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Last Updated on November 3, 2022
Learning how to be an effective leader of a growing team is one of THE biggest challenges for any CEO — me included. It’s vulnerable and messy for sure. But doing the inner work, so you can create a truly self-managed team, is the ultimate game-changer for you and your business.
As someone who started as a solopreneur, one of the toughest habits for me to break was the idea that I have to do everything myself.
I got so used to wearing a million hats. It was hard to actually pass them off to others.
When the time came to grow, I wondered if I could really build a self-managed team. Where would I find the right people? I wanted to hire team members who could honor the years of love and labor I’d put into my business.
The truth is, effective leadership and team-building are a serious set of skills. Which means they require a LOT of personal growth.
Even Brene-freaking-Brown says in her book Dare to Lead that, other than marriage and parenting, leading is the hardest thing she’s ever done. So at least I know I’m not alone!
Thankfully, there are people like my next guest who can help us navigate this process. She knows the secrets to creating a genuinely self-managed team with more courage, more grace, and more wisdom.
I’m excited to welcome Theresa Loe. Theresa is a remarkable leadership and business coach for overworked and overwhelmed entrepreneurs. She’s been on all sides of the business journey — from working in corporate to managing teams to running her own company.
Today, she helps 6-, 7-, and 8-figure businesses streamline their operations and build self-managed teams, so they can get back their time and scale with ease.
Theresa understands what we entrepreneurs know intuitively: online businesses are NOT like corporate America. They need special back-end setup that promotes creativity and teamwork, which means having the right people, doing the right things, at the right times.
Her free trainings and group coaching program have helped thousands of CEOs become the leaders their businesses needed. And her self-study program Team Up Like a Boss gives leaders the skills to hire the best team members for the right seats, so they can get out of exhaustion mode.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
A self-managed team is one where every role is clearly defined, every component of a project is owned by one person, and every person knows exactly what is expected. As a result, team members can work together without constant intervention from leadership.
You’re in the right place! It’s easier to build the skills now than it is to go back and fix mistakes later. If you want to know what you need to build a self-managed team, check out this free training with Theresa.
Theresa recommends starting with good old fashioned Post-It notes. From there, you can find lots of digital tools for building your chart. Draw.io, Canva, PowerPoint, or Keynote are all good options.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:04
You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier, journalist-turned-CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest, the money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. Here's your host, writer, educator, mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur Kate Kordsmeier.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:51
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host, Kate Kordsmeier. And today we are talking all things team building, leadership, and next-level business owner. So I'm so happy to introduce y'all to Theresa Loe, who is a leadership and business coach for overworked and overwhelmed entrepreneurs. She helps them streamline their operations and build self managed teams so they can finally get back their time and scale with ease. I gotta admit, you guys have heard me say this many times before. Building a team and managing people has been the biggest challenge of my career to date. People are messy. Leadership is hard. Brene Brown even says that leading is on par with being the most difficult thing she's ever done short of parenting and marriage. I can relate. So this episode is actually very self serving because I basically get to have a one-on-one coaching session with Theresa asking all of my burning team-building hiring, onboarding, management, leadership questions. All of it. So you're getting an inside peek into my brain, which is a little bit scary. And Theresa is just helping. She guides people through that sticky situation from wearing all the hats to wearing just the most important hat of all, which is the CEO visionary hat. I loved this interview. If you are building a team of your own, or if you hope to one day, you are going to absolutely love this episode. So without further ado, let's get into it. Theresa, welcome to the show!
Theresa Loe 2:37
Thank you so much for having me! I'm super excited to be here.
Kate Kordsmeier 2:40
You know, I was just chatting with somebody on my team yesterday and saying, like, kind of getting like, bored a little bit with the podcast. Like you know, you do something so many times. And you're like, I'm just, I am easily bored, right? Like I love the podcast so much. But I said I just like, I just need to have guests that I'm just so excited to chat with like, Theresa, I can't wait to talk to her tomorrow!
Theresa Loe 3:04
Oh, thank you. I'm so honored to be here. Yeah, it took us a little while to get it on our calendar. But I'm so excited to be here because I, you know, I love to talk about this stuff all day every day.
Kate Kordsmeier 3:14
Me too. Okay, well, so I gave everybody your quick introduction in the beginning. But if you want to walk us through a little bit more of your personal journey of how you got to be this very much like leadership expert.
Theresa Loe 3:28
Yeah, sure. So my background is kind of diverse. I actually have a degree in engineering, and I got my degree and went out into the corporate world and realized that was not my passion. It was my aptitude but not my passion. I come from a family of engineers, and had always worked in the family engineering business. And what I did was completely do a complete pivot. And I worked as a TV producer PBS. For nine years I was the CO-executive TV producer, which is in digital terms in business terms of what you might hear is like a really high level integrator. So what I had to do is take the vision of the show and have it executed by the team. So I became really ninja good at managing a lot at the same time, and what we do and television. This was the top organic gardening show on PBS. It's still on the air. It's Growing a Greener World. And what we did was we traveled the country telling the stories of people who were making a difference in the world. So what I had to do was, what in our world would be like launching. So every episode is a launch and the whole season is a launch. So I got really good at that. I broke off of that and started my own business. And what I knew was that if you really want to grow and not stress yourself out and overwork, which was why I was leaving television, you really have to have a team supporting you. So in television, it's a self manage team, meaning that every single person is owning their role in that television production. And so I set up my own business that way. And immediately, my peers were noticing what I was doing. And I started teaching people how to build self manage teams, how to step into leadership, how to shift their mindset from being a solo entrepreneur, doing it all yourself, and wearing all the hats to divvying up those hats to other team members so that they could grow and scale their business with ease. And part of that is the systematizing and the scalability behind the scenes, cleaning up the chaos and making everything efficient and productive. But the other piece of that is having a self manage team. And so that's what I do. I help multi six-figure people step from solo into the CEO mindset and position, and I consult with multi-seven, multi-eight figure companies who have grown rapidly, but it's a mess behind the scenes, and I help them and the team get everything streamlined.
Kate Kordsmeier 6:03
So cool. Okay, so two follow up questions. One is probably a little bit strange. Okay. Your TV career, and then you started your own business? What was your own business when you first started? Was it this team and leadership?
Theresa Loe 6:20
No, it was something different. No. So I actually appeared on the television show as the homesteading expert. So fun fact, I live in Los Angeles on 1/10 of an acre and we homestead in the backyard. So we have backyard chickens. We grow our own food. I've been doing that my whole life. And so I was the homesteading expert on the television show. I started getting a following. And it's kind of a weird story. But someone who worked for the television show came in and said, Teresa, I need to show you the stats on the show. Every time my segment came up, the viewership went up. And when my segment was over, the viewership went down. And she told me, you really should be doing something with this. So I feel pretty good. It did feel pretty good. Yeah, and I did have a blog at the time. So we do have that in common. I had Living Homegrown, which I still have, I do not do anything with the blog, or the podcast, it was an award-winning, many millions of downloads podcast that goes with that. They're still all available to the public. But I no longer am in production on that. But I do have courses over there that my team runs for me, I don't do anything in that side of the business. But what I did is I left and took that blog and turned it into courses on homesteading. So I'm counting things like that.
