I think it’s high-time to start a new category in God and You – one about leadership. I’ve written a handful before but this time God is taking me to new levels about leadership – especially now that our team over at SEO Hacker has grown to about 15 people.
There are numerous ways to grow as a leader – reading books, being mentored by someone, listening to podcasts, watching leadership videos, praying, reading and meditating on God’s Word, etc.
There are three parts to SEO Hacker as a company, the first one is the blog. The SEO Hacker blog is maintained, managed, marketed and monitored by me. Most of the entries there have been written and published by me and it earns enough to pay some of the bills on a monthly basis.
The third part is the SEO Hacker School which is still undergoing development in terms of content, design, user experience, etc. We are putting a huge amount of effort and investment on SEO Hacker School in hopes that someday God will use it to expand His Kingdom through the business.
I’m more of a hands-off type of guy in terms of business. The reason behind it is that I want my people to grow and nurture themselves. Have authority and responsibility – and be creative in solving problems.
If I was able to grow on my own that way, why can’t my people?
I was dead wrong.
I’ve read the book ‘Developing the Leaders Around You’ by John Maxwell before – when I didn’t have a team to nurture yet. Now that I do, I’ve been reminded that my own philosophies on leading a team will not work.
I was not following the Five-step Process of Training People.
The ways people learn are very different. Some people learn best in an academic way – where you will need to throw books, lessons and theoretical stuffs at them and they’ll pick it up.
Some people learn hands-on. These people need to face the problem, try to solve it on their own and discover their own creativity in tackling the problem.
I’m more of the latter. And my mistake is that I assumed all of my people learn the same way.
We remember 10 percent of what we hear, 50 percent of what we see, 70 percent of what we say and 90 percent of what we hear, see, say and do.
I’ve learned that the best way to train your people is to follow the five-step process:
It sound like a no-brainer, but really. This is where all things should start with training. Do what you need to do while the person you’re training watches you do it. Don’t start in the middle of the task because it might just confuse your trainee. Start at the very beginning of the task so that they can try to confidently replicate the task on their own.
After they use their eyes to watch you perform the task, they need to use their hands. Ask them to help out – don’t just issue commands to them, tell them why they are doing certain tasks so that they would better understand the deeper effects of what they are doing.
Now it’s their turn to do it. Only don’t let them do it alone. Be there with them. You are the coach. During this stage, your trainee will lack the confidence to do it completely on their own – so you will have to be there for them. You’re going to be the one doing the watching now. Encouragement is especially important in this stage – be positive, because chances are, the trainee undergoing this partially foreign task will have all notions of negativity floating around his head. Encouraging your people helps them to want to keep trying instead of giving up. Once your trainee gets the process – ask him to explain it to you. It will help him understand and remember – this way, you’re completing the ‘see, hear say and do’ memory retention process.
This is when you let go of your trainee. Let him be responsible of the task and own it. Don’t be aloof – still be there to encourage him and cheer him on until he considers himself successful over the entire process. There might come a time when your trainee will want to make some changes to the process for improvement – encourage it. This connotes creativity and initiative.
No doubt the best part is when they are able to teach it to others in the team. This is when your trainee becomes a leader and an authority in the whole process. You can now award your new leader the responsibility of training new team members – which makes room for you to do other tasks that help your company move forward.
This process reminds me of discipleship. When God allowed me to start my first group in church, I applied everything that my disciple modeled to me. In turn, my disciples are now applying what I modeled.
I’m sincerely hoping to apply this successfully to myself as I try to train the team. We’re a very young company (going three years now) with a very young team (our median age is 24) and we still need to undergo a lot of training. I guess I’m writing this down to share this with you and to remind myself that I need to practice this in the months to come.