F R OM T H E F O U N D E R
You are the owner? So what!
I t really kills me how some firm owners in this business still think they are in control. I have news for you: The only thing you control is the stage that the drama of business is conducted on. You can’t make people do what you want, so you must get your people to realize you’re all on the same team.
You can’t make people do what you want. They have free will. They will only do what it is they want to do. Period. Accept it. So your goal is to help people figure out you are all on the same team. They need to want what you want. As long as those things are the same, great. I worked with a company once where one of the principals – a former military officer and Corps of Engineers employee – thought everyone had to do what he said “because he was an owner.” Needless to say, he had a real hard time keeping people working for him. They either quit or moved to another team inside the firm to get away from the guy. So how can you get people who work in your firm to want what you want? Here are some ideas for you: 1. Get everyone involved in developing the business plan. That’s going to help them feel like their input is valued and help create psychological ownership. And I’m not talking about asking employees for your purpose
(mission), or your ultimate vision (what you will become at some point), but rather more tactical stuff like what to do and how to do it. 2. Be an open-book company. Sharing all information on how the firm is performing with everyone who works there builds trust because you clearly aren’t hiding anything from them. Plus, you can show your goals and how you are making progress toward achieving them. 3. Share the spoils of success. That means getting everyone at your firm some piece of the profits when the company makes money. Of course the flip side of this is you can’t afford to carry anyone who isn’t pulling their weight or they will be benefiting from the labors of everyone else. 4. Train your managers. I always said my goal wasn’t to motivate anyone, but rather to keep us from demotivating good people. It’s easy to do. Get too rigid or too inflexible, have too
See MARK ZWEIG, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER MARCH 28, 2022, ISSUE 1434
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