Introduction into Leadership
Many years ago, I met a man named Jim. Jim owned a plumbing company, and like many small business owners in this country, he felt like he was banging his head into the same wall over and over. Over the seven years or so in which Jim ran his business, he had tried a variety of tactics to grow the company into a profitable entity that didn’t require his constant presence. He had carried out advertising campaigns, invested in all sorts of marketing, hired employees, networked constantly—and yet, seemingly no matter what he did, Jim ended up back at square one. In fact, at the time that I met him, Jim was strongly considering closing the doors on his plumbing business for good.
Prior to starting his business, Jim worked as a plumber with a large company in a nearby town. He was a master of his craft, frequently receiving compliments and rave reviews from customers and management alike. But one day, like every other small business owner has at some point in their life, Jim had a vision. He had a vision of getting rid of his boss and working for himself. And why not? After all, he knew everything there was to know about plumbing. Rather than using his skills for the benefit of his employer, Jim decided to go into business for himself.
Jim’s business started out brilliantly. Customers loved his work, and soon he found himself with more calls than he could handle. So he hired some help in the form of a man named Derrick. Derrick was an experienced plumber in his mid forties. Derrick began handling the majority of the service calls, freeing Jim to work on his books and concentrate on other elements of the business. After a couple of months, business had picked up to the point that Derrick needed help. So Jim hired two more plumbers, both in their early twenties. He entrusted their training and scheduling to Derrick. At this point Jim was ecstatic. His decision to start his own business was going every bit as well as he had dreamed. He could leave the shop early most afternoons, knowing that Derrick and his team had their service calls under control. Jim was spending more time with his family than he had in years. Life was good.
Then, seemingly out of the blue, Jim began receiving complaints from customers. He wrote the first few off as an aberration, but it soon became clear that a pattern had emerged. Irate callers informed Jim that his plumbers were rude, slow to
arrive and that their work was substandard. Panicked, he began accompanying his employees on their service calls. To his dismay, he discovered that, even in
his presence, his men worked slowly, poorly, and didn’t appear the least bit interested in getting the job done well. Even Derrick had seemingly lost all interest in his work.
Jim had no choice but to begin doing most of the work himself. Still, despite stern warnings, he received frequent complaints about his employees. So he let his two young plumbers leave. Shortly thereafter, Derrick quit. Jim was stunned, and did his best to make him reconsider, but Derrick was adamant. He was burned out and tired of being held to what he considered an unreasonable high standard.
Over the next several years, Jim repeated this process. He hired help many times, but never was able to keep them around for more than a couple of months. Each time that the business seemed to be getting into a rhythm, disaster struck. And each time Jim was back to square one. By now, he was tired of his customers. He was tired of plumbing. He hated going to work in the morning, but didn’t have a choice. If he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid.
Does Jim’s story sound familiar? Do you ever feel that your business simply can’t grow beyond a certain point? Are you tired of working 60, 70, or 80 hour weeks to squeeze out a decent income? I had good news for Jim, and I have good news for you too: it doesn’t have to be this hard. Through this program we will teach you the same approach to business that we taught Jim—an approach that helped him build a stable, profitable business… and can help you build one too.
The secret is perspective
These lessons are designed to help you to gain a big-picture perspective—regarding yourself, your business, and your life. We aim to help you clearly identify your goals, your current situation, and the steps it will take to accomplish your objectives. Just like Jim, you’re constantly on the move. Each day can be a battle— supervising employees, talking to clients, putting out fires wherever they may pop up. That’s just life in the world of small business. Unfortunately, the frantic pace leads far too many business people to lose all sense of perspective. Every moment of the day is spent handling short term projects and obstacles. As a result, very little (or often no) time is spent evaluating the state of your business, not to mention the state of your life. That means you’re not supervising and training your employees, you’re not watching your market for potential opportunities or threats, you’re not seeking innovations that could enable future growth, and, on a personal level, you’re not spending time on the things in life that bring you the greatest happiness.
This program will help you discover the big-picture perspective. We’ll help you analyse your business. We’ll help you set long and short-term goals for your business, and we’ll help you develop a plan for achieving these goals. And ultimately, the goal of this program is freedom—we want to help you achieve the freedom necessary to live your life the way you want to live it.
Business is not the problem, the problem is leadership.
Going Business Class
Going business class is taking your business to a level where you run it and it doesn’t run you. It’s automated and is hitting the growth and cash targets you have set. The phases of business growth as we see them are described below:
Start Up. The majority of us start a business that is based on our trade, occupation or profession. Some of us base it on a passion, whichever route though; it is born out of a desire to achieve something out of the ordinary.
Some start-up owners study business before they launch and others just dive straight in. The one thing they all have in common though is the very rapid learning curve they go through. The lucky ones, stay in business and move into the next phase.
Struggle. Does this sound familiar? The next phase for most start-ups is struggle. We define this stage as having taken your business to your limiting ceiling; measured in turnover, this could be anything from £100k to, say £5m, depending on your business. Very few businesses actually break through this level to the next one; it is our aim to help you achieve this.
Business Class. Is where you really want to be, it is where your business is achieving the goals you set without you having to be right in there. It is taking your business to the next level and is the hardest level to achieve. The businesses that do achieve this are those that put a plan in place. With a good plan it can be achieved within a reasonably short period of time, anywhere from one to three years might be considered acceptable. The mentoring system is designed to take you business from struggle to Business Class.
So, what is the difference between struggle and business class?
Business Class company owners:
- Have a “big picture” perspective and a vision for the future
- Have well developed goals and objectives
- Build a team to deliver the objectives
FREEDOM is the final phase for any business owner.
We define this phase as:
“Building a business that can run effectively without you constant involvement”.
At this point you will have gained both financial, as well as, time freedom. This is our ultimate objective for you.
To start your journey from Struggle to Business Class, or Business Class to FREEDOM, complete the sections below.
We hope you liked this introduction into leadership.
Why, How, What
Your Leadership Action Points
- Describe your business as it is now. This is your your current situation.
- Now describe how you see your business in three to five years time. What are your future goals for the business?
- List 3 things that you need to do to make it happen
- Describe how you are going to achieve the 3 things
- Who is going to do what by when?
- What did you learn from the videos and what are you going to do about it?