Kate Kordsmeier 7:45
Love it. I love that. Sorry. I wanted to ask because you know, sometimes it's like, well, a lot of people teach, but they haven't done it themselves, right? And I am like such a believer that at least I feel like to be in integrity for myself, I want to have done the thing that I'm going to teach. And I want to learn from other people who have already done the thing. So I was curious, like, did you go straight from that to doing the teams and leadership stuff? Or what was that crossover? So then the follow up question to that is, so how many people are on your team?
Theresa Loe 8:17
So my - I believe in small but mighty teams. So I actually have a couple of businesses, I have in my coaching practice, I have four people on my team. I also have a brick and mortar where we have eight full time employees. It's multi seven, very profitable, but we don't have massive teams. And so most of the people in the digital world actually do best with a small but mighty team. It's a lot of people do come to me who are multi seven, and they've grown so rapidly and have this big, massive team. And they actually are not profitable. They actually are losing money, or they're just breaking even. And so it's the efficiency and the systems that they have behind the scenes, and they have a lot of duplication and people aren't really owning their work. And so they sometimes they have very overpriced people on their team. So all of that is what we look at when we're doing consulting. But yeah, I believe in small but mighty teams
Kate Kordsmeier 9:16
love it. And it's good to know too, that again, you actually have team members. You are a leader for these people. So you are speaking from firsthand experience, like you're in the trenches with us.
Theresa Loe 9:26
Yes, yeah. And the thing is, I've been on both sides of the fence. And so one of the things that I do especially when I'm coaching people moving into their multi six, and they're moving into being the solopreneur, to be more of a CEO, is I help the team as well. So I have training that I give my CEOs that are for the team members. So we train the team, because I've been on the other side and I know that you can be stepping into that leadership position but if you are not getting the team to understand your vision and what you're doing, and it's not delegated properly to the team, the team is going to flounder. So I kind of tell people, I feel like I speak both languages. Sometimes people have me come in and actually work with the team, because I've worked with the CEO, the CEO now has this whole new setup. And now the team is going, "what is going on?" Right? So I've been on both sides as the high level integrator in television, I know how important it is for it to mesh together - the CEO, the team, the culture - everyone has to be aligned. And if you have one piece off, it's you know, it's like a chair with only three legs. It just doesn't work.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:40
Yeah, so cool. Okay, so that reminds me; I mentioned integrator a couple times. This is something we've talked about on the show before and is, I think invented by Rocket Fuel the book, right? Where this term integrator comes from? Yeah, and for all intents and purposes, it's an operations manager, director of operations, whatever you want to call it, but it's it's the person leading all of the operations on your team, right? Is that? Do you agree with that?
Theresa Loe 11:09
I actually believe that integrator, what I find is that every single person, every CEO I've ever worked with has a different vision in their head of what an integrator is. So I use that term because it's a very, very hot term in our industry right now. But the truth is, it's an operational piece of your business. And what that means to you is different. For some people, it's just a high level executive assistant, because of the level of business that they have. For other people. It's much higher in the business, much more established in business, it's a vice president. So it's different for everybody. But when people come to me, and they say, I need an integrator, or you know, can you help me find an integrator or whatever they're looking for? I first ask them, what is an integrator to you? Because it's actually a little different, but it is an operational piece. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 12:00
Okay, that's really good to know. And I've been working with a couple of different HR consultants lately. And they, somebody asked me this week, actually, do you follow the integrator model, or the department head model. And I've kind of done both. And I'm curious to hear for most online businesses, let's say if you have a blog, or an online course, or a group coaching program, but you're an online business, Which model do you recommend?
Theresa Loe 12:26
So I find what most people in our industry, especially as they get up into multi seven figures, is they have the integrator model, or the second and what I call the second in command, because that way, it's whatever it is for you based on your model of business. But the second in command is the one who executes the vision of the CEO. And under the second in command, is the different department heads. And so let's just talk about that for a second. So everybody that I work with, we develop their operational chart, because, you know, if you have a coaching model, it'll look different from if you have a membership model. But basically, you break up your business into usually three different areas you have what happens before the sale. So this would be sales and marketing, anything that happens before the sale. And then what happens after the sale, which is for some people is customer success. For other people, it's fulfillment. If you have a physical product, it's the you know, shipping and fulfillment of the physical product. And then the next area or pillar is the admin type stuff, right? So when we are when you have a business, it doesn't matter what level you're at, it's really important for you to have clarity on what the different roles are inside your business. And when you're just starting out, you don't need department heads. You just need to have really clear boxes of what the different roles are. So that even if you have one helper, and they actually are in charge of a couple of the different boxes. That's important because as your business grows, then you know which which box to handoff, right? A lot of times it's very messy behind the scenes, it's all intertwined, and everyone's like, I thought you were doing this and you were like, no; finger pointing and no one knows who owns what. So the first thing to do, it's kind of I tell people it's like you know, that junk drawer you have at home where there are all the things? Step one is dump that everything out onto the table and decide what the compartments are for the junk drawer. And then you pick up each piece and go where does this one go? Where does this one go? That's what we do when we're trying to figure out what the structure is going to be in your business. So I don't - I'm not a firm believer that it has to be one or the other. It really is dependent on, number one, what business model you have. You know what type of business you have. Some people have multiple types of you know, they have many different things going on in the one business. But the second piece is how far along you are? So if you are smaller, then it's just probably going to be you and one or two other people. And everyone's still wearing a lot of hats. But as you grow, we want to be able to take those hats off and hand them to people, each one of those hats has to be clearly defined, that becomes much easier to hand off. We're going, oh, we're just handing off this little piece here that, you know, Susie has been doing three hats, we're going to take one hat and break that off. If you have clearly defined and you know what that role is, it's a lot easier to break off that piece.
Kate Kordsmeier 15:34
Right? And I'm so glad that you said it's messy, because yeah, I have found it to be so messy in the beginning. You know, like, I was a solopreneur for most of my career until the last maybe three years, where I started hiring, you know, started with like, a part time VA. Actually, that was maybe five years ago. But you know, and then bringing on full-time team members and figuring out like, who does what, and it is hard on the small team, because everybody's doing a lot of everything. Yeah, and I think it's just it's such a different skill set. Like when I started a business, I didn't think about needing leadership skills, or like team management skills, you know. It was like, no, I need skills in being a visionary and running, like, just running the business, and I was doing everything myself. And then it's like, you have to learn this whole new set of skills that I never really anticipated. It's hard. I mean, I always say like, team has been my biggest challenge as an entrepreneur. And sometimes I can get really down on myself and think something's wrong with me, or, you know, I'm terrible. And I just recently read Brene Brown's Dare to Lead, which was so good. And she says, short of parenting and marriage, leading a team is the hardest thing she's ever done. And then like if Brene, Brown is struggling, it's not just me.
