MSMP 80: Effie Parnell-Hopkinson on Team Management

Sometimes entrepreneurs can be so focused on working for themselves that it’s considered shameful to ever go and work for someone else.  But when you have such a limiting belief, you miss out on the opportunity to learn.  Our guest for today’s episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Effie Parnell-Hopkinson, is someone who didn’t limit herself and came away from a job experience with some lessons that helped her level up.
Effie has spent some of her careers as a bodybuilder and while studying for her undergraduate degree people started to ask her (unsurprisingly) about proper eating and exercise.  After enough people were asking, she started a health coaching business while getting her Masters in nutrition.  At some point along the journey she met Dr. Emil Goliath, who also had a health coaching business.  They became business partners (and started dating) and that’s where she is today, handling operations for Health Evolved.

Knowing she had come from a business owner background, I was keen to find out what she had learned during her stint working as an employee in another business.  “Nobody really knows what they are doing,” she said wryly.  “Everyone is learning and making mistakes, and even though a business may look like it’s succeeding from the outside, there are real challenges on the inside.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  So often in my business coaching experience, I’ve seen people who own jobs, not businesses, precisely because they haven’t taken the time to create systems or properly delegate.
 
They don’t teach those sorts of skills in school, and Effie and I agreed on the importance of apprenticing for someone successful.  Don’t focus on the money but instead treasure the incredible knowledge and lessons you are going to get from someone who is further along in a journey than you are.
 
One of those key lessons you might glean is making sure that remote teams have proper expectations, especially given time zone differences.  People need to know how and why they are doing something and should be given all the resources they need at the very beginning.  Effie added on that part of proper delegation is getting to know the team member better during onboarding.  If you know where they want to go personally and professionally, you’re more empowered as a manager to help them get there.
 
That also means hiring for cultural fit, which you can only do if you have taken the time to write a job description that properly spells out not just what the job entails but what kind of company you are.  I noted that when dealing with hiring that no hire is always better than a bad hire.
 
This chat with Effie really flew by and I think you’ll appreciate and enjoy her perspectives.
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Key Learning Points:
1. Mads discusses the “shame” that is sometimes spread in the entrepreneurial community about working for someone else - 4:25
2. Effie shares her struggles in working for someone else after having her own business for so long - 5:25
3. Effie notes some insights she gained from having a job - 7:14
4. Mads talks about the “free lessons” on offer when you apprentice for high-level entrepreneurs - 10:12
5. Effie shares a “paint it done” strategy she uses for delegation - 13:20
6. Effie opines on the importance of clear expectations when working across multiple time zones - 18:00
7. Effie talks about the importance of hiring for cultural fit - 24:52
8. Mads shares that “no hire is better than a bad hire” - 26:25
9. Mads notes that the brand of team software you use is less important than the team being properly trained to use it - 28:15

Resources Mentioned:
 
 
Connect with Effie Parnell-Hopkinson
1. Facebook