Developmental relationships

Create a personal road map

Once you bring the right person into a company, you can’t just assume they’re going
to take off on their own. Even as his company has mushroomed to roughly 500 people, Pérez still takes the time to sit down
and establish a path for every employee
that is in a decision-making role.

“What I like to do is sit down and establish parameters and goals, and then you
create a road map that they understand,”
he says. “So what you always are saying
is the main thing is the main thing, and
that is stay focused on what your end
goal is. Whenever you do that and don’t
deviate, most of the decisions will be
correct ones because they’re leading you
to that main goal.

“When you can teach that, then decision-making becomes a lot easier and less
risky because at all times whenever
they’re doing something, they go back
and say how is this going to affect that
bottom line or that successful end that
we want for that product.”

After that initial conversation, Pérez
and other senior leaders step back and
let people handle their own work, and
then, at weekly staff meetings, they take
time to go over the work people have
done, to compliment it and point out
where it might have gone away from the
road map.

“What I tell people all the time is, ‘I
expect that, most of the time, you guys
are going to be the ones that tell me
what the best campaign is for the job
because I haven’t thought of the job as
much as you guys have,’” he says. “‘I
have 60 jobs, and the way I spread the
company, you might have two, so you
better know a lot more about that job
than I do. OK, now I’m there to tell you
where I think maybe you should have
thought more or help come up with
ideas, but it’s up to you to really think it
through.’”

Pérez does even more to push his
hands-off approach by regularly visiting
each of his sites and sitting down with
the people making decisions there.
Though he occasionally has a hard time
biting his tongue, his goal is to go back
over the road map with them and make
suggestions on where he thinks they can
improve.

“Many times, it’s tough for me because
I am a very emotional person when it
comes to my job, and I have to sit back
and say, don’t get upset and just teach
them through,” he says. “But what I
think they enjoy the most is when I visit
the jobs, and I will sit with them and tell
them, ‘Here’s what you’re missing; you
should have told me the plumber is
going to be late because of this’ … so on
the job going through the issues is probably the most important part of that
learning process.”

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