Have you been unhappy with the team you’ve assembled? Do you feel like there is a better way to find people who are committed to helping your business succeed? How do you go about finding the right people and the right roles that will fit seamlessly into your business?
I’m joined today by my dear friend, Chanie Wilschanski, who I have partnered with on several different hiring experiences. We are sharing a behind-the-scenes case study from Chanie’s experience of what it looks like to scale your team, and also to rebuild it.
Behind the Scenes of School of Excellence with Chanie Wilschanski
The Business Model of School of Excellence
The School of Excellence helps early childhood leaders build and sustain their schools of excellence through retention, leadership, culture, skill development, and accountability. We give them the tools and blueprints they need to sustain the quality of excellence they want with themselves, families and staff.
How Chanie Grew Her Team
- Had a multiple contractors working for her in different time zones
- Realized she needed to hire people who were integrated into her business
- Had a lot of skilled contractors who were contributing, but also busy building their own thing
- Reached out to get help building a team
When Chanie Knew Something Had to Change
- Breakdowns in each pillar of business
- Team members weren’t able to think ahead, just doing their specific task
- Found herself proofing work and worrying about the quality of her contractors work
- There were mistakes that were a result of carelessness
“When someone’s not integrated into the business, they aren’t thinking a few steps ahead.” – Chanie Wilschanski
The Success of Growing Her Team
- Started with strategic mapping and identified priorities
- First hired someone who would take massive ownership of lead generation
- Leveraged her experts and gave them true autonomy
- Hired experts rather than entry level, so they wouldn’t need so much support in the beginning
- Hired a Director of Operations (DOO)
How a DOO Has Changed Her Business
- Imperative to have someone who owns projects, understands her scope of work and the key metrics for the business
- Instructed DOO to call Chanie out when she is doing busy work that isn’t moving the business forward
- DOO can follow up with team members and contacts, then give Chanie the info she needs to make a decision
- Gives her the headspace to work on key activities that move the business forward
The Greatest Value of Having a DOO
- Found that she truly enjoys leadership
- Enjoys the hard parts of leadership: uncomfortable conversations, performance management, holding people accountable, pushing people to want more from themselves, being comfortable with pivoting
- Finds joy in seeing how the team rises
The Hardest Part of Expanding Her Team
- Realizing that you are accountable for people’s livelihood
- Constantly treading the water between pushing them and giving them ownership of the outcome
Re-thinking the Community Manager Position
School of Excellence sells 3 key products:
- Summit of Excellence: A live event which helps leaders plan for the school year
- Directors Inner Circle: An online membership that helps directors with tools and strategies to sustain excellence
- Owners Only Headquarters: Helps owners of private schools lead their administrative teams
The Head of Community is the head of the product for Directors Inner Circle and Owners Only Headquarters. This position evolved into a leadership position because this is directly tied to revenue.
About The Ripple Effect
- Ripple Effect TV is her Youtube channel
- The school leader is at the epicenter of the ripple effect; thoughts habits actions, mindset, & routines have an effect on the teachers, parents, schools and communities
“No matter who you are, you are the center of the ripple effect for your life.” – Chanie Wilschanski
Key Takeaways of the Process
- Had to get out of the day to day and release some control
- Open to move from directorship to leadership
- Spent 1 year building team she feels confident in
- You will benefit greatly if you are coachable
Advice for Those Looking to Scale
“There is a difference between wanting something and being ready for something.” – Chanie Wilschanski
- You know someone is ready for feedback when they don’t deflect a compliment; use this test on yourself
- When people work hard for me, how do I express gratitude? You must be able to let people know they are adding value.
- Can you receive feedback? Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking up when it’s in the best interest of your business.
Chanie Wilschanski is an Early Childhood Leadership Coach and Culture Specialist, and she has had the privilege of working with hundreds of EC Directors who are working to build a School of Excellence.
Chanie began her journey over a decade ago, teaching toddlers at the acclaimed Preschool of the Arts in NYC.
Continuing her path into higher studies, she got her Masters in EC and Special Education, and started training teachers and school leaders on the HOW part of creating excellence in their schools.
Through her journey, Chanie got married and had 4 children. Her hands are full! Chanie knows what it takes to lead a large center and have a full-time job at home as well.
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