Momentum Podcast: 393

Policies Over Judgement

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

When you start growing your business, you are the on that makes all the decisions. As your business expands, you need to turn your judgment calls into policies. You want to move towards policies that are clear, consistent, and trainable. One of the fastest way to have your team be able to duplicate your decision making it to put policies in place. Policies are a massive bridge to growing your business way beyond where it is today.

Full Audio Transcript

As an entrepreneur growing your business, you are going to have to use your judgment, your decision-making skills throughout the entire startup of your business in order to actually get it off the ground and get it running, but once you do, once you have clients, once you're selling, once your business is growing, you have to turn judgment into policies as fast as you can or it will hurt the growth of your business.

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, and we always will be.

Let's get real. When you're growing your business, you make all the decisions. You're the person who's actually going through the process of saying what you should and what you shouldn't do. But here's the issue. If you don't start pulling your judgment out of your business and converting your judgment calls into policies fast, it is going to be hard to grow your business, and here's what I mean. Instead of judgment calls, we wanna move towards policies that are trainable, clear, that people understand, that are consistent.

Here's why. Let's talk about a simple thing in your business, like maybe your return policy or taking returns. When you're first starting out, you might use judgment. One person's frustrated, one person's not frustrated, one person had a terrible experience, another one didn't. You talk to them, you see what you can work out. You wanna understand what people are looking for. But as soon as you can possibly do it, put a return policy in place so that every client who has an issue is treated exactly the same way because here's what will happen if you continue to use judgment as you grow your business.

The amount of decisions you have to make increase and the consistency with which you make those decisions will go down, whether you want to admit it now or not, and if you've grown your business already, if you have a team, if you have clients coming in and you don't have policies in place, one of the fastest ways to duplicate decisions in your business is to put policies in place. Let's make no mistake. One of your responsibilities as a CEO is to create a culture in which you duplicate your decision-making. There are very few ways that you will actively train your team to duplicate your decision-making outside of the communications cadence that you have, the strategic planning that you do, the time that you spend with your team, and the policies you put in place.

Policies literally make a decision in advance for something that's going to happen. So, a return policy should be clearly spelled out that everybody understands exactly what's in it. When I say that this is one of the biggest opportunities for you to grow your business fast, here's why. If you just have policies ... Or if you just are using judgment in your business, and you verbally tell people what they can do and what they can't do, and I'm talking about in decisions making, like ... when you're making decisions for your clients, when you're making decisions around team building, when you're making decisions around what you do as a company, when you're sharing judgment that will allow people to understand, in the moment, what you're thinking and, hopefully, they will take what you're thinking, maybe they've watched you over time, and they will take those decisions they've watched you make and then try to apply them themselves and make decisions similar to what you would make. That is a really tall order for somebody who's working in a growing business trying to do everything they can to do their job for you. Now, we're trying to get them to apply the decisions they've watched being made and do them the same way. That's hard.

But entrepreneurs expect their teams to do it every single day because they have a complete lack of policies in their business. When you start converting decisions that you make judgment that you use into clear policies in the business, it changes everything. I'll share one of ours with you. So, one of ours is our return policy. It's spelled out, it's clear, everybody on our team knows exactly why and how somebody can return something, and if that wasn't clear, then we would make it clear as quickly as possible because if you're using judgment for returns, not only can you run into issues with clients, you can actually break the law. Your returns have to be consistent for everyone, and if you get big enough, and you're inconsistently taking returns, you can actually have been shown to show bias to one client over another, and if that happens, that can get you in serious trouble.

When you're a large enough company, those types of things need to come into consideration; however, let's say you're just starting out. You have a few employees, you have a few team members that are working with you. Just having a return policy in place will stop you answering the question, "How do we take returns?" So, here's another policy of ours. Before we buy anything as a company, we have to have at least three different options we consider.

So, if we're going to buy a printer, we look at that printer in three different places. If we're going to buy some type of training, we look at three different training options. If we're going to ... We're big on having three options. If we're gonna hire someone, we wanna have three different options. So, that's another policy we have. So, if we're purchasing something, everyone on our team knows that the way that we purchase is we get three viable options and then we choose the best one.

