It’s All About the People

teamsAs we move into the new year I am reminded, that’s it’s all about the people. The people we spend time with in our personal life and our business become mirrors to who we are and what we reflect to others.

In business, we need to choose carefully who we bring on our team or partner with. It’s important that we understand their values and perspectives. We can teach skills — we can’t change attitude.

On my radio show It’s All in the BRA, I had the honor of interviewing Tomima Edmark, CEO of the Andra Group, Inc and it’s web properties HerRoom.com and HisRoom.com

The business has been a huge success and I wanted to learn Tomima’s perspective on creating a successful management team. Below is an excerpt from the show. To listen to the podcast go here.

Wendy : You talked about something which I think is such a great lesson for us… that 90% of life is just showing up and making things happen. That has led to your personal success. What kind of people do you look for to support you on your team, on your management team or even in the bigger company?

Tomima: That is a very good question because I have made a lot of mistakes in that area. Topsy Tail was a really great deal because I outsourced everything. I only had two employees and I had a lot of companies that I hired. There is a real advantage there in that you can just hire and fire them. You don’t have to think about personalities; it is just an input, output issue.

I had very good companies that I worked with. Then I decided I wanted a company that was long term, which is what Andra Group is. It is an ongoing sustainable company. I first hired people basically because I was being careful financially. I hired young people because I wanted that energy level around me. It has taken me years to hone in on the type of people who are successful in my environment.

 First and foremost I needed to look inward at what kind of a manager I am. The truth of the matter is I am a terrible manager. Usually in an interview with me, if you make the final cut and you are in my office, that is sort of what I lead of with.

You just need to know that you will be reporting to me, but I am a really bad manager. I don’t really sit down and take the time to get to know you and your family, and I apologize for that, but I am just not good at communicating with people on that level. And I need people who are very independent working. If you need to be micromanaged, I am not the manager for you and this may not be the job for you.

After I get through my schpeel, which I kind of make it sound humorous, if somebody is laughing along with me then I figure they get me, but if they are looking at me in horror, they are not the right person.

You have to have people who have some chutzpah to them. But more importantly, I have discovered that I never hire anybody out of college; I just don’t because they don’t know what they are doing with their life yet. The opportunities in my company just really don’t have any of those real starter jobs.

 I need somebody who really knows what they want to do. That is number one. And number two, I don’t really care if they went to college or not; I really don’t. This is what I look for on a resume – and I have always hired these people and they have been very successful for me. Did they have a paper route when they were a child? Did they sell Mary Kay Cosmetics on the side? Did they do whatever it took to get the money and food on the table and/or, if they are not married, have they always been doing things to better themselves? Were they taking vocational education?

 And nothing was beneath them. I figure if they worked at McDonalds or whatever, nothing is beneath them, and those are my best employees. I also love employees who are coming from a company that failed because, boy, those people have really honed in their skill, because as the company is going south, every penny counts, every decision is highly scrutinized, and if they survive that negative environment, they have backbone.

 I know there are so many employees out there that as soon as the company has a little ebb or flow with their company, they leave because they are afraid that the company is going to go south. I don’t want that employee. If I ask them why they left that job, and they are telling me the company was starting to have trouble, I don’t want that employee because they are going to leave me when the going gets tough.

 Finally, my other favorite employee is someone who had their own business and for whatever reason they don’t have it now, either it failed or they just didn’t like being an owner. They are my best employees because they know what I am doing to keep this company running.

What do you take away from this discussion? How will you look at yourself as a manager or team member as you go into 2014. It’s all about the right people …

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