Skip to content

Get the Hell Out of the Hourglass – Part 9

Posted by Amy Lynch on February 2, 2023

Trust People. You can’t grow if you don’t trust people.

Hire great folks and empower them. When they fail, coach them; if they continue to fail and do not learn, replace them. (Do it in a friendly way.)  Every problem is an opportunity to coach someone. It really is that simple.

Decide to start with an open heart and mind, believing that all people are good. If you get burned by someone, that does not mean you will get burned by everyone. And when you find an all-star, make sure you do everything in your power to help them succeed.

Trusting people isn’t easy, and I learned slowly. But when I first hired an administrative assistant, my life improved dramatically. However, I continued to wear multiple hats and never really grew.

Then, after 15 years in business, I finally started to get it. I hired an operations manager. Our revenue increased, and my quality of life improved. Next, I hired a salesperson, and I had more time to do strategic planning, and we grew. Then at some point, I couldn’t handle the finances in my head anymore, so I needed a finance person, who later became CFO.

My next hire was a client relationship manager, followed by another salesperson, and another, and another, until I needed a sales manager. Soon we needed a materials resource manager, a safety manager, a recruiter, and a training manager.

Not all new hires are successful. You must be able to judge an individual’s behavior or work product to determine if they are a good fit for your organization. If they are not, you must communicate the correct behavior or skills that need to be developed. Multiple discussions around these topics, without a change in behavior, indicate that this person has to leave. At Nolan Painting, we often say that if we are talking about somebody too much, they probably need to go.

Suppose I see behavior that doesn’t fit the culture or is untrainable incompetence. In that case, I must act and invite that person to be successful somewhere else. Failing to do so threatens everybody in the organization.

There were plenty of hats to pass around. Yes, we had some hiring failures, but we also succeeded in hiring good people for critical roles in the company. It is complex but not impossible, and hiring is a ladder out of the hourglass. The folks that stay make all the difference; adding key people at the right time allows you to enjoy your work and free yourself from the hourglass.

See you Monday. Build muscle.

Categories: Articles