The best asset you have is TIME. Manage it Well.
Ever feel like you're spinnig your wheels? Is your "to do" list getting longer and longer with very few items checked off? Are you thinking of more and more great ideas but there's no time to implement them? Do you sometimes feel like you're doing it all?
I suppose we have all had some of those thoughts or feelings at least some of the time. Team management is time management. You can achieve an amazing level of productivity if your team, and your time, are managed well.
When you feel overwhelmed here are some strategies you might employ:
1. Identify your team. If you're thinking you don't have a team, you must rethink the concept of "team". Team members are not just co-workers with whom you share a call schedule. That's only one part of a team. If you have those team members, great. But think about who else may be on your team. Spouse, children and other family members are key team members. So are close friends. Professional adjuncts are also team members such as your accountant, attorney, mortgage broker, etc. They are in business to provide you with their services. Use them for that purpose.
2. Once you've identified your team, lay out a plan to gain the most output for the least effort. If you have traditional team members, ask for and expect a daily update. Collaboratively develop goals. Clearly define tasks. Make sure everyone is held accountable. In other words, is what is supposed to be happening, really happening? For the non-traditional team members, assign them tasks also. It may be that you need your spouse to pick up the dry cleaning, but it may also be that you need the title company to get you the HUD1 statement. Ask for what you need, expect to get it, and keep everyone on task.
3. Reevaluate your team effort. If goals were not met, determine why that was the case. Were the goals unrealistic? Did the tasks assigned match the strengths of the team member assigned to the task? Are you expecting something of someone they are just incapable of providing? If so, readjust and try again.
4. Expect your team to perform. Sometimes it's not a problem with your clearly articulating goals and assignments. Sometimes it's not a mismatch between team member and team task. Sometimes it's a people problem. In other words, sometimes a team member needs to be released to find another team in which he/she can succeed. If it's a professional team member, then find another accountant or another title company that can do the job you need to have done. I don't care that you went to school with them or that you are related to them. Find someone who will do the job. If it's a team member at work, ask for a different team. Or if you are the boss, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and tell the ineffective team member that you are going to do them the favor of freeing up their future. No excuses, no arguements, no pleading, no third and fourth chances. You have to have a functioning team. If the weak link is with a spouse or family member, that requires a lot more negotiating and perhaps professional counselling. But the concept is the same: all team members need to be actively working towards the same end result. As harsh as this sounds, your goals must be met or you must set different goals.
Team management is one of the most difficult aspects of managing your business. However, it is essential if you want to manage your time effectively. Even superstars cannot do it all. Gather your team, get them on board, expect to succeed, and have a great 2010.
Make the Call, Set the Plan, Do the Deal$!
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