MSMP 92: Isaac Smith on Team Dynamics

I recently had a chance to appear on the Next Level Ecommerce podcast and had such a great conversation with the host, Isaac Smith, that I invited him to come and share some of his wisdom on my very own Mads Singers Management Podcast.
Isaac has been in E-commerce since 2014 and worked through a number of different businesses and projects before finding success with one in particular that he sold last year.  I was keen to hear his stories and lessons about how to build a successful team that can support an e-commerce business.
 
We discussed hiring and Isaac shared a quote from Grant Cardone that totally changed the way he approached hiring: “Even when I’m buying, I’m selling.”  Isaac had simply been generally copying job descriptions and listing the things he wanted people to do for him.  By turning his not-so-successful process on its head, understanding that he had a great opportunity to offer, he changed everything: the job descriptions, the interview process, etc.  He now views these job descriptions as sales pages where he can pitch the opportunity to work doing something rewarding, something that many VAs in e-commerce businesses are searching for.

I noted that the best talent is rarely available in the job market and if you run across great talent you’ve got to sell your business and the opportunity to them.  One of the ways I’ve learned to deal with the best being rarely available is to leverage LinkedIn to find people who are good matches (I use very specific keywords) and then asking them if they know anyone who would be a good fit.  Often I get a referral and occasionally that person puts his/her hand up (which is what I was dreaming of in the first place).

We also talked about the importance of having systems and procedures in place, and Isaac noted the importance of not answering questions that are provided in the training, but rather referring people to the training.  I would go one step further and task those people who are actually doing the tasks on a daily basis with making sure that those materials are updated.  After all, they are becoming the subject matter experts in those tasks.  Why not have them keep the materials up to date?
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Isaac started the episode by saying that his best lessons have come from his biggest mistakes and that he has found that when he has been willing to be vulnerable and share those challenges with his team, there’s a greater bond of trust that is formed, which makes it easier to work together.  It’s important to track the way your team members think and feel and get to know them better, especially through one-on-ones.
 
Enjoy this conversation with Isaac!
 
 
Key Learning Points:
1. Isaac shares that all his best lessons have come from his biggest mistakes - 4:20
2. Isaac gives us a Grant Cardone quote that completely changed the way he hired - 8:30
3. Mads reminds us that the best people are rarely available to hire - 14:05
4. Mads makes the case for management as manipulation (in a good way) - 18:50
5. Isaac discusses the value of vulnerability when talking with your team - 22:07
6. Mads gives some hacks for finding talent on LinkedIn - 30:30
7. Isaac shares pitfalls of SOPs - 43:15
8. Mads offers a technique to make sure SOPs are consistently updated - 46:41
9. Isaac talks about developing a mentality of always being willing to update/improve processes - 50:30

Resources Mentioned:
10x Rule by Grant Cardone

Connect with Isaac Smith