What does success as an operator look like to you?
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If you are on the journey of becoming an operations leader or are looking to get promoted in any capacity, I’m talking today about what full circle success looks like.
We have just started a new cohort of The Director of Operations Certification Program, and if you are thinking of joining us for the next round or would like to learn more, click here.
How to Achieve Full Circle Success
You can never control what the leader of the business is going to do, but you can control what you do. I’m going to give you some tips that have been very helpful for me as I’ve pursued full circle success in my own career path.
I believe it is 100% up to you to chart your own course, whether you are doing this in your own business and growing a team, or if you are selected to be a part of a team.
“It is 100% up to you to chart your own course.”
Define Roles and Responsibilities
As you step into a position, make sure that your roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. This is a non-negotiable, and you should never even apply to a job that doesn’t have these roles clearly outlined.
“Desperate people hire desperate people.”
If someone is advertising for help on Facebook that’s a red flag. This tells you that they have never taken the time to define those roles and responsibilities, which usually means they don’t have a lot of clarity as a business owner. This is a no-win situation that will eventually catch up with you and cause agony while you are with them.
Identify Key Results Areas (KRAs)
KRAs refer to what is going to be accomplished in your role for the first 30 days, the next 30 days, and the next 30 after that (we call them 30-60-90s). In most cases if someone isn’t familiar with hiring, they are going to skip this piece because they are so excited to get you through the door. But for you to be ultimately successful this is the most critical piece. If it’s not inside your training, you need to be the leader and own this piece.
“Don’t get past day 3 without asking what your goals are for 30-60-90.”
How do you create these for yourself?
- Look back at the job description so you understand what the owner is thinking about.
- Have a dedicated one to one full hour talking with the business owner who you report to.
-How do you want to feel as the business owner? Now you start thinking about the actions you can take that align to the job description and start mapping a course for yourself. What can you do to make this person feel less overwhelmed?-What needs to get done? Prioritize the projects that need to get done. It is impossible to get 10 projects done in the first 30 days. Get a sense of the scope of the projects and prioritize with the owner when it makes sense to begin.
3. Ask the business owner about profit producing activities that you can assist on. This is important so you can show your return on investment. Get closer to profit producing activities without being on the marketing side of the business. What are the things you can do to assist to help create greater profit? If you are an operator, make sure to check out episode 63, where we talk about the TIES method, which is critical for helping the business owner understand what can be done in those 30-60-90 days.
The advantage of creating the 30-60-90s?
Ideally the business owner creates these themselves but in many situations they aren’t really prepared for you. So by leading this conversation you appear as a leader and this helps make yourself indispensable.
These also help you as the employer contractor because not only is the business owner less overwhelmed, but you are less overwhelmed because you have clear direction. You know what it takes to be successful or to pitch yourself for a raise/add a profit share. I want you to have a long healthy relationship with your client, and 30-60-90s are the key to making that happen.
Establish Meeting Cadence
Make sure you have a strong and certain meeting cadence established. If you haven’t had a lot of direction, then you are probably going to continue onboard yourself. You need to ask them to determine how often you need to meet and what is expected in the meetings. Do you need reporting? I never want you to be in a situation where you are just meeting to meet. If you know what is expected of you from those meetings, you can have a more concise, powerful meeting,
Businesses who put off regular meetings are overwhelmed. If you don’t have an existing meeting cadence established, your position is at risk. Ultimately what meetings are used for are two-way communication, which is one of your most important goals. What meetings are the most important? Who are the people you need to be talking to on a regular basis? Raise your hand and let them know that support you will need.
Over time as the owner starts to feel the relationship solidify, they perceive the two-way communication and they want to back off. Don’t let the owner back off of these meetings! Their job is to lead the business, which means leading the team. If you as an operator are taking this off of the CEOs plate, you have to establish repeated meetings which are predictably scheduled, complete with agendas. Do not let this go by the wayside.
Ask for Performance Reviews
Make sure you get performance reviews. You understand what your responsibilities are, you know what your 30-60-90 goals are, you have regular meetings and open communication, so it should be easy to ask to set up a performance review.
You’ve done your diligence when you set up your 30-60-90 framework, which is exactly what you are going to use to determine if you are meeting your goals. If you have gone above and beyond the 30-60-90 goals or surpassed them, I want you to be able to note those every step of the way.
If you want to be indispensable, make sure to ask for performance reviews. Before you show up to that review you should have notes and be equipped with talking points about what’s working and what is not.
When you create something new, create and document SOPs. Often, we are so busy doing that we never bother to create an SOP. As a business owner, if I have someone in my business who is keeping a log of standard operating procedures that I’ve never even had to ask for… the value of the relationship is enormous.
If you have accomplished what has been outlined in your 30-60-90s, and your leader has reviewed it, given you feedback, and you’ve been documenting SOPs, you’ve reached the mastery level in that business. Time for a raise, title change, promotion or profit share! But you may have to bring it to the leaders attention, because they are so busy growing their brand they may not even notice mastery.
Show mastery in the role you have been hired for. This usually takes about 6 months, but when you get to the mastery level, you need to communicate it. The next piece of the puzzle is to begin training other people. Start to develop your next role in the business, and plan to train the new person coming in. When you can grow inside of a company to the next level and take the burden off the leader by training the next person to backfill the role you were playing, that is a huge win for the business owner and allows you to get the next level position in the company.
Weekly Ops Activity
Create your 30-60-90 day goal plan for your existing roles. Then share them in our FB group!
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Episode 63: The TIES Method: How an Operations Expert Shows Their Value
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