Archive for May 2014

Making Your Plan B

Plan B

It’s Friday and we are putting a wrap on the week. All week we have been talking about team and letting each member have an opportunity to perform their art. Yesterday, we talked about what to do with a team player who doesn’t want to be a team player and we talked about letting them go. Today, we are going to talk about something that is really important that comes up a lot when we talk about yesterday’s topic.

One of the things that creates fear and uncertainty in a business owner when they have to let someone go is simply that- uncertainty, “What’s going to happen when I let them go?” This is because they do not plan for, create and practice a plan B. Even when you have a fully staffed, well-functioning team, something can happen. Last week I told you about the story of a family whose life was turned upside down by a car wreck. What if that happens to one of your team members? Would anybody know how to do their job? Would you know how to do all the work that they do. That is why I say it is important to create and practice a plan B.

From time to time, sit down with your team members and talk about what would happen if the worst happened. Talk of what would happen if one of your team members got sick. Know how you would know what their responsibilities are and what they are committed to get accomplished while he is sick. Talk through those and other circumstances and contingencies. As a parting shot I will give you a resource; which is a book put together to help you plan through how to restore your business after a catastrophe.

[Full Transcript Follows]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here from It’s Friday, we’re putting a wrap on the week right here on 7 Minutes in the Morning. Stay tuned.

Hey there folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7 Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from me, your business coach. My name is Thom Rigsby. And by the way, you might’ve noticed this week, we’re not running quite 7 minutes. I am going to make a commitment to you that I get these in and under 7 minutes, and if it’s under 7, so be it, but I’m not going over 7 minutes. Yeah, well, unless something important comes up. Anyway, today, we’re going to talk about something that’s really important that comes up a lot when we talk about yesterday’s topic. You know, all week, we’ve kind of been talking about team, and [inaudible 0:00:52.2], foster a culture, and let them have an opportunity to do their art. Yesterday, we talked about what to do with a team player who doesn’t want to be a team player. And we talked about how to let them go, and one of the things that creates fear and uncertainty in the business owner, the leader, when they have to let someone go, is just that uncertainty. “What’s going to happen when I let them go?” And that’s because we don’t [inaudible 0:01:19.7] love. Plan for, or create and practice a plan B.

You know, even when you have a fully-staffed, well-functioning, well-oiled machine of a team, something could happen. You know, last week, I told you about the story of a family here in our community whose life was turned upside down by a car wreck. Well, what if that happened to one of your team members? Would anybody know how to do their job? Would you know how to do all the work that they do? So, that’s why I say it’s very important to create – not just create, but practice – a plan B. From time to time, once a month, once a quarter, whatever’s appropriate for you and your team. Sit down with the team and say, “Okay, look. Let’s talk about what would happen if the worst happened. If Joe got run over by a truck, or Betsy got sick, what’re we going to do? How do we know what Betsy’s responsibilities are, what Joe needs to – is committed to get accomplished while he’s sick?” And just talk through those circumstances, and talk through other circumstances and contingencies also.

You know, couple of years ago, here in North Alabama, we had a tornado outbreak, and nobody expected that we wouldn’t have cell service. Yeah, maybe the phones, maybe the power would be out, but our phones will work. Well, power was out for over a week. And the UPSs and the generators and everything, and all those cell towers just stopped working, we hadn’t had cell service either. How do you communicate with your team? How do you make sure in a case like that, or maybe live in a coastal area and hurricanes are your thing, but how do you make sure that everybody on your team is okay? All of those things are important considerations to go into your plan B. And it’s not a bad idea to put together a book that has all of these information, and I want to give a resource, it’s called It’s put together by a friend of mine named Linda, and it’s a book to help you plan through how to restore your home, or your business, after a catastrophe. Well, a catastrophe sounds like a big deal, but it helps you plan through all the contingencies that you might need.

Now, let’s go back and talk about this in the context of this week. We might defer, put off, letting an employee go, because we don’t know what they’re doing, what they’re responsible for. And if I go and talk to them, and start saying, “Okay, well, maybe you need to start showing me everything you’ve been working on.” Well, that’s going to raise some red flags, ain’t it? Alright, if you do this in the context of just what you do all the time, everybody knows what’s going on, they even know how to cover for you if something happens with you, and in the case an employee gets sick, they quit, they – or you have to let them go. And all those cases, all your bases are covered, because you’ve done the planning ahead of time, you practiced it, and you know what the outcome should be.

So, what do you think about making a plan B? Is that something that would be smart for your business, or do you think, “Eh, Thom’s crazy, my business is too small.” Send me an e-mail, I’d love to get your feedback and your thoughts on this topic, or anything we’ve talked about this week. You can get me on e-mail, you get me on Twitter, @thomrigsby, or find me on Facebook, just look for Thom Rigsby Coaching. Well, that’s it for this week, it is Friday, we’re going into the weekend. If you’re going to rest, if you have the weekend off, I hope that it’s relaxing and rejuvenating for you. If you do have to work, I hope it’s profitable. We will be back here Monday, with a brand new topic. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach.

