Managing partner at Breakout Games. Partner at Dart Rush (Indoor Nerf Arena). Also: Marketer, Customer Service Nerd, Avid Learner, Internet & Social Addict,
I can totally relate to this. I also own a few businesses and I can tell you that the answer is No.
This is a really great question because I think a lot of people are asking it consciously and subconsciously. Unfortunately for a lot of people (myself included at one time) the answer is yes, and it holds them back.
Growing up I was an average student at best. I remember feeling frustrated and demotivated because I couldn't perform as well as my peers. What this resulted in, was me thinking I was stupid and, I had every reason in the world to come to this conclusion because, "the grades didn't lie." Through all of that I found a way to graduate and settled into my first job out of school. I immediately started to identify things like problem-solving, creative thinking, and honesty as things that traditional grading never tested for. I found myself outperforming my peers and quickly realizing that I had fallen prey to a system that valued knowledge over hustle and intuition.
The reality is that to be an entrepreneur your business cannot and should not be fully dependent on you. If there's an area of your business that you don't feel confident in, then you should to find someone who is great at it and learn from them. But I can promise that if you're willing to be coachable and work hard, you be can a successful business owner.
Happy to chat in more depth about my personal experience.
Best wishes to you! The world needs more successful businesses.
Have you ever done an escape room? Our organization has seen a lot of business using these as team building events.
This could be a really fun way to have one of your leaders practice delegating. Escape rooms provide a clear end goal but present lots of obstacles along the way that require a team to work together.
We have seen some of the best leaders excel and flounder through these experiences and they create a fun environment for feedback.
There are certainly tons of ways to develop a leader in the art of delegation but this has been a fun way for us to practice it.
Happy to chat over the phone in more detail if that is of interest.
P.S. Most escape room businesses will let you watch your teams in the control rooms on cameras so you can take notes while they're playing :)
I own a handful of local businesses that employ part-time and full-time team members.
This is a great question. Our businesses employ young people and this is a question we frequently ask ourselves. In our experience, there are a few things that seem to really matter:
Serve - This may be a little counter-intuitive but one of the biggest things a leader can do is serve their team. If you are obsessed with finding opportunities to serve, your team is going to feel motivated to work with you and to follow your lead. I also think this goes beyond just the workplace. A simple example of this could be: finding out where your employee is celebrating their wedding anniversary and buying them a bottle of wine or picking up the tab.
Vision - We've really tried to focus on our core values. Our businesses specifically serve families through a fun interactive experience and we spend a lot of time directing our team to focus beyond the product or experience by emphasizing that we are creating a space where families and friends can connect, as opposed to just being a fun experience.
Empower - We've learned that our team members want to be trusted and we've learned that once members have earned our trust it's incredibly rewarding for them to get to make decisions that impact our business. An example of this is a thing we call a BPA (Blow People Away) our goal is to get to know our customers and identify something that will make them feel special. We try to blow them away with our hospitality. The fun thing is that we've given our team a budget to do this so it gives them complete freedom to go for it when they find a customer to surprise.
Affirm - Team members love to know when they're doing good work. We have monthly team meetings at all of our locations and one of the first things we do is have all of our team members gather around and publicly affirm each other. It's always the best part of our meetings and it creates a culture of encouragement and unity.
Be Honest - We hold a very high standard for transparency and if we find out that there is a conflict between team members or expectations aren't being met, we are quick to go directly to the person. We have found that these conversations only get scarier as we let them sit in our heads and the coolest part about this is that when we have these conversations with each other it forges us together, ultimately creating an environment where people want to be.
There are so many ways to motivate employees but I hope these are helpful. I would be more than happy to discuss in more detail and chat through additional ideas.