Letting go

Q. How do you get
your employees to think
like an owner?

Communicate an awful
lot with them. We will go
through a sales rep. If
they’ve got an issue or
problem, I basically ask
them to come up with
two or three solutions to
the problem.

That forces them to
start to think of solutions. Then, I may look
at it and say, ‘In my
experience, I would do
it this way. But then you
can try your solutions
first and if your way
doesn’t work, we can
figure it out between the two
of us.’ They may have three or
four solutions, or they may
have only one or two. It’s
almost forcing them to be able
to think out of the box, to go
find a solution before they
come to me.

A lot of times they’ll say,
‘What do you think about this?’
and I’ll say, ‘OK.’ In our business, we’re problem-solvers.

You have to be able to make
decisions quick and go with
your decisions. You have to
be decisive. Most of that is
because EMTs and paramedics,
when you’re in the field — and
I came up through the field —
then you learn to make decisions very fast. You’re decisive.
It’s the same way with running
a business.

It’s a matter of communicating, setting goals and staying
focused.

Q. How do you step back and
let your employees take
responsibility?

There are times when they’ll
come back to me and say,
‘What do you think about
this?’ But a lot of times, they
will make decisions. I basically
get out of their way.

They’ll learn from those decisions whether it’s right or
wrong. There are times I don’t
agree with the decisions they
make, but that’s OK because
there is a different way of
doing it.

I’ve stood back and looked
at it and thought, ‘Man, I
wouldn’t do it that way,’ only
to find out it’s more successful
than the way I would do it.
That’s better for them, because
I will pat them on the back
and say, ‘You did a great job. I
wouldn’t have gone that way,
but you did a great job.’ It’s a
different way of looking at the
worker coming in.

That’s tough, because when
you own the place, most people bow down to you. They
say, ‘You own the place; you’re
the boss.’ I always try to make
it a different environment with
that. Take care of your people.

Q. How do you create a work
environment that reinforces
your philosophy?

Just because you own your
company doesn’t mean you
have to run it. If you get out
of the way and you have good
people, then get out of the
way and let them run your
company.

You’re going to guide and
direct the ship — show them
the vision, where you want to
go — and we stay on course
because we have our weekly
meetings with our management team. We communicate
quite a bit with each other.

HOW TO REACH: LifeCare Medical Services Inc., (330) 899-0022 or www.lifecare-ems.com

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