How To Turn Team Breakdowns Around

I'm Madeleine!

I’m a small-town girl from Sweden, rebel entrepreneur, warrior for freedom and writer with big dreams. Passionate about: medical freedom, deep conversations, and desert landscapes.

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Welcome back, visionaries.

These past couple weeks, we’ve been having a conversation around building a team and what it really takes to be an excellent boss. I’ve shared some of my fumbling moves in the boss department over the years…not just to show you that you’re not alone, but also to hopefully save you from the same mistakes!

So I’ve been sitting with this question of what it really takes to be a good boss and master building a team. Let’s talk about the next piece: building a team that can actually support you.

Overpaying for Underdelivering

My clients are often paying $30,000 out of their own pocket every month to cover payroll, because when they started building their team, they hired some really amazing people, but now their overhead is completely out of control.

Another thing I see often is the client struggling with while building a team is getting their team to do what they’re asking them to do. They end up having to do a bunch of the work themselves to cover for that team. It all feels a little bit loosey-goosey, and they just have to wonder why the team is not doing what they need to do.

When you paid them to do something and they don’t fulfill that task, it feels disrespectful. You’ll feel hurt, pissed off, and annoyed, because you have team members that make costly mistakes, but you have to pay for it, because you’re the boss.

You’re the one sitting there with a bill. The team members aren’t held accountable; they ask for equality and a certain work environment, but the boss just kind of has to take it when something goes wrong, and there’s a level of resentment and unhappiness that comes with all of that.

A Bumpy Road

None of us was ever taught what it was going to take to be a boss or a leader, let alone taught how to handle building a team. And I think a lot of us didn’t realize that a big part of growing a business to seven-plus figures is building a team, leading them, and making sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, because your reputation is on the line when things are not being done right.

You’re making promises out in the world. You want to be in integrity, so you’re up against the wall trying to figure these things out. And you can’t grow your business past a certain point without building a team that’s on board.

This might be one of those things that you just didn’t think about when you decided you wanted to grow and scale your vision and your passion and take it all the way to have the kind of income and impact that you really want. But here you are, and now you’re going to have to figure this piece out, even though the path is going to be a little bumpy. It definitely was for me.

Building a Team That Supports You

In the end, I think becoming a really good boss is about being able to receive the support that shows up for you.

As I’ve been contemplating this question of what it takes to be a good boss, the thing that I realized was that my ability to relax, to trust, and to receive had to grow before I figured out building a team that I felt fully supported by. The more my feeling of being relaxed and trusting and receiving grew, the more supported I felt.

I grew up with a lot of trauma, and I found that when balls were dropped by my team and things weren’t done, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet. I had a trauma response to those moments a lot of times, which surprised me; I responded like it was a life and death situation sometimes.

Early on, when I was building a team and they didn’t do the things that we had agreed that they would do, I felt betrayed. I felt let down. I felt disrespected. I really took it as a personal insult, and I also felt scared. How would I ever be able to trust someone else to run the day-to-day in my business when every time I tried building a team, no one was really trustworthy enough to show up every day, do the thing that I asked them to do, and not drop any freaking balls?

The slightest mistakes would send me spinning. I was convinced that no matter how hard I worked at building a team that could carry out my vision, nobody cared about what we were doing here.

I really had this glass-half-empty scenario playing out in my head. With my talent for noticing patterns and seeing things shift and shape, I was very good at pinpointing all the places where things weren’t happening. I could see it very quickly, and then I would zero in on them and get kind of intense.

The truth is, I was completely blind to all the support that I actually did have and all the support my team did provide.

Little by little, I started to replace my feelings of distrust and fear and feeling taken advantage, all of those trauma-response feelings, with curiosity. So when something broke, rather than immediately go to one of my team members and say, “How did you let this happen?” I would just ask, “Hey, what do you think caused this breakdown?” And then I paused, and I listened.

That second part is really important, the pausing and the listening. Because what I began to discover is that not once did a breakdown happen because one of my team members didn’t care about me or didn’t care about my business; things usually fell apart because of poor communication, clunky or missing workflows, or unclear expectations.

By getting curious and listening to the feedback from my team and taking action to plug the holes, improve our systems, and clarify our communication, we really began to eliminate those breakdowns and started to actually shift how we did things so that we could all be on the same page and work more effectively together.

After this shift, my team was even more invested in the vision we were creating together, because they were a part of the collaboration and the improvements. They were listened to and respected for their point of view.

Show Up For Support

So, showing up with curiosity rather than criticism left my team feeling empowered rather than deflated. My team doubled down on their efforts to meet our goals, and little by little, I grew better at receiving the amazing support they enthusiastically provided.

I started to feel really supported; I literally told my team just the other week that I’m kind of blown away. I now have nine amazing individuals committed to helping me create my ultimate vision. How freaking amazing is that?

Their support is something I will never take for granted again. I’m forever grateful for a team that’s got my back as much as I’ve got theirs, but it’s been a learning curve; it’s been steep and clunky and cumbersome and difficult.

This is why I’m really committed to unpacking the process of building a team and being a good boss more and more for you. My hope is that by sharing my perspective and the shifts and the challenges that I’ve been through, you will be able to start recognizing yourself in some of these stories and noticing where you can shift and change to become a better leader for your team so that you ultimately can have the kind of impact that you know that you’re here to make.

There’s just nothing better than having people there who love what you’re up to and are passionate about the work that you do. They want to support you, and they’re excited to be part of your vision. The more you can cultivate that conversation and collaboration, the more it will grow, the more it will flourish, and the better it will get.

Stay tuned for more next week!

If you want to make sure you never miss an episode, come follow the 7 Figure Freedom Podcast on Spotify, subscribe on Google, or head over to Apple Podcasts. In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you over on Instagram or in the 7 Figure Freedom Club Facebook group so we can chat about what you got out of this episode! 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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