Momentum Podcast: 277

Stop Trying To Manage

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As entrepreneurs, we should just do what we do in our natural strength, we should move into the position of leadership in our company and stop trying to manage anything because we’re not good at it. 

Get out of management and ascend to leadership. I can teach you how to stop transactional management where you tell people what to do and shift to transformational leadership. When you step into transformational leadership you will be shocked at how much your team is capable of.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire-builders, game-changers, trailblazers, shot-takers, record-breakers, world-makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how.

While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. We always will be. Stop trying to manage.

I am out in California for the second day of Taki Moore's Event for his Black Belt Mastermind, and it was just an awesome day today. We had so much fun. Taki attracts a very earnest, very legit, very real, very authentic crowd of people that we had a ton of real conversations. People were very transparent about their businesses, where they are, where they really need help. It made me feel very comfortable to do the same thing. It just was an awesome event, and I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to be here.

I had a lot of conversations with people, and one of the things that comes up so often is, as soon as people find out what I do, as soon as the mastermind finds out what I do ... I'll talk to people in the room, and within the first two or three things, somebody tells me, they'll say, "Well, I just want you to know, I'm really not a good manager," because they know I'm known for helping entrepreneurs build and scale teams. Today, I had someone say that. "I'm just not a good manager." I said, "Great. Neither am I. Stop trying to manage. It's totally swimming the wrong way upstream." They looked at me funny and said, "Well, don't you help people build teams?" I said, "Absolutely, but people like you and I should never try to manage. We should just do what we do in our natural strength." We should move in to the position of leadership within our company and stop trying to manage anything because we're not good at it. It makes us feel incompetent. It makes us feel broken and frustrated and irritated.

I went on to tell that person like, "Listen. I want you to know you can do anything you want. You should just stop trying to do the things you're not good at." That's how it is for every one of us who doesn't have that natural ability to manage people or doesn't have that natural ability to build teams. A lot of us have a hard time. The reason that I'm good at building teams today is because I was so terrible at it before. The reason I'm really good at leading teams today and I can help other people do it is because I was a disaster in my 20s. I didn't understand how to lead a team. I didn't understand how to motivate people and how to show them that there's clear outcomes and clear responsibility and accountability for each one of them and transparently show them the results and measurement. I just drove everyone on my team as hard as I could every day towards this big outcome that none of us really understood. We failed forward constantly, and it was like an absolute contest to see who could put the fires out fast enough.

That was brutal, and it's a meat grinder, and it felt terrible. I almost died. When I got out of that in my early 30s and found Cadey, and we got married and we started a life together, I committed to figuring out a better way to do this. I had already started to figure it out at my 20s, but I wanted to make sure that I really understood this. How do you shift into leadership? Well, here's how you do it. You have to do what less than 1% of companies in the world do, but it isn't as hard as you would think. There's three things.

First, as the leader of your company, you must create a clear, forward planning system where you can sit down with your team in the same way over and over again, and in a methodical, structured way plan forward what your future successes will be. What is the productivity your company's going to have? What are you actually going to do in the next year? That forward planning system should be something that you renew over and over again during the year because if you lay out a plan at the beginning of the year, you and I both know, by the end of January, it's changed. Instead of planning the entire year, you have to understand how to renew the short-term portions of that strategic plan. When you have a forward planning system that creates a strategic plan, here's what happens.

You stop being the entrepreneur that has to fix the problem that just happened, and you can start to anticipate what you're going to need next and start to bring it into the company so you don't have as many problems. That forward planning system allows you to anticipate how to build the team. It allows you to anticipate who you're going to need next, what resources you'll need, what expenses you'll have. What's going to be on the docket for your company? First to move from management to leadership, you must have a forward planning system because that, in and of itself, must be there for you to have clear outcomes, and less than 1% of companies have it. I mean there's some systems and stuff that's out there that people try and apply to businesses. There's people who show people how to get really big, huge visions and stuff, but less than 1% of companies have a clear, strategic planning system.

The second part for you to move into leadership, now, this is important. You have to have a structured and an obsessively dedicated communication system so that your team trusts the beginning of your daily huddle like they trust the 9 o'clock news coming on at 9 o'clock, so that your company has obsessive focus on what matters. Your team huddles, your team meetings, when you create a cadence and a structure where every meeting counts and every meeting has an outcome and they don't go off-track and everyone stays engaged, your entire business will change. That communication system where your team knows when they're going to hear from you and how they're going to hear from you and why they're going to hear from you, and the meetings are all the same. It means when somebody moves from one part of your company to another, the meetings are always the same. The structure that you run the business with is the same. When somebody trusts when they're going to hear from you as the CEO, they will begin to see you as a more and more competent leader.

