Do you feel guilty when you are supposed to do some serious work, but you rather go and do something just for yourself?
You know, when you go to the movies in the middle of the day (Rogue One, here I come!) or when instead of reading the ton of books you bought and now have on Kindle, you lose yourself in the depths of Netflix.
My latest guilty pleasure is the TV Show "Narcos", based on the rise and fall of the dreadful drug-lord Pablo Escobar. It shows just how delusional, ruthless, totally crazy he was, and how it affected the lives of all the people who somehow got involved with him. Literally all. Regardless if they were on his side or on the opposite side.
It's not packed with gory details, but some scenes are definitely not suitable for everyone's stomach. So there you have it. A fair warning before you start watching it.
But apart from that, it is worth watching it. Totally.
Anyway, once you go past the obvious story of the most well known drug lord that ever walked on Earth, and past all the killings and the tortures and lives ruined, you realise that Escobar is just this crazy "company owner" trying to have it all under control.
Like any given entrepreneur.
Full of enthusiasm, he constantly "works", he believes in his "product" and he's ready to do anything to grow.
Of course, his methods are ruthless and he's completely and utterly insane. And for the record, no, I'm not really approving his means of work, nor his ethics. It's just a fact.
In the end all that madness, and the inability to let go, leads to an very bad end of his "professional career".
The Curse of a Bad Manager
Now when you think of it, he was just a (sad) bad manager. Who did well with motivating, organising people and maintaining the authority. But apart from using a baseball bat to bash the heads of those who disagreed with him, his methods are not really "by-the-book". He should have needed some anger management classes.
So. Manager. Manager who:
- Doesn't trust anyone, not even his closest.
- Has only one way of persuasion ("you're either with me or you're dead").
- Thinks the world is agains him, while at the same time
- He also thinks he is trying to help a lot of people.
His problem is: he only feels he is in control.
This is mentioned in the series too with a metaphor: His shoe laces are never tied through the series. Because he's confident he doesn't need to run anywhere, nor fear anything. Except for an episode when he is escaping from prison. Then, he is tying his laces and getting ready to run.
But still thinks he has it all. Control. Power.
The unfortunate thing is, he's using all the wrong methods (besides the obvious illegal business), such as: fear.
And of course, an enormous amount of violence.
Translated (ha!) to the world of our business, if you have your own small company or business - and this is regardless if you employ people or not - it is something you need to do.
You need to have control.
How can You regain full control without shenaningans?
Lucky you, You can have control without all that Escobarish drama.
All you really need, is enough data at the right place, and a way to manage this data easily.
Any given day you have to be aware of the following:
- What are your main sources of income (customers that make you money vs. those who lose you money)
- Which colleague is working on what (track vendors, track projects, and the financials to the T)
- Which of your colleagues has too much free time (give them more work, don't let them "sleep" too much)
- Which one of the colleagues is heavily overloaded (take some work off their shoulders)
- What was done in the past (the financial and project data will help you make an educated guess how to proceed with the client, if you need to get rid of them or embrace them, for example)
- How much money comes in, and when does it come in (Cash flow is of utmost importance for a small company)
- How much money goes out, and where does it go (track your Expenses to the level of insanity if you want to find ways to optimize your work, and cut cost and save on the right places)
If you have this data, you can anticipate your next step based on some basic analysis.
And you will be the fearless leader. Because you know everything about your company, your project, your clients, and your vendors.
You don't need an army of people with bazookas and machine guns like Escobar did. You don't need to pull any crazy stunts, don't need to beat up people with a baseball bat, nor to hide forever in the Jungle.
All you need is a little help:
Either a very smart and extremely organized Office Manager (always dreamt of one like Joan Harris from Mad Men - grab this show on Amazon).
Or come to the XXI century and leave all the "typewriter kind o' guys" to your competitors, and start using miniTPMS.
That is your own way of having absolute control.
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