Social Enterprise Academy Day 4

Randy White shared the characteristics of a social entrepreneur. He made an analogy from Proverbs 31, often titled The Wife of Noble Character. Randy pointed out that the characteristics of a Noble Wife can also be the characteristics of a social entrepreneur. The text lists these characteristics as including:

  • Initiative
  • Risk-taking
  • Confidence
  • Hard work
  • Generosity
  • Taking care of herself

AP Armour shared some principals about hiring from the gospel of Matthew. He pointed out the fact that Jesus went through many experiences before he started making an impact. He was obedient to his calling

  • Remember when you hire someone that you are taking their lives and the lives of their families into your hands.
  • When hiring, consider both current AND future needs.
  • You have to hire and build your model around your ability to employ and sustain yourself. Prove the business model including the ability to pay yourself. Design your model to be able to employ
  • When you start a business, you wear a lot of hats. As you grow, you start taking those hats off and handing them off to other people. To do this you need to know your strengths and weaknesses – both your personal and company strengths. What are the things I’m not good at, that I can hire someone to do?
  • Find the things that are key to making your business work, then put key people into positions that are responsible for those.
  • What are your business’s biggest needs? What are your skilled positions and what are your labor positions? When you hire people, hire the cream of the crop into skilled positions. People in labor positions come and go. It’s okay to have high turnover, but mostly in your labor positions. Where are your directorial positions?
  • Who to hire: This is a cultural decision. Success depends on creating a clear, concise, culture. AP shared that his company’s culture is important, and you need to hire people who will fit in with that culture. His company’s culture is defined by the mission statement: “We operate businesses that reveal the value in people so that they could be positive contributors to their communities and homes.”

  • How to fire people: Firing is a harsher world for transitioning someone out. When you fire someone, sometimes letting them go is part of doing the very best for them. If they’re not a fit, moving them on is the best thing you can do for them, even though it’s very hard. Sometimes, firing someone can be one of the most powerful moments of their life.
  • When you fire people, you need to have infrastructure that supports clean firing. Having a process and being transparent is a blessing for employees. AP has been heavily influenced by the book Discipline Without Punishment. It’s helped him create a management style that empowers employees and helps them to take responsibility for their own work.
  • They assess employees in three dimensions: attendance, performance, and conduct. Create quantifiable metrics that help assess performance.  Communicate those expectations so employees know how to manage themselves and their own work.

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