Before TDP [like, well before], I managed to make my way to a particular senior management role that’d see me leading a team of 70 good souls and my own Manager said to me, “welcome to senior management, I hope you’re ok with being disliked?”.
They weren’t wrong. #lol
Still, I tried … and I honestly think I did really well in that role, but towards the end? I distinctly remember thinking, “I never want to lead a team of this size, ever again”. And I’d say the biggest reason behind never wanting to lead a team of that size again had everything to do with how far away it removed me from what I love being involved with the very most: creative work, and strategic work … and it instead propelled me towards what I liked the very least [at that time], which was feeling like my new full-time role was various people crying in my office because “xyz sent this email to me, and I didn’t like their tone” or “can you please speak to xyz about their body odour, because their BO offends me” or “someone keeps taking the tinned tuna I bring to work and using it on their sandwiches” etc.
Before you know it? You’re Googling “how do I raise body odour to an employee without offending them?” more than you are doing the stuff that lights you up inside [and is the very reason you entered your selected industry within the first place] … and so I can whole-heartedly say that as I grow and scale TDP? Well, this ain’t exactly my first rodeo.
I’ve done the leading of big’ish teams before, and learning what I did throughout that experience has meant that when it came to building TDP? I wanted to make sure I built this thang in a way that ensured I didn’t go and build something to ultimately become a full-time people manager.
If you too hold the same fears about growing your business, I’m invitin’ you to read on to learn how I’ve built something that continues to grow … but doesn’t require me to be full-time tellin’ people their body odour has offended another colleague, or mediating email exchanges between two people, or dealing with excessive absenteeism, or – worse – presenteeism [when a person shows up to work, but it’s as if they’re absent … because they don’t wanna be there. #AndItShows].
You’ll wanna build a systems driven environment
This one’s a big one for me as your resident neurodivergent who [ironically] isn’t so great at building effective business systems [in my defence? They’re all in my head … but I can never bring them to life] … but thrives on a workplace having incredible systems in place to ensure that I’m not [ever] needing to micromanage on anything [guaranteed way to destroy my soul, tbh] because we have all o’ the systems set up to help people largely manage themselves here in TDP-land.
FYI? If – like me – you struggle to build a systems driven environment, I imagine – like me – some of your first hires will be people who’ll help to build out incredible systems like the ones we have here in TDP-land.
You’ll also want an emotionally mature workforce
And I in no way mean this in an ageist way … because I’m a foster care kid from an incredibly low socio-economic background, and I can whole-heartedly say that I’d seen and lived more things by age 8 than most people will see and live in an entire lifetime.
When I say emotionally mature workforce? I’m in no way talking to a person’s age here, but I’m instead telling you that if you want to avoid building a business that forces you into full-time people management? You’ll want to look for the emotionally mature folk who are willing to take personal responsibility and ownership for themselves / their work results etc.
We just don’t “babysit” here in TDP-land, and instead like to work with emotionally mature souls with incredible lived experiences who are here to bring value, instead of drama.
Emotionally mature workforces FTW.
And then you’ll also want to build a culture of accountability where every team member can count on one another to do their own part[s]
And so with hiring an emotionally mature workforce, comes being in the incredibly fortunate position where you’ll ultimately end up with not just emotionally mature souls … but accountable souls, too.
I rate accountability so highly that I’ve made it one of TDP’s main organisational values, and I can’t even tell you how many incredibly accountable interactions I watch play out here in TDP-land on the weekly.
I sit back and watch it all play out and just think to myself, “this. THIS. THISSSSSSSSS”.
When you make it really, really, really crystal clear that it’s accountability you’re after in your workplace? You’ll end up at that sweet spot – yet again – where you’re surrounded by people who bring value instead of drama, and have a team of good humans who can all count on one another to do their parts.
And finally? You’ll want to have clearly defined goals and objectives that are measured and easily accessible to the team
And so – perfect segue – what happens when you hire emotionally mature, accountable souls? Well, they’ll wanna hit the ground running knowing what goals and objectives they’re working towards … and then they’ll want to be able to measure them [and so therefore have easy access to tracking those goals].
Just like TDP wears its little ol’ authentic heart on its sleeve via the content we share across our [various] social platforms, so too do we transparently share the goals and objectives we’re working towards as a team.
Remember that scene in Finding Nemo where Nemo finds his Dad at the end, and then they get CAUGHT IN THE BLUDDY FISH NET AGAIN [I empath die over that every time]. They escape because they rally the “fish team” together to push against that net and subsequently release them all … #teamTDP is much like that scene in the movie, i.e we consider ourselves equals. All swimming towards the same goal[s], and so it’s only fair [and entirely sensical] to make sure our team are crystal clear on what goals we’re working towards collectively.
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