Letting An Employee Go ? The Uncertainty

letting go

The prospect of losing an employee creates a lot of uncertainty on the part of the business owner. Funnily enough, it’s not always about the desire to keep the employee because of wonderful performance, but more so because nobody knows exactly what the employee is currently handling so that one can step into their shoes when they leave. What most business people don’t realize is that there are some eventualities that are inevitable.

Take for example, if one of your employees got sick or was run over by a truck, are you or your team in a position to jump in and cover up for them while they are away? How do you fully get to know what each of your employees is currently handling? How do you create a plan B in case Michael, your accountant quits his job? How about the head of purchases? You can only know these details if you make it a practice to openly discuss such possibilities with your employees.

Sharing Plan B with Employees

If you just wake up one day and ask one of your employees what he or she is doing, you definitely raise a red flag. In fact, it can demoralize that employee. How best can you do it then? Make it a routine to sincerely discuss such with your employees. You can make it monthly, every quarter or after whichever period you may deem fit.

Like that they will look at it as a normal routine that doesn’t threaten their job. You can even go ahead to organize your plan B in the form of a book so that you can easily shared with the team in a bid to make them understand that it’s for the best interest of the business and, in extension, their jobs that they freely share what they are handling with the rest of the team.

As an employer, you will be more confident about the continuity of your business and further make the employees feel that you have their best interest at heart.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here from, another day out at the lake. Today, we’re going to talk about character in your employees. How can you help with that? Stay tuned, 7 Minutes in the Morning, coming up next.

Hey folks, good morning and welcome. My name is Thom Rigsby and I’m your business coach, and you have tuned in to 7 Minutes in the Morning, it’s your daily dose from me, your business coach, where we take one topic every day to help you build a better business. Yesterday, we talked a little bit about how as the owner, a leader in a business, you can build a faster culture. Now that I’ve said that, this totally proves to you that this show is absolutely unscripted. Just as I say that, I remember to point that I left out yesterday. Culture is not something you can create; you can’t buy it at the store, come in one day, unpack it and say “Okay, now we’ve got this culture. It’s something that develops organically within the organization. You can foster that, you can promote that but you cannot create them.

One way you can do that is by hiring for character. Very often, as business owners and leaders, we have this desire to hire people to perform a specific task. So what do we do? We advertise for that task, we solicit resumes and applications; we interview people for their competency with that particular task. I want to suggest to you to think about hiring for character. If someone has the right work ethic, the right character, chances are pretty good that you can teach them the skills that they need to perform the tasks for you. I mean you’re doing them for yourself now. At the very least, let’s say you are hiring a book keeper, you know absolutely nothing about accounting of books, but you do have an account and you just need someone to help you with the books. Hire somebody of high character, send them over to your accountant’s office for a week, it’ll be the best week’s wages you ever spent because that book keeper will then learn exactly how to keep the books the way that the accountant wants them kept. You will get an employee who’s grateful to you for teaching them something that they didn’t know, but obviously had some desire to, and you will get to go to work on your business rather than in your business.

Is character the only thing you should hire for? No, and in fact sometimes, there are circumstances where you absolutely should hire for competence. I don’t want to hire somebody to be my dentist, if they just really want to take care of my teeth and then they need some training from time to time. My point is that very often, that’s all we care about is the specifics of the training, the specifics of your experience. Let’s face it, as small business owners, what we normally want is the most experienced; the best qualifications at the least price. That’s the bottom line in a lot of cases. If you hire for character, hire for attitude then you’re going to get a high quality employee, and a lot of times, a much better addition to your team.

You think about that, give me your thoughts. You can send me an e-mail or you can hit me up on Twitter at thomrigsby. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got a You Tube channel. I do almost all of these podcasts on video also, you can go to You Tube and find those; just search for Thom Rigsby, it’ll take you right there. We’ll be back tomorrow with another topic. I think I’ll do the whole week from the lake this week. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach.

How to Handle Employees Who Are Not Team Players

What do you do with an employee who isn’t a team player? Think of this employee whom you must tell everything, from what needs to be done, how it should be done and yet you still have to stick around to micromanage the entire process? Is such an employee doing your business any good? What do you do with such an employee?

Such an employee is a cancer to your business and you definitely have to find the most appropriate way to cure the disease. As the business owner, you have two practical approaches. You can either keep them and encourage them or simply encourage them but still let them go. The reason why you must act, and act fast for that matter, is because such employees who are stuck in the rag are a bad reflection on both you and your business.

