Be accessible. The BEST bosses are the ones that can say “yes” when a team member comes around to ask for “a minute”. That is when you will be given your opportunity to shine as a leader or protect your company because you will be in the know about potential problems.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Talmar Anderson. Talmar is the Founder of Boss Actions, and leads entrepreneurs through their shift from business owner to Boss to escape their hiring loop. Talmar helps clients identify, hire and build kick-ass teams. With over 20+ years inspiring and educating business owners and entrepreneurs, Talmar is on a mission of #TakingBossBack.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My own entrepreneurial path can be directly linked to a photograph. I call it “The Reason’. At the time, I was managing a law firm closer to the city with a 45 minute commute each way so I usually got started early. One dark winter morning, my then two year old son, toddled into our master bedroom asking his dad “Mommy?” My husband explained that Mommy had already left for work. My son promptly turned around and walked out of the room. My husband well aware that we had stairs and our son was not fully awake, tried to jump out of bed to catch him. But before he could even get around the bed, Lincoln toddled back in the room with something in his hand. He crawled into our bed and fell back asleep.
The picture my husband sent my phone that morning changed everything. There lay our blond haired boy, in our bed with a blue pacifier in his mouth sleeping with a photograph of me. My husband said he didn’t even know from where in the house the picture had been taken. But Lincoln knew where to get it. I knew right then and there I had to create a way for me to be home in the mornings.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Well, interesting is that I was cast on a television show! Seriously, that is NOTHING I ever saw happening. Being on Fix My Brand with Ali Craig has been exciting, challenging and has positioned me to play bigger than I would have ever dared without this experience! I had chosen the word “visibility” for 2018 during my goal planning in October 2017. Then I met Ali at a Mastermind in New York City. We have been to Orlando, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Las Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ and THAT is just the first half of the season! People want to know about the experience and I can tell you ..it HAS been fun!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Love this one! I knew that speaking was something that would help me to help more clients. After I created my first presentation, one of my contact’s let me come give a free seminar in his co-working space. I was so nervous. 15 people showed up. A nice and diverse crowd. I was proud that I had thought to have feedback forms. I even dared to hope to get a client out of it. Afterwards, a nice gentleman, who obviously was experienced and used to mentoring people came up to me. He said the content was great! That he had learned something. However, I never told them my company name or how they could work with me! Such a common mistake…I was so busy educating that I never asked for the business.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Boss Actions combines the mental AND the tactical solutions to helping a business owner address the “people” side of their business. This piece alone can drive someone to actually want to walk away from a business that is generating sales. Because entrepreneurs had to design their business models around their expertise or innovation, many assume they have to “figure out” this hiring thing on their own. When I first started working with my clients, I really thought the value for them would come from the process and systems we built. However, time and time again the relief and permission to address their company’s needs creates real confidence and the reassurance that it is in their best interest to build a team based around the kind of people and experts they want to work with every day! Our ability to combine it all to encourage, inspire and deliver answers is our greatest strength.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am! I just launched Boss Actions Membership to both offer virtual training and connect Bosses creating easier ways to build and grow kick-ass teams. I am also finishing my first book. It will lead entrepreneurs to understand that their own company is an entity of its own and has needs outside of the personalities in the company …including the Boss!
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Do not settle for “good enough” because it never is! You, your clients and your business deserve the best possible team. When you are building your team, look for team members that will ENHANCE the business. The adage to be slow to hire and quick to fire is one of the KEYS to a strong team. Also, learn hiring skills as quickly as possible. Success requires a team…always!
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
As the Boss, your priority is your people. Your 1–1, team meetings and performance reviews MUST be placed on your scheduled ahead of prospects, demanding clients and the business deliverables. Be accessible so your team can ask for what they need. A Boss provides the tools. The Team builds success.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I didn’t get that running businesses was a talent. I thought I was just doing a “job” until some magical lightning bolt hit me and I found out I could sing or paint. That is what I thought it meant to have a talent. It was my District Manager who pointed out that very few people can look at the business both from a macro level AND a micro level. Being able to make a decision AND design the workflow to support that decision is NOT something everyone can do. It was special to me. He and I are still very good friends some 20 plus years later.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Mentoring is the easiest way! When I meet someone new, I can quickly answer a question. Another way is through volunteering at different organizations. Currently I am honored to serve on two advisory boards. Pets for Vets — DC Metro and I am in the second year serving as the Chair, for the George Mason University School of Business Women In Business Initiative. Along with the scholarships we fund, last year we launched a new Mentorship Program for the School of Business. The program connects students with women professionals for a full semester of mentorship to get ready for their careers. They just started the second session.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Set clear expectations. Communication is the defining skill set of a leader. Good communication has specific assignment of responsibility, deadlines and a course of action if problems arise. Good communicators = good leaders
- Ask for help. I learned early on that no one cares how hard you worked to finish a project. They care that it got done on time and with high quality. Killing yourself rather than asking for help only affects your ability to leave the office earlier.
- Walk the talk. A bad boss is the one that says punctuality is important but can’t start a meeting on time. Remember they are always watching. What I mean is, you will notice that the team will reflect how you dress, speak and perform in conjunction with you. So be clear what you are putting out there.
- Be accessible. The BEST bosses are the ones that can say “yes” when a team member comes around to ask for “a minute”. That is when you will be given your opportunity to shine as a leader or protect your company because you will be in the know about potential problems.
- Caring is strength. When you consistently give a team the space to share about what they care about you give them the space to care about your company.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
“Assume no malice”. This is the movement that allows others a differing experience, perspective and even…dare I say it, opinion. This is part of a talk I give called “What’s your green?” My movement would ask everyone in any conversation to assume all speakers do not INTEND to be malicious even if the listener hears something offensive. From the speaker’s point of view and experiences, it could be a term of endearment. If we allow that the speaker has had a different education and experience than us, and chose those words to share a perspective, not to invoke bad feelings, then we can allow that they do not mean to offend. One step further, EVEN if they do mean to offend or hurt feelings, let it be their issue. Treat the speaker as if they meant no malice. Do not “assume’ their anger as your own. It’s your choice.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I am perfectly incomplete. I am still working on my masterpiece.” Jessie J (Song Masterpiece) I have always believed that my life only improves through each year, change, and life experience. I love this reminder that I don’t need to get too upset about whatever goes wrong because I am getting better everyday. It works with good stuff too. As good as life is I can be excited that tomorrow will be better still.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Neil deGrasse Tyson… I love super smart people that can also get the joke. I am sure that it would be enlightening in many ways.