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Building Your Self-Managing Company: Backstage Pass With Maureen Sullivan Garrelts

Maureen Sullivan-Garrelts, Team Program Coach, Strategic Coach®

Maureen Sullivan-Garrelts, Team Program Coach and Program Advisor, Strategic Coach®

When we mention a Self-Managing Company to brand new workshop groups, they immediately understand what that is. It’s a simple concept to get. They might not yet see how they can get there, but they can imagine what it would look like to achieve all their important goals while having time to enjoy their life too.

As a team coach and client advisor, I tell participants, “If you know what you’re good at, have great people around you, and stay on your side of ‘the line’ in your business, you really can have it all.”

Teamwork is the magic formula

In a successful Self-Managing Company, the entrepreneur has figured out what the business needs them for—their Unique Ability—and spends their time on that. They don’t meddle in other things. That meddling is the biggest challenge, and in my experience, it usually comes from a need to feel in control. The solution is to have the support of a good team, people in your organization who can run things when you’re not there.

I’ve seen lots of cases where it’s almost working: The entrepreneur has attracted great people, and if they could just trust a little bit more, they would break through a barrier and be free to use their Unique Ability and stop worrying about things they don’t need to be distracted by.

Like all of us, each of my entrepreneur clients has their “thing” to work on. For some, it’s the trust issue, others can’t give up micromanaging, and some have a hard time delegating because they’re not teachers: It’s hard for them to translate what they know so their team members can understand it. This is where it’s important for me to be a resource for their team as well.

A confidence support network

When I’m working with teams, I try to help them figure out how they can give their entrepreneur confidence—because even the most confident, recognized, successful person in the world still needs support.

So I encourage team members to ask how they can build their entrepreneur’s trust and show that they’re aligned and committed—and the payoff for them is gaining more freedom and flexibility.

One way to support your team in doing this is to build systems that help you and your team members check in with one another and make sure they’re aligned with your thinking. If they’re going off in some other direction, you need to know that and draw them back in.

And if things aren’t working? Try something different! It’s your company, so you don’t have to follow any rules—you create them! So what do you want them to be?

Finding the right people

When you’re interviewing a potential team member, you can use testing systems like Kolbe, but you also need to ask about whether this person can thrive in the entrepreneurial world. Do they need a title, lots of structure, a “ladder”? It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but this world is different. I have friends who work for big corporations and are very successful at what they do. They fit in that world, but I can’t imagine them in mine.

In our organization, the people who’ve been around for a long time, who just keep getting better and better, are leaders—not necessarily team leaders, but people who own what they do. They’re not afraid to step in and say, “I think we should handle that this way.”

And that’s exactly what needs to happen in order for a company to be self-managing.

I could never work anywhere else

Strategic Coach is my retirement plan. It’s just really fascinating to see what an entrepreneur can do, what we team members can do, and the kinds of products and services we can put out in the marketplace when it’s all based on our areas of Unique Ability®.

The Self-Managing Company is such a simple concept, but it’s not easy to create. That’s why I say it’s magical when it happens.

I think back to interviews I had with big corporations right out of college and the letdown of not getting what seemed like the perfect job. Now, I’m so grateful for all the little things that led me to this world.

I joke that “I totally planned it this way!”, but I do feel that if you’re true to yourself and keep going in that direction, it leads you to where you’re supposed to be. And that’s the wisdom I’m trying to teach my kids too.

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Learn 8 key strategies for exponential growth and true freedom as an entrepreneur from top entrepreneur coach Dan Sullivan.