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Elevating Business by Leveraging Your Team

Hi, and a warm welcome to The Human Side of Business Podcast. I'm your host Ange MacCabe. I'm pleased to introduce you to Jodie Cook, whom is an entrepreneur and writer.

Jodie started her business, a social media agency, in 2011 at the age of 22 and it was acquired in 2021. Along the way she wrote books and articles about the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship, including as a Forbes contributor, to help others with their careers. She was included on Forbes 30 under 30 list of 2017 and, after selling her agency, and published Ten Year Career, which helps readers reimagine business, design their life and fast track their freedom

In this episode Jodie and I examine mindset and how it translates to elevating business and teams.

Leveraging Your Teams Skills

Jodie Cook: So many business owners are very good at doing the doing because they come up with the idea and then they're like, right, okay, let's get to work, and then they do it. And a lot of the time, they don't always do what they should do. They do what they could do. And because they're very capable people, what they could do is just everything. So you end up doing everything. And then I was creating this limiting belief that it had to be me, because it wouldn't be right if anyone else were doing it. And what I was doing there was confusing different with wrong, right? They were doing it differently. They weren't doing it wrong. And so I had to move past that and be like, no, it's okay. If I want to grow this company, I will have to bring other people in and take on board what they think, their ideas, and what they want to do. And it will take a different direction, but that's okay because that's necessary to live the life you want.

Dispelling Limiting Beliefs

Jodie Cook: So, getting over the limiting belief as well. 80% of the task is realizing that you have it, and then you test it. You go, what would happen if I decided to believe something else? Or what would happen if I decided to push this a little and see what happens? They will be wrong versus different ones.

It was like, I'm going to see what they do, and I'm not going to be the person who steps like swoops in to take control or tries to tell them to do something different. And from a leadership perspective, I turned from being a manager to a coach. So when I talked to my team, rather than being instructional, you did this, you did that, it would be, what do you think? Well, what do you think would happen if that happened? Well, what should your next step be?

Well, you've done this before. What happened last time? And it was a shift in how I spoke to my team and thought of myself as on a level with everyone. And we were all on the same side, on the same level, working towards the same goal. Rather than me as this boss who had these people working for me, I completely switched that and even changed that language.

So I never use the term employee; I don't like it. I would always use team member or colleague or partner or associate.

How to Set Objectives and Achieve Goals as a Leader

Jodie Cook: everyone has their success system, which is different for us all. But when you have figured out what it is in one area, you can apply it to other areas in precisely the same way, and it will magically work because it's your unique system. First, it's setting the intention. It's like, okay, what do I want to dWhich is either sell my agency, systemize my agency, write this book, or get this score in a competition, and then after that, it's, who's done this before? Or what did someone else do to get this? And in systemizing my business, I read the email because I figured that Michael Gerber had taught people he's done it himself, and that would be a method that I could learn as well. And then, in selling my business, it was asking other people who sold their agency to tell me what they did. So there's a kind of education piece, but the education piece can't be just asking a friend who's never done it has to be asking someone who has done this before and who knows who's willing.

Yeah. After that, it's figuring out what I need to do, and then it's breaking down what I need to do into probably first monthly things, then weekly things, then daily things, and then putting them in my calendar, as in, like, you are going to do this every single day. When I wrote my book, I was speaking to other authors. It was creating a plan for the book and getting the concept.

But then the actual writing of it was 90 minutes at 07:00 a.m. Every single day for three months. And just having it on a wall chart in front of me where I ticked off each day when I'd done it because that's just part of the successive system that my brain quite likes.

Facing Difficult Situations Head On

Jodie Cook: When the pandemic hit, I remember thinking, oh my God, because we lost about 25% of our client base in one week. We had clients in hospitality, travel, and events, and they were having a much worse time than us, but it knocked on to us. I remember thinking, “oh my God”, I've never known anything like this before. But because I have the training through powerlifting and whatever else, I could take a step back and go, “so this is my first pandemic. What are we going to do here?” and view the problem with distance. So it's like anything difficult that happens, if you can take away the emotion, you can get into action and analyze it, and then you'll figure out a much better response to it.

For more leadership insights check out my blog: 3 Ways to Develop an Intentional Approach to Leadership


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