2 - Investing in Farmland with AcreTrader's Carter Malloy

38:35
 
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Carter Malloy is the CEO and founder of AcreTraders, a real estate investing platform

that makes it easy to buy shares of farmland and earn passive income, starting

in just minutes online.

In this episode, Mike discusses the work environment dynamics with Carter,

reviewing corporate management and employee relationships. Carter reveals the

challenges he had to face while building up a potential work team and how he

approaches talent diversity, cultural differences, office transparency and open

communication in his company.

Carter believes in establishing a competitive work atmosphere, right from the hiring

process to the policy of letting employees go. Tune in to learn about the

different strategies for optimizing company profits while cultivating a healthy

work environment.

EPISODE 2 SUMMARY & HIGHLIGHTS

Can you talk about any one of your employees who you helped to achieve tremendous success?

4:20

It’s hard just to pick one employee because all forty of our employees are exceptionally skilled and capable.

Our newest employee, let’s call her Allegra, was selected for “the office manager” position for achieving tremendous growth in a really short period. We had a rigorous selection procedure, and Allegra was the perfect choice for the post. We always make it a priority to have brilliant people, regardless of their position because we want them to grow.

What is the most recent challenge you faced when it comes to developing a potential team?

6:54

In our company, we don’t believe in putting people in roles. We want them to build the company. This mindset is the biggest challenge to maintain.

While selecting candidates, we do not care what their role in the company will be; we want them to grow while helping them along the entire journey. Also, since we are huge believers in talent diversity, we only hire phenomenal people who can significantly help the company. That can sometimes be a downside.

Another constraint is time. The hiringprocess often takes longer. Moreover, we have to let people go sometimes.

What are some of the cultural values that go into this mindset?

12:49

We believe in talent, diversity, freedom and responsibility. We also believe in proper communication in the company. We go over things multiple times before we conclude.

In corporate strategy, communication is the key. By being open with one another, you incorporate transparency. Your employees tend to have great ideas. They could also receive great feedback and criticism. Frequent communication also entails one-on-one meetings between the manager and the employees. We also do not allow talking behind others' backs. If you have something to say, we encourage you to say it upfront. This helps build trust and strengthens relationships.

What are some of the tips that an HR director can incorporate into his role?

18:47

Contrary to popular belief, an HR director has a considerable influence on the company. The CEO trusts the HR department to set the cultural tone. They are to challenge the CEO and work to develop policies and approaches that can benefit the company.

Could you talk to us a bit more about the concept of company density?

20:26

Organizationally, we are very complex with multiple products, initiatives, cross-functional teams and shared resources. We try to have exceptional employees in our company. Once an average employee comes in, they set the bar low for all the other employees. It leads to a poorer quality of work from the employees. People are naturally competitive. They want to grow. So if you surround them with other great people, they end up being more productive. That is the idea of talent density - having great people that push each other to do a great job. There are some drawbacks to this too. It creates stress, and sometimes people tend to overwork themselves. So it’s essential to set boundaries.

What are things that you train your team on?

25:15

Everyone in the company needs to understand the markets that we operate in. The first thing we do is to educate our employees. They should be able to answer any question by the customers.

We also have training sessions. We make sure every team explains what they do, how they do it, and what systems they use. This way, we create an internal Wikipedia. So, in the end, it comes back to openness and transparency. We also encourage our employees to attend several educational courses and lectures.

What are some of the systems you have in your company?

27:28

You need systems if you want to scale yourself with bureaucracy. We do not wish to have a bureaucracy, but we need to have systems in place.

The first thing to do is to pick only one system. You do not need competing systems in your company. Don’t switch between them either. When you do fix a system, make sure the employees communicate the drawbacks and problems they experience. Come up with potential solutions for them.

Tell us a bit about the firing procedure in the company?

32:30

When you hire a person, for you, it’s a hiring decision, but for the employee, it’s a career decision.

You need to respect the interview process, tell the candidate your expectations upfront. Give proper chances to the employee. If you feel like an employee is not working up to your expectations, you owe it to the employee to tell them. Tell them where they are falling behind and what they can do to improve. When you have decided that the employee is not the right fit, let them go immediately. Don’t drag them for another month. That is a waste of the employee’s time. Instead, give them that month’s salary and let them go. You owe it to that person to not talk negatively behind their back. You need to treat them with respect.

KEY QUOTES:

05:37-05:42

“The reality is we want brilliant people, regardless of the role

they're in, because we want them to be able to grow.”

07:27-07:40

“We don't want people here to do a role; we want people here to

build a company. We don't care what their role is, when, we want them to grow,

we want to help them and we want to be there alongside them for the entire

journey.”

07:58-08:07

“This is genuinely how we run our businesses. Everyone here is a

stakeholder in the company; everyone has some ownership in the business. We are

all building together.”

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