Deserting or Enabling the Team


For the past 18 months I stayed physically close to my pest control company. Each day I watched revenue, expenses, cash flow, teamwork, potential liabilities, examined opportunities. I made steady progress cleaning up the books. I changed both my bookkeeper and my accountant. Steadily, I cut my credit card debt.

I still have a long way to go, but Hearts Pest Management is functioning as a more finely tuned economic machine. (That doesn’t mean cutting workers and worker benefits. You don’t cut off the arm that feeds you).

Just two weeks ago I finally managed a trip back to NY to visit my elderly mom. It was a long delayed trip and a necessary personal excursion. But things happening as they do, my mother’s best friend died one day after I returned to the west coast. Now I’m on an early morning flight from LAX to New York to attend a funeral.

Being away during these very trying economic times is not easy. So when I do leave for vacation or other personal reasons, I put all the cards in order before leaving. Then, I close my eyes and get on the plane. Ok. I have to be honest. I do use the lastest technology to stay in touch with staff.

Stepping away from the company is not desertion. An owner might easily think so, especially if he or she thinks very highly of him or herself. Stepping away from time to time instills trust and exercises team and team leadership muscles. It enables and empowers the team to perform at higher levels. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you weren’t around? How would your company survive? Stepping away for short intervals is an excellent opportunity to test and stretch your team to new heights and correct what went wrong in your absence, such that the team eventually functions seamlessly WITHOUT YOU!

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2 Responses to Deserting or Enabling the Team

  1. Jim Nocero says:

    Gerry,
    We have all been in this situation in one point in time, and as a past Operations Manager for a Global Company this happened more often than I would have liked. Not only the owner as in Gerry’s case but managers, or operators as well. I incorporated cross training programs within each function of operations just for this reason. Having assigned individuals across the board train in other job functions or duties to become familiar prior to a loss of a resource (in this case an employee or management) for any length of time is critical to any operations. A detailed analysis of every function and duty assignments and allocate other team members to cross train others is mandatory (Visio or any Diagram Program works excellent for this)This can be assigned to each staff member to list who they will cross train, what and how often. Keep records of this process to insure it is completed properly.
    Like any risk, you must prepare before not after to survive. In addition you will develop a exceeding efficient team and reduce additional costs or losses in doing so.
    Jim Nocero
    SIA Insurance (Pest Control Insurance Specialist)
    800-959-6658

  2. David Cole says:

    Everyone wants to be needed and important; However, it is really something to build a business machine that runs on it’s own. Congratulations to you Sir.

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