only ambassadors of our brand, but also owners of it. They choose what job they want to do, how they want to spend their day, whether they prefer to work from a park bench or sit in the boardroom and collaborate with their colleagues. They eat my cooking experiments, but have the freedom to say that they think it looks terrible or that they don't like it. It doesn't hurt my feelings. Instead, it gives me food for thought or another perspective. Everyone spends so much time in this world either being politically correct or alternatively being arseholes, that it is refreshing to have people around me that have an opinion, that may not always be the same as my own. I celebrate that. I love it. And I never ever want for that to change.
This business is getting stronger because the core of it is filled with passion, knowledge and unleashing of ideas that will in the future transcend the business into a whole new sphere. I am happier than I have been in years, and more determined to let go and give the young people the power to take over the reigns. They are unbelievable in every way and I am so proud of how much each of them grow each day.
Failure is not bad at any stage. It's just a life lesson, one that was meant to be learned. What's not to embrace about that?