From hiring the right talent to taking charge without being a jerk, business leadership is a 40+ hour balancing act every week. For some insight on how to find that sweet spot, we surveyed leaders who manage everywhere in Utah Valley from a law firm to a cookie shop. Read ’em and lead.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? A successful manager knows how to hire the right people. The end. (But not really the end. It’s just the beginning! Keep reading!)
TIP 1: DIVERSITY WINS “Diversity, equity and inclusion fuels innovation, reflexivity, productivity and cultural understandings that lead to excellence.” — Belinda Otukolo Saltiban, chief inclusion and diversity officer at UVU
TIP 2: DON’T CLONE YOURSELF “The best performing teams are those that feel valued for who they are and not some version their manager thinks they should be. Effective managers hire diversity on the team to complement each other rather than just hiring people like them, which is all too common. If your goal is building a high-performance team, find the right roles and responsibilities for the right employees.” — Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising
TIP 3: CHEMISTRY MATTERS “Make sure the chemistry is right. They might look good on paper, but as you talk to prospective employees, follow your gut. Ask yourself, ‘Is this someone I want to work shoulder-to-shoulder with indefinitely?’ Don’t just hire to fill the position.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 4: ESTABLISH THE RIGHT TONE “We don’t allow for any cattiness or judgment. That’s just poison. My management team is a core example of that. We mention it in our hiring interviews and address it from the get-go. It’s not worth even allowing for a little bit.” — Jessica Larson, founder of Suss Cookie Co.
TIP 5: FIND YOUR BETTER HALVES — AND DON’T HOVER “Hire the best people and then get out of their way. This is not a cliché to us but a bedrock principle.” — N. Todd Leishman, attorney with Durham Jones & Pinegar
Let’s get together. Yeah, yeah, yeah! (But just not for forever, OK?)
TIP 6: MORNING POWERUPS “Every morning we have a pow-wow where someone shares an inspirational quote or story. We take turns sharing.” — Jessica Larson, founder of Suss Cookie Co.
TIP 7: WEEKLY REPORTS “I hold weekly one-on-ones with my direct reports. I treat them as if they are meetings with the CEO — I don’t reschedule if I can help it. In the past I would run the agenda, but some of my direct reports were dreading it because it just meant more work. Now they run the agenda, and we discuss what they want to discuss. If you are not holding these meetings with those who report to you, you need to. It’s an absolute must.” — Nate Randle, chief marketing officer at Vivint Smart Home
TIP 8: PRIORITIZE YOUR TEAM “Be intentional about your leadership. Meet with each team member as often as you can. I’ve never regretted spending time with those I manage to help them be better in their roles — even when it means I may have to stay late or take work home.” — Shannon Bible, vice president of global leadership services at doTERRA
TIP 9: AGENDA AWARENESS “An effective meeting always starts with an agenda that goes out in advance. Give them an opportunity to contemplate the topics or do additional research. Sending out the agenda also helps ensure the right people are in the meeting.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 10: LEND AN EAR (ACTUALLY, LEND TWO) “Listen. Listen actively. Listen some more.” — Belinda Otukolo Saltiban, chief inclusion and diversity officer at UVU
Be of good cheer.
TIP 11: YOU’RE SO EXCITED AND YOU JUST CAN’T HIDE IT “You need to have enthusiasm when you’re talking about your vision. Excitement is contagious. Animation is contagious. Use that energy.” — Trey Guernsey, regional manager for Jimmy Johns
TIP 12: THE GROWTH FACTOR “Money is rarely the ultimate motivating factor. The second people don’t feel like they are growing as a person, they will look for something different. Create an environment that plans for personal/professional/financial growth for team members. It’s the best retention tool.” — Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising
TIP 13: WORK HARD, PLAY HARD “My team’s productivity increases when we incorporate fun elements into what we do. Play games in trainings to review new concepts. Celebrate team achievements. Organize memorable team building activities. It’s ‘fun with a purpose.’” — Shannon Bible, vice president of global leadership services at doTERRA
TIP 14: THE BIG PICTURE “Communicate to the team what the big picture is. If you take 10 minutes at the beginning of a project to share how it fits into the company, there’s a stronger sense of buy-in.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 15: HELL YEAH! “Tossing in an occasional heartfelt curse word can create a sense of urgency when trying to motivate and encourage employees.” — Brandon Fugal, chairman at Colliers International
Getting to know them, getting to know all about them.
