Midsomer Murder Inspector Barnabie says “Assume nothing, believe no one, check everything and never loose the big picture”.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners do well in keeping to that adage as the penalty would be failure, some of which could be avoided.
Assumptions can make an Ass out of yoU an Me ( ass-u-me) and well worth checking to identify the key one’s with the objective to understand their impact and whether they are in your control or not. Assumptions can be useful and necessary to keep to the big picture reducing one’s focus to some chosen aspects in achieving success in business.
Believing no one can be quite hard, as we naturally wish to #trust the partners, employees and suppliers BUT trust must be earned and not assumed. Checking on your #beliefs is important as you probably expect your colleagues to act like you do, yet quite often they don’t. Extending your beliefs to the wider business sphere will expose you to unexpected risk as other business partner, buyers, suppliers are not necessarily motivated by your beliefs and expectations. Be careful out there.
As you learn to #check everything your logistics and ability to deliver on your promises will improve. Having said that you will need to #delegate as your business grows and avoid micro managing when your delegates have earned your trust through demonstrated capabilities. Many executives will continue to supervise the detail as they are unable to let go. This may show a lack of trust and requires both parties I.e. manager and delegate to work on building the trust. You will however observe that some executives are unable to move past this barrier. This will make the Organisation less effective and create bottlenecks that can eventually lead to burn out of the executive. Employees who recognize that the superior doesn’t trust them should check whether it is an issue that they have to work on or a challenge that the superior has to deal with.
Employees which check everything with their superiors may do so to learn from  the superior’s or colleague’s experience. It could also show a lack of confidence in their own work. Sometime it is a sign of ‘who has the monkey on their shoulder’ as it makes the other party responsible for the employee’s action. Both parties have to realize these symptoms in order to improve their respective effectiveness. Doing so constructively will build teamwork and trust.
Entrepreneur’s have an additional challenge that their teams are small and in order to succeed the choice of the right partners and employees is critical. Making such informed choice becomes a key skill, which is not inherent in most entrepreneur’s. There are inexpensive tests that ensure an employee matches the job profile and context. Please remember that the running of a small business is not the same as inventing a new product or service and recognizing that as an assumption is key to success.
The ABC is useful in many ways. Please share simple acronyms that are reminders to each of us every day.


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