And the Hammer came Down
The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 3
Today we are talking with Monika Jansen, the Head Kick-Ass Copywriter & Strategist for her company, Jansen Communications. Monika has been growing a company that delivers not just on copywriting but also social media and other marketing communication services. With that growth has come the need to continue to expand her team of Independent Contractors to plan for and meet a diverse set of needs for her client list. During her 15 years of business, she has established some strong relationships and detailed processes for managing her team. And then, one morning in November, “the hammer came down”.
On her way out to a meeting of an Advisory Board (3 hours of focused time) for a University upon which she is a Committee lead, Monika dared to sneak one last peek at her emails. There it was.
- blah, blah...”was going to tell you in the meeting”…blah…”already acceptedand working a full time job”…blah…”had hoped to be able to do both”…..”
And like that, Monika’s most tenured and knowledgeable team member was out the door. There was no warning.
Monika had done everything RIGHT! Weekly meetings with targeted questions not just about the work but about the person. Offering transparency on what was happening in the company and what the future was looking like for everyone. Opportunities to self-select into projects. Monika said she felt like a cartoon where the anvil fell from the sky and smashed her into the sidewalk.
Today’s lesson: People are still the unknown piece of our business building…even when we do everything right.
Monika was a little hurt because she had hoped that she had built the kind of transparency that would be valued and inspire a mutual effort from staff. She hadn’t known the IC was interviewing much less was so far down the line. Sometimes, personal shifts in life priorities are hidden from employers out of fear.
However, this story has a Good Enough ending! Because Monika is the type of person that worked on her hiring strategies and business processes, she was able to step into her Boss Actions! “The meeting actually was good timing. It gave me space and time to get over the shock. It allowed me to make solid decisions about moving forward.” What actions did she take?
- One of my mentors (ehhhmmm) “Talmar taught me to always have a back-up plan. To always be on the look-out for, and interviewing, other Independent Contractors that I could be working with in the future. She also had me set up my project workloads so that others had the capacity to take on more work in a pinch.’
In the end, Monika said it was a confidence BOOSTER – for both her and the company! Her systems and process were easily able to cover the clients and not miss a step. Surviving this moment proves that her business is NOT dependent on any one member of the team. It also proves she can handle whatever comes like the Kick-Ass boss she wanted to become! Rock on, Monika!
Now Go! Grow!