In this 25-minute podcast interview, Mads Singers got a chance to talk to Kris Reid about his management philosophy. They spoke about how Kris turned his “once small” business, Ardor SEO, into the success that it is today. Throughout the podcast, Kris and Mads shared many interesting things and tips on how to manage your business effectively.
About the Podcast Host
The Mads Singers Management Podcast, as the name implies, is a podcast show dedicated to featuring industry leaders to talk about their management strategies.
Mads Singers is not just a podcast host. He has also been a management coach for more than seven years. He has worked with a wide range of people from different industries, from small companies to large organisations, like Coca-Cola and Shell.
Effective people management has been his focus since day one. He believes that organisations—no matter their size—will not succeed without awesome people. However, it doesn't matter how competent your employees are. If you don't know how to maximise their talents, you are missing out big time. This is where Mads's expertise comes in.
Kris Reid, a software engineer by trade, worked in the financial industry for many years. He was pretty successful and made lots of money—until the 2008 Global Financial Crisis took everything away from him. Since then, he started having difficulties finding a job with the same pay rate as he enjoyed before—which was a real bummer, according to him. So, he decided to break his piggy bank (so to speak) to backpack around the world. He used this time to decide what his next move will be.
Who Is Kris Reid? The Beginnings of Ardor SEO
Being the computer geek that he is, he built an online game—for fun! However, building a game was just one part of the fun; if no one would play it, the whole purpose of creating it in the first place would be defeated. So now, his dilemma was how on Earth was he going to let people know about his game?
This is where he discovered SEO. It was all fun and games at first until he realised that he could actually make money out of it. And so, Ardor SEO was born!
He started selling backlinks, which was the bread and butter of Ardor SEO for many years. However, changes in Google algorithms over the years forced him to make changes to the services the company was offering.
Now, his company is not only doing website analysis and creating content—it offers every service an SEO campaign needs.
What's the Best Thing About Managing People?
Kris admits not being good at repetitive tasks, such as checking up on people and reports all the time, because of his attention deficit disorder (ADD). If he wants to get something done, he stays focused until it gets completed—or else he will forget all about them.
His secret in running a successful business is his ability to find competent employees who can do the things that he's not good at. This way, he gets to continue doing the tasks he enjoys the most.
For Kris, the best thing about managing people is seeing them develop and grow. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and seeing his team become more competent at what they do. It's a win-win situation for everyone in his team.
However, he also admits struggling with the difference between delegation and application. He finds it challenging to determine where the line blends between the two. As it turns out, this is something many business owners struggle with—as Mads also points out.
The Biggest Management Challenges Ardor SEO Has Faced and Overcome Over the Years
One of the best things they've done at Ardor was to hire a dedicated HR personnel—which is something Kris wishes he had done long ago. Their new HR person is great at what she does. She has been an instrumental asset in finding the right people for the company.
Moreover, having a dedicated HR department means Kris won't need to waste his time with pre-interviews, giving tests, and checking the credentials and references of the applicants.
How Does Kris Define Success?
Kris wants to focus on providing value to their customers because that's how he defines success. A customer can get really good traffic and rankings, but that doesn't mean anything if they don't translate to sales.
According to Kris, you should make your customers feel good about spending their money on you by giving them what they want, which is “results”. If they spend $1, give them results that make them feel like they got a $10 worth of value in return. Only then will they be happy to spend more on your business.
Additionally, Kris and Mads are in agreement that when you find a process that works, stick to it. Put it into a great framework and keep executing before you try another strategy. Some strategies will not work for long, so you need to take advantage of them while they still work.
Furthermore, they warn people against falling into the trap of putting too much effort into tiny details that don't make much difference. As both of them agree, you need to learn where to put your time and energy.
What Is Kris's Management Style?
Kris is not the type to micromanage his people. Being a busy person, he doesn't have much time for that. So, he wants to work with competent people who can work on their own without much supervision. That's also the reason why he wants to implement tighter procedures. This way, his company will still run even without him running the show all the time.
He is also very clear about his goals. Kris makes sure that his employees understand their company goals, so they can share the same passion he has for achieving them. The more passionate your employees are, the more they will do their best at work.
Also, Kris says that by providing your employees with value, you are also empowering them to work harder. The more motivated they are at work, the less management they will need.
Kris makes sure that he knows his employees and makes them feel comfortable enough to talk to him about just anything. This is because he believes that people who are passionate about their jobs provide better output than those who only do it for the paycheck.
If you're interested to learn more tips from Kris and Mads, you can listen to the entire podcast at this Mads Singers Management Podcast page.