Monday, June 3, 2013

A Bad Week, by Robert Spitz, Management Success!

Robert Spitz
Snr VP of Business Dev
Management Success!
Recently, a shop owner was venting to me about the “bad week” he was having. He was not really interested in running his shop anymore. He just wanted to coast along until he could sell it, so he could do what he really wanted with the rest of his life.

When I say he was “venting,” it was worse - he was furious! Earlier that week, his lead tech had been into a Ford block and had managed to sheer off the head of a bolt. So, the tech got a bolt remover and sheered the bolt remover as well! That is when the tech ran out of ideas and gave up. The owner, who is an excellent tech, stepped in. He removed it, re-threaded it, and finished the job - bang, bang! Boy, was he ticked off about all this. This incident was not the only thing that had gone wrong during the week, but it was the one that drove him over the edge.

Here is the truth. The entire incident was a direct assault on what he was trying to accomplish. He hired a tech that he thought - in other words, hoped and wished - could do good work. He wanted to slide along as an owner. He definitely did not want to be there, but he had to be there; otherwise, everything would fall apart. Like a ball and chain, he felt he not only had to be at the shop, but he had to have his head under the hood. In his eyes, several things crashed in at once - a very bad week.

This shop owner is a super individual, definitely worthy of the best possible life. So, after I heard this I cut straight to the heart of it all and asked him what he really wanted to do with the years to come. He first apologized for venting and then eloquently outlined some excellent dreams.

He said his time spent thinking about visions of a better future was the only thing helping him get by with a work situation he sometimes hated. But there was an unworkable fantasy in the middle of all this, and I knew it would block his dreams if he did not tackle it. He was sick of sheered bolt removers, but he was even more tired of employees who sheered off bolt removers! He still had a shop and he still had employees, but in his mind, he was done with all of it - and there he sat.

Quite frankly, this adds up to more than a bad week. 

I could not help him with his week, but I could certainly help him with his future.

He needed to learn how to get others to do a good job. An owner’s primary duty is to get others to get the work done. This is easy to say, but it takes tremendous skill. That, alone, would change his life in a big way. Yes, he could do an excellent job himself. That is an exceptional starting point in any activity. If you cannot deliver the goods, then what matters? 

Here’s the bottom line – many shop owners are great techs. They will say (and they are often dead-right about this) that they are the best tech they know. However, they need to be able to say “I make the best techs I know." When they can truthfully say that, from that point forward, their life will change fast. Many things will not change for a repair shop owner until they can make that one thing happen.

It is not the end of all bad weeks, but it is the beginning of a bright new future. Now, here is my question to you: Can you make the best techs you know?

At Management Success! we can show you how. Then, the new game can begin.

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