The Art of Management—For One or Many—With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Why to shift from hiring contractors to hiring employees
  • How to keep your team from becoming overcommitted and overwhelmed
  • How to structure time to enhance creativity

This week, my guest is on the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast is Productive Flourishing founder, Charlie Gilkey. Charlie is a best-selling author, speaker, blogger, podcaster and business strategist. His website has been visited by nearly 3 million people and his tools, worksheets and planners have been downloaded more than 1 million times. He’s taught thousands of people how to go from idea to done using simple, but powerful approaches that tap into their strengths and genius.

Charlie and I talk about the art of management—whether for one or for many including the shift from contractors to hiring employees, how to keep your team from becoming overcommitted and how to structure time to enhance creativity.

From Contractors to Hiring Employees

I hire and select for people who are versatile, adaptable and like to do multiple things.

— Charlie Gilkey

Although Charlie still has independent contractors on the Productive Flourishing support team, he built a core team of five employees who are all dedicated to achieving the same goal. They all wear many hats and are multifunctional to allow for changes to, and growth of, the business. He found it is harder to build culture with freelancers or contractors. Everyone on the core team who are employees already understands the goals, processes and culture which is sometimes harder with freelancers or contractors who must figure these things out in addition to doing the job they are getting paid to do. As your business grows what you actually need is people who fit your culture, can show up each day to dedicate their time to your business and be flexible.

Control the Overwhelm

If we have to wear 17 different hats, at least know who is wearing which hat.

— Charlie Gilkey

When you have a small, but versatile team of people who “wear 17 different hats,” it’s important to have very clear job descriptions and roles and responsibilities. People are in different lanes of responsibility and different projects that they own. Charlie’s team also uses Asana to schedule regular routines and projects. When people aren’t keeping up with their routines, it’s a sign that they are overcommitted. By knowing what the routines are, when they need to be done and who is doing them, a lot of the meta thinking is not needed. The answers are in the routines. When your team isn’t clear about how things are going to get done, the uncertainty zaps your team’s productivity and morale. Plus, in the last year the team has gotten a lot better about determining the projects they are going to commit to and saying “no” to others.

Structure Time to Enhance Creativity

A lot of creative people don’t recognize how supportive structure and defaults are.

— Charlie Gilkey

A lot of creative people rebel against the very things they need the most. High-performing creative people inevitably have these really well thought-out structures and containers to do their creative work. Productive Flourishing is to the point that the processes and structure are set, so the team can use their creativity on the work and not use it to figure out what the work should be and how it will get done.

Tune into the entire podcast to learn more from my discussion with Charlie including how businesses and professionals make things harder and how he articulates his intuitive synthesis to his team. You can learn more about Charlie Gilkey and download his free planners for creative people from his website.

And, listen to the Productive Flourishing podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you listen to this podcast!

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