See, first, you have to have a forward planning system so you can tell the team where you're going. You build trust when you do that. Then, you have a communication system so that they hear from you routinely, regularly, and they can expect you to be there. You're not even ... Never a minute late for your team. They're the most important people in the world to you. There's your family. Then, there's your extended family. Then, there's your team, and you would never be late to a meeting with the most important people in the world. The people who are helping you create your next evolution, who are helping you change the world. Then, so you have the forward planning system and a structure communication system with rigorous disciplined timing where everyone knows they can trust it. When you're not there, it still happens.

Then, the third thing is a system for systematically building the right positions on the team and the infrastructure of the company. Bringing in the right people, the right departments, the right divisions, the right organizational chart and understanding how to do that and knowing when the right people should come in and knowing when it's time to hire a position, not a contractor, and understanding, over time, how to manage each ... Not to manage. Understanding over time how to give each of those people clear outcomes and accountability and absolutely clear results, transparency around what they're doing. For every position that you build into your company and when you do these things, then you will be the leader. When you have a clear, forward planning system, a communication system and a system for systematically building the team, by default, you become the leader.

When you have a forward planning system where you tell the team where you're going and then you start to do that as a team, each month that goes by that you hit your target, each month that goes by that you exceed what you said you were going to do, each quarter that goes by that every ... 80% of what you set out to do is achieved or more. We're never perfect, but 80% or more is achieved, the team will trust you more and more. They will give you discretionary effort. They will put more of their personal time into the business you own, that you will actually get more out of the investment you are making in your team right now. Think about that.

When you make this transition, you actually increase the inherent value of the salary you're paying because you make your team entirely more competent, because when they know where you're going and they trust their communication with you and you can build the team out systematically, everyone on the team looks better. Everyone on the team is more competent, and success is virtually assured because people, when they have these types of systems, when they have clarity, when there's forward planning, when you tell them where they're going, when you leave that in place, you let them all pursue those outcomes, they will all get into momentum. This is how you build a game-changing team.

Today, in Talk is Real, I can't tell you how many times ... It's not my event. I can't jump up and say, "Oh, God, don't do that," but every time I'm in a mastermind like this, there's at least five to ten comments about a team that just make my stomach churn. I'll share one with you today.

There was a gentleman that when Taki said, "Hey, share what you learned or what you got from this today," actually, he said, "I just had this great idea this morning. I went out, and I did a sprint call with my team at lunch, and they were looking at me like I was crazy, but they're really excited about it," because what happened was, this morning, Dean Jackson shared this principle, and I don't remember all of the details, but it was I think called the moo principle. It's where you're a cow, and you don't want to be a self-milking cow. Well, basically, the whole point was if you have hooves, you wouldn't be able to do a lot of stuff. Dean Jackson wants you to act like you have hooves and have your team do everything else. That way, your team's empowered to do everything around you.

Well, this guy said he had actually gone out and done a sprint call at lunch with his team, so he heard the concept in the morning. You can tell how clear I am on it. I'm sure he was about as clear because it was the first time we had ever heard it, and we heard it in a theoretical, not in a tactical way. It wasn't like, "This is how you apply this." It was, "This is the theory of you should act like a cow and have somebody ... Don't be a self-milking cow. Have somebody else do all of the stuff for you." Well, this guy went out. He literally said in front of the room, "I went out and did a sprint call with my team. I told them that on Monday, I'm going to tape my fingers together, and I'm really going to tape my fingers together. They were looking at me like I was crazy, but they thought ... They were onboard. They just thought it was awesome."

I wanted to jump up and say, "No, they didn't. They don't understand what the hell you're talking about. What do you mean you're going to tape your hands together? Today, your team had a full-time job. You just told them that on Monday, because you're at a seminar and you heard something this morning, their lives just got exponentially more difficult. If you think that was exciting for them, I can tell you right now, they might lose sleep this weekend over that sprint call." The only exception is if you have a team that you found people who are willing to stay with you through these types of decisions and you do this to them all the time, then they're used to it. They're rolling their eyes, and they know that Monday, something's going to happen, but they don't really understand what it is. They don't really know why.

Maybe, maybe the person who said it has a system and a structure and a way that they apply things with their team. They made the exception, and this is the only time that they did this, but the fact is, I've watched this a hundred times. I call it seagull management. The entrepreneur goes to an event. They come back, and they fly in like a seagull and crap all over their team, all of their new ideas. It's in the middle of the day where they already had a full-time job, and they had no warning. Now, you're changing everything, and you're taping your hands together. We don't even understand what the heck you're doing. If you had a forward planning system and a communication structure and a system for bringing on the right people and you understand how to hire, you wouldn't be doing that.

