Do You Accept A Crap Job Just Because You Bonk Your Business Partner?

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Well Do You?

If you are part of a couple in business, do you run it as a business, or is it an extension of your relationship? By that I mean, do you put up with a bad job because your other half did it, and you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Does yesterday’s argument come into the office the next day?

How To Make Money In The Boardroom and Love In The Bedroom

Our story was something along these lines, and to clarify Mark (my husband) and I have a strong personal relationship, but it is not perfect and so there is some ‘stuff.’ What we failed to appreciate was just how much of our personal lives we were injecting into our business, and how this was eating into our productivity, profits and potential.

Size Really Doesn’t Matter

A list of the tasks and management principles used by a large company, and there are a few below, should be similar for a smaller outfit, although the order of magnitude may differ.

  • A job should be done by the partner with the biggest credentials – not the biggest ego.
  • What are the aims and objectives of the company?

If you want to make a million pounds while your partner wants to save the world, then you must factor this into your objectives and direction.

  • Do you have short, medium and long term goals?

To work synergistically, you must understand each others goals and motivations.

  • Have you agreed company values

If one partner is operating the business outside of the values of the other, then the business risks failure. For example, if your top company value is helping people, whilst your partner seeks financial wealth, then someone’s values are at risk of serious compromise.

And this one is a deal breaker.

  • When did you last identify your individual strengths, weaknesses and development needs.

In the big corporate world your performance would be appraised to identify weaknesses, training needs, set targets and ensure you work to your strengths. When was the last time you had an appraisal?

  • Have you agreed your job titles, job descriptions and responsibilities?

If no-one has a job description, how do you ensure the dull and difficult stuff gets done, or eliminate overlaps which leads to each of you doing the same job over again.

  • Have you assigned yourself an hourly rate?

By this I mean, what would you pay yourself per hour, for what you produce. If you don’t know what your time is worth, how can you decide whether to do it yourself or pay someone else?

What will you change when you know the precise cash value of your wasted hours?

Perhaps you are like a lot of couples who decide to go into business? At first you’re so busy in the trenches that forward planning is the last thing on your mind. If you take a step back now, do you and your partner do any of these?

  • Accept substandard work instead of risking your partner’s feelings
  • Bringing last nights’ argument into the office
  • Re-doing your partner’s work because it is not up to your standard
  • Discussing at length how, why, and by whom a job should be done
  • Rehashing and re-organising systems
  • Agreeing with a proposal you think is flawed, just to keep the peace
  • Both of you doing the same job, which only needed doing once
  • Rushing a job which has now become urgent because no-one was responsible for completing it on time

If you do any of the above, do you know what it costs you?

The quantifiable resources such buy amoxil as wasted time spent squabbling or by inefficiencies; unnecessary traveling time and costs; additional printing or postage, phone bills, extra taxes, unused products……

And what of the even scarier unquantifiable’s such as lost sales; lack of momentum, unused or wasted resources, lost energy, lost the will to live.

If you could spend just one day to identify with certainty your individual strengths; re-align your personal and company values; set exciting and empowering business and personal goals; develop a congruent business plan AND take away with you all the skills and tools you both need to repeat the process and realign your values whenever you wanted, and as your company evolves-how much would that be worth to you?

I’ll tell you about the really tiny thing which Mark and I discovered but which turned not only our business, but our personal lives around. But first, a little background information about how we happened at that point. When we started our company Stormchasers we just shared out the jobs so all the important tasks would get done. This is what happened….

  • Instead of doing my boring jobs, I would poke my nose in to find Mark a more efficient way of doing his
  • I might decide not to tell Mark there was a better way to do his job, for fear of undermining him
  • Frustrated, eventually I would tell him there was a better way of doing his job, but in a way that did undermine him,
  • Mark would give in to my suggestions for ‘improvement’ just to keep the peace; but I hadn’t really thought things through properly, so the job would get done my way, but now ineffectively
  • I would come up with loads of business ideas which I would partly implement
  • We discussed everything at length for fear of excluding each other from decisions
  • We spent ages fussing and arguing over trifling issues and left the really important matters alone for fear of causing a serious rift in our personal relationship

If these seem inconsistent and contradictory, that’s because they are, and that happened because each one of us was lurching between deciding to accept poor workmanship, or a bad decision by the other, to reaching the point of no compromise where something had to change.

I’m a certified Master NLP Practitioner and came across Value Systems as part of my ongoing studies and decided to try it out on us. This is what we found.

Mark is operating at values level 4 where hierarchy, duty and having the correct system to follow are extremely important. Interestingly, he spent 16 happy and productive years in the army. Values level 4 people don’t feel their personal reward is of utmost importance; they crave purpose, order, stability and someone in charge to provide direction. Their management system is hierarchical with order maintained, and a defined decision making process. They have a sense of duty and believe in doing what’s right.

I on the other hand am largely a values level 5 where individual goals and seeking out the best way are important. Values level 5 will compete to succeed, sense possibilities for change and find an individual opportunity to do better. These are the innovators and idea generators. The entrepreneurs, goal setters and seekers. They have no sense of duty and believe in doing what’s right for them.

This was an amazing revelation for us. Before, we had a task based organisation…

Mark – retail, accounts
Sian – paying bills, getting customers

However, there are some fundamental elements missing from the above structure, which prevented us from moving forward. After our values revelation, we restructured to this…

Sian – Strategic Big Picture, Product buy cheap amoxil Development, Testing, Focus and System Development

Mark – Detailed processes, Retail, Accounts, Bills

Both Of UsGoals, Vision, Job Descriptions, Aims and Corporate Values

Today I contribute the ideas to move us forward – the strategic direction, whilst Mark provides the stability and delivers the systems and day to day jobs, which now get done on time. He says, ‘It’s Sian’s role to come up with the ideas, and my job to organise the chaos she creates into real productivity.’

We learned that instead of him dreading me taking over, Mark was desperately wondering where the structure and rules were. I on the other hand, was so wary of being seen as a domineering tyrant who wanted to be in charge of everything, that I simply did nothing and was largely unproductive.

An NLP Practitioner will structure a bespoke programme for you, but you can start right now to apply these ideas for change…

1. Create a positive environment for change and development by agreeing to be honest, trusting and accepting of a performance less than perfect. Don’t point score.

2. Each of you should work out your life and business values and also describe what they mean for you.

3. Agree common values for your business.  Examples could be Integrity, Customer Satisfaction, Delivering Value, Making Money and Helping Others.  Choose as many as you wish.

4.  Brainstorm all the jobs that must be done for your business to run smoothly.   Beside each, write the name of the person who will  deliver and agree total autonomy.  No poking noses in.

5.  Establish areas where either or both of you lacks confidence.  A good example would be cold calling or dealing with customer complaints.

6.  Use the information in items 4 and 5 to establish a training, development and appraisal programme.

7. Each write a job description and decide on job titles.

8. Set business and personal goals.

Note To Self: Do it all again in 6 Months.


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