continued from Leadership

Peg & Pete with advice for anyone trying to run a successful business!

Lesson in Leadership #3 – A rapidly growing company in Dallas

Pete: “They’ve been on this pace of 30% growth for 5 years.  And it causes good problems, right? More profit and things like that. But it also causes some stress at times. This business owner in particular hired a couple of key employees and he had gotten into the habit of just going back to sell (cause that’s what he loves) and leaving this manager to figure out how to run the operations on his own.  We’ve tightened things up a little bit now, where we’ve got some communication going on between this great leader who loves to sell (and is out of the office most of the time), and this younger manager who is now developing and working with all the people in the office to grow them. The second gentleman is now taking over more of a leadership role.  Instead of a doer, he’s managing more. And he’s making sure that he keeps the boss informed by sending him an email with just some bullet points. He gives very quick snippets of: here’s what we’re shipping next week; here’s who we’re training this week; here’s a person I hired in this area. He makes sure the gentleman out in the field knows exactly what’s going on because he [the owner] was getting frustrated, but he hadn’t called in himself to check.”

Peg:  “They were talking about parting ways because the owner didn’t think that the manager was doing anything because there was no loophole system of feedback (communication).”

Lesson Learned:  Create a System

Lesson in Leadership #4 – A business owner running a large firm with a couple hundred employees

Peg: “We do a lot of feedback surveys.  We call them 360s. And almost always we hear: I want to see the leader more; I want more of his time, or her time. It’s very common. This leader is great but he’s going to be retiring. He has to not only download all of his knowledge but he also still need to lead because he’s not gone yet.  So we’re going to go back to creating a system. Have you created a spreadsheet and monitored how many times you’ve touched each person? In other words: I’ve had a meeting with this person, or I sat down for 10 minutes with this person and had a coffee or taught something.  The biggest thing here is, as a leader and a person that has impact on a lot of people, we tend to go to people we’re comfortable with, or used to going to, and you might hear: you show favorites. Creating just a spreadsheet of how many times you’re meeting with people…it’s very important because what gets tracked and measured, gets done.”  

Lesson Learned:   Put a Value on it

Two Warning Signs (what to avoid):

  1. Blanket Statements
    Pete:  “If there’s a problem with an employee, go to that employee or that employee’s supervisor.  Don’t shoot an email out to 50 employees and say, “You’re late all the time.”  Because really, it discourages the employees that are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
  2. Lack of Knowledge as a Leader
    Peg:  “What we’re saying is…as a leader, whatever you’re seeing your team do, is a reflection of you.  Whenever you’re seeing a behavior or knowledge as an absence, then look in the mirror and say, “What is it I need to do?”  You need to own it.”

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