The lowdown: Discover why a CEO is the most challenging jobs in the world, and how you can survive the stress and loneliness in The Hard Thing About Hard Things summary.
Managing a business as a founder or a CEO is a long and hard road. The Hard Thing About Hard Things talks about the difficulties in managing a business and how to handle the inevitable mistakes along the way.
Because let’s be honest. We all dream of managing a business into millions of dollars, happy clients and even happier employees, but it is usually a series of failures you’re trying to overcome.
If you don’t learn how to deal with the struggle and come though stronger, then you’re basically a ‘before-person’ in a 00s infomercial.
- Audible Audiobook
- Ben Horowitz (Author) – Kevin Kenerly (Narrator)
- English (Publication Language)
- 03/04/2014 (Publication Date) – HarperAudio (Publisher)
The main lessons from the book are
- Be honest about your problems
- Take care of those in your company
- The key to leading is to knowing what to do, then getting the organization to do it
Lesson One: Be honest about your problems
When you’re a leader of a business or company, the decisions you make impact a lot of people. This means that there is an emotional investment in your company from hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.
So, if things aren’t going to plan, you must be open about it.
For starters, news spreads quickly… and bad news spreads twice as fast.
Rather than let the bad news and rumors spread, be proactive and nip it in the bud early.
The sooner that you discuss the problems, the quicker you can work on a solution.
By discussing the problems openly, your entire team can work on fixing it, rather than just you and a few higher-ups- who are probably too busy trying to keep the bad news hidden than do anything about it anyway.
Lesson Two: Take care of those in your company
Every company in the history of business has some mentions about treating their employees well.
Which makes sense, I can’t imagine a company that has the motto, ‘they’re our employees, who cares?’, doing well with retention.
However, this is the attitude of many companies, even though their mission statement says otherwise.
To fully engage in creating a positive environment for your employees, you must look to have excellent training and HR.
Having a great HR department will open your eyes to invisible problems that the employees are facing.
For example, if you’re not paying enough, this may not be something you’re aware of until your team brings it up to HR.
Also, to make sure your team is best-prepared for their job, you have to heavily invest in training.
Every job is different and it is your requirement to make sure your employees have the chance to succeed.
Every business or company has their own tools and nuances to them and it is crazy to assume that an outsider can learn the skills without proper training and on-boarding.
Lesson Three: The key to leading is to know what to do, then getting the organization to do it
When dealing with a team, you need to know your role as a CEO or business owner.
Here’s a hint. Your role isn’t to do it all.
It is obvious you’re a control freak. You don’t get to where you are in leadership if you’re not used to getting things done… even if you have to do it yourself.
However, when you’re managing a team, or even a company, your role changes.
Stop doing it all yourself, and allow others to take control.
As a leader, it is your job to know the direction for the company to take, then get the team to follow.
However, if you have created the environment where employees are appropriately trained and empowered, then you’ll have fewer struggles in getting the team to follow your direction.
My Personal Takeaway
My personal takeaway from this book is to let others take control. Coming from a solopreneur background, I am used to doing it all myself. Now I need to focus on allowing others to take a greater role.
Put it into action
Look into your on-boarding and training for new staff. Do you set up your employees to succeed?
This even counts for side-hustlers looking to get some freelance help. A great way to start creating a series of resources for on-boarding is to screen-capture processes you take.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a VA to help update your website, record yourself completing the process, then as training you can give the freelancer a video of your completing the tasks.
You should consider buying this book if…
This book is perfect for anybody running or starting a business.
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