Hey there, visionaries. Today, I want to talk about how to hire someone who can serve the role of second-in-command in your business: your team integrator, your project manager, your online business manager, your COO, whatever you want to call it. Basically, the person that knows how to drive the growth in your business, who understands operations and how to build systems and workflows, and someone who can manage your team and your projects and make sure deadlines are met and things are happening the way they need to in your business.
When you bring this person into your team, you as the CEO can finally step up and be the leader of the business and the true visionary.
So what does it take? Who are you looking for? How do you find them? What are the qualities that you need to zone in on to find the perfect candidate? Let’s go over everything you need to know when seeking out a team integrator…
Challenges with Hiring a Team Integrator
First, let’s go over the challenges that I see a lot of CEOs bumping up against as they go through this process and what stops them from filling this position right in the beginning.
The number-one issue is budget. In the beginning, as CEOs are getting too busy to do all the things in the business themselves and they need to bring somebody in to help, they usually look at their task list and see a bunch of tasks that they no longer want to do.
They then hire people to step in and do these tasks for them, but unbeknownst to them, they basically transfer the time they spend doing the task themselves to now spending that time managing the team. So even though they’re no longer doing the tasks themselves, they haven’t really freed up their time, because they’re invested in the process and making sure everything is running right, that the quality is there, and that things are getting done on time. There’s still a lot of work involved in that, and because of that, frustration begins to creep in.
As the CEO, when you get stuck in that place, the delegation doesn’t make it easier to scale your business, because you’re still in the middle of managing the day-to-day operations.
The solution to that common problem is to bring in an operations person who can take on the management of the team and the projects, but also build out systems and workflows that you can plug your team into so they can be effective and maintain the quality and specifications that you want.
We call this operations person an “integrator”, and the magic of having a team integrator is that it really gets you out of that management role, which allows you to truly step into your CEO position where you can really shine.
So, how do you hire this team integrator?
What to Look For
Most CEOs go out and look at online business managers when hiring a team integrator. There’s a whole industry now where they certify online business managers, and usually they’re virtual assistants. They work more in the admin or tech roles, and then they decide that they’re going to be certified as online business managers.
What I find is that most of the time when we hire certified online business managers, even online business managers that worked in other businesses many times, they don’t really understand what it takes to drive the growth in the business. I also find that they usually are spread very thin.
They are often working with several different clients at once, and their focus actually lies in growing their own business and delivering a service to you rather than being invested in your vision.
To me, that’s a conflict of interest. That’s definitely not what I’m looking for in a team integrator for my business. I want somebody who really buys into my vision and what I’m building.
Another mistake that I often see CEOs making is that they want to find somebody that knows their CRMs.
If they use Ontraport, they think they need an Ontraport expert as their team integrator. And if they use Asana, they think they need an Asana expert. They get really focused on the little pieces in the business, but the reality is that if you hire somebody who’s very good with the operational piece and can think strategically, someone who worked on a bunch of different CRMs or a bunch of different product management tools over the years, they will not have a difficult time at all figuring out a new one.
Sure, there’s a slightly different way of thinking about things and learning the software, but if you work on pretty much any project management software, you’re going to be able to figure out another version of it. It’s not that complicated.
Based on this knowledge, I’m much more focused on finding somebody with the right attitude and the right background experience for our team integrator rather than someone who understands a specific CRM.
I want to know if they actually know how to build workflows and systems. I think that if somebody has really phenomenal skills in building systems and workflows, finding and eliminating capacity blocks in a business, and developing a business from the inside out and driving that growth on the inside, then they don’t necessarily have to have the exact background and experience in things like launches or managing bigger projects to do a really good job.
So when hiring a team integrator, you want to make sure you look at what qualities you’re looking for without narrowing down the specific skill set too far, because oftentimes that will cause you to miss out on some phenomenal opportunities.
My experience is that the team members that step in with the right attitude and the right aptitude for learning are the ones that excel the most in my business. They are the ones that have loyalty, that have integrity, that have passion for what they’re doing.
Those team members absolutely flourish. They add so much value to my business as opposed to hiring somebody with a very specific skill set or experience; when those people step into my business, they oftentimes come with a preconceived notion about how things should be, how they want them to be, what they willing to do and what they are not willing to do.
There’s a lot more conformity with those people, as opposed to somebody who is open-minded, ready to roll, wanting to learn as much as possible, etcetera.
CEOs often get worried when I use the word “develop.” When I tell them that we need to find somebody that we can develop into that team integrator, they don’t really understand what it means to develop someone. A client actually told me recently that they have no idea how to develop somebody; they don’t even know what that would look like. They compared it to being asked to work on a car, which is nowhere near their skillset.
I totally get that. It’s definitely something very different, but when we’re talking about this shift from being the doer in your business to being the leader in your business, part of being the leader is actually coaching and developing and supporting your team in a different way than when you’re there managing and directing.
This is a really big shift, but it is often one of the most important things that you as the leader can make.
Oftentimes, we can step in, we can put the operational systems in place, we can put the right team in place, we can do all of those things…but if the CEO doesn’t make the transition from being the doer to being the leader in the business, then the strategic changes made will not sustain the business. That pivotable shift in perspective that the CEO needs to make is integral to making the changes that we want to see and actually sustaining them, which will make sure that the business flourishes going forward.
As you are looking for this person to step in and really take on this role of team integrator, I find that we find the best people when we are looking for project managers, when we are looking for full-time employees as opposed to part-time or people who are spending their time working in different offices, etcetera.
I’m often looking for employees to be the team integrator, not independent contractors. I want a team integrator who’s one hundred percent committed to my business. Rather than the online business manager who is looking to grow their own business, I’m looking for somebody who has some really great experience building systems and operational workflows, and someone who has worked with a team and knows how to drive the deadlines and the projects from A to Z.
Let’s Find Your Team Integrator!
So, now you know what I’m primarily looking for for this role of team integrator. That is what makes all the difference, and this is what developing a team integrator inside your business looks like.
I hope this shed some light into the challenges of finding and hiring that person. In fact, it’s so challenging that I just heard about someone the other day who was on their ninth failed team integrator.
I’m not even kidding. They hired nine online business managers, and every single one failed. They just were not able to cut it.
There’s a lot of time and energy and resources invested when you bring on a new hire, so it’s a lot when you’re going through failed hire after failed hire after failed hire. So finding the right person, putting them in this role, and having this be a successful implementation into your business is a total game-changer.
Going at this process alone can be super hard. So if you want our support, if you want us to help not only find the integrator for you, hire them for you, bring them on board and train them for you, and also help develop them for you so that you truly can step into your role as CEO, then please reach out! That’s what we are here for. That’s what we do all day long, and we would love to help you!
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Are you wondering if you’re ready to take the next step in your business? Curious about whether you’re a good fit for our services? Take the free business assessment quiz to find out! And if you want to learn more, you can visit my website or schedule a call with me today. I can’t wait to hear from you!
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