What are you talking about Sean?
That’s what I feel like I do for a living sometimes! This week I had three problems dealing with people.
I deal with three things in my companies at this stage: I deal with people, problems within the company, and profit/managing money/reserves/resources. Thankfully my partners handle a lot of the problems within the company and I handle just 10% of the worst ones.
I’m going to talk you through the three problems I had this week and maybe you can learn something from how I handled them.
Alphas Butt Heads
I needed to create a force multiplier for a specific job which meant that I had to put three people together including two Alpha-types. I made sure at the outset which one was the general, the point man, my Colin Powell on this project.
Soon, the third person tells me that the other two are not playing well together and fight like cats and dogs all day. My top guy send me a text that he meant to send to his wife, about loving his job and hating his job at the same time, so I reached out and talked to him. Then I went to the 2nd guy and explained how the other guy is an extension of ME. Do not argue with him. Even if you think you have a better idea, you defer to his decisions.
This went on for seven days and at the end of the job I gave my top guy the option to tell the other one that he can no longer work with him again. He may worth for me again, but them two will not work together again.
These are both extremely talented individuals and it’s a good problem to have but in this case they were butting heads. If you are in a similar situation I would recommend you designate someone as an extension of yourself.
You might be scared of putting two guys like that together…oh they might fight!…but I LET them fight..until they got the job done! They figured it out.
Young Gun Wants to Run the Show
I have a very ambitious guy who’s twenty-five years old and he wants to run a crew within the company. The problem is that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and that makes him so dangerous at the moment. Another guy on the team is incredible and in his 50s, has seen it all, etc.
So the younger guy says to the older one in the middle of the job, “are you doing this right?”. Imagine how that went over. Then I had a talk with the older guy who thought this whole situation was a big problem and I assured him it wasn’t. I gave him the ability to hire whoever he wanted.
I used the analogy of a diamond ring. In the diamond ring, YOU are the diamond. The other guy I can move around. You gotta make the prima-donna happy. He’s extraordinarily talented. Instead of making them play well together, I told him he could interview for new help BUT that if he goes through two guys within six months…then problem is with YOU.
Playing Nice with a Mercenary
I hired a contractor a little while back to help handle some of the workload we had and he was a guy who worked here for five years. My partners kept telling me this guy is no good, he talks behind my back, etc. I told them that I can dance with the devil for a little while to get through this workload.
I played the game and bit my tongue and we made good money. I can’t do it all the time but every once in a while you might need to.
At the end of the job, he thanked me for working with him and I told him how proud I was of him for spreading his wings and creating his own company. I explained to him how to set up a Roth IRA and protect his money and he really appreciated that.
I could have been stubborn and not used him. Everyone was telling me he’s too difficult and yes he is a bit of a challenge but I made it work.