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    Keyy Blog

    Unlock your true potential.

    Written by Luke Summerfield
    on August 14, 2016


    When was the last time you were in a situation where shit hit the fan? After it happened, how did you or the team react?

    Before anyone starts pointing fingers, we need to step back and think like a leader. True leaders recognize that at it’s core, the problem often isn’t with the person… rather it was a systemic problem rooted or overlooked in the process.

    Let’s unpack that thought and give you some actionable questions to use with yourself, your team or your company to help solve these underlying issues.

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    My listeners on the inter webs. You are listening to another keyy.io Bite-sized-Bits where we are dropping those knowledge bombs to help you, help your team or help your organization achieve its true potential.

    Today we are going to talk about a concept for those who are leaders. And if you don’t think you are a leader let me tell you every single one of you are a leader in some way. You may not be leading a big organization, you may not be leading a team or maybe you are, but you are leading someone. You are leading someone in your family, you are leading someone in your personal life or you are leading yourself through this journey that we call life. Today we are talking about mindset that will drastically help you to think differently as you go about approaching these different things.

    My name is Luke Summerfield. I am coming to you from Austin Texas, down south in the States. You can see this beautiful capital building behind me for those who are watching the YouTube videos. An Awesome city, really good food. I ate way too many tacos and BBQ as I was meeting friends down here.

    So the thing that I want to start with is I want you to think about a time when either yourself or someone on your team something goes wrong. Someone screws up or you know something we didn’t expect to happen and this inevitably it’s going to happen. And when something breaks, something goes wrong, something screws up or maybe you had a scenario where someone keeps coming to you, keeps asking for questions, keeps looking for something and you like O My God! How many times do I have to point this person here do this for the person or show them how to do this. Those are scenario where we as humans, we as social creatures it becomes very easy for us to quick to blame another person. It is easy for us to look for faults in other people. When someone masses up, when the system breaks, when things don’t go the way we planned, we immediately look for someone else that we can blame.

    But the problem with that thinking is that there’s always going to be more people and as you grow your life, as you grow your family, as you grow your business, your organization you are always going to be adding more people and that vary ability of people always going to be there. And knowing that what we need to do is we need to look at things differently. We need to think about the things in the kind of business cliché saying there are no such things as people problems, there are only process problems.

    When I first hear this I say ya.. ya.. ya.. I mean I have heard a million of these types of things. As I became more involve in tackling some of this issues in organization, tackling some of this issues with a team it became more and more apparent.  As I kept that in mind there are no people problems, there are only process problems. It becomes more and more apparent that it’s truly the case. There’s always a way for you to find and track back the issues that you are having to some lack of process, some deficiency, some gap, some problem, something that’s in the wrong order.

    Something wrong with your process and if you spend the time to diagnosed why something happen and think about it form process prospective and take the stands of a true leader who does not go and blame people. But blame themselves for not building a process, not building a system, not building a organization that should check back again some of those things. When you come added with that, that’s where you can then really starts figuring out how you can make impact from improvements as you get more people, as you start growing, as you scaling. You will have less and less of those problems.

    So, if you think about that back to that time, to that time when something went wrong to shit hit the fan and all of the some something didn’t go the way you thought. When someone came to you time and time again asking and asking again for something, think about that for a second and do ran a five why analysis. Right, ask yourself "why did this happen?" five times and I would suspect that at some point as you going through that five why analysis something going to come out in the process that was broken. In the process that was a gap. So you as the leader need to be mindful of that. And think about that because as you identify those things that’s where you can go back and improve them. And when I was thinking about this and I first heard that it’s really started to click in it. Okay this makes sense.

    I need to improve the process that people go through it but then I Like man...  What about that you hired bad, what if you just have wrong people, like some people just don’t get it and sometimes you have the wrong people in the wrong sits. Like that is a people problem isn’t it Luke...?

    I thought a little bit more about it and it’s not; it’s still comes back to a process. In that case if you are consistently running in to the wrong people into the wrong sits or having people that are not capable of following the process or executing the process or building their own process then you have a problem with your hiring process. Its still comes back to the process. Again there are no people problems there are only process problem and when you go through that could be then you start asking yourself maybe it was just the wrong person. That’s the right flag to go back and look at how are you hiring people, how are you finding people to get into your hiring funnel. How can you improve your hiring process to ensure those things don’t happen? Again and again goes back to there are no such thing as people’s problem, there are only process problem.