Theresa Loe 17:03
Yeah. So here's the thing, it really is a lot of mindset. It's how much you have to grow yourself personally. And we, any of us who have a business, we know it takes a lot of inner work, because you have to always be stepping into the next level of yourself and the inner work that you have to do to step into something you've never done before. In order to have something different, you always have to be doing something differently. And so you're stepping into a new you. And leadership is a piece of that. But what I will say is that the biggest mistake I see is that people say I'm not ready for a team. Therefore they stay overworking, they sacrifice themselves, they sacrifice their business, they sacrifice because they can't bring in more, they sacrifice their time with family, their weekends, their sleep, their health, all of those things, because they say I'm not ready for a team. So that's actually backwards. This is why mindset is so important. That is actually working from the "have, do, be" model. And that's where you're saying, when I have a business that's more successful, then I will hire a team and I will be a CEO. And what I want people to do is flip the script on that, because you're going to have to flip it at some point, the sooner you do it, the less painful it is, okay, so what you want to do is say that I need to be a CEO now, and bring in people whatever I can afford, at this moment to take things off of my plate, and then I will have the business grow, and I will have the business that I want. You actually have to be first. And that is why it's about - that's why leadership is so much about mindset. You have to step into your future self. You have to start making decisions from your future self rather than from your solopreneur self because the solopreneur will say, it's just faster to do it myself. You're not really realizing that you are sacrificing your future time by always doing it yourself. So we have to do things today that give us time in the future. And one of those things is learning how to hand things off. So yes, I will say it's not easy, but it's something everyone has to go through if you want to grow your business so in order to grow at some point you're going to have to do this. The sooner you do it the better. That's why I love working with with multi six figure people who are just like, their businesses is just starting to take off and the sooner they can get like, the foundational pieces in place, it's so much better than coming to me when you're you know at 2 million and you're in really really big trouble right? And I have to like, redo the team. That's not a fun place to be.
Kate Kordsmeier 19:45
Right. I love the have, do, be model and thinking of it backwards. I think so many of us do that. So many things in our life. We all do. And yeah, we think like, oh once I have $2 million then all my problems will be solved. First of all, that's like the message that we're taught right? Like, right, it's gonna solve everything and fix everything. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 20:13
Hey, hey, you want me to let you in on my secret to how I work with less stress, less effort, less pushing, and more ease, flow and joy? Here it is. And it has truly transformed my health and happiness and skyrocketed my business results. For the past few years, I've been embracing cyclical living. What's that you ask? It's actually based on the fact that a woman's body follows a 28 day cycle, give or take, where throughout the month, our energy levels rise and fall, our nutritional needs change. And even our brains focus on different things as our hormones fluctuate. All of this happens to magically mirror the phases of the moon, because Mother Nature is one smart cookie. But our world is based around a consistent 24 hour a day, seven day a week cycle. Why? Because this is how men or testosterone dominant people's biological clocks operate, aka the patriarchy. Trying to work and plan with the structure just doesn't work for women or estrogen dominant people. So how can we bring more feminine energy into our businesses and make it work for us? Imagine how your life would change if you could work with your body and its cycles, not against it. That's why I created my mindful planning printables to help you tune into your body, hone in on the work you truly love, prioritize your most pressing tasks, and let the rest go. liberation is just around the corner with this revolutionary approach. So go to katekordsmeier.com/mindful to get your printable planner today. Inside you'll find my four season cycle key reference guide that will help you understand all of these things that I'm talking about. And there are pages for self care, morning rituals; there are journal prompts, there are worksheets, there's my all time favorite productivity tool that I use every single day. There are reflection and review planners so that you can figure out what's working, what needs to get the boot in the next season of life, and weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual planning sheets to get you into alignment and unlocking new levels of productivity. If you're ready, go to katekordsmeier.com/mindful today to get your copy and get started learning how to flow with your life instead of against it.
Kate Kordsmeier 22:33
Okay, gosh, so many good things here. And I think I'm going to just make this episode very self serving, because I have lots of questions about, cool, so how do we actually do these things? And I know people listening will - if I have these questions, other people, everybody. So okay, now let's start kind of at the beginning. How do you go about finding, like aligned team members? Can you walk us through a couple of the key pieces of your process? Yeah, like the attraction methodology was something I saw. Absolutely.
Theresa Loe 23:08
Yes. So I teach hiring a little bit differently. And it'll probably fit well with your woowoo side a little bit. So first of all, you and I are both INTJ. Okay. Oh, I love it. Yeah. So INTJs on the Myers Briggs actually do a lot with - they start with their head and their logic, and they like to have a plan and follow a plan. But a lot of INTJs do not tap into the woowoo side. And both of us do. So all the Myers Briggs is, is really our tendencies; where we tend to go. Like being right handed, left handed, right? And so that's just our tendencies. But through training, we can do different things. So what I teach that's a little bit different. If you were to look at hiring as just a process, what most people do is they go, oh, I need a social media manager, I'm going to write up a job description. In fact, they typically copy a job description from somewhere else, they post it, a bunch of people come in, and they're like, well, I like this person. I think they could do it based on what it says on their resume and their experience. And they bring them in and it doesn't align. So I do it completely differently. I care more about the character of the person than I do about the resume. Mm hmm. The number one priority for me is that that person is aligned with the values that I have set out for the company. They are aligned with me, and they are aligned with the team I currently have. So in other words, a team member should always be bringing the team up. It should never be bringing the team down. And every team member you bring in should be making you money in some way whether it's making you money by freeing up your time, or actually making you money because of what they're working on. So what I do, is I have people first - let's just use social media. I say you have to really know what are the characteristics of the type of person you want to bring in. Like, I want you to think of someone that you know that if they could only just come work for you, you know, they could crush it. And that's, I love it. If it's someone you actually know, like, maybe it's a CEO that you know, in a mastermind, and you're like, oh, man, if, if Joe would just like, drop his business and come work for me, I could do that and describe him or her right? And what their characteristics are, because what you're really trying to do here is figure out what is a powerhouse team member for you. So I have every one of my CEOs create their core values. And the core values are, it's not some corporate thing. It really is how you want your team and your company to show up. So my top core value is integrity. Integrity is important to me as a person, but integrity in my business is not just being honest, integrity is being of your word. And so to me, I want every single person on my team to be of their word, which means if they tell me a deadline, they're going to give me that deadline. If they're not going to be able to make it they let us know, a deadline doesn't go by without you know them, letting us know that there's a problem. Another core value can be responsiveness. If you aren't sure what your core values are, I tell people think about what your pet peeves are and do the opposite. So one of my pet peeves is someone given an assignment, and then they just like go silent. And we don't know, are they doing it or not? Right? This especially happens with contractors. So what I tell people is for me, if that's my pet peeve, then one of my core values is responsiveness, right? And problem solving, things like that. So you have your core values. And when you are going through the process of hiring, you don't copy someone else's job description, you have to write that job description with that person that you have imagined in your head, you are writing it to them. And it's exactly like how what we do with marketing, right, we have our avatar of who we are trying to attract, your job description should do the same job. You know you're in alignment when the people coming in each, like you have five people you love. And they're telling you things like, oh my gosh, I read this job description, nd I was like, that's the job I'd love to have. You will attract those people, and you will repel the people who wouldn't be right for you. And that's how you get the aligned person in the door. But you have to in order to have a self manage team, which is what I - my core thing that I teach people to do. You have to start with the right people coming in the door. And so you have to know what you're looking for. Otherwise, you don't know if you have the right person.
