Chapter 16

These days I spend so much time in production just to keep up with our 60+ products. It has become difficult to spend a lot of time in the shop to engage with customers, even though I try to do that whenever I get the chance. As an introvert, it takes a lot of energy to engage people continuously. To keep the business running and maintain the quality of our products and service, I have become obsessed with every part of the business. I have had to compartmentalize to keep up with a lot of things. Bringing people in to take care of my baby is hard. When I see a bit of slackness or boredom in their eyes I get worried, because it's only a matter of time before they take all the skills I have trained them to develop somewhere else, usually without much notice. I am beginning to learn that the average Ghanaian adult in his/her 20’s is timid, lacks focus, attention to detail, and only wants to repeat one thing they had learned over and over. Very few will suggest new ideas or change course if they encounter a problem. I have been discussing these issues with my employees lately. They seem to think it is the way we are raised. We are taught that failure is bad, chastised for trying new things especially when we make mistakes. This makes it incredibly difficult to work with young people in a growing company. I have tried to create an enabling environment where people are encouraged to try new ways of doing things and push people to challenge themselves to learn and grow. Not everyone is happy with that. To grow, you need ideas, suggestions, and feedback from your team. You need to take risks and get into new territories. That is incredibly difficult if the average employee in a group of 10 doesn’t want to be challenged or thinks customers are being unreasonable for providing feedback. Building a team and a great culture requires a full mind transformation and a tough part of the entrepreneurial journey.

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