How I left to live at sea and lost my business
The correspondent of “Business World” talked with the owner of the company, who went to live at sea, leaving a long-running and profitable business in Moscow. After some time, things got worse, and he had to return in order to establish an enterprise that was falling apart before his eyes. Why it happened and what conclusions can be drawn from this situation, read our material.
“The people you leave must be shown that you have not abandoned them”
I am both the founder and current manager of my business. When I left the established business and left, I did not think that without me everything would go downhill. But it turned out that it was not the leader who left, but the most efficient member of the team. Which is impossible without me, because all these years it was I who set the pace of work and was the head of this partisan detachment. For several decades, I found the right people, created an excellent team out of them, we worked together for more than one year. We all equally saw our goal and objectives. I decided that they could be left alone, periodically watching their actions. But no. As soon as I left, the connection was broken, control was lost, the business became like a fence in an old village.
I will not say “adjust the daily routine” and “watch the difference in time zones”: if a person does not understand this himself, he cannot be helped.
The first thing that surprised me when I did not live in Moscow for several months was that it seemed to everyone that I had abandoned them. That everything is bad with us, and so I dumped. I learned about something that they don’t know, and ran away, saving his ass. So first of all, the people you left must be explained that you did not abandon them. This is important both for those who lose motivation with your departure, and those who, in your absence, decide to take something into their own hands. Therefore, regularly communicate with your employees. Set up this process as you like: it will be a Skype call every day with key employees, periodic visits back to the company or something else. You must be virtually present at meetings and planning meetings.
It turned out that I, as a conductor in front of the orchestra: I control everything and no one can play without me
“Retain control over financial flows and hiring key employees”
I had several branches of the company in the city. Back in Moscow, I set up their work autonomously on my own. Because otherwise I would not have time to sleep. The heads of these offices were my good friends, they did an excellent job and I had no problems. Delegation of authority in action. But as soon as I left, I realized that it was necessary to reserve maximum control over financial flows. Otherwise, sooner or later they will sail away from you. It’s one thing – you are here, you can always come, see and check everything, and another thing – you are “somewhere there.” And here in the branches there is a life of its own. I lost so many offices.
Previously, when we were looking for a new employee, I personally talked to the candidates, and it took me ten minutes to figure out if this is our person or not. So over the years I have built a strong team. It didn’t take much time, we never had any turnover, but each employee brought benefits. And so I left and left the right to choose employees to those who remained in charge. It seemed reasonable to me, because every day he had to work with them. So: this is a mistake. Reserve the right to fire and hire employees. Otherwise, in your next return, you may not find half of your team. But everything rests on it.
Tip: always try to talk with an employee who has left you. So you can find out a lot of interesting things happening in your company during your absence
“Leave clear instructions to employees.”
Move on. Clear instructions. If possible, leave a clear plan for action for everyone. The way you see the process and the result of a person’s work. If you think that your subordinates will be able to organize their work process themselves, you are mistaken. If they knew how to do this, they would have their own business. This happens because hired employees often do not know how to calculate actions several steps forward and see development prospects. Yes, this is not their task, but mine.
I have my own production. As an owner, I understand very well how and what I produce. But it is important to understand this not only for me, but also for those who are directly involved in the production process. My experience has shown that work in production should be carried out according to a well-established scheme, according to the prescribed standard. Because if it doesn’t exist, and you leave, then literally a week later the production will stop working the way it worked for you. In addition, existing standards make it easier to track production disruptions that will occur. And they occur at all. Only before you were there, and now you will be far away, and solving the problem will be more difficult.