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GOLD! Building a team around you that will follow you to hell and back.

Discussion in 'People & Relationships' started by csalvato, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    At the 2018 Fastlane Summit I gave a talk on our current hiring process at Territory Foods using this slide deck.

    The premise was on how to build a team around you that will actually want to work with you, and building a team that wants to work together.

    In other words, how to be a leader and make people want to follow you.

    In my talk I kept stressing that you can't just "copy and paste" what I do. It's specific to the company I'm working with, but there are general lessons that apply.

    I got a lot of questions after my talk on how people can work on hiring within their own business as they grow, and how they can improve themselves to improve their hiring ability, and their ability to work with others.

    So, here are some things that I recommend you do:
    1. As much as possible, immerse yourself in the hiring/team building/collaboration problem.
      1. Educate yourself about collaboration, hiring and leadership (I'll list some resources below)
      2. Figure out what you'd love in your first employee (ideally, someone who will build the business with you, not just be a grunt worker)
      3. Put together a mission for your company, even if it's totally new. Your mission is the impact you'd like this group of people, working together, to have on the world (140 characters or less)
      4. Put together a first stab at the vision for your products, and the problem they solve towards your mission. I think of the vision as what you will create to accomplish your mission. (Vision should also be 1-2 sentences)
      5. Put together a list of values that are important to you and the company as you work towards that mission (several bullet points with a one line explanation).
      6. Think about the way you can communicate your mission, vision and values as you start talking to potential employees and everyone around you. For example, go from "I sell gun parts" to "We create products that allow our customers to affordably defend themselves" (if those are your values).
      7. Put together a sample 30-day (4-week) plan/guideline for the next person you'd like to hire.
      8. Write sample job postings and actually post them
      9. Interview tons of people
    2. If you have employees already
      1. Set up weekly, 30-minute, 1:1 meetings with a 10-10-10 format:
        1. What's on your mind?
        2. What's on my mind?
        3. What does the week ahead look like?
      2. Set up Quarterly reviews with your employees. On these meets:
        1. Ask them what should the company:
          1. Start doing?
          2. Stop doing?
          3. Continue doing?
        2. Ask them, what should I, as your leader:
          1. Start doing?
          2. Stop doing?
          3. Continue doing?
        3. Inform them what they should:
          1. Start doing?
          2. Stop doing?
          3. Continue doing?
    My personal hiring and team building processes have stemmed from a long journey, based on the philosophies from many greats I've used as a model/platform to put my own spin on the process.

    If you like the way I think about teams and hiring, I suggest you consume this material as a start:

    Talks/Topical Books
    Biographies
    I read the biographies of people who are highly successful, and pay attention to their interactions with others. Some of my favorites are below.
    • Elon Musk Biography - Listen to how his employees describe working with him, and how it's the most rewarding experience of their lives.
    • Steve Jobs Biography - Notice how Steve Jobs was difficult to work with, but had a team that followed him from company to company for decades.
    • Benjamin Franklin Biography - Notice Franklin's philosophies on people, how to communicate with them, and how to take care of them.
    • Shoe Dog (Phil Knight Biography) - Notice how Phil Knight assessed his inner circle, and what was important to him in the process.
    Courses & Seminars
    • Tony Robbins Unleash The Power Within - A fantastic seminar that will allow you to explore what you are really after, and give you perspective on how to understand what is driving others.

    • Landmark Forum - A seminar focused on understanding the stories you tell yourself, and how to wield them. You'll also gain insight on how to assess the stories and motivations of others, which is crucial for hiring.

    • The Happiness Program - A 3-day course focusing on meditation and interpersonal activities. It completely changed how I interact with myself, and others, which has greatly impacted my ability to hire people and work with them every day.

    Remember, this is a journey and a process. It is not an event!

    You do not need to get this all right, or even do all of this, to get someone on your team. You'll get better at it over time. As you start or continue hiring, you will be able to draw from these things and get someone who is totally aligned with the business, and with your own goals.

