I never attended a business class in my life. My lack of knowledge was hurting me: I was working brutally long hours and I had no idea how to take my company to the next level. Despite all of that, my company was still growing like a weed. Little did I know that joining EO and getting into a Forum would arm me with several practical, yet critical, principles that I could apply to my business.
I learned my first lesson at my first Forum meeting. Like many entrepreneurs, I was busy, arrived late and was fined US$50. A year and several fines later, it dawned on me that arriving on time wasn’t about avoiding the fine. It was about efficient meetings and mutual respect for my Forum members.
With that in mind, I promptly considered my company and how we had plenty of meetings—many of which I scheduled and was constantly late to. What kind of a message was that sending to my employees? I implemented a new rule at the office : Meetings start on time, end on time, required a printed agenda and everyone (including me!) must be on time. Not only was I early to every company meeting, but efficiency, productivity and mutual respect were all on the rise.
Next, I learned the conflict resolution process for Forums. My IT Director was always complaining to me about somebody, and I started to dread seeing him at my door. The next time he complained, I encouraged him to speak to the person he was having issues with and work it out. I had learned this in my Forum. This way he doesn’t have to come to me; instead, the two of them can work things out on their own.
The last lesson—and probably the most important one of all—was adopting Gestalt Language Protocol. Gestalt enables people to speak from personal experience rather than lecture about what “should” be done. When one of my employees came to me with a problem, I was able to draw on my own experience and encourage them to develop their own solutions, rather than just tell them what to do. This was a huge mind shift at my company. Over time, it led people to be independent thinkers and it gave me the freedom and flexibility to spend less time at the office.
Thanks to the lessons I learned in Forum, I finally had time to start working on my business instead of in my business. I spend less than 20 percent of my time at the office, and the company runs better without me. Today, I’m a better boss and entrepreneur!