Kate Kordsmeier 27:44
Right? I can so relate to this. And I'll say like when I first started hiring people, have very just generic professional job descriptions, because that's what I thought we were supposed to do. Sure. And then in the last year, I've started writing these seven page job descriptions, because they have all of our core values, and what is our mission and like characteristics, like you said, like the person who's going to succeed in this role, has these characteristics. And like, then there's like a half a page. It's like, oh, here's what you do. Like, yeah, job is these tasks. Yeah. And what's been so cool is that, like, I just have hired four people in the last, I don't know, eight weeks maybe and using this new method. And it's like, wow, we're getting all these applications. I don't even really look at their resumes, like, I mean, you might glance at them to just be like, okay, well, let's make sure you have some experience in this. Right. Sure. The answer is, we have a pretty extensive application process now. And the thing that is unanimous of the people who are applying is like I was shouting, yes, the whole time. I was reading the job description. And like, this is so me, I didn't know a job like this could exist, you know, things like that. And that feels like you're already like getting those people who are super aligned. They're passionate about your mission, ready to go. So I love that advice.
Theresa Loe 29:06
Yeah, exactly. Because if you get the right people in the door, you can teach them anything, right. I mean, we want, there's some roles that you're bringing someone in that they absolutely have to have experience. And they have to be at a certain level. But for a lot of people who are just starting with the hiring process, if you learned it, someone else can learn it. And so with the TV producer position, and the reason I know this to be true and why this has always been my philosophy is I didn't come in as the CO executive TV producer of that show. I came in way lower. And I worked up with just a couple of months. And all of a sudden, I was second in command to the producer of the show. And it's because of my personality, I saw things I'm like, oh, there's a problem. I'm just gonna go fix that. And they're like, whoa, okay, well, you can be in charge of that and I just kept moving up the ranks. And within a very short amount of time I was second in command. When you have people come in the door like that, they are 10 steps ahead of you. As soon as they learn like at the basics, they're like 10 steps ahead, they're like, you know, I saw this thing. And here's something I do want to say, when you bring someone in, especially since you just now brought people in, really pay attention to the things that they note, because they're new. Because sometimes, you know, we have to remember they have fresh eyes. So they see things we maybe, we've been doing it this way, always, we don't really think about it anymore. We may not realize that there's this new software we could be using, or there's something that we could be doing differently. So if you bring someone in, pay attention to anything that they're going have you thought about doing that? Because a lot of times CEOs are like, hey, I didn't bring you in to like change everything, right? But I want you to listen, because they actually have fresh eyes, and they can have - the right people will actually skyrocket right away because they see a better way of doing things.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:54
Yeah, totally. That's such a good point. Yeah. Now, you mentioned this happening. I think you said maybe more with contractors. But this has been a struggle of mine this past year. What do you do when a team member whether a contractor or full time employee, whatever the relationship is, they don't do what they say they were going to do? And it's like, how do we create like this, I almost hate the word accountability, because I feel like self managed teams are accountable to themselves, like you don't need to hold them accountable. When you don't want to create like a punishing culture where it's like you didn't do this thing, you know. So what do you do, if somebody doesn't do what they said they were going to do?
Theresa Loe 31:36
Well, this is another place where I'm a little bit different from a lot of the leadership people because, and I think you and I've talked about that, that I kind of have a different approach. So a lot of leadership, people will say things like, you need to hold them accountable. And you know, they almost sound like a mean parent, that way that, um, you know, like, and three strikes, you're out and all of that. So here's the thing, you have your core values, everyone on your team is being held to your core values. So if someone is not delivering, it's always they're not meeting one of your core values, it may be a value you haven't actually listed, that's important to you. So that one that you just mentioned, that's integrity, that's why it's my core value. So if someone is not living up to what they promise, they are not of their word, that is integrity. So you can't force someone to change their character, all we can do is we can make sure they have clarity and understanding of what the results and expectations are. And we can have discussions around that we can talk to them about, these are the facts of what happened. And this is the impact of that happening. So make sure they understand that this thing was important, but we can't change them. And integrity is an internal characteristic. So if someone is, you know, maybe the first time they didn't understand there, maybe there wasn't clarity on that that was part of their job. Or maybe they misunderstood the deadline. Of course, there can be a miscommunication on our part. But once you have established that you gave really clear instructions, they have clarity on the role or expectations, and they don't deliver, that's a character issue. That's one of your values not being met. You can't force someone to change that. So by sure, absolutely, you can have that conversation to make sure that they understood. But to me, that's a very clear sign. If someone doesn't meet my core values, they're not a match for my company. They're not a match for me, and they're not a match for the rest of the team. They'll actually drag down the team, if everyone else is like working at this one level. And this one person's coasting along. That's what I mean by it drags down the team, the rest of the team's like, why should we be doing this if they don't have to? Right, right. So it's an important characteristic. So that's probably one of your core values is being of your word being integral. And so if someone doesn't match that, you have that conversation to make sure they understand, I have seen instances and had instances myself where someone didn't understand the importance of, of one of their responsibilities, or one of their accountabilities. And that that was on me. Like, I didn't really give them clarity on how the vision and what we're doing and our goals matched with what they were doing. They need to have the why with the vision. And so once that was discussed, holy cow, this person just completely turned around. She's like, oh, I get it. Right. She didn't realize how important this thing was. So that was on me. But if it was a case of someone not meeting deadlines, or showing up to meetings unprepared, that's not something that you can really fix. That's an internal character flaw. Or I say flaw, but it does - a mismatch.