    To give back to the forum, for a limited time I want to also offer up my time to help you, totally for free. Here's some things I would be more than happy to do for people on this forum, totally for free (so long as I'm available):

    1. Guide - Chat within this thread, DM, Facebook Message, etc. about any part of hiring you're struggling with as you put together your own hiring process.
    2. Advise - Listen in on phone interviews/pre-screens that you are doing with employees, to coach you on what I would do differently.
    3. Exemplify - Hold pre-screens/phone interviews on your behalf, while you listen so you can learn specifically how I conduct these conversations.
    This really is a terrific offer that I don't take lightly. I am extremely busy between my day job, my family, and my side ventures. Here's what my calendar looks like, typically:

    [​IMG]


    Despite my crazy-busy schedule, I really just want to help people hire. Here's what I get out of it:
    1. I want to help business owners. This will help people on this forum build teams that let business owners hit their goals. I have invested hundreds (maybe more like thousands) of hours in building a team at Territory, and want you to leverage my experience.
    2. I want to have a net positive social impact. More people will enjoy working for their boss, and their bosses will enjoy leading them (that's you, and your new employees)
    3. I want to keep learning. By working with you, I continue to learn about hiring in industries outside of my own expertise. Territory is currently not hiring, and my own business can't afford any new employees, so I can't keep hacking on hiring and team building
    So, if you believe what I believe in team and business building ....let's start building some teams!

    [​IMG]

    (I'll also drop other hiring tidbits in here when we get back to hiring at Territory).
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  2. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Getting ready to hire people? Someone put together a list of the qualities they value in the people they work for.

    I found pretty much everything on this list to be true of myself, as well as the people on my team, and that's why they enjoy working with me as their leader:

    Who I want to work for – keavy – Medium

    Bullets from the article':

     
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  3. AllenCrawley
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    AllenCrawley Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Thank you for posting this and for the presentation you gave at the Summit. Pure gold. (Marked)

    Rep+
     
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  4. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Thanks! That was fast <3
     
  5. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    A cool infographic outlining the companies people want to work for.

    Notice that SpaceX, Tesla and Netflix are on this list, and there's links in my first post outlining how those people work as primary sources. An article from Elon, and an interview with Reed Hastings of Netflix.

    There's also a biography of Elon, which sheds light on how he builds companies people want to be a part of; and a high ranking employee at Google (also on this list) who wrote the book on Radical Candor in the workplace.

    Even if you only apply 10% of their ideas and your observations, you are more likely to have a company people strive to join compared to your competitor that just cares about money.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Sahuuweeeet! Thanks for sharing the process. Rep+ thanks.
     
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  7. ZF Lee
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    ZF Lee Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    How timely!

    In an Upwork interview yesterday, my client did mention a similar hiring problem as well...
     
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  8. UnrealCreative
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    UnrealCreative asdfghjkl;kvjiad;lkdf Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    @csalvato

    Thank you for posting the slide deck.

    As someone who has struggled with hiring freelancers, your presentation at the summit was worth the cost of tickets alone.

    Up until this point, hiring has felt like herding cats.

    Looking forward to applying it, and will definitely sift through the supplemental materials you've provided here. Cheers.
     
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  9. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Give him my number
     
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  10. ZF Lee
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    ZF Lee Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    PM me. :)

    Edit: Wait...let me PM you. I'm not sure if you are busy structuring up more gold threads lol.
     
  11. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    IT DOESN'T END WITH THE HIRE

    This week I sat down for a chat with four people who don't report to me. I'm looking to recruit an internal member of the company for my team, and trying to find the right person to crush it on my product team.

    So, I spoke with everyone on a specific team within my company. Let's call them the Orange team, and they are crucially important to making sure our business runs smoothly.

    I sat down with one person. Let's call her Debby. During our conversation I opened up to her about my thoughts are on where I've fallen short. She tried to smile to herself, but I could tell she agreed by the slightest grin that spread on her lips. This is the reaction I'm looking for. She feels I'm vulnerable - and I am.

    Then I flipped it and asked Debby, "How are things going? How do you enjoy your day to day here?"

    "It's OK," she replied, "it's feeling a bit 'blah' lately..."

    She continued to open up...since I just did the same, "I actually have a good amount of time to be working on other stuff, but feel like my job is mostly mechanical these days. I probably only do about 20 hours of real work a week, and I want to do more."

    Bluntly, I asked her, "How close are you to quitting?"

    Radical Candor

    She recoiled. She wasn't quite sure how to respond. As an employee, Debby doesn't want to say the wrong thing. But her reaction was all I needed to see.