Encouraging Them to Be More Productive

It’s important for you as the employer to understand your employees. Create a warm moment with the non-performing employee to fully establish whether they have some personal challenges that are reflecting badly on their job. In a very honest manner, you can encourage them, share with them your intent and even recommend some materials that can pump them up to deliver. You can share such books as 48 Days To The Work You Love or No More Mondays, both by Dan Miller. There are several other pieces of work that you can share with them in the form of podcasts, videos etc.

Even with all such efforts, you have to be aware of the fact that it’s them to decide whether to change or not.

What to Do When They Don’t Change? Let Them Go

It won’t do you any good if you keep them around when they actually won’t change. The best thing to do is to encourage them and explain to them that maybe your business isn’t the right place for them. Where possible, you can connect them to some recruiting agencies so that they fully understand that it’s not that you just don’t like them, but it’s because your business has some standards that must be met by all employees.

This might be difficult for some employers, but believe you me; it will do your business more good than harm.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here from This week we’ve been talking about team related issues.

Today, what do you do with somebody who doesn’t want to be a team player? You probably ran into that problem, I’ve got a couple of words for you, coming up next right here, on 7 Minutes in the Morning.

Hi folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7 Minutes in the Morning, where you can get your daily dose from the business coach, that’s me, my name is Thom Rigsby. I can’t even say my own name this morning. All this week as it turns out, we’ve been talking about your team. We talked, Monday, about culture, we talked about delegating and letting them, empowering them to do their art. What happens when you get somebody on your team, maybe you even
inherited them from a previous owner or bad hiring decision – whatever. You wind up with somebody on your team, who just don’t want to play ball. They are fine…I call it being mired in mediocrity. They’re not going to go above the call of duty, they’re not going to go below, they just want to come in, sit there patiently, wait on you to tell them step for step, word for word what to do, take their pay check and go home.

Those people are like a cancer to your business. They’re not helping you. As I talked about earlier in the week, if you can convey your intent, we need to accomplish this, this and this, before the end of the day, you guys go knock that out. And they got it knocked out, great. But if you have to tell them “Look, I said we have to A B and C. You’ve done A and now you’re sitting on your but, what’re you doing? Go to B.” then they go do it, they’re not helping you. They’re not building your business, and they’re not a positive reflection on you, your work ethic and what you want your business to represent. You really have two choices. One, is you can try and get them out of their rut. Let’s face it, that’s really what’s going on with them; they’re stuck in a rut. For whatever reason, they’ve just decided this is my lot in life, this is what I’m going to have to do and I’m just going to do what I have to do to get by. You can encourage them to get out of that rut. You can share books like 48 Days to the Work You Love or No More Mondays, both by Dyer Miller. You can give them Tony Robbins tape, you can point them to this podcast – let me know -dozens of other podcast, to help encourage them to get out of that rut.

Even when you’re doing that; it’s always important to be open, honest and upfront with them. Just say “Look, you’re kind of performing at this level, I need you to perform at this level, I think you might find some things you can benefit from in these books, in these podcasts. I’d like for you to try and read them, listen to them and improve how you’re performing, how you’re contributing to the team. They’ll say “Oh yeah, sure okay I’ll do that or Yeah, okay, give me the book. At some point, they’re either going to make a change or they’re not. And now as I’ve talked to you many, many times, the first thing that you have to do, in order to make a change, is desire that you want a change. Same thing true to them, they have to decide that they want to change. If they don’t, there’s no use in you putting a lot of time and effort into it.

It brings us to the second option. You can even try the first option, if it doesn’t work out, that brings you up to number two; let them go. Except for circumstances where something has gone grossly wrong, they’ve stolen from you, they’ve damaged your business somehow, they’ve done something obviously wrong – those people you need to let go right away. In a case like this, where they’ve been an employee for some time, it’s not working out, you can build
a lot of positive presence in the community, both the business community and the employee community, by helping them find a job that’s a good fit for them. That does not mean you have to go out and find it yourself. Maybe you hire them a coach, you go and find a recruiter to work with them and you pay for it. Do something to help encourage them to find the right fit, and all along the way, be sure to tell them. Don’t do it and not have a conversation with them. Tell them “Look, you’re not the right fit for this company today, but there is somewhere that is a fit
for you and I want to help you find it.” You’re going to raise your capital with them and you’re going to also, at the same time, even while you’re letting them go, encourage them that they can do better and they can find what they’re looking for. This is probably the third hardest thing for a business owner to do; decide to hire somebody, delegate work to them and then let people go. It’s just a difficult thing to do we’re never really prepared to train for it.

But I hope something that I’ve shared with you today, throughout the week this week, has helped. If it has, I’d love to hear from you, or if I’ve left you with questions, I’d love to answer those for you. You can send me an email, or find me on Twitter at thomrigsby or also on Face book, thomrigsbycoaching and the YouTube channel so you can see the pictures of the lake behind me here at In all of those
cases, remember to spell Thom with an H – its T H O M. Will be back tomorrow, it will be Friday, and I’ll have a last message for you, heading into the weekend. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach.