Why Giving Your Team More Freedom Leads to Better Results

Jenna Kutcher 

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January 27, 2021


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When I started my photography career, I never imagined a future where I would be leading a team over 10 women on a daily basis, with each of their livelihoods dependent on the business I started with a $300 Craigslist camera. 

In this conversation with Kylie, the Goal Digger Podcast manager who has been on my team for over two years now, she’s putting me on the spot to talk about leadership, being a boss, my hiring process and more. The cool part is she gets to fact check me as we go, because she knows first-hand what it’s like to work on Team JK and how I manage each member of the team. 

If you want to know how I hire and onboard new employees, what my boss style is like, why I don’t believe in micromanaging or watching the clock, plus the team culture that we continue to nurture every day (even from our remote offices across the country), hit play right now.

Too Nervous To Hire?

Take stock of your workload. Are you doing everything yourself right now? Is your time spent in the weeds of tasks that *need* to be done but that takes you away from other projects that could bring your business to the next level? It might be time to hire… But the thought of handing off a piece of your business to someone else is nerve wracking. Or maybe you don’t think you’re in the financial position hire, regardless of your workload. This common mindset block is something I faced at the beginning, too. 

Consider this — Time and money are typically the things we value most in our lives and businesses. In some phases, your time will be valued way higher than money, and vise versa. If you’re in a season where time is your currency, then hiring someone to give you more time is a worthy investment. 

But if you’re in a season where money is more valuable to you, hiring could also help you in this aspect. If you could hand off tasks that don’t necessarily needs your personal touch and instead spend your time growing your business or bringing in new revenue, isn’t that worth the hourly rate or salary you would pay?

Allow Your Team to Develop Their Own Systems

One leadership style I’ve maintained since the beginning is welcoming the systems and processes that each new employee brings to the table, no matter how we did things in the past, as long as the work gets done. 

I’m a systems person, so you know I’ve developed a lot of brand standards and operating procedures for my business, but for example when Kylie joined the team, she identified some areas on the podcast management side that could be changed in a way that fit best for her. 

When you allow someone to own their vertical in the business and develop their own workflows rather than insisting they follow your way of doing things, you’re going to see a team member that’s both happier and more effective in their role. 

Give Them Flexibility

If you’re managing a remote team, there’s a degree of trust that goes into each work day. If you’re paying someone, you want them to be working, right? I think this is where micromanaging and the over-attentive boss can sometimes emerge. 

However, I’ve found that operating with flexibility alongside high expectations and boundaries actually creates the ideal environment for remote teams. I love giving my team Fridays off if it makes sense with our current business endeavors. Many of us are moms, and even those who aren’t still have obligations and needs that arise during the workday that may pull us away from Slack for a few hours. In my experience as a boss, flexibility is key for developing a great team culture.

There’s always been an understanding that if your work is done (and done well), your time is your own. I want the same pace and style of life for my team as I do for myself.

More from this Conversation

How do I set up new hires for success with my onboarding process? In what ways do I honor the passions and endeavors of my team outside of their work with me? And for someone who is so big on boundaries, why do I think our team culture benefits from personal relationships alongside our professional ones? 

Hit play on this episode all about leadership, hiring, and team culture for a deep dive into what I’m like as a boss and my advice for anyone looking to hire or improve their leadership within the team you already have.

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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