    The words that crossed her lips said: "I wouldn't say I'm close to quitting, I'm just a bit bored. Not really close to quitting though."

    But her body language said, "OMG how does he know?"

    (Cheating alert: I had another conversation with a team member of hers - let's call her Christine - just prior, who said she was concerned because Debby had expressed a desire to look elsewhere via text. This level of candor only comes when you take a sincere interest in people)

    I replied and said, "Listen, I know if those words came out of my mouth - `mechanical job` and `blah` - that I would also be close to throwing in the towel. I have been there before myself. But how do you feel if we change up your responsibilities by .... XYZ"

    Her face lit up again. "That sounds amazing. I'd love to do that, and I definitely have the time to do that. When can we start?"

    I am confident that once we make these changes, we will see that Debby will put in 60 hour weeks without our asking, and without minding, because she will be doing it for herself.

    Turns out, all four members of the Orange team felt the exact same way as Debby!

    I had a similar conversation with all of them, and am pushing to expand their roles, and their reporting structure to give them the space to work 60 hours a week like they actually want to.

    In one day of phone calls, and a few more conversations with other leaders around the company, we have activated a team where 3/4 people are teetering on to quitting, but aligning them with the things they want to accomplish.

    ----------

    What happened here? My goal in this process is to be asking questions, listening and synthesizing. My goal is not to tell these employees what to do. It's to see what they are attracted to doing, and seeing what we need to get done, and putting them on a crash course with bringing the company to success.

    If you have people working for you, when was the last time you asked them:

    "How are things going? How do you enjoy your day to day here?"

    If you ask that then shut up, you might learn how to triple their productivity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  12. bpampillon
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    bpampillon New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks a lot for sharing your insite on this matter csalvato.

    I'm following your advise and since a few weeks ago I'm running a weekly 1:1 meeting with my employees. I find it a good experience as opens up communication and also I get closer to them. I'll keep doing it and the quarterly meeting too.

    Now, in the last days a situation has come up and I would like to ask for your wise advise. One of the employees has received a phone call in working hours in two different days of the same week. He had gone into the meeting room to have privacy and calls has last for about 20 minutes. I have no problem with my employees attending personal calls and this could be anything, but the doubt of he thinking about moving to another company has got into my mind. Do you think I should bring this up in the weekly meeting?
     
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  13. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    This is a tricky subject, and it will depend on your overall philosophy on how to approach employment. All I can do is share my philosophy, and my rationale (and why it's worked for me as an employee within another company).

    Firstly, one thing I accept right out of the gate, and even bring it up during the interview process, is that I don't expect anyone on my staff to be in this job forever. I tell them I don't expect to be in my job forever, and that we can conceive of our company as a stepping stone to whatever they ultimately want to pursue in life. There's several strategic reasons why I execute this tactic.

    Of the many, here's a few important ones that come to mind for me:

    1. From the outset, it sets the stage that I expect and understand when you start looking for other employment options - which makes it way less touchy for them to bring this fact up to me when that time comes. That means we can talk about why they are planning on leaving and working through whether or not leaving is best for them. If it is, it gives me more time to plan a graceful exit for them (as opposed to a surprise resignation letter with 2 weeks notice and me being unable to prepare).
    2. It gets them to open up about what they want about the job and, over time, how that changes for them. This makes sure I can keep them on a track where they can get what they want out of work that aligns with company needs.
    3. The current trend in the workplace is that most (not all) people leave their job after about 2 years. Without debating why this is happening, it is happening statistically. So I prefer to confront that head on and plan for/around it rather than pretend it doesn't exist (which, ironically, means people will be happier to stay with my company/employer because of the level of honesty).
    It seems like you don't have a certain level of openness with this particular employee. If something major is going on in his personal life, you clearly don't have the relationship where he's comfortable telling you about that (whereas I know deep, emotional things going on in the lives of my employees, i.e. who's mom just got a bad diagnosis, who is moving across the world, who just had a bad breakup that may affect their work, etc.)

    I would say the direct approach is probably not what I would do, but would rather take an indirect approach. If possible, get together with him in person and spend a day together doing something not-work-related (like golf, or a stroll around a tourist area or something). Make yourself vulnerable talking about something going on in your life that's on your mind, and see if the relaxed atmosphere gets him to open up.

