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What happens when your company has too many leaders all going in too many different directions?
Yes, like the old adage says, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”
To expand on this, in a kitchen, there can only be one head chef. They run things and the others on the team help produce the outcome desired. You can’t expect good results if everyone is free to jump into the process.
Pardon the pun: That would be a recipe for disaster.
Here’s how and why this dynamic of “Too Many Chefs” reveals itself to me as I go about my work as a consultant at a new company…
A few years back I worked with a phenomenal contractor, Mark Paup of Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, in Des Moines Iowa.
Mark had grown his business into a systematic and money making company. And as I like to do with former clients, I called him up just to see how things were going.
He asked me a question, “Al, do you ever just get to sit on the beach, and it all runs without you forever?”
I replied with the answer he knew I would, and that was, “No…”
And after the briefest of pauses, I continued with, “You absolutely don’t have to be so heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business like you were when we first started. And you are actually encouraged to take time away from the business because you deserve it based on all the hard work you’ve done with me. It’s actually good for your team for you to let them run things without you.
“That said, you’re the face of this business, and you must keep a finger on the pulse of it to keep it headed in the leadership direction we created during Leadership Power! if you’re to reach the near-term goals set and the long-term goals still ahead.”
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When I begin work with a new client, I seek to understand their company and how it ticks today. I also need to understand how the owner or owners function today.
That’s why I like to get to Leadership Power before I dive into Marketing Power….what?
Yep, the reason for doing Leadership Power before Marketing Power is to clarify the owner’s vision of what the company’s mission, position in the market (or how they go to market that differentiates them) and what they hope it will look like when they’re all done. Otherwise, the Marketing Power is off to work in the wrong direction vs. in synch with the goals and mandates that Leadership Power identifies.
I run them through a series of exercises that help reveal to both of us what they really want from their business and their personal life in the next 3 to 5 years. Yes, your business life is directly tied to your personal life. It’s not meant to be all consuming as it is to many contractors. Your business should be designed to serve your personal life, not the other way around.
To me, the often used phrase that speaks to Leadership Power is, “If you don’t care where you end up, any road will do!”
I don’t know about you, but I know myself and my clients, and we care an awful lot about where we end up; so, that’s why we spend time defining in WRITING the following:
What’s the difference between a Leader and a Manager?
I get asked this question a lot when I do seminars and workshops. And even when I do 1-to-1 consulting. It’s a great question because this can be a confusing distinction between the two roles.
To me, a Leader has a vision and they share that vision with others as they try to move the company where they see it should be, so they end up where they want to go.
A Manager is busy getting the day to day stuff handled so the Leader can focus on the direction and the vision.
Leaders and Managers are both critical to the long-term success of any business.
But, there’s an issue that tends to pop up a lot when I work with clients. That issue is where there are Leaders and Managers and they are not sharing the same vision and they’re busy plotting separate courses for the company. It would be akin to have a car barreling down the highway with four people wrestling to grab the steering wheel and drive. Nothing good is going to happen in this scenario.
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For over 10 years, I’ve been helping contractors learn and practice good habits. It has improved their lives, their employees’ lives and even the lives […]