First off I have to tell you that I had one of my “Eureka!” moments when I discovered your very informative casts on the itunes software. They are astounding for two reasons: 1 - they are free??!! and 2 - they highlight that I sure have a pile of progress to make. I have listened to several this weekend as we have a civic holiday Monday here in Canada and the kids are away for the summer.
I have been loading your new and past podcasts at work while waiting for an opportune time to start listening to them. I am new to podcasting and recently purchased ipods for all our staff – there are only five of us including myself – as a perk.
A little background is in order at this point.
Our company started as a sole proprietor structure as I was the only employee at the time. As volume grew my wife quit her regular job to join me. We are in the bookkeeping, tax prep, property management (those we own and some owned by others), business consulting, and financial management business. Whew!
We live in the arctic in northern Canada and our community is only 3000 souls. We have no road access and you have to fly in to our community. We have long periods of winter with snow covering the ground 8 months of the year. Due to our isolation many of us in business don’t have problems finding opportunities but rather finding quality people here to do the work.
In any case we are now up to five staff with the responsibilities roughly as follows:
My wife – President of the company and involved in regional politics which means she attends meetings out of town on a semi regular basis. She oversees one of our larger contracts with another staff member.
Me – managing partner I suppose who more or less oversees the company from a corporate standpoint – where are we, where are we going, etc, while creating a controller position.
Operations manager – he is new to our company and is my wife's brother so my brother in law. He oversees all day to day activities with the aid of two clerical staff.
As we are a relatively young company (five full years in operation) and only recently moved to five full time employees we do not have regular meetings, performance reviews, etc and have realized for some time that we would need to step up our game. This is what led me to your podcasts as I was struggling with my role as strategic planning guy.
I have a mid term plan to create a controllers role which will allow me to move up and out of it and allow for the operations manager to be promoted into it. This would pave the way for one of the clerks if they are ready to move into his vacated operations manager role.
My questions are as follows and essentially come because of our small size and small town. You need to know that the majority of people in our town are Inuit (once known as Eskimo) and are culturally not long term thinkers. They are generally only concerned with today and there is a certain peace associated with that mindset.
1 - Given our setup – two girls reporting to the operations manager who in turn reports to me – who should conduct meeting with who? My wife works directly with one of the clerical staff on one particular contract and I work directly with another one another large contract. We have not phased this over to the opp mgr as he is still new.
2 – Our operations manager is family – I can see with us being in a tiny town and knowing each other as well as we do the personal side of the one-on-ones being a little weird. J Should we bypass that entirely since we already know one another outside of work quite well?
Thank you so much for this invaluable content – I have already ordered a half dozen books you list in order for me to step up and lead our motley crew in the coming decades.