    Failing that, continue to keep working on the relationship with this person. Relationships take time to develop, and rushing/forcing this issue will probably do more harm than good.

    Please let me know if this helps you.
     
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  14. bpampillon
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    bpampillon New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    You are right. I have certain resistance to thing they will leave so soon, but eventually it will happen. In Spain the market is different and most of employees do not move fast, but there are always exceptions.
    This is quite painfull in my sector as the training period is very long. In the interview I always made a very strong point regarding the long training period and the company expecting a return on it. I have been very careful to chose candidates that show signs of medium-long commitments with the company. I also make efforts to keep staff happy at all levels. Maybe is not enough yet.

    I agree, I need to continue building up the relations with him. Certainly your first advice (weekly meetings) are helping on this a lot and there is a good level of trust and honesty between us. Yet not enough for bringing up personal matters, I suppose.

    Thank you very much for your free advice and time! I appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  15. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  16. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Swine Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Indeed. With my companies, I have turned what I learned in that book into an opportunity ownership model. Basically, if a team member of one of my companies sees opportunity (to save money, save time, save resources, increase margins, increase sales, horizontal integration, vertical intergration, buying a competitor, whatever) and we run with it, they will own some part of that deal either by profit share, or other incentives. I want everyone who ever works with me to always have the ability to make a lot of money.

    Leadership is about surrounding yourself with people that complement you and are often times smarter. You don't have to know everything, but you do have to be willing to fill whatever hole in your organization you may have. By nature, other people can and should be better than you at certain things. Because of this, they see the world through a different lens, a different angle.

    I truly believe a scaled system like this MBM approach or some sort of opportunity ownership program would prevent a growing organization from eventually turning into a bureaucratic piece of crap like GE. People should never be afraid to talk to their superiors about a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  17. bpampillon
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    bpampillon New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Over the last few weeks the relationship with my employee has grown stronger and he opened up a little and talk about some personal health matters. All things were going well in the right direction until today, when the buckle full of icy water poured over my head. :clench:
    My suspicions have become true and he just told me he got an offer somewhere else and is moving on. It is an unbeatable offer from one of the biggest companies in Spain with thousands of employees, with a different role and a much higher salary. He also got another offer similar in another big company.
    After asking him these were his answers:
    -I was happy in the company, not leaving due to a bad working atmosphere or bad relationship with anyone. I was treated fairly and respectfully.
    -I enjoyed my time here where I have learnt a lot.
    -I want to continue developing professionally and working in a big company will be a great experience and will improve my CV. I am young and with no ties, so I can move easily.
    -The salary is not the reason I'm leaving, but certainly helps into taking the decision to have a good bump.
    -This company is too small and don't see too many opportunities for me.

    My own reflexions:
    He is young and without ties to any particular location.
    After two years, he has learnt and it is the natural time for him to move on to continue his professional progression.
    He has an opportunity with a big company and much better salary, no reason to think it twice.
    ...
    Even if he had had a slightly better salary, in the moment of true would have not matter, would have seek to move on all the same.
    My company is yet very small, is not easy to grow as it is a very competitive market playing against big players with the extra difficulty of not able to get projects if you don't have the right team, but you cannot have the right team if you don't have projects.
    This does not give enough security to the employees despite of have never let down anyone even in periods of less workload.
    If I had started having the weekly meeting with him much earlier would have made a difference? Probably not in this particular case.
    What can I do to prevent employees leaving for bigger companies?
    Hire less qualified staff? Many downsides: even longer training period (awfully long!), probably less work quality (which would drop down the value of my services and this is key to get more work), lack of other languages skills.
    Hire older people with ties that is settle locally? Lack of minimum desirable skills for the role and difficult to make them change the way to work. Lack of languages skills. Higher salaries to be paid.
    Hire fresh graduates? Invest lots, lots of time training them, being patient with their slow learning curve and mistakes knowing that after 2 years they will move on?

    Truly, what can I do to compete against the big players to retain staff? Specially with young people that do4 not know the downsides of the big companies?
    Other than what has been said in this thread already, I will be pleased to hear any ideas.
    Thanks for reading.
     
