How well you are able to manage other people will determine whether or not your business is successful. This includes finding the right place for yourself within the company’s roles and for hiring employees. Choosing employees who are capable, competent, compatible, committed and who fit into your company’s culture will ensure that the day to day aspects of your company are taken care of. Preparing yourself for the challenges of becoming a boss will help make sure that you are able to lead the company to success. But truly successful leaders don’t rely purely on their own skills and characteristics. Instead they surround themselves with experts.

Section 1: Surrounding Yourself with Experts
Experts are people who know more about a specific aspect of a business than you do. It is senseless to try to manage every aspect of the business yourself, as it is to try to claim that you are the most qualified person to do so. The best thing you can do to ensure that the vast majority of the management decisions made are positive and correct is to surround yourself with experts.

#1-Free up your time.
Every decision your business management team makes takes time and effort to create. You need to carefully consider all of the pros and cons and how a particular decision will affect your company and its bottom line. The more you rely on experts to help you with this research the more time you will have to run the other parts of your company.

#2- Choose niche-specific experts.
The purpose of hiring experts is to use the knowledge and skills of other people to accomplish certain tasks better than you could on your own. Therefore it makes sense to choose experts in very specific niches. For example, one of your managers could be an expert in finances, while another is a marketing genius. This way you don’t have to be a master of either of these things to excel in them.

#3- Recognize your own weaknesses.
The best way to hire the best experts is to understand where you need the expertise of other people. This means you must have an understanding of where your knowledge is the weakest.

#4- Choose experts to fulfill your business’s overall vision.
If you are able to find niche-specific experts that all buy into the same overall vision for the company then odds are your company will see sustained growth.

Section 2: Understanding Where Conflict Comes From
Whenever you create a group of people and have them work together conflict can happen. Conflict is never a good thing in a professional work environment. It can negatively impact your team’s morale and productivity and therefore, your bottom line. One of the best things that you can do as a leader is to understand where such conflict comes from. Once you understand its source you can go about getting rid of it.

#1- Conflict doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Of course conflict is bad for business, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the worst thing is the world. Conflict can challenge how people think and create new ideas once it is resolved. Once a conflict between two people is dealt with and overcome, the level of trust and respect between those two people is often increased.

#2- A lack of conflict can represent complacency.
The right amount of workplace conflict means that the company is growing and thinking. A total lack of conflict can mean complacency.

#3- Identify the underlying cause of conflict.
The best way to identify the underlying cause of conflict in your office is to be direct and honest with your employees. Ask them questions. Be prepared to deal with the problem immediately.

#4- Focus on the positive aspects of conflict.
You know that positives like more trust and respect can come out of resolved conflicts, so do your best to focus on these potential positives when dealing with your employees and their problems.

#5- Allow employees to settle their own problems without your intervention.
It is your job to intervene when an employee is mistreating another worker or failing to do their job properly, but you as the boss do not necessarily have to get involved with every employee dispute. In many cases the best course of action is to allow the employees to settle their own problems. Let your workers know that a professional work environment is necessary and while they don’t have to be friends, they do have to be professionals.

#6- Get to know your employees in order to understand where conflict comes from.
There is a lot to know about your employees. You should take the time and spend the effort to really get to know your workers, including their strengths and their weaknesses. This will help you to understand the source of most types of conflict that arises around them and will give you the answers to solving the problem.

Tomorrow I will continue with sections 3 and 4 of Managing others.