Humbling moment with my team

By ayr October 18, 2016


This post is about something a bit humbling.

Clover’s support staff (Finance, HR, Training, Communications, etc.) consists of about a dozen people. Most of whom report directly to me. These are people who in very real ways are dedicating their lives to helping make Clover what it is. I don’t think there is a single member of our team that hasn’t made major sacrifices for Clover. They are deeply passionate. And really give of themselves. Which is part of why the company is developing in such a special way.

I’m not a great boss. I care. I try hard. And I’m not bad at the things it takes to manage well. But I don’t know how to be a great boss to a dozen people. If you work for me you’re going to need to be comfortable with self-direction.

We meet weekly, all as a group, Thursday afternoons at the office at CloverFIN. We talk very openly, about successes and failures both.

This past week I showed my staff a list of the things I’ve spent my time doing over the past 2 weeks that I shouldn’t be doing. It was equal opportunity: everybody at the meeting was included. My point: if we want to be the best at our industry and grow Clover into the company it needs to be I can’t be doing this stuff week on week.

List I shared: (with the tone of “I’m sick of doing this $&*% stuff”)

Chasing stuff down

  • Running out of food (e.g., HFI)
  • Announcements to customers (e.g., trucks)
  • Launch issues (e.g., new breakfast sandwich)
  • Cleanliness of restaurants (e.g., HSQ, napkin holders, bathrooms, etc., windows at FIN)
  • Equipment maintenance (e.g., coffee grinders broken)
  • Systems we’ve already set up (e.g., misc resupply, catering)
  • Communications (e..g, in store displays, “this table was…” etc.)
  • Store environment (e.g., music not playing)
  • Training (e.g., drinks station at HSQ)

My staff told me I’m holding them back. They didn’t really use those words, but I get it. They said it’s often not clear who is responsible. And they don’t know what decisions they can make, and which decisions aren’t theirs to make. People we really emotional.

And I was thinking of all the times somebody makes a decision that I correct/ or disagree with.

I left the meeting feeling like we need to have more conversations like this. Truth is, this is my first time running a company. And as we grow so fast most of my staff are doing parts of their job for the first time. I can’t change any of that, but I can facilitate conversations that might allow us to help one another.

We’re going to go role by role and diagram duties, leadership responsibilities, and who makes what decisions. I’ll share some of those results when we have them.

I’m really happy we had the conversation.

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