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  18. Tom.V
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    Tom.V Tom Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Thanks for your presentation at the Summit and sharing this Chris! All grade A stuff and great food for thought for my own internal hiring processes. Rep+
     
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  19. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    bureaucratic
    When examining your language in these above posts, one thing becomes clear – you think working at a big company is better for your employees.

    You cite a few reasons, and even say there's no reason to think twice...

    This is categorically not true.

    Big companies offer a set of advantages and drawbacks. Small companies offer the same amount of advantages and drawbacks. The specific advantages and drawbacks are very very different though.

    Let's examine some examples:

    Big Company Advantages:

    • Usually little risk of the company not making payroll
    • Usually better benefits packages (in the US this usually means a retirement plan such as 401(k); health insurance; training programs; paying for continuing education; etc.)
    • Big companies can usually afford higher salaries, and if they are public, usually can give hefty stock incentives.
    • Unless you're an exec, you usually don't need to be creative - you get told what to do, and you simply need to do it.
    Big Company Drawbacks:
    • There's very little outlet for being creative in your work – everything is usually pre-defined, thus big company employees tend to be specialists, not generalists.
    • You can easily get drowned and frustrated in bureaucratic hell – having to ask 8 bosses to do anything, and getting a hall pass to go to the bathroom.
    • Your progress in your career is more likely to be defined by politics as opposed to skill.
    • You're usually expected to sit down, shut up, and get your work done as part of a cog in the machine.
    -------
    But now let's look at a small company...

    Small Company Advantages:
    • Able to be the underdog and overcome intense odds to get you and the company to succeed.
    • Can usually execute hard against multiple things, building up a massive resume of results (as opposed to a long resume defined mostly by "time on the job").
    • Able to be creative to overcome problems, and get answers to decisions in minute (or days at most), because you're working closely with a small team.
    • As a generalist, you learn a ton of skills across multiple domains. Generalists thrive in smaller companies (and when the company gets too big, they move on to another small company).
    • Usually you can get a bigger stake in the company overall (even 1% is a lot -- if you own 1% of Apple you are worth $10B, for example). If you work hard, that can become liquid and make you a ton of money.
    Small Company Drawbacks:
    • The company could die at any point - you need to be OK with uncertainty.
    • Nothing is defined - so things will get messy as you and the other team members figure it all out. That can be very frustrating.
    • You usually will make less money in salary working for a smaller company.
    • The benefits package is usually not as good.
    -------
    These lists are not, by any means, exhaustive. But it should highlight that there's a definite difference between what the employee gets out of working for a big company vs. small company. And that is clearly very different.

    After working for small companies for 10+ years, there's nothing that would make me work for a big company.

    The thought of working for a big company makes me physically sick. This will be true for any employee who values the attributes intrinsic to a small company and working on a small team.

    You should be attracting employees that want to work on a small team and small company, with a passion to build a company you want to build (e.g. stay small, grow huge, etc.)

    So, like so many things in business, this is your fault, not your employee's. In this case, those weekly meetings wouldn't have made a difference, because you should never have hired him to begin with.

    It seems like he does not value the lifestyle a small company provides. And you fed that belief with your beliefs that your company could not be "as good" as a big company.

    The moral: hire people who want to work for smaller companies. Make it clear this is a small company with something to prove. You'll be surprised who you attract.

    -----

    One final note: Losing people is OK. Don't be worried about losing people. It's almost a guarantee that most people will leave a company after 2 years. Build it into your expectations that most people you hire will not be around long after their 2 year anniversary...because they won't unless you're really over-indexing.
     
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  20. bpampillon
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    bpampillon New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I don't really think so, but my language could well have expressed that idea. I was writting with the frustration in my body yet.

    I would probably add as a Small Company Advantage the personal treat that employees can get, where their ideas and opinions are more often heard, while in big companies is normally the oposite.
    I suppose there is some truth on this. I took my time to find him. I selected him among other candidates as I thought was the best fit. He came from a big company in a big city and moved with us, small company in a small city (but closer to his hometown and family). I guess it was the 2 years benchmark what made him moved on.

    Sometimes losing people is more painful than others. This time is hard for me as, just a few months ago, I hired someone else which I'm still training up. Now I need to start the process again. I need to move the benchmark from the 2 years to 3 as the training period is very long. Also, I got to infuse into my expectations that most will leave around that benchmark.

    @csalvato thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is always helpful to have a different perpective.
     
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