If you don't even know how to buy something you're buying ... Let's say you've never bought a printer before, but you figure out, basically, what you want and you go out and look at three viable options, you're gonna know way more than you did before. That's why we have that policy there. The reason we have the policy in place to review three different candidates before we hire one is that we know that if we consistently review three candidates, we make much better hiring decisions, but we're also a lot more confident in the candidate that we select. So, we go through an extensive qualifying process and interviewing process, usually with a very large group of people, and we drive that down to three candidates, and then we know we're gonna take one of those three ... we know when we take one of those three candidates, that we followed a process driven by a policy that ensures we're gonna make a good decision.

So, for you, right now, if you're thinking, "Hey, I don't really have that many policies," or, "Where could I add them?" start thinking through the areas of your business where you get consistent questions 'cause questions can be turned into policies, policies can be documented, documentation can be trained, and then you can duplicate your decision-making over a massive population of team member because if you wanna grow your business, that's really what you're doing. You're duplicating your decision-making over a larger and larger population of people where they can make decisions like you would or in a way that is okay with you, so that you can grow your business faster.

So, every policy you put in place that your team understands, actually ends up training your team how to make decisions exactly like you would. And then, here's what happens. Your clients get treated consistently, your team members get treated consistently, the business makes decisions consistently, and you dramatically increase your percentage chances of longterm success by simply putting policies in place and making them clear to your team. So, if you're thinking, "I don't have enough," start going through the different places in your business where you get questions. Start going through the different places in your business where you feel like you are consistently making decisions. Start looking in the different places in your business that affect your team, and start asking yourself what policies can you have?

So, when somebody asks for time off in our company, we don't just have a policy, we have a process. When someone asks in our organization ... When someone says they need help, we have a policy. You need help in our company? You feel like you're overwhelmed, there's too much going on in your position? You do a two-week time study. We sit down, we analyze the time study, we look at it together, we understand where you do need help or where we could create efficiencies or how we can get you leverage, and we get you out of that situation. But if one of our team members comes to us and says, "Hey, you need to hire someone," we have a policy. We don't do that until we get a two-week time study. It creates massive clarity.

Now, that, that's something that very few organizations do. How many people do a two-week's time study? If you wanna know what a time study is, go back to the podcast that I have called Double Your Productivity in Two Weeks. When one of our team members does the time study, they get clear on exactly what we need, and we might need to go find someone. It might be a contractor, it might be getting them leverage, whatever it is, but it helps create momentum in the moment because we have a policy where they have to go and analyze exactly what's going on.

And so here's the effect that we want in your business. The more that you can take your decision-making, the more that you can take the processes you're building, the more that you can take the judgment calls that you make in the business and the questions that you answer on a daily basis and turn them into policies, the faster your entire team can get the outcomes you want.

I think one of the reasons so many entrepreneurs don't instinctively build policies or don't think about building policies or, let's be real, sometimes even fight building policies is that we like to make decisions, we like to leave our options open, we like to have options, we like to be able to turn on a dime, we like to be able to change things if we want to anytime we want to, we wanna be able to make the judgment call, but part of the responsibility of growing a business and serving more clients and making a bigger impact and making more things happen is to go from making the judgment calls in the moment to documenting your decisions in advance, making policies so everybody knows, really, what's going on, and allowing your entire team to be trained to think like you.

Policies are a massive bridge to growing your business way beyond where it is today. The faster you build policies, you'd be surprised, the faster you might grow.

If you have a growing company, one that possibly needs some more policies, but also, you want to know how to build your team and organize a way where you'll be making the right decisions at the right times, you wanna know which projects your team should be focused on right now so that you grow the fastest, and you wanna know how to prioritize what's going on in the business so that you can get constraint out of the way and have your entire team creating momentum, reach out to us. We help entrepreneurs, just like you, grow empires.

If you go to, you will fill out a short application where just the questions we ask will show you how much different we are from any other coaching company out there. We work with entrepreneurs to help you strategically plan with your team so you can create the future in advance, we show you how to set up a communications cannon so everyone on your team knows where you're going and they can all be productive and helping you get there, and then we show you how to set up the infrastructure of people and process that will actually build your business as fast as the opportunity will allow. When you have those things together, you just can't stop a business from growing. Let us show you how. Let us help you. Go to You do not have to do this alone.

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