Don’t Hate Your Operations Team for Struggling

I know. You’re mad at your operations team because they are failing your client right now. You don’t understand why it’s so hard to do what they’re supposed to do, and you are tired of taking calls from your client about your service failings. You wish you worked at a business where you never had to worry about execution. You can wish if you want to, but when you tire of waiting, this is a better plan.

First, you need to check with your operations team to understand why they are struggling to produce the results your client needs. You need to listen without judgment, working to understand the root cause of their problem. If you start by blaming your team, you are focusing on the people and not the problem. If this is how you view things, you will always struggle to produce results. There are no perfect people (with absolutely no exceptions). Focus on the problem.

Once you understand the nature of the problem, you continue helping them by asking what they need to do better. You may not feel that this is your job or that you should have to do this work, but because you sold the account, you must deliver the outcomes. You’ll also develop the relationships that cause your clients to get a lot of special attention when they need it. Focus on helping them.

Whatever your team needs, you help them get it. If you need to work on your management or leadership team, you go to work selling them on behalf of your team and your client. If your client needs to change something on their side, you must go back and help them make those changes. Even when it’s difficult. Focus on communicating.

You also need to keep your client abreast of what you are doing, your timeline for doing it, and when they can expect the outcomes they need. You do not own the transactions, all the things that have to be done for your client to get the result they’re after. But you do own the outcomes, and that means you have to be front and center, making sure things are eventually resolved.

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