5 Attributes of Next-Gen Operators

5 Attributes of Next-Gen Operators

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Operations is everything a business has to do to turn the lights on the next day.

Hayden, our associate at CPD Advisors, recently shared his definition for operations while recording a podcast interview

Operators have the incredible opportunity to build awareness around how every detail in your business generates a profit.

Today, I want to share 5 key attributes of seasoned operators and how they improve performance in your organization.

1. Emotionally Grounded

  • Every day is a dumpster fire in a rapidly growing organization. “It’s a constant fire fight!”
  • Operators must develop a grounded sense of presence so they can communicate to their teams that everything is going to be just fine
  • While there are plenty of personal practices such as yoga, meditation, and breath work that they can practice, they must integrate the presence developed during these practices into the experience at work
  • This can look like meeting with the team regularly to communicate and discuss concerns (see below) and how to continue moving forward. (Bonus points for offering team breath work exercises during your team meeting)
  • Designing a culture that is grounded in presence becomes increasingly important as the complexity within your organization expands
  • A team that is grounded can navigate the present moment without getting swept up by existential stories (that are often made up)

2. Interdependent

  • Your business is a machine made up of thousands of moving pieces
  • Operators recognize that everything is interconnected and interdependent
  • As a leader, you must be able to understand and visualize how processes, actions, and results are all connected to one another.
  • An exercise to work on developing this awareness you can use is the 5 Why’s. Ask “Why” five times when presented with information so you can dig into the root cause.
  • The answers to this deep inquiry will help you recognize what shifts one can make to create new results through your operation
  • Sharing visual models of your systems, processes, and data flows will educate your teams on the interdependency in the organization

3. Open Communication

  • Operators are the nucleus of any organization
  • Given the context, they will have conversations that range from strategic collaborators like the CEO and the Board to the tactical executions teams in engineering and marketing and the rest of the company
  • While everyone in the company will have different tools, it will be up to the Operator to design what will be most effective to keep everyone aligned
  • Operators learn how to cater to the dynamic styles of each individual they are engaging with in the moment
  • While developing relationships across the organization, Operators must adapt so they can learn how to identify roadblocks, design measurable experiments, and integrate the interdependent (Step 2) components to constantly improve the outcome

4. Data-Driven

  • When navigating the fast-paced environment of a rapidly growing organization, operators must rely on data to present insights that represent what is objectively true
  • The data used to present insights will come from the many systems that are set up across the company, mainly the Customer Relationship Management system, the Enterprise Resource Planner, and/or the Accounting system
  • Instead of telling a subjective story based on 1 or 2 people’s experience, operators must use data to share the objective reality that is agreed upon by every stakeholder
  • Operators are responsible for preserving the integrity of this information so that high trust can be preserved during the expansion process

5. Process-Oriented

  • Most people focus on the result. In other words, they believe they’ve arrived at the destination, instead of still being on the journey
  • Operators recognize the ongoing evolution of the organization, creating tiny shifts that compound to the eventual result that stakeholders (and the CEO) is looking for
  • An example: if the monthly revenue number is below the target, a seasoned operator will seek to understand the root cause (see above), and invite their team to consider how they could shift the process to increase the results the next quarter
  • While this can create tension with results-oriented stakeholders like your CEO or the Board of Directors, Operators rely on all of the previously discussed steps to succinctly explain where the gap between the result and what was expected, and how the organization plans to shift into the new ways of operating

Becoming a legendary Operator ain’t easy.

It requires deeply surrendering to the mission of a company, developing empathy for all of your colleagues, designing a culture of measurable progress, and also letting go of people pleasing and other ego-driven behaviors (among many other skills and mindset principles)

Inside of my commitment to provide development opportunities for the next generation of Regenerative Business Operators, I am excited to be launching a program where we will do the work together around deepening our capabilities across the above mentioned attributes.

This summer, I am launching the Regenerative Business Solutions (RBS) Academy to elevate the next generation of Operators that are scaling companies towards 8-figures.

If you desire integrating these attributes into your tool kit, I invite you to send me a note and/or share this program with someone who would find it valuable.

Check it out below:

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Thanks for reading, Ernesto

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