Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fear! Confront it, face it, fight it.

Such is the nature of a business that the founder or the caretaker always lives in the shadow of fear. There is constant fear of not being able to survive. Then one fears about not getting the right employees. Then one fears if employees are working hard enough to give results. One fears of not being able to pay enough which might make them leave for Greene pastures. Fear of upsetting the client. The list goes on, making the life of the guy running the business more and more difficult.

In response to the fear people pick up work or develop products which they think might provide them with the finances to maintain the infrastructure comprising of office, chairs, few computers. Services are offered as per the client's whims and fancies because it will get salaries for the team. One tries to make office better so that employees do not feel as if they are deprived. One is more open to discussion and feedback so that the lack of it might not help employees to perform. Founders and especially those who bootstrap also go a step ahead and spend money on food and outings to keep the flock happy.

The above response only muddles up things. Firstly the work coming to the organisation comes with its riders like endless nitpicking ( speaking for services), delay in payment and shameful attitude of the clients. Then internally one sees that the team starts slacking such as missing the deadlines and starts coming up with the excuses of lack of resources. The freedom is misused as one will find employees not wanting to upgrade themselves but indulging in never ending gossips and silly pursuits. One ignores in good faith that the freedom will make employees appreciate and perform. Important instructions are ignored, arguments become commonplace and focus starts to wear away. And then comes the time to get salaries when each of the employees feel they have performed better and need to be paid for the same.

It's never too late to realise the rot which is setting in and act upon it. The lessons learnt from the experience are very very valuable ones and only help in the long run. Therefore first things first the leader needs to choose the right businesses and the right clients. Secondly choose the right employees and tell them very clearly that in a small company there is no place for slacking, excuses and bickering. One can relax in the cool climes of the bigger companies. And yes lastly one needs to confront the fear, face it , not run away from it and from that comes an understanding which is to prioritise and look for the right reasons to run the business. From such fearlessness will come the strength to take right decisions and journey on the right path will begin. It might sound easy, but it is not.

Posted via email from Be

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