Sniper Rules & The Big 3

Sniper Rules image“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” These words are often (presumably) spoken by firearms instructors and military commanders when training people to perform precise actions that keep them safe and free of wasted effort–two critical things in high pressure situations. Similarly, wise managers know that frequently the fastest way to move themselves or a team in one direction is to slow down and move in a coordinated manner. If you or your team are having trouble slowing things down so you can be smooth/fast, try out the Golobish Group’s team “smoothening” management tool called “The Big 3.”

“The Big 3” has three simple steps:

  1. Write down the 3 most important projects you need to complete in their order of priority
  2. Complete each project, in order, one after the other and DO NOT add more projects until the first three are done
  3. Return to step #1

Festina Lente (make haste slowly) – Augustus, Founder of Roman Empire

The Big 3 is designed to help teams and individuals focus on what’s truly important–doing the right work, not just work–and getting it done without introducing distractions. At the Golobish Group, we too often see teams working frantically on dozens of projects at once and adding new ones all the time without truly completing anything in a satisfactory manner. If you’re unsure if you should try slowing things down to speed things up, ask yourself: How many projects did I get done last week that I actually planned on getting done? The answer may surprise you.

The Golobish Group is a management consulting firm focused on increasing the performance of SMBs through disciplined use of business analytics, process and technology. Click here to contact the Golobish Group.

Picking Teams

Advice for Hiring AKA Picking Teams

Hiring well is crucial foPicking teams imager any business. And everybody knows it. However, the Golobish Group has found that hiring processes are typically the most immature within an organization and lead to its most costly failures. For example, many managers and execs just “wing it” through candidate interviews. Or, they rely on their “gut.” Therefore, it’s not particularly mind-blowing that so many companies continue to make bad hiring decisions that cost them time and money. Granted, bad decisions will happen. However, what is actually mind-blowing is that companies that know they have a history of hiring poorly don’t seem to want to get better at it. It’s our advice that no matter what your job is, if it involves hiring, then hiring is the most important part of your job. It’s more important than your “job job” and it’s more important than your boss’s job. While that may not always be practical, it ought to be your mindset when making hires.

Before the Hire

When you think you’re ready to advertise an open position, you probably actually aren’t. Re-examine the position’s requirements carefully and thoughtfully. If it’s a position for which you’ve hired before, ask yourself if any of the requirements have changed? Was the description used in the past to land an awesome employee? Or, is the description filled with outdated requirements and has so far been only mediocre at landing rockstars? Further, are you recycling a previous hiring manager’s job description? If so, start from scratch and craft a new job description in your own words. If you’re not a writer, keep it simple and remember to ditch bland cookie-cutter corporate jargon that prominently features words and phrases like “agile, fast-paced environment”, and “must be a proactive problem-solver who thinks outside the box.”

Hire for the Future

When shooting clay pigeons, you don’t shoot at the clay pigeon. You shoot for where it’s going to be. Hiring is the same. Don’t hire for what your org needs right now. Hire a candidate who can handle the job now—but who’s also perfect for it a year down the road. This means that you need to have good vision of where your company is headed. And if you’re hiring in a start-up environment or in a medium size organization that’s experiencing significant growth, this is a crucial thing to get right. If you don’t hire for the future in a heavy-growth company, you’re actively ensuring future incompetence. And it’ll be your fault.

Seasoning Matters

In our experience, it’s very rare to find truly senior-level expertise in someone with two or three years of professional experience. Similarly, it’s very rare to find a top-notch, director-level candidate with only two or three years of professional experience. Why? Lack of seasoning. One of the most valuable insights we’ve ever read or heard about hiring is: hire someone that has had success doing the job in the past. The “seasoning” part of this message is how long that past actually is.

The Golobish Group is a management consulting firm focused on increasing the performance of SMBs through disciplined use of business analytics, process and technology. Click here to contact the Golobish Group.

[REMINDER] Did you scrub expenses and change passwords this quarter?

