International Door & Operator Industry

JUL-AUG 2013

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 40 of 119

SaleS&Marketing Are You Making My Job Easier or Harder As a young man serving in the Navy I was fortunate enough to learn quite a bit about leading a team. Of course that did not happen overnight as this young kid knew nothing at all about leading at age 19. After reporting to my frst duty station, I was lucky enough to be assigned to an old salt as my supervisor, Senior Chief Petty Offcer Billy D. Martin. He was nearing the end of his career as I was just beginning mine. During the eighteen months I served under his command I learned many things. Now old Senior Chief was tough as nails and cut you no slack when it came to doing your duty, which was at all times a refection on him as the leader. One of the most memorable things he told me was, "Apple, your job is to make my job easier...not harder." Now just what the heck did he mean by that? I did not have to wait long for the answer as he pointed out my small scope of work as compared to his big responsibilities as our division leader. If I did my job well, he had one less thing to worry about. If not, well, then I had increased his workload by having to spend his time correcting my defciencies. He was quick to point out that if he had to do his job and mine, he did not need me and I by Dan Apple could be sent to work in the galley The Apple Group, LLC or some other even less desirable job. How the chain of command worked crystallized for me at that instant and I have carried the same philosophy with me throughout my business career. Incidentally, that old Senior Chief, while always tough on me, was the motivating force behind my quick advancement through the ranks. It was his recommendation that allowed me to get the two stripes pictured in the photo above faster than any other sailor in my division. Thanks, Senior Chief. So what does that story have to do with your garage door dealership? Plenty. For a business to work well, each person along the "food chain" must do his or her job consistently and at a high level. That sounds very simplistic and it is. During my career as a door dealer when determining how an employee or vendor was performing only one question had to be answered, "are you making my job easier or more diffcult?". As the business owner your performance is only as good as that of the people around you. Your job as leader of the company is a diffcult one to say the very least. Therefore if your team members are performing their duties and responsibilities at a high level, as the leader your job of guiding your business to success is made much easier. Employees The old 80/20 rule is alive and well in the workplace. Meaning that in the personnel management game, as a rule 80% of your supervisory time is spent on 20% of your direct reports. Unfortunately in most cases this 20% are those employees that give you the most challenges. These high maintenance staff members constantly present you with performance issues that effectively drive you nuts! Among these is attendance. Show me someone that's late or absent enough for you to notice and I'll show you someone that's eating up your management time. Unfortunately while you are spending the bulk of your time with these folks, your best employees get very little of your attention. This is unfair and unwise. Continued on page 41 38 International Door & Operator Industryâ„¢

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