    Well maybe our managers are not asking the right question or maybe they are not doing a good job of letting these people coming out. Again it’s comes down to your hiring process. I think that’s one of the things you will find as you go through this you can boil this down, you can do the five why analysis and boil it down into process problem.  So, keep that top of the mind. I am going to give you some take always; this is little short Bite-Sized-Bits today. I am going to give you some key take away that you can think about as you’re improving on it. So, you got bunch of noise outside here, near the capital here.

    So, some takeaways that you can do, First of- is simple as it sounds, Document your processes. Spend the time. Invest the energy, step outside of the day to day and invest the energy and your business to go through and Document your processes. And lot of time I hear Luke. Like this is going to take forever we do so many things. Start by identifying the 20% of the things you are doing in your business that are making 80% of the impact. Write those things down. You probably only have a handful of functions- Sales, Marketing, Hiring or HR like some really key things in your business. And then say okay for each one of those what are the 20% of the steps that are making 80% of the process and document those. You can literally get through within a day or two all of your major key processes and documenting them.

    Now once you have documented them the next time you run through those processes of course you need to document them in more detail. When you first starting out and you are just trying to get the documentation of the processes down start by doing those big, high level chucks the next time you run through it, then have someone who running through it go and document the deep drive as you go actually going through the process. And then sign in an owner for that particular process.

    Look at your org chart and the processes that need to get documented. Then assign a process owner or process manager who is in charge of that particular process and optimizing and improving. Okay that’s the step one, just Document it. I can’t tell you about how many businesses just don’t document their processes to begin with. Whether even if you are one person show or you are two person operations you still need to document your processes. Do it early, do it often.

    Number two- make it a habit. When you are taking, when you are reflecting yourself, when you are talking to your team, when you are thinking about things that have gone wrong and you are trying to go through the five why analysis, always go back no matter what the outcome. If the outcome is good, if the outcome is horrible, if the outcome is as ok as after you went through this process go and ask your team, individuals and yourself what you learnt after going through this and pulse and see what they say. Let them think about the things that they have learns as they are going through this process. And guess what those responses, the things that they come back to you and say what they have learnt those are the golden nuggets. Those are where you are looking for opportunity to improve your process. And most likely they are going to tell you something that you can go back and optimize your process. 

    Whenever you are reflecting with team member, whenever you are doing one and ones, whenever someone shit the bad and you have to try and figure out what went wrong, just go back to just asking what did you learn through this. And then that’s going to be your golden nuggets and you should go back and improve. You can also ask few other questions. What would you do differently next time? Now that you have gone through this or what would I do differently next time? You could also ask how could you do accomplished the same result at half of the time. And that gets their gears trying about how they can make process improvements.

    All of these things are reflection questions that you can ask and trying too as you developing this idea of constant improvement or how to improve the process even if the people again are a challenge. These are the questions you can ask.

    Then spend sometimes if you are in charged with or the process owner have them book by weekly or even monthly time that they can go and invest time and going back having a Google doc where they dump all those ideas, they dump all those they learned. Things they would do differently next time and then make sure that once a month at a minimum or even by weekly or weekly if you go through these processes if you haven’t go through and make those updates through the process that’s how you can continuously improve.

    Okay so that’s what I got for you, I guess my homework to take away  for this is to start and co-operating some of those questions at any point, at any conversation what did you learn is such a powerful question and they gives you the golden nuggets  for how to improve. And keep top of your mind whether you are managing yourself, whether you are managing a team, whether you are managing a company there are no such things as people problems.

    When you fear yourself quick to blame, when you have those kinds of thoughts about blaming or talking down to someone imagine how to take a step and say this isn’t the person fault, It’s my fault for not having a fully develop process that helping nurture them, helping get them to where they need to be.

    Okay so if you have any idea s in this, if you run through this yourself or if you have some other ideas of how to build a process feel free, go down into the comment and you can add a comment. If there is another leader, another team leader, another individual who’s leading themselves or an organization. If you think this would be helpful, this would be good Bite-Sized-Bits feel free share this out and make sure you can subscribe to either the YouTube channel.

    That’s your mood of preference or the Podcast on iTunes to get more Keyy.io Bite-Sized-Bits deliver to you. You can also go to Keyy.io and click on the note book for expended resources, expended thoughts from this episode and continuingly to adding things in other resources, other books, and other blogs that you can read. So, there’s lot other good golden nuggets related to this topic if you go to the notebook.

    Okay so I will wish you a happy rest of the day and I will talk to you soon.

    Take care.

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