Thanks for showing so much love to my book – The Anexas Story. Based on many requests to publish chapters of the book on LinkedIn, I continue to write a series of articles based on these chapters. Please read on and keep believing that there is an entrepreneur in you…and everyone!
Have you seen the ten-headed Ravana? Do you think he was really ten-headed? Or was it his ten facets or skills that were seen by people? We, the normal people are hard put to achieve such multiple skills. So, what do we do? We bring in heads. We make teams.
Then, we delegate jobs. Trust me, the above is easier to say in forums but the hardest to do. Our reputation had increased over a period of time and we started getting more business in India and Saudi Arabia, which was a good problem to have. But, the question still remained, how to make a good team?
Based on excellent feedback in the first two years, I acquired an illusion that I was the best trainer and consultant around in Lean Six Sigma and Project Management. After all, participants used to like the programs and write great reviews about me. Some of the participants even attended my program after attending other organizations’ programs just to learn the subject better. They heaped praises in the feedback forms telling their great experiences with me.
But I could not be present everywhere. Moreover, only Ronaldos and Messis can’t win matches every time. So, I had to increase the team strength by training other trainers. I was so skeptical. Whenever I used to sit in any fellow trainer’s programs, I used to become restless that the trainer is missing out some of the important points and I would go on a correcting mode or preaching mode.
However, I realized that after two to three training sessions, every trainer would start getting excellent feedback. They would develop their own way of interacting and impressing the participants, and start getting good reviews. So much so that, if I needed to take a few sessions in between, the participants never liked my interrupting the training as it broke the continuity or they had already fallen in love with their original trainer!
Over the years, it so happened that our trainers did great programs without me in the picture anywhere! I learned that to build an organization, you need to work with a team and trust them. You need to let go and delegate. You can monitor but delegate you must. Also, sometimes do work with people who have become better than you or even hire people who are better than you in their own respective fields. Only then you can run a successful organization. I did that and it helped me immensely. Though it wasn’t smooth sailing at all in the beginning, I must confess.
I was lucky I wasn’t called many ugly names behind my back. Or was I? I’d rather not know. We started exploring the world of consulting a little more, rather than focusing too much on training. Earlier we used to provide only those services which I was an expert in. I never thought of venturing into other areas where I did not have expertise.
Initially, it did help to build credibility. However, later on, it started restricting us as an organization. So, when we had to start offering new services on clients’ requests, we realized that there were good people we could work collaboratively and interdependently to achieve a win-win.
The ability to hire and trust better-skilled people helped us to build a great team. To grow, we formed partnerships which were mutually beneficial. Another incidence comes to mind. I saw a trainer at work one day. He was taking a session and his obvious discomfort with me being in the room got so distressing that I had to come out and take a deep breath. I allowed him to take over the training in his own way. I was learning to stay put, you see!
Amitabh Saxena is founder of Anexas, a well-known lean six sigma and project management consulting organisation. He has trained over 50,000 participants and has 30 years of experience in consulting more than 300 organisations around the world including Fortune 100 companies across industry domains. With a strong team of 25 Master Black Belts, his organisation Anexas has been helping individuals and organisations achieve eminence through excellence since 2006. They can be reached on email@example.com.