One of my favourite podcasts is Masters of Scale, where Reid Hoffman (Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Linked In) interviews entrepreneurs about how they scaled.
There’s lots of great lessons every episode, that I won’t try to recreate here – it’s worth a listen.
But it always reminds me what a BIG thinker God is.
No, for all the nations of the world
are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
as though it were a grain of sand.
Just picture that for a minute…. God picking up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand balancing on the tip of his finger….
The truth is the journey for most entrepreneurs involves growing your capacity so that things that used to seem way too big for you to handle, become so easy to handle, it’s like flicking a grain of sand off the end of your finger.
You have to stretch your mindset, exercise your faith, grow your skills, enlarge your ability to deal with finances and much more.
The area that I see first-time entrepreneurs struggle the most is with people skills. Leading a team of people ain’t easy. It just ain’t. But the way you steward people is often the most limiting factor in the scale your business grows to.
Allow your team members to be late, annoying, sick, make mistakes, lacking in talent and disappointing. Because guess what? That’s how you got here, too.
I’m really good at spotting talent. And I’m good at recruiting and developing talent. Mainly because of all the mistakes I’ve made in these areas!
One of the best techniques I’ve learnt, is to look at the other person and repeat in your mind “We need you”. And smile. We are one body. We need each other. Any other mindset is truly a deception.
Often, the reason people seem to be “more trouble than they’re worth” is because they’re not yet in the right spot. An eye is really useful when it’s helping you to see. But if you’re trying to walk on it, it will seem really painful just to be around.
Jesus knew that leaving the 99 to recover the 1 was the only way to ensure His flock would grow into a multi-generational, global flock. We need that cheeky little sheepy baa baa on board. We’re all the better for being together.
So it might be time to do a team audit. Is everyone displaying they’re worth? Are they providing value to others? If they’re not, it’s up to you to unlock their value. How? Usually, by assigning them to a new project, a new team, a new context. How do you choose that new role?
Wait for it. It will shock you. Ask THEM!
And then LISTEN to them. And give them honest appreciation and feedback.
The writer of Hebrews doesn’t say “Don’t neglect the gathering of yourselves together…” He says “Don’t neglect the assembling of yourselves together.” Hebrews 10:25
If you’re the key to growth (and you are), your role is to approach the organisation like an orchestra. You have to make sure all the violinists are sitting together so they’re not poking out the trumpet player’s eye every time they play.
Even if growth isn’t your role, if you are answering phones but you’d rather be blogging or coding a website, help yourself, your organisation, and everyone else around you, by letting them know. There maybe some timing issues, but the sooner you let your team leader know, the sooner you can become a functional part of the assembly.
Success is funny. It’s like putting together a Swiss watch. Your assembly shouldn’t have even one screw loose. You might need to use tiny tweezers and a magnifying glass. Assemble it to be a finely honed machine – not losing a second – “working like clockwork”.
That’s the irony of thinking big. Scale is about being able to handle the whole earth as if it is a tiny, delicate, detailed grain of sand. Getting the details right is what allows you to go global at staggering speed.
Jesus commissioned us to go into all the WORLD = BIG thinking….
and make disciples = SMALL doing.
On the first episode of the Masters of Scale podcast, the co-founder and CEO of global growth Godzilla AirBnB, Brian Chesky, summed it up this way “In order to scale you have to do things that don’t scale”.