3 Ways to Maximize Your Management Team

There are plenty of good leaders in small business who conduct themselves honorably and work long hours to make their passion project a successful business enterprise. One of the marks of a truly great leader, though, is being able to create more great leaders. While some entrepreneurs want to keep being as hands-on as possible throughout their career, many others would prefer to eventually take a step back and enjoy the rewards of their hard work. 

However, before you are able to dial back your involvement, you must assemble and cultivate a dynamite management team that can fill your shoes. We’ve provided some pieces of advice to help you put together the next great leaders of your small business. 


  1. Focus on fundamentals of effective communication. It is impossible to overstate how important communication is within the workplace. There are many ways managers and entrepreneurs can optimize their communication, but one of the most important qualities is to speak and write simply and concisely. Even more important than knowing how to speak is knowing how to be a good listener. The best management teams make their employees feel heard, understood, and valued. 


  1. Take some time to recognize where your business is at, where you’d like it to go, and what it will take to get there. As an entrepreneur, you are always adapting and adjusting your business as needed. Take some time to map out a 3-, 5-, and 10-year vision of your company. Next, identify the person best suited to help your company reach your intended destination. This could be an outside hire or, hopefully, come from within your existing team. 


  1. Give your management team space to grow, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. The best training for your management team is not to simply tell them everything you know about leadership and hope they absorb it like a sponge. When you were learning to drive, did you just read your car’s manual from cover to cover and then immediately hop onto the interstate? Of course not; you practiced in a safe area, insulated from other cars, and eventually became comfortable enough to hit the highway on your own. The approach for training managers is similar.

4. Implement a Key Employee Retention Plan.  When you find great managers and invest time and resources into training them, make sure to protect your investment by incentivizing their commitment to the company through an employee retention plan.  These plans can either be qualified deferred compensation plans that are subject to ERISA (401-ks, Pension Plans, etc.) or they can be non-qualified deferred compensation plans that provide much more flexibility.  A well crafted non-qualified deferred compensation plan will not only make your employees happy, but it will also make your business more valuable because it will keep business continuity when you sell it.  We specialize in crafting these types of plans (our typical plan utilizes a Section 162 levered bonus) and would be happy to meet with you to review your situation and help you devise the best strategy.  


Your perfect management team, much like your culture, will not simply fall into place. You must work on cultivating the right team, just as you worked to establish your company culture and make your business a successful commercial venture. Ultimately, the goal of all owners should be to create a culture of accountability and trust within the workplace. 

If you would like to meet to talk about ways we can help you ultimately achieve your goals, please call 704-755-5145.

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At Soterian, our goal is to help business owners like you think bigger. Bigger than today, bigger than your business, bigger than yourself.

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