NV0eHnNkQDHA21GC3BAJ_Paris Louvr

What does this mean?

Well let’s say you grab a piece of paper and write down your entire morning routine from when you first wake up to when you arrive at work. It might look something like this:

6:00am – Wake up, use restroom,

6:10 – Make coffee, eat breakfast and read favorite news article or book

6:45 – Change into workout clothes, workout

7:30 – Shower, change, get ready for day

8:00 – Leave house, drive to work

8:30 – Arrive at work

Now let’s say your best friend is going to fill your shoes and be you for the morning. They have to do everything just the way you do it. You’ve just outlined your morning routine so you give this to them and say good luck. They have to follow your routine to the letter.

Ok, first step, they wake up and use the restroom. Where in your house is the restroom? Ok, it’s out the bedroom and down the hall to the right, they found it. Next is coffee…hmm, where is your coffee maker? Is it drip, french press or Kurig? Where do you keep the coffee? Cream or sugar, or straight black because you’re hardcore. Oh and where do you keep your mugs?

Next is breakfast…what do you eat for breakfast? How do they find it or make it?

Now they need to read something along with their coffee and breakfast if they are to live their morning just like you do. What do you read and where do they find it?

Ok, change into workout clothes now…where are those kept? Where do you workout, at home or at a gym? Ok, they found the home gym and have worked out. Now shower…simple enough since they already found the bathroom. Now getting dressed for the day…do you wear a suit to work or something more casual? Where are the keys to your car? Where is work, how to you get there?

Ok, you get the picture.

Do you see the point I’m making? If your friend is going to live out your morning routine just like you do, there needs to be way more detail then you might have originally written down or anticipated, and this is where the point drives home. We tend to live or think in generalities, but we operate in specifics. When you think about a part of your morning routine, for example making coffee, in your mind it is a very simple concept…you do some stuff and then ta-da, there is a fresh cup of coffee in your hand. But as soon as you need to teach someone else how to make a cup of coffee exactly like you do, you realize there are a lot of specific steps that you have to communicate that you normally don’t even think about.

This is a key concept to understand when it comes to creating systems for your organization, especially if you have employees! When you are working in your business, there is a specific way you do things. A specific way you provide your product or service, answer the phone, make a sale, keep track of the finances, deal with a difficult customer etc. To you these tasks might not require a lot of thought or attention to detail. You just know how to do things in the best way for your business. But if you have employees, or if you are planning to hire in the future, you want them to run the various aspects of your business just like you would right? So you need to develop systems for your employees to follow; step by step methods according to which all the various functions of your business are accomplished. Remembering that we tend to live in generalities and operate in specifics is the key getting your mind in the right place when you develop these systems. Your new customer service rep is not going to know how to answer the phones or respond to emails the same way you do unless you develop a system for them to follow that outlines exactly how you want it done. Perhaps this is in the form of a word for word script that they can follow for common customer questions or concerns.

It is easy to tell a new hire what their responsibilities are and what the general outcome you expect is, but this is quick way to create some consistent frustration between you and your employee when they keep “doing things wrong”. It is your responsibility as the business owner to set your employees up for success and be 100% clear on how the job needs to get done. Putting yourself in their shoes, realizing that you operate in specifics and creating a game plan that clearly outlines those specifics is the key to having other people run your business exactly like you would whether you are there or not.