You'd actually think to yourself, "Well, this is an initiative. There's several different things here that I should get off my plate. I can roll those into my forward planning system the next time I meet with my team. I'll tell them what my outcomes are and where I want to be in 30 days." Then, that way, rather than lobbing a grenade at my team on a sprint call at lunch, because that's really what you did, I can tell them what outcome I want, which is I want to do a lot less of the work that I'm doing myself. I want to be out of e-mail. I want to be out of all the tactical stuff, which by the way, this is a conversation I had with my team a long time ago. That's a constant conversation I have with my team, is how do I not do any of this stuff I don't like to do? That shouldn't be a one-time conversation. That is an evolving conversation.

Every day, I write down, "Where was I uncomfortable yesterday? It's my team's job to make that go away when it's something in the business," and I share it with them, and they do everything they can to make it go away, because they know if I'm more comfortable and the business does better, so do they. I've built a massive amount of trust with my team through telling them where we're going to go through a clear, strategic planning system they're involved in. Then, I've built massive trust with my team because everyday at 9:17, there's a daily huddle, or 9:27. I just had a little bit of a memory lapse. We used to do it at 9:17. It's now 9:27. Everyday at 9:27, there's a huddle. When our weekly meetings start, they happen every single week. They start at the right time. They even get huddled when I'm not there. My team has trust that if we go do well and if we go expand the team, that we will systematically bring in the right people. We'll hire the right people.

We'll build out the team, and because I've done those things, they're willing to do a ton for the business. They come in every single day working so hard that my primary means of motivational coaching with my team is motivating them to take care of themselves, motivating them to spend time on self-care, motivating them to eat healthy, motivating them to spend time with their family because I have to actually motivate them away from their jobs because they'll just do work all the time if I didn't say, "Hey, I really want you to be healthy. I want you to spend time with your family. I want you to have the time you need. I want you to take your daughter to swimming two days a week. [Matt 00:16:17], I want you to write in crazy bike races all around Texas and keep yourself in incredibly ridiculous shape. [Leane 00:16:26], I want you to go on your nature walks because they make you feel sane." Those are the things that I encourage my team to do. That's the motivation I have to do.

I don't think I've ever once in the past year had to motivate a team member to check into their job. It's the opposite. For any of you, for any of us that are ever having trouble feeling like we're managing, there's a reason. When you don't have these things in place, it's not just that you don't manage well. It's that you don't have the appropriate systems and tools to even build a company, much less a team. If you can't anticipate where you're going and what you're going to need next, you will always be putting out the fire that just happened. If your team can't count on you to communicate with them in a clear, concise way, then they are always waiting for a word from on high, and they will trust it less and less because if won't be right. If you don't have a system through which you're hiring the right people, the people in the business will be intimidated to grow it. You will find that it's like running through molasses, trying to get anything done.

You feel like your team's not doing enough. You feel like you're not getting enough. You think they could be working harder. Sooner or later, you just want to go back to doing it all yourself. Before that happens, get out of management and ascent to leadership. Stop transactional management where you tell people what to do, check that it got done and tell them what to do again. Shift to transformational leadership where you give people clear outcomes through a forward planning system where you have clear accountability because you have a system through which every person in the team knows what they're doing. Then, you have clear transparency. You know exactly what the results are. You know exactly what people are doing, and the team knows exactly what they're doing through a systemized communication system that always happens at the right time.

That's how not only you but your entire time will get into momentum, create ridiculous outcomes. When you step into transformational leadership, you will be shocked at how much your team is capable of. There will be a day where you are blown away at the output in your business. There will be a time when you realize that the impact you are having is massive in the world, but it is most prominent, most intense, and so you will have the greatest impact on those most proximal to you. It's the people who are on your team where you're really going to make the most massive and most long-lasting and most complete and total transformational changes. You step into transformational leadership, and not only do you grow. Your entire team grows. If you're ready to start installing some of these systems in your company, if you're ready to start understanding how to do these things so you can step out of management and step up to leadership, go to

Next week, I am doing a webinar, an online presentation where it's live. I'm answering all questions, and we are going to take you through the same presentation I did at Funnel Hacking Live. We're going to share the entire billionaire code and show you where you are right now as an entrepreneur, what you will need next so you can anticipate what's coming and the entire path to success for an entrepreneur from zero to a hundred million dollars. Go to and join me next week.

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