August 2013

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Page 58 of 67

Aftermarket Start By Identifying Problems Not errors and mistakes – real problems. Your leadership is essential. By Ron Slee For some time, you have read problems, either. They start out as by themselves. This is where you come references to Patrick Lencioni and small irritants, and they grow into in. You have to be there to help them, his marvelous books. I want to larger issues. This is the root of the to support them, to assist in "finding explore some of the themes underproblem that I want to point out. By the problem." lying his writings and those of many the time management realizes there Throughout my career, the most other authors of business books. In is a problem, many times the problem difficult thing has always been to the world in which we live, everyhas become much too large to be define the problem. Once that is thing has become very complex. handled easily. done, the solution is quite simple. So Sometimes, many of us feel over You have to break whatever we must become not merely great whelmed. Our hair is standing on your mold is and communicate in problem-solvers; rather we must end from the pace of work and the a different manner. You have to become great problem-finders. Quite "things" that we have do. So much so get back in the trenches. You have a change. that we are now working more time to be an enabler of communica The transition from being a great in the business than on the business. tions and openness with each and performer to becoming a great This is quite dangerous. every employee. We have created a manager is a difficult one. Many The more significant our jobs "balance" in our work and our relapeople fail to make this transition. become in the company and the tionships such that we don't want Many people are required to be the industry, the more vulnerable we have anything that is going to "rock doers in the world. Few have been become to the details of the busithe boat." The message we have called to leadership positions. In our ness. The very things that brought projected for those in our sphere training at Quest, Learning Centers, the successes we enjoy are now lost. of influence is: "Don't bring that we challenge the students to give up We are no longer are the masters of problem up, as it will reflect badly on their version of being good at what our universe. We no longer have a whoever is the messenger." And what they do in order to become great total grasp of all the details and the has happened is, we have settled for at what they do. You can't become processes as we once did. And there what we have and where we are. This great without giving up being good. is the rub. is more than dangerous. And you can never get to what is the The bigger the job and the larger I believe that we succeed because "best" without giving up being great. the organization, the more diffiwe have been allowed to fail. Many Without being a master, and finding cult it is to stay current with what of the most successful people have and defining the problems, you can is happening on the ground, at the failed and sometimes failed miserably. never become a great leader. employee level. I know you talk with Thomas Edison is a terrific example of The time is now. people all day long, but you don't this. One of the most prolific inventors know the details like you once did – in American history, yet he was fired Ron Slee (ron@rjslee.com) is the founder and the employees don't know what twice. Did you know that? of R.J. Slee & Associates, Rancho Mirage, to share with you. They don't know We have to give the employees Calif., celebrating more than 30 years in what you don't know, either. This is permission to fail. We have to allow business in the United States, a consulting what is called the "curse of knowlthem to pursue their instincts and firm that specializes in dealership operations. edge" in the teaching profession. You desires in their own spheres of influRon also operates Quest Learning Centers, know what you know and you assume ence. We have to be there to "catch" a company that provides training services that your audience, in whatever them if they fail, but we should not specializing in product support, and Insight discussion, knows those things too. interfere with the permission that (M&R) Institute, a company that operates But they don't always, and we then we have given them to fail. This is and facilitates "Dealer Twenty" Groups. Folhave "diverging" understanding rather the only way that you will be able low Ron on Twitter: @RonSlee; and read his than "converging" understanding. to find problems. Problems that the blog at learningwithoutscars.com. Problems don't start out as employees don't know how to solve August 2013 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 57 57_aftermarket_KP.indd 57 7/25/13 1:01 PM

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