Kate Kordsmeier 34:51
Sure. Mismatch. Sure, yeah, right. And so when something like that happens, and you notice this about a team member, or you have the mentality hire slowly fire fast?
Theresa Loe 35:03
Yes, I actually am. Yeah, I am a very, I'm very much a hire slow fire fast. Because you have to have the criteria of what you're - the standards that you're holding. And you have to make sure that there's complete clarity on what the expectations are and what the deadlines are. You have to make sure you're delegating properly, and they understand what they're supposed to be doing, and that they're onboarded properly, I can't tell you how many people will just bring someone on. And I have no problem throwing someone in the deep end to learn because that's sometimes, you learn by doing and sometimes that's an important way for them to learn. But we don't want to put them in the deep end without floaties on right? We don't want to just throw them in and they just sink. We have to make sure that they've been onboarded, and they understand what it is that they're supposed to be doing. So yeah, if it is a character issue, I see too many people wait and wait and wait. And it's, it just becomes this bigger, bigger thing. They're actually stuck in indecision, because it's the uncomfortableness of having to fire someone that's actually holding them back. And the most important thing to realize with that is that the longer you wait, the more uncomfortable it becomes. And I believe also that what can hold people back is it might be that it's a lovely person. If you think this person is awesome, and you love them as a person, but they're not fitting or filling the role that you brought them in for, you can separate the person from the role and you don't have to fire in this mean way, right? What you're actually doing is releasing them to find something that's better aligned, because they're always going to be struggling. And, the environment that we put someone - so I talk a lot about having someone the right person in the right seat. And so we're talking about the right person. But we also have to make sure they're in the right seat. So if you take someone and you put them in a seat that isn't appropriate for them, or you don't have a seat that's really appropriate for them, or the business has outgrown them. That's another thing that happens a lot, then we're holding them back by not releasing them and letting them find a better fit. They're just going to struggle and feel terrible about themselves because they can't fulfill on the needs that we have for that role.
Kate Kordsmeier 37:15
Yes, this is a lesson I have learned the hard way. But I fully concur with everything you just shared. And yes, so on the subject of right person, right seat. I had a question about this. Let me find my notes on it. So I make sure I asked you that the right way. Okay, so my question was, what advice do you have when it comes to knowing if your team member is a bad fit for the company? Because they're in the - the values aren't aligned, right? They're out of - they're mismatched there. Or are they in the wrong seat? And maybe they just need a different role at the company? Or, you know, maybe it's like a bandwidth issue. Like sometimes I feel like, especially on a small team, when you have people doing lots of different things. Sometimes I think, man, if they're missing their deadlines and stuff, maybe it's because there's too much on their plate. And even though there's a bad day...
Theresa Loe 38:06
Yeah. So um, okay, so there's a lot to unpack there. Let's, let's back up a little bit. So the first thing, are they a match to the company? That's the core values, right? That's, do they match your values in what you're looking for? And, and we look at, are we putting them in the right seat for them? So part of that is the personality and character that we need in that role. So for example, it would be bad to take someone who's very introverted, data driven, likes to sit alone and work on the data and create reports and put them in a sales position, right? They probably wouldn't apply for that. But what happens is that when we have someone on our team who's been with us for a long time, they kind of become the jack of all trades, or what I call the Swiss Army knife. And we end up putting them in roles that maybe aren't aligned for them, because they're willing to do anything, because they're a powerhouse person. So we always want to look at their personality, make sure that they're aligned with what we need for that role. That's why we sit down and figure out what would be the perfect characteristics of that role. Right. The second thing, though, is do they have an understanding of the role. So that's kind of on us to make sure that there's role clarity, and we always want to make sure that that's there. Because if you bring someone and you've put them in a position, and they seem to be floundering, we have to back up and make sure, did I really explain this, like what we were talking about before? Do they really understand? Then the next part is skills. Do they have the skills for this role? That's where we're looking at, like, do they have the skills? Or do they need to be trained because sometimes they just need to be trained or take a course or, you know, we put them through some training or one of the other team members helps them. But sometimes it's also do they have the skills for it? If they're not a numbers person, we shouldn't put them in charge of numbers right? So that we have to look at the skills and then the last one is hungry. Are they hungry for it? Are they hungry for more? If you put someone in a role, and they have all the core values, they're matching perfectly, they're lovely, then you probably have them in the wrong seat. And that's when we look at that. Do they have the right personality? are they understanding what they're supposed to be doing? Do they have the skill set? And are they hungry for it? That's where you might have to move it around. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into big companies, and we assess each team member one at a time. So you have to first have the roles really clearly defined. And then we do that without anyone on the org chart. Mm hmm. Then we pick up each person. And we look, do we have them in the right seat? And then we do it one at a time to make sure. And so many times the person who's been with you the longest has been moved around to so many things, or they're wearing so many hats, and they actually are in some roles that just aren't a good fit. And they're starting to flounder. So they can flounder because the company has outgrown them, there really is nothing else left for them to do, because they have, they don't, they don't want to step up, or they can't they're limited on hours or whatever it is. Or it's because we've put them - just been putting them in the wrong place. And maybe a move or shift is all that needs to happen.
Kate Kordsmeier 41:16
Yeah, I am. There's the book Traction, which I'm sure you are familiar with. And they talk about the GWC - Get it, Want it, Capacity to do it. Yeah. And that's what I feel like I've often, you know, I've had a team member who was with me for - started like, oh, can you do like 10 hours a week for me? And then within two months was like, Great your full time I have, you know, like, it was kind of similar to your story of like, Wow, you are hungry and resourceful and just proactive. Like, like, yes, you know, after another year, so we had to go through her job description. And of course, it was updated from what I hired her to do from what she was actually doing. And then say, Let's do GWC for each of these tasks, because maybe this is the issue and yeah. It was sometimes, where it's just like, yeah, I get it. And I have the capacity to do it. I don't want to. I don't want it exactly. Yeah.
Theresa Loe 42:07
Yep. Yeah, the hunger piece that I was talking about, right? Yeah. And it's, it's really important, because you said something before about the messiness. And here's something that no one really talks about until like, I see it, because, you know, you see the people on the outside who have these amazing businesses, I have the privilege and the honor of seeing behind the scenes. So it made me feel better to know that this is very normal. For every time your business grows, it gets, starts to get messy again. Yeah, the first time you clean it up is the hardest, right? Figuring out this organizational chart is the hardest, the very first time we do it. After that. It's just a tweaking that you're doing. So as soon as you start to feel that either you or team members are hitting their capacity, are overworking, you're overworking or you see certain team members are overworking, it's time to reassess. Because it's going to happen. It's very cyclical. And so you get everything in order. And it's like, it's there's never that moment where it's like, okay, we're all good. And now we just grow. No, it doesn't work. As soon as a big influx - it would be awesome, yeah - but as soon as that influx of more traffic, or more customers, or even just more people interested, that you have to deal with, you have to build on the back side. But the first times the hardest, then it's just a matter of okay, who has too many hats, or which of these hats has now become a full time position where before it was a part time, that's the biggest thing that happens. And that's why I say you have to break it up, because you can have one - so people will say, well - when I look at these org charts that people put together, do I have to have 20 people on my team? No, you can have one person in a couple of boxes, but you only can have one person in each box meaning, right, every box has to be fully owned by someone, so it's not owned by you. What we're doing is we're breaking the business up into puzzle pieces. And we're making someone be the lifeguard of each one of those puzzle pieces so that you aren't the puzzle piece owner of everything.
