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How to restructure your systems so they work

*systems blog video Dec 06, 2022

Every organization is structured perfectly for the results it’s getting now. 

So, if your’e not growing… 

… and if you’re not sensing PEACE in your call…

… then you need to look at how you’re organized. 

(This is where we move into the SYSTEMS Gear of Growth and begin talking about the processes we use to move forward.)

As we’ve mention throughout our training, we can’t presume on growth, but we can prepare for it. And, we can always organize ourselves for peace.


Create systems that sustain 

In E-Myth, Michael Gerber reminds us to “remove ourselves” from the equation. That is, we can’t make ourselves THE central artifact in the organization. It must be able to exist without us. This requires processes and people to be set in place. 

The two beginning points for strutting for growth, scale, and peace are:

  • Restructuring your TIME, and 
  • Restructuring your TEAM

(Note: see module 4 of The Killer Teams Framework for a deeper dive on restricting both your team and your time.)


About your time

One of the first things we ask coaching clients to do is a calendar audit… 

Though they presume their busy, they generally find a few things: 

  • Massive chunks of unstructured, unscheduled time
  • A lot of activities that don’t grow them or the organization

The 80/20 rules (known as the Pareto Principle) states that 20% of your actions generate 80% of your results (and 80% of your efforts results in 20% of your results). Our goal is to determine those activities that create the greatest results— and spend more time there FIRST. 


About your team

If you don’t restructure your team as the organization grows, you’ll consistency see seasons of growth followed by seasons of frustration, tension, and then decline BACK DOWN to a manageable level for your team.

Restructuring allows you to lead people well, love them better, and work with less stress (particularly as you and the others focus on the facets of their calendar that generate the greatest results).

Here are three ways to restructure your team for growth and peace:


#1 Build a one-pizza team for every team you have

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, talks about not having more direct reports than can share two pizzas… 

Acknowledging he has a higher-capacity for leadership than the vast majority of people, we suggest (and we follow this) developing “one pizza” teams.

Here’s what that means = don’t have more people on a team than can split a pizza. 

Above that number— 

  • Communication gets wonky 
  • People don’t feel cared for
  • Leaders don’t get developed 

In other words, as is the case with an actual pizza, if you get too many people around the table, there’s just not enough to go around. 

You can manage more people than this, sure, but you can’t CARE for more. And leadership isn’t just about going somewhere, it’s about the people you’re going there with…

… and about fully developing them to their max capacity. 

Build a bunch of pizza parties by having these smaller teams throughout your organization at every level.


#2 Keep a health relationship between the number of PROJECTS you have on staff, as well as the number of PRODUCTS you hire.

These are labels for 2 types of leaders…

  • PRODUCTS are seasoned leaders who are ready to charge full force. They have experience + wisdom. They can be released to lead.
  • PROJECTS are unseasoned leaders who need training. They have massive potential, but aren’t ready for front-line leadership.

You need both.

You need PRODUCTS (like Paul), who can forge ahead, despite any pressures that come. 

You also need PROJECTS (like Timothy), who— in their own time— will lead well!


#3 Clearly define authority vs. influence (solid lines vs. dotted Ines)

No one needs to feel like they have two bosses. Often, we do, though, b/c other people on the staff influence what we think + feel + do.

We need to know where the “solid lines” of authority go (i.e., “you report to this person, so you need to do what they tell you.”).

And we need to know where the dotted lines of influence go (“learn from these people and get input, b/c they want to see you and the organization succeed, but you’re not ultimately responsible to them”).

By the way, make sure you don’t give someone responsibility WITHOUT giving them authority… the only way you can scale is if you actually empower them to make decisions and move the organization forward. 




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