Infighting: Avoid It
Your MSP business can become a local institution that transcends the boundaries of its establishing circumstances. This will take time. With time comes difficulty, strife, and conflict. Humans are likely to butt heads every now and again. If you’re not prepared, it could impact the operation of your MSP. To that end, let’s look at the recent Marvel/Disney film: “Captain America: Civil War.”
This is a film showing a rift among The Avengers, a group of superheroes saving the world from all manner of bad guys. Together, they’re a strong and powerful team who can handle almost anything. When divided, they lose the ability to protect, and they are self-destructive. It’s like that old proverb: sticks alone are weak, but bind them together and they become strong. As an MSP, you don’t want a division to spread your sticks all over the place! You don’t want some gripe or misunderstanding to set internal factions against one another.
There are a number of ways to handle instances of conflict internally, but one thing you don’t want to do is brush some little rift off. Tiny offenses turn into hidden resentments that reach critical mass unpredictably and can negatively impact operations. You don’t want to have the fate of the Avengers and fall apart. However, there are traits you can draw from Captain America, in particular, that will help you operate harmoniously:
• Have integrity, don’t compromise your convictions
• When you’re wrong, admit it
• People should be your first priority
• Don’t just tell, show
• Always improve your company’s suite of skills
Your MSP business needs to operate with the conviction and integrity of Captain America. Sure, you’re not saving the country— directly. However, you are helping to make the country a better place just by doing the right thing and sticking by it, even when pressure would try and push you in another direction. If you know something’s right, stick by it. If you have integrity, this will enable you to do so. Compromising with the “bad guys” will initiate further compromise and can be problematic.
When You’re Wrong, Admit It
That said, sometimes your convictions are in the wrong. You’ve got to admit this when you realize it and move forward. This is very difficult, but if your team can see you do this, it will help them do the same when they find a problem. Captain America was able to do this among the Avengers. Admitting you are wrong is perhaps a greater superhero power than all the rest, and you have this ability.
People Should Be Your First Priority
Captain America focuses on saving the good guys from the bad guys. People are his priority, not personal glory. This feature of his character should simultaneously characterize the internal and external operations of your MSP. You need to focus on both employee and client needs first. If you do that, as a natural consequence, you’ll see the success you seek.
Don’t Just Tell, Show
Lead by example. Don’t be one of those, “Do as I say, not as I do” leaders. You need to get “in the trenches” with your engineers, marketers, salespeople, and programmers. If they see you rolling up your sleeves, as it were, and doing the installations, troubleshooting and upgrades as well, it will help drive them. Similarly, Captain America backs up his convictions by getting down and dirty. He was a scrawny little guy before he was a superhero; his character remembers that. Your MSP was a startup once as well. Remember your roots.
Always Improve Your Company’s Suite of Skills
You always need to be learning, developing, expanding, innovating and progressing. Expand your company’s skill sets in terms of service and products as you can.
A Solid Team
Your MSP business can function as a solid, cohesive team if you’re careful to strategically approach operations with an understanding of the reality that defines human interaction. There’s a lot you can learn from Captain America, and there’s a lot you can learn from day-to-day operations. Remember to act with integrity, practice what you preach, improve as you can and put people first.