Kate Kordsmeier 44:09
Yes. Okay, this is moving into the next topic that I wanted to cover of you not owning everything. Before we do that real quick. Do you have a tool that you like to use to create org charts?
Theresa Loe 44:22
Yes, draw.io is one of the tools, but there's a lot out there. Some people do it in Canva. So they can make it pretty with colors. And you can do that. You can do it in PowerPoint, and Keynote, even with just boxes. So you know, you don't need any fancy software. To me the first time that people do it. I have people do it with post it notes because you have to be able to go, oh, actually these two can go together. Or you're moving things around and - or you consolidate and you move things around. So really you should do it with post it notes the very first time or on a whiteboard, so that you can move things around easily.
Kate Kordsmeier 45:01
Yeah smart. Okay, great.
Kate Kordsmeier 45:08
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Kate Kordsmeier 46:55
So on the subject of truly letting go and delegating and giving your team ownership, so how do you empower your team to actually own their work and not just be looking - like I think one of the things I've struggled with, and I'm getting better about it, I think but is like, I want now to hire people where they tell me what to do. I am sick of being the one to hire a marketing expert, and then have me give them all the strategy. You know, I'm like, No, you own it. You tell me what to do you present me a plan. You do that. You know? And so yeah, what's the secret? How do you do this?
Theresa Loe 47:36
Yeah, so this is really about the the team getting trained and you learning to let go. So there's, first of all, let's back up a little bit, because one of the things that happens is we get people into their roles, and then you tell someone that they're going to own something, and a lot of CEOs become a helicopter CEO, just like a helicopter parent, they're like hovering over. That won't work, you've got to really let go. So what I tell people is that it's about training the team to understand what that means. First of all, that's like step number one. That's why we train the teams for people because we get the CEO on board with yes, I want to let these things go. But then the team doesn't know what to do. So part of that training is really teaching what it means to be the owner of that box on the org chart. It's about accountability. What most CEOs do is they hand out tasks; they are not handing out the ownership. And so it starts with yes, the leadership piece of learning how to hand off the ownership. But the second half of that is for the team to understand what that means to take ownership. So they have to understand what lifeguarding means, what they are in charge of and what they aren't, where the lines are drawn, where do they have permission to make decisions? And where do they not have decisions to make. And part of that, and probably the easiest way to explain it is that they're working towards results, not a list of tasks. So they have to be working towards just like we work towards goals. And we set our vision and we're like, these are the three goals we're going to tackle this quarter, they have to have that themselves. And this is the moving into the leadership piece for the CEO. Because we are no longer handing out tasks what we have to do it we are not managing the team. We in fact, if you're managing the team, you're doing it wrong. What you want to do is be mentoring the team to be leaders. So I teach bottom up leadership. I teach that the team is stepping into leadership with you. This is why some - when people start doing this there will be some team members who really don't want anything to do with that. They just want to be a box checker. Now there are box checking tasks in every business. My podcast editor is a box checker, right we send in the audio. He edits he checks the box, he sends it back right? He's not a leader in our business. But my podcast manager is a leader, she is the owner of the podcast, she owns it from the minute we come up with an idea, all the way down to where it's going out the door, she does not have to be the doer of all of the tasks, but she has to make sure all the tasks get done. So there are times in that process where I am actually working for her where she's on me like, okay, you know, you recorded that, but you forgot to send me the audio, or so that she can get it to the editor and get it back. Right. So the ownership piece has to go both ways. And that's where people get sticky. Like, they're like I want to give things up. But I also want to control. So there is a big trust that has to happen. Because just like in parenting, we can't expect our kids to learn how to do for themselves until they actually do for themselves. If we're always doing for them, they never learned how to do for themselves. So we do have to start allowing that. But as you get pulling further and further away, the CEO can get very uncomfortable, because they start to feel like they don't have a handle on what's going on. So what we build back in are touch points, so we have touch points, just like the way a pilot is able to fly in the dark going on his instruments, a CEO can be looking at their instrument panel, and know what is going on with the business. And they can have touch points with the team. They don't have to hover. So it's a whole process to go through. But the number one thing is to understand that you're building a leader, someone to own that thing, and that they have to understand what that means. And then we have to learn to let go to them and allow them to start taking the ball and run with it. We don't just hand over the keys and cross our fingers and hope it all works. There's a journey, right? But you have to understand where you're headed, and they have to understand what they're taking on.
Kate Kordsmeier 51:54
Yeah, I think that touchpoints and like building that trust is such a good tip. Because I can see like even just thinking of something recently where we had a launch, or like a campaign that we were doing for something and I gave it to someone on the team. And I was like, here's the vision, here's the result that I'm looking for. We're gonna set good, better, best goals. I'm here to answer any questions you have, you know, I can support you, if you're like, let's bounce ideas off. You know, I need somebody to brainstorm. But you own this, this is your baby, how you get to the result is up to you. As long as we're like agreeing that this result is a reasonable, you know, result to get to. And so she did, and she did a great job. And she made some mistakes, which I kept being like, this is good. This is the only way she's gonna learn. These are not life or death mistakes. Like she's got them. It's okay. But the one piece that I think was missing was that I didn't get those touch points throughout. And so I kept feeling like, Is this happening? Like what's going on? And it felt like too important to just be like, well just find out at the end. Yeah. And perfect, perfect analogy.
