Ep #21: The ONE Assumption Every Female Entrepreneur SHOULD Make
Typically, it’s a bad idea to make an assumption. But in this one case, I want you, as a female entrepreneur, to always assume this one thing. It will be better for you, your business and your employees.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- Always make this assumption – when someone on your team doesn’t do what you want, I want you to assume it’s your responsibility.
- When we see someone not do something the way we thought they should do it, it’s human nature to blame them for it.
- Blame creates lag.
- You need to make sure you:
- Establish a clear vision for the business
- Have clear values
- Create clear expectations for every team member. Common sense is not common.
- Delegate and don’t abdicate
- Follow up with people and look at their results
- Give feedback
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- Podcast on having a clear vision.
- Podcast on values.
- If you’d like to work with me in my group for female entrepreneurs called The Group, I’m doing 20-minute consults right now with women who have their own business who are generating a $1M or more in revenue and who want to work through specific challenges. This group launches soon and will consist of very small groups of successful entrepreneurial women meeting weekly for an hour for coaching. Come and ask questions about the challenges you’re facing as a female entrepreneur and I coach you through those to find solutions. It’s powerful to be with others like you and to know you’re not alone. Go here and set up a time to meet with me.
- If you like the podcast, please post a comment or review on Apple Podcasts.
- Reach out to me by emailing me at email@example.com.
- If you haven’t joined my email subscribers list, you can do that here.
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Hey everyone, I’m Kris Plachy and this is How to Lead for Female Entrepreneurs and Founders, because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello, hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in today. I want to talk with you all today or you in particular. Yes, you. You know I’m talking to you, about accountability. I want to talk about accountability in your business as it relates to you. As I guess I typically do, I’m going to start high up in the tree proverbially, I can never say that word right. The proverbial tree. We’re going to look at what the outgrowth is of a particular circumstance and then look down into it and go down the tree into the roots. Then that’s how we figure out what kind of tree we grew. Right? That’s a great analogy for how we got here. Now, most of the clients that I meet when I first meet them are in that head in my hands, I don’t know what to do next. I feel like I’ve tried everything. Nothing’s working.
I know that I am a little dramatic in the way that I expressed that, but I do actually hear people say those kinds of things to me regularly. I’m not really making that up. As it relates, especially to working with other people and having team members and human capital in your business, this is what so many of my clients struggle with is I had to get people here to help me but now that they’re here, I feel like it’s so exhausting and there’s so much extra work to do, and I’m not getting the results that I want. They’re not doing what I want them to do. The first thing that we all have to assume, it’s almost like I wonder if instead of accountability I might even call this podcast the one assumption you should always make. I’m not a big fan of assumptions because I think assumptions get us in trouble, right? Assumption is basically me taking a literal fact, something I can see with my eyes or hear with my ears and then I’m interpreting it through my own judgment and making it mean something, right?
It’s not that it is what it meant, it’s what I make it mean. That’s what an assumption is. Typically speaking, assumptions just get us into trouble. We have to really always stay as close to evidence as we can, especially as we’re leading and trying to work with our team members. There is an assumption I want you to always make and that assumption is that when you have somebody on the team who doesn’t do something that you wanted, doesn’t do what you wanted, makes a mistake, is inconsistent, doesn’t deliver at the manner or the level that you want, the assumption that I want you to make is that it’s your responsibility. That I want you to stop the assumption that they did it on purpose, that they don’t know what they’re doing, that they’re trying to make you look bad, that they’re too difficult to manage, that they’re not trying very hard, that they’re just lazy, or whatever else it is that goes through your brain because first of all, those assumptions don’t do you any good.
Second of all, you don’t know that that’s true. I can tell you nine times out of 10, when I talk to a client who comes to me and says, I’ve got this problem. I just talked to somebody, I don’t know, a week ago who said, people on my team aren’t achieving their goals. Right? I’ve set the goals. People aren’t achieving them. The initial reaction in your mind is to blame them for not achieving their goals. I know it is because it’s mine. It’s all of ours. I just want to get into judgment about the other person. I don’t want to blame myself. I don’t want to take responsibility for someone else. Right? But they’re your employees, you actually do need to take responsibility for them.
This behavior of ours, and this is just human nature is to see that someone doesn’t do something the way we thought that they should do it, and we want to blame them for it. That just doesn’t get you anything that you want when you do that, all it does is it makes you uncomfortable. It makes you feel really terrible feelings. It makes you perpetuate more terrible thoughts about your particular employee, which then creates more divisiveness and that doesn’t help the business. It certainly doesn’t help you. It really doesn’t help the employee. The first assumption and the key assumption I want you to always make when something doesn’t go the way that you wanted it to, when there’s a mistake or something isn’t done the way that we think it should have been is let’s just assume it’s your responsibility. We’re just going to do that without any drama. It’s my responsibility. Right?
