Entrepreneurs many times need to gather information and evaluate their business as a scientist would. They look at the markets objectively, and will often use these same tactics when managing employees. They will observe individual employees and collect data in order to collaborate strategically.
Be careful with how you approach giving feedback. Two employees will handle feedback differently. One employee might feel micromanaged while another might feel he or she is receiving little direction. You’ll need to learn how to inspire your employees by relying on different tactics.
Elle Kaplan, CEO of LexION, Capital, refers to her job titles as Head Manager in order to emphasize her role as a team leader and the importance of management skills. Elle spends time getting to know and understanding each of her employers in order to decipher which motivational methods will sit well with each one. As Elle points out, not every bowl of soup requires you to add salt, and to assume that all of your employees will respond to the same type of motivational tactics is careless.
At LexION, Elle Kaplan focuses on feedback over failure. She has to be able to handle tough feedback from her employees and in return give them honest feedback. As a manager, you need to act as a role model and ensure you are setting the best possible example for your employees.
Kaplan wants her employees or “team members” to act as “intra-preneurs” meaning they all need to be in the entrepreneurial mindset within the company in terms of understanding how a business develops and takes shape from the ground up. Kaplan encourages team members to provide 3 positives and 3 negatives for a proposal or project idea. She then asks the employees to submit these feedback points to her in writing. Written feedback allows for a more private and secure outlet for employees to voice their concerns. This exercise doesn’t allow for discussion or collaboration between employees so that employees give more honest and thorough opinions on which ideas work and which do not. This approach also allows for a flow of creative and innovative ideas to emerge from throughout the company.
Kaplan encourages CEOs and managers to try casting a wide net for information. Avoid relying on the same sources for ideas and try branching out to team members throughout the entire company. There is a wealth of innovative knowledge surrounding every CEO and manager, so it’s incredibly important to take advantage of it.