Theresa Loe 53:03
Yeah, yeah, that's exactly it. So I want you to think about, like, when we get in an airplane, I always use airplanes. I don't know why. But when we get in an airplane, and the pilot sets the GPS, right, he's going to New York, from Los Angeles to New York, and we start flying. He's watching those instruments the whole way. Because if he just programmed it in and never looked again, if he got off just by two degrees, we'd end up in South Carolina instead of Newark, right? So those, that's why those touch points are so important. The other thing that's really important is you did something really perfectly in that you didn't freak out when they made a mistake. And that's something that a lot of times have to car CEOs through. Yeah, you nailed that, because it's just like, you know, I keep talking about kids. But, you know, with our children, like, when my son was little, if he was like running across the parking lot, and he fell, the way I react would determine how he reacted, right? So if I went like that he would, he would start crying. But if I was like, now you're good, then he could be bleeding, and if I just stayed calm, he would stay calm. Well, it's the same with your team. If you, if they make a little mistake, and you freak out, they will not be willing to step up and do something for you in the future. So you have to hold yourself in check. Like even if it's like you can like pound the desk quietly over in the corner before you get on the call with them to talk about the mistake. But we are always letting them start to take the ball and run with it. And when someone makes a mistake, it's usually not a mistake. It's usually that either they didn't fully understand what, what our, what we wanted. Or what typically happens is they didn't understand the criteria in our head of what was important to us. And so I've had CEOs where the person was setting up a event and they were getting the menu and everything together for this event. And they kept bringing these menus to the CEO that was just, the food was, she was like, I wouldn't want to serve this. And so I told her to ask what was the criteria that girl was using in bringing the menus. And it was she was trying to save money. She was trying to pick what was the cheapest one was for a mastermind. And in the CEOs head, she wanted it to be luxurious and wonderful. So once you've got that criteria set, then the girl is like, oh, I get it. Right. Now she could come back with the proper things. So yeah, so definitely the touch points are important all along the journey. And there's lots of different ways you can have touch points, touch points can be metrics, they can be check in meetings, they can be status reports, there's lots of different ways you can have touch points. But you absolutely want to have them along the way. Because as you pull back, you want to still keep your thumb on the pulse of what's happening without being in the mess or in the work, but you need to know what's going on.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:02
So let's say, and I'll use this the same example this campaign, we're running, let's say we're halfway through it. And, the team member comes and says, okay, we had a goal of 25 sales. We're at three, and we're halfway through. Here's the touch point. Yeah. How do you recommend then responding so that it's like, you're not now jumping in to fix everything? Right? You are maybe guiding you know, what's the, what's the best way to handle that?
Theresa Loe 56:19
Yeah. So one thing we teach the teams are they never come with a problem without coming with also some solutions? Yeah. So it's, it's something they have to be trained to do that they don't just come and say, because it's like, when you go to a meeting, and if they don't understand this, they'll say, our numbers are down. And they're reporting that you're like, wait, like, okay, and yeah, and that's because they're not understanding that they are the lifeguard. like, no one is - if you were truly a lifeguard, and you saw someone drowning, you're not just gonna sit there and go, someone's drowning, right? You're just, you're gonna jump off your little chair, and you're gonna jump in and save them. Right? Yeah. So that's what, that's why I like to use the term lifeguard because they usually understand that if they don't understand what being accountable is, they understand being the lifeguard. So if they come to you with a problem, they should have already researched and come up with ideas. And you may not like any of their ideas, but it can be a, then a conversation. But what I don't do is give them the answers. You don't want to rob them of the answer that they need to find, because we're mentoring, we're training them to step into that role. And so when they come back, you can say, well, have you considered, or what do you think about, but you don't just say, Do this, this and this, and come back tomorrow and tell me what you know. Like, you don't just tell them what to do. And it's the same, what you would do with any role, is you want to get them to step into that role. So they have to become problem solvers. They have to do the research, they have to come with ideas, and they may not have any clue. But you guide them on where to go for clues. And you can offer ideas, but then what I say is, so what are you deciding to do? What do you think you're going to do? I don't just tell them what to do. You can guide it, but you don't just want to give them the answer and say, do these three steps. Right?
Kate Kordsmeier 58:07
Right. Okay, that's super helpful. And it reminds me, in the book Clockwork, they talk about how there's like, the four Ds they call them, and they're the different ways different types of tasks. They're either doing, you're delegating, you're deciding, or you're designing, and that's the Clockwork way. And when I learned the difference between delegating and deciding it was like such a lightbulb moment for me. Because what they said was, you know, you think that you're delegating, but really, what you're doing is just answering - making decisions for this person every step of the way. They might be the one that are actually doing the task, but it's not freeing up any of your time, because they're coming back to you and saying, what do you want to do about this? Do you like this? Can you review this reference for this? And it was like, oh, right, we need to actually get out of decision mode; empower them to make the decision. And yeah, it can be hard sometimes. You know, certain things are easier. They're less needle moving decisions, where you just think, like, just make a decision. Whatever you decide will be fine. And sometimes you're like, that would be the right one, though.
Theresa Loe 59:11
Well, that's why I say mentor. You can guide the conversation. Go, well, okay. Have you considered, right? And bring in some other options. Because sometimes, and it's like this with all of us, right? Sometimes we're so in it, that we can't see it. And you actually are now the person who's outside the issue. And so you - just like the way you come to a friend and they're like, well have you thought about W over here instead of XYZ? There's W? And you're like oh, no cuz you were in it, right? So you're just - you're - that's what you're doing, is you're mentoring and offering suggestions or ideas, but no, you don't - you don't just do it for them. They'll never learn that way.
Kate Kordsmeier 59:49
So I'm sure a lot of people listening have had somebody on their team come to them and say, what do you want to do about X? What do you recommend like, what's the first step to help empowering your team to make their own decisions instead of coming to you for decisions? What do you say back to them?
Theresa Loe 1:00:07
I say, I trust you to make that decision. I put you in that role as the lifeguard, as the accountable one. And you are the one, boots on the ground. You know that particular box better than I do now, because you own it. So what are you suggesting we do? What are your thoughts on that? I just put it back on them.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:00:26
Right. Okay. I love that. I trust you to make the decision. Yeah. And I mean, that is so empowering to people too Like, you hear that, and you're like, wow, you trust me? Okay.
Theresa Loe 1:00:38
And that's usually the reaction you get, is you trust me? Really? Are you sure?. That's why I say it's a journey. You don't start off on day one trusting them, right. It's a back and forth. And you see that, okay, they're starting to get it. And yeah, they make mistakes, but they learn from those mistakes. And like you said, you know, it's not rocket science. Of course, they could make a horrible mistake with things. But if you have those touch points you headed off at the pass, before they get to that point, chances are, it would be a minor, smaller thing or fixable thing. And we have to just be careful that we don't get so tied up in perfectionism, that we expect these people to be perfect, because they're human. And they're going to make mistakes. But you either get the results that you want, or the lesson you needed, in everything. And it's the same for them. So if they don't get the results, if they're working towards achieving a result and they're not getting it, they're getting a lesson on what didn't work. And they have to try something different.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:01:30
Right. And it's hard when you're like, but I know what would have worked, but I need them to learn it for themselves. Yeah, me just always saying, here's what's gonna work, right? I think it's also an ego thing for us too. Because even when you were saying before, like they might make a mistake, well, sometimes there might be an objective mistake. But a lot of times we're classifying a mistake as that's not how I would have done it.