Then, if you just go with me here, because I can hear some of you are like, but you don’t understand, how is it my responsibility that my employee is late to work? How is it my responsibility that my employee made this huge typo on a big, I don’t know, banner. I have no idea. I did that once when I was a brand new sales assistant. I did a typo on invitations to 500 Hitachi people and I spelled Hitachi wrong. Oh my God, I’ll never forget how horrible that was. I was 19, that was terrible. Anyway. Right? I could totally hear my old boss blaming the hell out of me, which of course she did, to be frank. Do you know how many people had to approve that? So many people had to approve those invitations, by the way, not just me. That’s a whole other story. Okay. I can hear how you want to make this someone else’s fault. It just doesn’t do you any good, you guys.
Sitting there stewing and blaming other people because something didn’t go well, it just doesn’t help us get to the solution. It slows you down. Blame is a big lagger. It just creates all this lag. Second of all, it doesn’t help you as the leader find a solution. Nine times out of 10 when something isn’t going the way that it’s going, like the person I referenced who I talked to a little while ago who said, I have goals for my people and they’re not hitting them. Who’s responsible for that? Who is responsible for the fact that you have employees in your business who are not hitting their goals? Because there’s one of two things that has to happen, right? You either have to not have those employees in your business if they’re not hitting their goals. Why are they working for you? Or have we done anything about it? Or are the goals even clear?
Like you think you’ve set your goals right? When you think about asking somebody to do something, and then it doesn’t get done the way you want, we have to always go back to the framework and to the really primary functional operational guides we have to have in our business that help ourselves and help our employees, our team members be able to deliver. We need to know that we have a really clear vision for the business. We need to know that we have a really clear, our three values. We need to know that we have really clear, established expectations that apply to every single person on the team. We need to be clear that when we delegated something to someone, when we ask somebody to complete something, that we actually went through the delegation process not the abdication process. Abdication, right? That we didn’t just abdicate. I don’t know why that sounds like I’m saying G. I’m saying C. Abdicate. You know what I’m talking about, right?
We have to make sure that we delegated and we didn’t abdicate. Abdicating is only just say, hey, can you get this done? We don’t give any direction. We just don’t want to deal with it. Then we wonder why things don’t go well. Okay? When we’re talking about vision, that has to be clear. I’ve already done a podcast that. When we talk about values, those have to be clear. I’ve already done a podcast on those. Expectations are those things that we spell out for people. Now, most of the people that I work with do not take the time to set expectations and it’s not because they don’t want to. It’s because they think other people think like they do. Right? What’s the thing that we say all the time? Isn’t it just common sense that you wouldn’t do this or that you would do this? Isn’t that just common sense? No. If I could yell at you right now, I would. I’m not going to raise my voice. You have to pay attention to me. Common sense is not common. Common sense does not exist. Common sense, I don’t know.
If you go anywhere in the planet and you just hang out for a minute, can’t you tell that common sense isn’t common? The way that people function in the world. What you think would be obviously, other people don’t think like that. Common sense is not common. You can’t have in your brain, I don’t need to tell them certain things because everybody knows that. No, not necessarily. You can’t have judgment. As soon as we have judgment that they should have known something versus the fact that they didn’t, now we’ve paraded ourselves from our employees. As soon as you think about what you want somebody to be doing, whether it’s for their role or for a particular task, we have to get really specific. Now, the reason that we hate that, most of you that are visionaries and big conceptual thinkers, this is, I mean I’m talking about myself here as well, right? Oh my gosh.
Do you know how hard that is to think about a whole thing all the way through each step? Come on. What did I pay people for? Why do I have to think about it all? Because you know why? If you don’t, you’re going to get really different outcomes. This can be from big projects to really small ones, right? It’s the difference between me saying to someone, can you please send a funny email to my clients? Versus, can you please send an email? I want to make sure it’s got some humor in it. Here’s some of the key phrases I’d like to say. Here’s the way I’d like to address them. I don’t want any clip art. I only want to use text. Right? You have to paint the picture. Now, once we’ve done that a few times, I think it’s reasonable that I have an expectation that they know how I would like them to write a humorous email, a funny email.
I do think that’s reasonable, but not before, right? One of two things is going to happen. You’re even going to take your time with it on the front end and really help people know what your expectations are, or you’re going to have to chase the thing once it’s built. Whatever it is that somebody then does that isn’t accurate, now you’re going to have to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until it’s how you want it to be, which is entirely just as long and probably longer than if you just took the time to set the expectation. It can be as simple as like, I want you to think about something you ask somebody to do, right? I have people who do this all the time. They’ll say, yeah, I asked my assistant to plan my trip to South Carolina for work. What did you ask her to do? Well, she needs to get my flights. I want to leave on Tuesday. I want to come back on Sunday. She needs to get my hotel and she also needs to make sure that I have foam pillows in my hotel.
