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Manager Skills

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by rbriggs, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Can anyone suggest a company that will fine tune management skills. My wife and i tend to disagree with the way we manage the guys, respectively. She tends to be the mother type, nurturing and protecting. I keep telling her that you are their boss and not their mother. I always tend to be the bad guy and she tells me that I am too tough on the guys.
    We do have a tight knit company and culture and the guys are well taken care of. My problem is that they tend to walk all over us, due to my wife's nurturing. For example, I discovered damage to one of the trucks recently. WE have a real strict policy on this type of thing. I asked her if anyone had reportedit to her and her response was "No." After a week of practically interrogating the guys, I found out that one of them did report it to her. Her response to me was basically that she didn't want thim to get into trouble by me for it. Accidents happen......I understand this.
    Anyhow, that's only one of a million examples.
    I told her this morning that she needs to act like their boss and not their mother!!!
  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Don't know about a company that will fine tune mgmt. skills as such, but I try and manage the way some of the managers I had, when working in the corporate world, did.

    To me some of the best managers I had were the ones that you new exactly where you stood with, that is you do your job, you are forthcoming with any information good or bad and treat them with the respect due the position and they will treat you in kind. Basically they would go to the mat with you if there were any issues or problems you encountered, but if you screwed them over by lying or dogging it WATCH OUT, you would rarely if ever get a second chance with these guys. Treat them right and they would do in kind, treat them badly and they would also do in kind.
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847


    it sounds to me like you have "too many cooks in the kitchen". There is a saying that employees do not quit a company but rather quit their managers when they leave.

    I believe you need to delegate responsibilty and stick with those plans. If that means you are going to deal with HR and your wife with sales/marketing for example, then both the guys and you/your wife need to stick to that plan. This will mean that you are the direct point of contact for your employees to report all good and bad things, NOT your wife. Think about the truck damage example from their point of view. They did what they thought they needed to do; they informed "the boss" about the damage and moved forward with their jobs. Then, you come along and ask them about something they thought was already taken care of. If I were them, and I have been in situations like this, they WILL feel micromanaged. This will erode trust and ultimately your relationship with the guys. However, I think your wife screwed up in this situation. She was not honest with you and cost you rapport with your employees. Decide who is the point of contact that will deal with all employee situations and let that person do their job.

    I would warn that guys will sense weakness (her compassion) and will stretch her compassion as far as she lets it. Different situations need to be handled differently- not one way fits all.
  4. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Thanks Mac. I agree with you entirely. Sometimes easier said than done. Working with family is the hardest part. It will prove much easier when we hire an Ops Manager to mange the day-to-day operations and the truck crews.
    Good advice (as always).
  5. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I used an e-myth coach for a couple of years, if you are interested pm me and I will get you his info. He works over the phone for the most part. Not cheap though, need to make a real commitment both time wise and financially. Good information but worthless if you don't follow through and IMO marriage is worth more than business. You wife would likely have to change unless you are willing to change wives or employ someone else in her position. If it were easy everyone would be doing it.

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