TIP 16: DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT “You have different personalities to think about and help grow. It’s like having children — understand their strengths and weaknesses so you can come together as a family team.” — Jessica Larson, founder of Suss Cookie Co.
TIP 17: DO YOUR HOMEWORK “Use the ‘Notes’ section of your contacts to write down the names of family members, likes/dislikes and hobbies of your employees. Study it. Ask how their kids are doing by name, how their hobby is going. They will appreciate your ability to know the details of their lives.” — Dustin Olson, president of W.W. Clyde & Co.
TIP 18: PLEASE AND THANK YOU “Constantly be on the lookout for your team’s successes. Be equally aware of efforts and improvements. Recognize them. Thank them.” — Shannon Bible, vice president of global leadership services at doTERRA
TIP 19: EMPATHY WINS “Be involved in the day-to-day operations so you can talk intelligently to your employees. Make sure they understand that you understand.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 20: SPOUSE IN THE HOUSE! “Don’t just focus on the employee — understand what is important to the significant other! If you ‘win over’ the spouse you will retain the employee for a longer time. Let them know their spouse is valued within the company. Hold family activities. Involve them in service efforts.” — Dustin Olson, president of W.W. Clyde & Co.
You got 99 problems. Solve ’em.
TIP 21: DON’T DELAY “Don’t procrastinate problem-solving. Deal with small problems before they become big problems.” — Mike Washburn, president + CEO of Thanksgiving Point
TIP 22: PICK OF THE PROBLEMS “Pick and choose your battles. People are going to be people and break rules. Recognize when to push and when to let off the gas. Usually they know that it’s wrong and they shouldn’t do it. If they continue, then talk about it.” — Trey Guernsey, regional manager for Jimmy Johns
TIP 23: INSPIRE RESPECT + RESOLUTION “Many managers feel it’s their responsibility to solve everyone’s problems, but it’s not. If there’s a conflict between two people, and one comes to you privately, listen and be empathetic. Then challenge that employee to have a respectful conversation directly with the other employee. More times than not, they are a bit embarrassed they didn’t take that initiative in the first place.” — Nate Randle, chief marketing officer at Vivint Smart Home
TIP 24: TOUGH LOVE “Challenge and hold team members accountable even when it’s uncomfortable. Team members will learn to trust that they will be told what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.” — Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising
TIP 25: GET CREATIVE, EINSTEIN “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein
Do you want to be a better manager? Y/N?
TIP 26: INPUT WANTED “Even if you already know the direction to be taken, asking your team for input helps them feel invested in the outcome.” — Shannon Bible, vice president of global leadership services at doTERRA
TIP 27: OPEN MIND YOUR MANNERS “Be willing to change your mind based on feedback from others. Transparency and inclusiveness create a collaborative culture.” — Mike Washburn, president + CEO of Thanksgiving Point
TIP 28: KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ’EM, WHEN TO FOLD ’EM “I’ve made the mistake of holding onto the wrong people for too long. If there’s a mindset or value that’s lacking, it leads to failure. It frustrates the rest of the team, and then you have two problems. Don’t delay it. Get to the bottom of it, and send the signal to the rest of the team that your values haven’t changed.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 29: SAY NO TO ‘YES’ FOLK “The manager I trust the least is the one who always says ‘yes.’ I respect and trust managers who share what’s going well, their challenges, and who continually seek feedback and insight from their team members.” — Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising
TIP 30: BE DECISIVE “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.’ You must be willing to fire.” — T. Boone Pickens, an American venture capitalist
Teaching to the Choir
Those who do, teach.