These are the things that come to someone’s mind. Okay, did you tell her what kind of airline you like? Did you tell her what flight, what times you want? Did you tell her what kind of seat you like to sit in? Do you like to sit in the middle of the aisle? Do you want to only sit in first class? Do you have a preference of airports? Do you want to have a car? Do you want somebody to pick you up? Do you want to take a Lyft? What kind of car do you want? What kind of hotels do you use? Does she have a list of your preferred hotels? Does she have access to your rewards number? What kind of food do you like? Are there any amenities that you want to make sure outside of foam pillows that are in your hotel room? These are the kinds of things that, because I know what would happen, right? They’d come back and book you a plane ticket which would be in the wrong airline, out of the wrong airport, staying in a hotel you would never stay in or have never stayed in before.
They wouldn’t have a car for you because you didn’t ask for one. Right? But in our mind we’ve got all those blanks filled out because you’re thinking about how you would book your own travel. You’re thinking, well of course it’s common sense that you wouldn’t take that. You wouldn’t stay in that hotel. Right? They might be thinking, oh she wants to watch how expensive things are, so I’ll put her in a cheaper hotel or vice versa. She loves to stay in the most expensive hotel so they put you in the most expensive one even though you don’t like it. My point being, anything that can be assumed needs to be overcommunicated. Expectations, the thing that happens to us as people who are running a business is when we add bodies into our business, we have to do all this heavy lifting about really thinking about what we want. What does success look like? Right?
I just recently went through this. I’ve hired somebody new into my business and she’s amazing. She’s doing a really great job, but I have not been clear about certain things and that’s not good for her. That’s not fair, right? Because I know that people who are results oriented and who are used to being successful, they want to win. I want to help people who work for me feel like they’re winning, not that they’re behind the eight ball, that’s no fun. I take responsibility for that. Now, if someone works on my team over and over and over again and they keep being behind the eight ball and they keep not figuring it out even though we’ve done that work, then that could be a real legitimate problem. That could be a fit problem. That could be a skill problem. Until I’ve really been clear, I don’t know the answer to that. When you come to me and you say, Kris, I have these people on my team who aren’t meeting my expectations.
The first place we’re going to go is like getting really, really specific. Let’s really talk about that. What do you mean they’re not hitting your expectations? Well, they’re not meeting their goals. Great. What are their goals? Are they written down? Where would I be able to go to see them? Show me how they’re written. How clear are those goals? How frequently do you talk about those goals? How frequently do you meet with them to address any challenges they’re having in achieving those goals? How frequently do they have to report back to you on their progress? You’ve got to be honest with yourself. You can’t just ask somebody to do something on Monday and just say, hey, can you get this done? Then you’re not following up on it. Especially if you were unclear.
Now, I think what we do is we think that maybe there’s this one person who’s just going to be able to pick it all up and do it all for you. You know what? There always is one I suppose, but we can’t bank on that. That’s not your job to fair it out that one person. You can actually build a relationship with your employees where you help them develop into that. If they have the skill, then it’s your job to set the expectation. If you’re not getting what you want, if you are head in your hands, you’re frustrated, you feel like you’re exhausted like you’re working extra hard, you’re not getting the results that you want, the assumption I want you to make is that absolutely, this is your responsibility. I want you to make sure, do you have a clear vision? Do you have clear values? Do you have clear expectations? Are you delegating or are you abdicating? Do you follow up with people? Do you revisit how they’re progressing? Do you look at their results? Do you give feedback? Okay?
B, if you have just recently added someone to your team, you’re absolutely right. It takes more work. You have to onboard them. You have to get them ready. You have to help them know how to win for you. That is part of the deal, but here’s the best part. Once they know how to win, it’s a game changer. You are the one who makes up the rules to the game. We don’t hire people and then they tell us how they’re going to play the game. That’s why you get so frustrated. You think you’re going to hire someone and they’re going to make it all better. You have to make it better. Hire someone to do that work and then it’s better. You have to define what success looks like, and then hire the person to execute, and then it’s better. Okay, this is the stuff I do with my clients. This is the work we’re doing in my group coaching program called The Group for Female Entrepreneurs.
If you want to know more about it, let’s schedule some time to talk, krisplachy.com/appointment. You go have a fabulous, fabulous day. Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplachy.com/connect. Once you join, you’ll get all the information on exclusive and private experiences that I’m offering to my clients. I can’t wait to see you there.