Weekly Thoughts


Find Your People

Teamwork makes the dream work

One of our favorite songs right now is Find Your People by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.  Some selected lyrics: 

You gotta find your people
The ones that make you feel alright
The kind you want to stay up with all night

You gotta find your people
That’ll call your bluff
Who’ll ride along when the road is rough

We sometimes hear of small business leaders who struggle to “find their people” and, as a result, may feel the operational problems they face are unique.  A leader may ask, why does she have to repeat herself a million times before anybody listens? Why do her clients not pay her on time? Why do people need so much time off?  Why does she constantly get pulled from fire drill to fire drill without being able to sit down and just think for a couple of hours? Why don’t employees respect her authority?  Why can’t the team use two factor authentication without complaining?  The list goes on. Being a leader can be lonely. 

One of the remarkable things about the Chenmark eco-system is the ability for small business leaders to forge deep connections with like-minded operators.  Our monthly CEO meeting is one forum where our teams are able to share their experiences with non-judgmental, supportive peers.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are a lot of similar stories.  Every company has no-calls-no-shows. Everybody has difficult customers. Change management is universally frustrating.  Everybody has communication challenges. Weather weirdly seems to have a pervasive impact regardless of industry. 

The upside of sharing these issues is that the operator who previously felt she was on an island now has a team around her who can validate her feelings (i.e., she’s not crazy). Just having a forum to share experiences when stress levels rise can be incredibly cathartic.  The group can then also offer constructive, tangible feedback on how they have coped with similar circumstances.  This can range from nuances in messaging (i.e. “here’s how I approached this difficult conversation”) to direct action (ie. “in moments of acute stress, I go sit in my truck just to be alone for 5-10 minutes before engaging with the problem.”)

At the end of the day, operating a small business is not for the faint of heart.  Fortunately, we like hard things.  And, as it turns out, hard things become a whole lot easier when surrounded by like-minded folks.  We are lucky to have found our people. 

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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