New heights

Be honest no matter what. You
have to be totally honest; I mean,
you can’t hide anything under
the bushes. It’s got to be, ‘This is
what we’re doing.’ If you’re not
honest with the challenges that
you face, then you’re not going
to get the appropriate feedback,
appropriate information or
appropriate commitment.

So the old adage that honesty
is the best policy certainly works
because if you can’t trust the
people that you are working
with to help meet the challenge,
whatever it is, then they’re the
wrong people anyway. So by
definition, you have to be honest, you have to share what your
challenges are.

Use multiple avenues to reward
and engage employees.
Recently,
we had a barbecue for all the
staff on a Friday lunchtime, and
we took a bunch of staff to an
Eric Clapton concert down here
on Monday night, and by doing
that, you’re building camaraderie.
You’re building involvement and
you’re building your team
because, at the end of the day,
it’s highest common factor/lowest common denominator.
You’re as strong as your weakest link, especially when you’re
in a service industry and the
customer is everything.

We have people who will get a
Christmas bonus; we have people who will earn stock. … So
there are different ways to
incentivize and reward, and for
some people, the reward is having a workplace you want to go
to and a company that takes
you to Eric Clapton or takes
you to a barbecue.

And whilst you think it’s pretty
easy, not every company does
that, so you’re constantly building the team spirit and constantly offering rewards, but
rewards are fourfold. The quality of the workplace is No. 1;
No. 2 is financial rewards they
can gain from performance-related programs. Then you’ve
got the equity interest in the
company — I’ve always been a
great believer in the employees
being owners, too — and then
you’ve got the fourth thing,
which is, ‘I like going to work
because it’s a fair and fun place.’

Understand the benefit of sharing
the load.
You’ve got to involve
the team and, at the end of the
day, you’ve got to drive forward
either a consensus view or a
dictatorial view.

And very rarely do I now drive
something forward unilaterally
or arbitrarily. Fifteen years ago, I
certainly did, and maybe 10
years ago and five years ago I
did, so I suppose that’s part of
the self-maturation process.

I’m a much more complete
manager than I was, there’s no
doubt about that, because I’ve
matured to a level where I trust
the people around me completely and implicitly, and that’s
allowed me to do what I’m good
at and play to my strengths. I
was always a digger-in, I was
always on top of people saying,
‘Well, have you thought about
doing this or doing this; why
haven’t you done that?’ whereas
now I’m much more confident
in allowing the team to operate
the business to allow me to
operate as a CEO as opposed to
getting involved in every aspect
of the business.

HOW TO REACH: StrategicAir LLC, (954) 359-4200 or www.strategicair.com

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