Water Well Journal

April 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/655200

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Page 45 of 67

H ow are you doing so far in 2016? Are you a victim to circumstances? Or are you devel- oping and driving your business to its full potential? Are you working in the business or on the business? When I first became involved in supervision of other peo- ple early in my career, I became much more aware of the management task of leadership. As an employee it looks rather easy—or at least it did to me. But the first morning I came to work with a team of people to supervise, I wondered what I was supposed to do. Of course that was the first problem, wasn't it? I wasn't given any direction or guidance on what to do. In teaching there is an old adage: "Show–tell, show–try." You show someone a job or job function, you talk about it, and then they try it. It would have been helpful if I'd had that direction. How do you do with your parts and service departments? Do you review with them where things stand and what needs to be done? Do you ask for their input on the job and the busi- ness? How much do you share with them on a regular basis? Those of you who have read this column over the years know I believe in engaging each and every employee in everything we do. I believe the person who does the job is the person who knows the job best. So I want to reach out and en- gage them in how we are doing and how we could be better. You see, that's the crux of the matter. We need to constantly strive to be better at what we do. We need to be better at satisfying our customers. They are confronted with change in their businesses just as much as we are in ours. We need to be better at helping our vendors and suppliers. They depend on us for their success. And we need to be better for ourselves. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of routines and continuing to do what we've always done. All that said, there are a couple of standard methods or options for you to follow. The Daily Huddle One of my clients has an informal get-together of all em- ployees every morning before opening for the day. They dis- cuss anything going on in the business. Specials, process improvements, and visits by guests or customers or suppliers are mentioned. They talk about how they're doing compared to their goals. They mention any personal issues like birthdays or anniversaries or new births. It is a wonderful, gentle discussion that takes five to 10 minutes. They then take a few minutes with one of the team leading the group in some stretching exercises. Nothing stren- uous, just a nice interlude of doing some exercises together as a group. Then their day begins. How does that sound to you? Do you do anything like this? You might try it. It's fun, productive, and helps create a cul- ture for your department or company. It makes everyone better. Group Involvement During the course of a day, or maybe a week or month, you come to a decision. Something isn't right or something doesn't satisfy the needs. That is when it truly helps to engage everyone in the process. There is a structure for process improvement and goal set- ting that is helpful. That process involves three basic ele- ments: understanding, acceptance, and commitment. Personnel: In the pursuit of performance, every manager and supervisor must make sure they have the right people on the team. Some people call this "having the right people on the bus." Involving everyone in the process of decision making al- lows every individual to develop according to their potential and also the needs of the group. People will rise to the occa- sion. If they don't, that's another discussion. Revenue: Sales growth is difficult at the best of times, and in these turbulent times is even more a concern. Again, engag- ing everyone in this discussion improves the outcomes dra- matically. If your sales are struggling, it's time to reevaluate your market and your approach to it. Are you selling the right things to the right people? Are you in a growing market share, a declining market share, or a stagnant market share? This is another critical step in your success as a leader. Implementation: The true result of good leadership is the ability to implement, to put some action into effect. Following our three-step approach, we improve the probability of suc- cess by allowing—in fact, demanding—we have vigorous debate on our goals and objectives. Everyone should be able to get involved and challenge whatever we are trying to accomplish. Only by allowing these debates to happen will we truly get a commitment on the part of every employee. To me, this is an extremely critical ele- ment of leadership. RON SLEE THE AFTER MARKET LEADING PEOPLE, NOT MANAGING PEOPLE Is this a misperception in your business? waterwelljournal.com 44 April 2016 WWJ

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