There’s No “I” In “Team”

If you start almost any kind of business in Second Life, sooner or later, you’ll have to hire employees, or take on business partners.  And this process can make or break you.

Anyone offering jobs in Second Life is going to be swamped with newbies looking for work; this is both a good and bad thing.  Good because you will have a wide variety of candidates to choose from; bad because, without a crystal ball (of which none exist in SL), there’s no way to know in advance which ones are going to be competent and which ones are going to be flakes, or idiots.

I’ll offer one piece of fairly obvious advice:  Competence is a force multiplier.  I’d rather have one employee, competent and focused, than a whole club-ful of some of the dumbshits that have come our way, at the Cutlass and at the Gin Rummy.  You want the kind of employees that can take direction–and follow through on that direction–and that take their roles and responsibilities seriously.  With someone like that, I’ll have no trouble parting with my Lindens to pay their wages.

There are those out there, unfortunately, that insist on treating SL as “just a game.”  They don’t realize that there are real people behind those avatars…real people that are counting on them.  When one of these people blows off their responsibilities, that causes headaches in the business owners (i.e. us) as we have to scramble to cover for them.  My advice here: If you find an employee that says “Ah, this is all only a game,” remind them of where the door is.

Managing these employees can also be a non-trivial task.  SL doesn’t really provide all the facilities necessary for managing employee rosters, schedules, and so forth, so we took a cue from Soulmates and set up a “corporate intranet” site.  (We used the Joomla content-management system, which is also what Soulmates uses.  There are, no doubt, other solutions out there.) With this system, employees can read our procedures, post their availability, get the latest schedules, and so forth.  And yes, we have written procedures for all of our positions, just to make sure there are no misunderstandings about what we expect.

Now, I mentioned the subject of “business partners” above; this generally means “people who have contributed tier to buy the land for your business.”  The remarks I’ve made above about employees needing to be serious and competent goes double for business partners; people who don’t pull their weight but still expect to share in the business’s rewards can be some of the largest pains in the ass a business owner can have.  Especially if you can’t afford to kick them out without possibly either losing your land or taking on more tier than you can afford.

Anyone starting a business in SL would do well to read some good business advice books, whether it’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, The One Minute Manager, Leadership Secrets of Attilla The Hun, or what have you.  It’ll give you more advice than I ever could…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “There’s No “I” In “Team”

  1. Bott Ponzu

    interesting how you bandy the word ‘partner’ about….and also the title you chose for this particular blog. But then, I expected this from you, seeing how it’s your ‘wife’ that’s running the entire show, choosing to make all the decisions WITHOUT consulting said ‘partners’. But, that’s in the past, Dani and I have resolved our differences. It’s a shame, though, that you turned out to be such a back-stabbing, two-faced hypocrite. Personally, I suspect you WANTED us out, especially since, when you decided to be a two-year old and ‘tattle’ on me, so to speak, that you managed to copy and paste EVERYTHING I said to you (what I thought was IN CONFIDENCE, by the way) EXCEPT for my asking you to make sure that I was the only one booted. Surprise surprise, I find out that was the one part you did NOT show her, and I also found out, surprise surprise, that if you HAD shown her that part, then I would’ve been the only one booted. I never expected this behavior from you….if you wanted us both out so badly, you should’ve just said so. Instead, you decided to go behind everybody’s backs, showing your true colors in the process. If this is how you treat your friends and partners, then I’m GLAD I’m out.

  2. Well, Bott, since we’re not pulling any punches here, obviously, let me just say that your particular performance was substandard even for an employee, let alone for a “partner.” You chose to treat everything as “just part of a game.” You didn’t even bother to show up a number of times when you were scheduled to work. I have put tens of thousands of L$–for which I paid real money–into backing Danielle in her dreams. What have YOU done to match that?

    The ONLY reason that I didn’t kick you out of the groups myself is that, deep down, I’m just too nice a guy, and I waited for Danielle to do it. But Danielle and I were both in agreement that you should be gone.

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