Weekly Question: "I Keep Needing To Put Out Fires"

business education May 31, 2024

"The one area that is currently the biggest challenge in my business is the need to constantly be putting out fires. I feel that most of my time is spent acting as a peacemaker or deal-saver. I find that I do not have time or leftover energy to work within my Zone of Genius." 


This came up in a conversation with a client recently. 

Here's the thing. 

They are not alone. 

Studies show that a large percentage of an employer's or manager's time is spent on dealing with issues at work. 

This is a very common issue.


Many employers get burned out and lose their passion for their work because they are not spending more time in their "Zone of Genius" - the reason why they got into this business in the first place. 

What would it look like if we could minimize the issue and problem-solving? Train our employees to become better problem solvers on their own. Allowing the employer to have more time to spend on what they love most about their work. 

Here's how we are solving the issue. 

1. Have more team meetings

By having strategically designed - goal-oriented meetings on a consistent basis where we come in prepared with a handful of pressing item lists, we come in with the sole purpose of solving pressing issues. 

This group is not a time to chit-chat, catch up, or talk about new things happening in the company - that's for another time. This meeting is 100% focused on strategy, support, and pressing issues. 

The group is facilitated by the leadership but is handed over to the group to be group-led. Meaning, that it's upon each group member to share their challenge, and the remainder of the group brainstorm, strategize, and discuss. 

The format enables the leadership to have a hands-off approach while still being present. It's to empower the employees to take ownership and hold each other accountable for the success of their group. 


2. Design employee training 


Studies show that employer-provided skill-based training not only improves the overall morale of the employees (they feel supported and encouraged to grow and be better at work) but also lowers the rate of wasted time and resources when it comes to problem-solving and unnecessary issues forming in the first place. 


Employers have seen dramatic increases in employee satisfaction, fulfillment, engagement, and productivity when designing specialized and specific employee training for their groups. 


3. Empowering the employee 


Last but not least, many employers feel that they need to have their finger on the pulse at all given times. That's a very unhealthy belief to harbor. 


When letting go and trusting our team members with the tasks they are responsible for, we empower the employees to take ownership and be held accountable. My mentor calls this approach "Giving Leadership" (as opposed to "taking leadership"). Handing over the reins of leadership to the group gives them a sense of freedom and ownership for their successes. No one wants to feel like a failure. 


When we empower and ensure that we trust our teams to do their jobs effectively. Providing them with the resources and support they need to accomplish their tasks successfully. Makes the employee feel confident that they can solve their own problems. In addition to proper training and skill building that the employer will provide - it will also help avoid unnecessary issues from coming up in the first place. 


I'm curious about your thoughts... How would you respond to the business owner and their issue of putting out fires? 


Feel welcome to comment and post your thoughts on the LinkedIn Post