If you think of your agency as something like a professional services firm for a moment, then there’s something that’s a really critical strategic mistake that almost all small businesses make when they’re in the professional services realm. That is they’re always trying to figure out how to use people to get work done.
When there’s some work to be done, you may figure, “well, who’s the best person to do this?” That’s actually the wrong approach. If you want to develop a thriving agency instead of figuring out how to use the people to get the work done, you need to figure out how to use the work to develop the people.
This is crucial because what that means is you’re always looking for opportunities to help your team members level up a little bit by giving them that perfect opportunity that will stretch them enough that they’ll make some mistakes and have to kind of reach a little bit and grow, but it won’t stretch them so far that they’ll break and that you won’t be able to clean it up and that they’ll feel like they failed.
So learning how to use the work to develop the people is the strategic tip of the spear for any professional services organization. And if you’ve got a bunch of customers that expect your team to be professionals and expect a lot of service from them, this is a must do for you as a leader.