Monday, June 27, 2005

Getting through June

June, as you can imagine is the toughest month for special event rentals. We have weddings and graduations which taken together put a pretty tough strain on our resources. It also brings out failings in leadership and management.

This June, I had some trouble with my management staff in Tents and Events. Let me start by saying that these are good guys, but their methods and processes are lacking when stressed. Leadership is more than looking like a leader, having the power office, or telling people what to do.

Leadership is an overused term that the business gurus have grabbed and thrown on the cover of books by the dozens. "Patton on Leadership" "Leadership" "Shakespeare on Leadership" (Friggin Shakespeare?) "Leadership 101: What Every Leader Should Know", "The Leadership Challenge" etc. etc. etc.

Holy Crap! This leadership thing is way overboard. Why? Because everything you need to know about leadership can be summed up in a short list of things to do:

1. Give a specific task to a specific person to be done at a specific time. Then follow up.
2. Be accountable for everything that you or your people do or leave undone.
3. Plan what your people are to do before they ask you what you want done.
4. Never let your people down. Never let them let you down.
5. Don't lie.

That's it. Do these five things and you will be a better leader than most of the members of congress. Do these five things and you will outperform your fellow managers and executives.

There I said it. I know more than all the business gurus. Well, maybe I do and maybe I don't. However, I am not trying to sell a book, so there is no reason to expand on the simple list. I don't need to fill 200 pages in order to get a hardback book deal. (Although I will if someone pays me to.)

The point is this: Leadership is not some complex subject. It is all about being that stand-up guy who gets the job done not matter what. You know the type. This is the boss who is focused, organized, believes is the people who work for him, and is honest with himself and others.

This leader doesn't have to be an astronaut or congressman. It might be the heavy set guy who runs a road crew. It might be the 20 year old kid who runs the late shift at the burger joint. It might be a single mom who manages a real estate firm.

Don't you just love it when I get all touchy-feely?

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