TIP 31: TOGETHER IS BETTER “I try to be here before most of the employees get here and I don’t leave until all of them have left. I want them to see me working with them. And I don’t ask my people to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. If employees don’t know you’re fighting the good fight with them, it’s difficult for them to follow your lead.” — Adam Stoker, CEO of Relic
TIP 32: OBSERVATION STATION “Instead of having people conform to you, you need to conform to them. Become a chameleon. I have a manager who’s into Dungeons and Dragons. I didn’t know anything about that before, but now I do and use it as an example to teach him about the business. I tell him it’s like attacking a castle.” — Trey Guernsey, regional manager for Jimmy Johns
TIP 33: STAY HUMBLE; STAY TEACHABLE “The best leaders I’ve seen prioritize the importance of lifelong learning. An attitude of continual learning accompanied by the right amount of humility and listening really helps people succeed.” — Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising
TIP 34: TEACH TRUST “Coach to outcomes. I had a real tendency when I first got into my role of saying, ‘Here’s what I want you to do and how to do it.’ But a lot of people are a lot smarter than I am. Instead I tell them, ‘This is what I want and when I want it’ — and I let them figure it out. Then I can focus on other things to help the business grow.” — Adam Stoker, CEO of Relic
TIP 35: MULTIPLE CHOICE “Recognize there are multiple dichotomies in leadership. There’s a time when you need to be strict and a time to be loose, a time to hold them accountable and a time to have fun. There is never one answer when leading people. You have to learn through application and practice when to apply each of those dichotomies.” — Trey Guernsey, regional manager for Jimmy Johns
TIP 36: CREATE A SAFE SPACE “Create opportunities that encourage open dialogue. Don’t sugarcoat. Be direct, yet respectful.” — Brandon Fugal, chairman at Colliers International
TIP 37: LET’S BE CLEAR “Professional transparency with your team is really important. I’m not playing games. If I have a personal or professional appointment, I don’t just disappear and hope no one notices. I tell my direct reports my availability.” — Nate Randle, chief marketing officer at Vivint Smart Home
TIP 38: GOES BOTH WAYS “Bottom-up communication is just as important as top-down communication. Listen to what people are telling you.” — Jarrod Hunt, executive VP at Colliers International
TIP 39: TTYL. “Pick up the phone or walk down the hall and talk to them. Stop trying to problem-solve by text or email.” — Mike Washburn, president + CEO of Thanksgiving Point
TIP 40: COMPASSION PROJECT “We often have the daunting task of telling people there is something wrong with the project that’s become their pride and joy. We’re all working toward the same goal, and when we raise important issues, we’re helping the whole team succeed. Compassion is a leadership quality that has resonated with me beyond the classrooms I teach in; it guides my interactions with our community of tech leaders racing toward different ideals of success.” — AJ Larson, director of DevMountain’s Software Quality Assurance Bootcamp
Just be a good person, OK?
TIP 41: FORGIVENESS + FLEXIBILITY “Do not hesitate to apologize or say you are sorry. On the flip side, try to always be kind and forgiving. You will never regret it. And if someone is visibly upset or struggling personally, give them the rest of the day off. No questions asked. No conditions.” — Brandon Fugal, chairman at Colliers International
TIP 42: AUTHENTICITY IS BOSS “Be authentic and genuine as you lead by example. People are smart and will see right through your posturing.”— Mike Washburn, president + CEO of Thanksgiving Point
TIP 43: SMART THINKING “Never think you’ve arrived. Don’t ever assume you’re the smartest person in the room. If you feel that way, you need to find smarter people to surround yourself with.” — Trey Guernsey, regional manager for Jimmy Johns
TIP 44: FOR THE PEOPLE “Your employees are an investment and not an expense. View them as more than just payroll. They’re such an important part of the equation.” — Jessica Larson, founder of Suss Cookie Co.
TIP 45: GOLDEN RULE “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” — Stephen R. Covey
Originally published in the 2019 summer issue of Utah Valley BusinessQ.