Theresa Loe 1:01:54
Exactly, yes, you hit the nail on the head there, we have to also be open to where they might come up with a different way of doing something. And it could be totally better than the way you did it. I want my people to know how to do things better than I could. I want them to know, like - I don't know - so we were talking before about project management. We use monday.com. I don't know even half what my integrator knows about monday.com. I could never go in there and do it, but she comes up with these ninja things, for the way things work. I want her to do that. I don't want to be the one trying to figure that stuff out. I don't want to tell her how to do stuff. She comes up with stuff I never would have thought of.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:02:32
Right. I know. And I think if you are actually desiring to step more into the visionary CEO role of your business and have that self manage team, you want to hire people like that. Like, I think it's probably Steve Jobs or somebody like that, who's always like, I hired people who were smarter than me who told me what to do. And that's how you build, you know, like.
Theresa Loe 1:02:43
Yeah, yeah. Exactly, exactly.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:02:56
Okay, so we're coming up on the end here, I think a good place for us to end might be around boundaries. I think this is something that's come up a lot for me in the last couple of months, as well. And I'm curious how you set boundaries for yourself as the leader, and also how you create a culture where other team members feel safe to set their own boundaries.
Theresa Loe 1:03:17
So when you say boundaries, you mean boundaries with the team?
Kate Kordsmeier 1:03:21
Let's see, yes, I mean, boundaries with the team boundaries for yourself. It could be what times you're available to answer questions. Or you know, what you're willing to talk about at work versus like, that's personal, I don't want to bring that to work or something like that.
Theresa Loe 1:03:36
Okay. So we have, we definitely have some set boundaries that we put into place. I don't like to call them rules, but there's certain things that, that I work by that I want my team to work by as well. So I don't want anyone working two o'clock in the morning to make something you know, work. We don't work weekends, unless we're in a launch or something, something breaks that is really important during a launch. So the boundaries that I have set, a lot of it comes down to the communication boundaries. Because a lot of times I see CEOs and they have everyone on their team can contact them directly. And they are bombarded all day long with interruptions from different members of the team. So we have very set places where we do communication. So we put everything that has to do with any sort of project or goals or any sort of task oriented type stuff is inside monday.com where we communicate almost exclusively through monday.com. We do not email each other at all. And so that's where we do our main communication. However, there are times where there is an emergency situation or something urgent, and that's where we use Voxer where we'll do something and especially during launches, we're on the Voxer channel all the time. The only person who would text me is my integrator, if it was like an urgent emergency situation, and she had to get ahold of me about something. No, we're about to do a webinar or something like that she might text me, but no one else texts me. So our communication channels are, are - really all of our communication is going on inside our project management software. Only urgent short messages are inside Voxer because they're not searchable. And then we have urgent messages. We have team meetings every single week. And we actually do know a lot about each other's personal lives and family lives. And we actually are very close. And we do a lot to create that company culture where we are sharing and we're raising each other up all the time. So I've never had a boundary issue where I've had a team member trying to encroach on my personal life and me on theirs. I suppose if that came up, I might have a rule around that. But we definitely have, as far as communication, there are times and places for each type of communication. And that has to be really communicated. When someone comes in the door. They're like, oh, well, can I just text Theresa with this question? It's like, no. No, you can put it - the reason we put things inside monday.com is because I am very structured in my calendaring. And so I only check email certain times. And I only go into monday.com to see what my tasks are at certain times. So I don't want to have those interruptions. I just put it in one place. And I will go check and answer you. But I'm not, I don't want to be bombarded all day long.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:06:32
Yeah, totally. Well, I'll say we do a very similar thing we use ClickUp and I, we kind of have a rule that's like if it's not in ClickUp, it's not happening. Like all tasks all communication, you know, basically everythin. And we try to only email, if that's literally the only way to get a message across. Or like it's with a contractor who's not in, ClickUp with us or something like that. And I think you do just have to like, set that. So somebody new comes on the team, and maybe they start by Voxing you something and you go oh, I'm sorry, can you put that into ClickUp? And like you just uphold that boundary. Okay, so I think this is a good question to end on too. Do you think you can be friends with your employees? And or should you be friends with your employees?
Theresa Loe 1:07:17
That's a tricky one. I personally keep the friendships off of the team. As far as like outside personal friends. However, I have coached people who have had friends, personal friends, on their team. And the thing to me that if someone is considering that, this is, this is my philosophy on it. The friendship comes first. So I want to have a very clear distinction with the friend that if anything were to get in the way of the friendship, we end the work relationship, not the friendship. And so as long as that is clearly spelled out, so that the friendship stays. Because to me, the friendship would be most important. But no, I actually am not personal - like we're friends - but I don't like, like my best friend does not work for me. I have always drawn the line at not hiring people who were personal friends.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:08:16
Let me, and let me clarify. I don't mean taking existing friends and hiring them. But if you have team members, they started as employees, they were strangers turned into employees. And I think maybe this is part of the boundary thing, too, that I've been, I'm in a mastermind, where we've been talking a lot about this concept as well. Like, where do you draw the line of: this is personal, this is business? Like if you crossed that line - you know, would you invite your employees to your house for any reason to a party for any reason? Like do you talk about things that are un-work-related with them?
Theresa Loe 1:08:51
Got it? Okay, so for me personally, I do keep a line, a line of distinction. Would I invite them to my house? Absolutely. But it would be probably a work related thing or you know, like if I was getting married, would I invite my team? yes, you know, that kind of thing? Absolutely. We're also, we're remote, so everyone on my team is too far away to just like, come hang out with me. But yeah, that for me personally, I do keep that separate. I keep the team and my personal life separate. Well, here's the thing. Gossip is a big, big problem as teams get larger. And gossip is something that I work with a lot of multi six and multi eight figure companies with and gossip can be a really big problem. So I personally like to keep some boundaries there on how much of my personal life and my team's personal life is public knowledge to the rest of the team. Because as the team gets bigger I do see that that can become a problem. It actually should be part of your values to prevent. So yeah, I personally draw the line but I think it's a personal preference. You know what, what is comfortable for some people.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:09:59
Totally. Okay. Thanks for sharing and yeah, for being here. This has been so helpful and tell everybody where they can find you.
Theresa Loe 1:10:08
Yeah, absolutely. So I am at streamlinedandscaled.com (all one word). And you can find me at streamlinedandscaled on Instagram. I have free trainings on my website. If you want to learn more about self manage team and the mental shifts you have to make, we have a free training there. And I also have, I have my coaching programs. And I also even have a course, a self study course for people who are looking to hire their first or their next virtual assistant.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:10:39
Awesome. Thank you so much, Theresa.
Theresa Loe 1:10:41
Kate Kordsmeier 1:10:45
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