Reminder imageWhether you’re in marketing, sales or IT, a universal problem every organization experiences is paying for goods or services they no longer really need and dealing with passwords and data security. Maybe you started using a tool or technology platform that really solved a problem—at the time. Then you got new tools. You evolved into better platforms. Similarly, employees and contractors come and go. However, they are often given access to data and tools that remains with them unintentionally after they move on.

New tools are sexy and they can accumulate quickly. Passwords are cumbersome to manage and maintain. The question is, do you have a standardized process for looking at which tools and passwords you’re actually using and then scrubbing away the excess? If you don’t, you’re probably still paying every month for tools you’re no longer using and former employees can view your sensitive data.

Scrub Expenses

Give someone in your org the quarterly task of scrubbing expenses (if you’re already doing it more frequently, good work). It’s helpful to build a list and just check the boxes when something is complete. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself when looking at expenses are:

  • Do I even know what this tool or platform is?
  • Who uses it?
  • How often do they use it?
  • Am I paying for multiple things that do the same thing?

This should help winnow down what you keep in your toolbox—and help make sure you’re only paying for tools or platforms that are providing a good utility for you and that are worth paying for. Make sure that you’re consistently scrubbing expenses every quarter to avoid unnecessary revenue drain.

Change Passwords

Along with scrubbing expenses, it’s a good quarterly housekeeping task to change passwords for all tools and platforms. Make sure the tools that you’ve chosen to keep in your corporate toolbox can only be accessed by the people who need them. If you don’t, former employees very frequently still have access to them which puts your IP at risk. As a matter of good corporate discipline, change passwords at least every quarter and delete any old users. When you’ve established the discipline of undertaking these two quarterly tasks, begin to build out your own housekeeping list. You may find it useful to create a reminder list of things that need examined weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually.

The Golobish Group is a management consulting firm focused on increasing the performance of SMBs through disciplined use of business analytics, process and technology. Click here to contact the Golobish Group.

C.R.E.A.M. – Cash Rules Everything Around Managers

For better or worse, for growth or destruction, the most powerful positions in a company are those closest to the cash. For example, finance people typically hold significant power because they understand the company’s cash situation. Cash allows execs to make decisions. Decisions cost money.

Relatedly, account managers or people that interact most closely with the client are also typically very powerful people. Since it is their relationships with clients that often result in more/less cash being earned/spent, a successful account manager that handles the “cash source” aka client, is a powerful voice within in any org – inside our outside personnel management.

Middle management, try as they might to be close to the “cash source,” are often sidelined in major, company altering decisions. Their hands don’t have a direct line of sight into earning cash. Therefore, one’s ability to “bring in cash” and “earn,” will often make up for inadequacies in management, ethics, behavior, personality, planning, etc. These are the facts of life. Cash rules everything around managers. Get close to money – even if you hate it and don’t desire the power, prestige or position that comes with it. Being close to cash will further your ability to counsel people towards the correct perspective – inside and outside your immediate org.

Power, Prestige or Position

Be wary of people that ask for power, prestige or position. If you give them some, they will likely ask for more. When you have no more to give, they will become or make enemies. Further, it’s far more powerful to be recognized or to recognize someone by surprise than to constantly be asking for recognition or looking to recognize someone. Promote the competent and humble few. Work for the observant.

Be ultra wary of people that don’t ask for power, prestige or position. They may have nothing to lose. People with nothing to lose are dangerous.

Startup Trials

Starting up is easy, just like failure. Maintenance and growth, those are the hard parts. There are people that just “start up.” These people are always “starting up” and never finishing and never maintaining. I really don’t want to be one of them. So, rather than “starting up” this blog again by removing the previous post about SMART goals and posting something new, I’ve decided to maintain. Accept the failure of not completing my goals and keep moving. I can live with the embarrassment.

I can live with the embarrassment because the rest of the business as been “maintained.” BandRefill, the musician service, is off the ground and will launch soon. Shirts for SKYCURSER, the shmup arcade game, arrived last week and I’m starting to ship them out. And, as an added bonus, I’ve accepted some light management consulting work for real money. Besides the blog (which is hideous), things are looking really good.

I’ll post again tomorrow…