Are You Running A Business Or Is Your Business Running You?

Jim Luff
Posted on January 30, 2018
This is not a good management approach. (Flickr.com photo by Kumar's Edit)
This is not a good management approach. (Flickr.com photo by Kumar's Edit)

There was a time, long, long ago, when I had a Motorola base radio on my night stand. For the sake of our many millennials, this was before cell phones.

Two-way radios were our primary method of communication with chauffeurs in the field. Every employee in the company carried a Motorola “handi talkie,” including me. You would never find me without a radio near me, much like you carry your phone with you today. You sleep next to it, don’t you? You check it the moment you wake up, don’t you?

One day, I realized I would never enjoy life unless I could get rid of the radios. I realized the business controlled my life. The start of my freedom came by adding a second channel to my radio system. Only dispatchers and a handful of key personnel had access to Channel 2. My radio would always be tuned to Channel 2 freeing me from hearing the mundane daily radio traffic. When someone really needed me, they came to Channel 2 and asked me a question or had me go to Channel 1. The key is, teaching your employees when they really need you. The advent of the cell phone was a new challenge because you could be reached anywhere at any time. But, do you need to be?

I know you think you need to have your hand in everything and no one can do things as well as you. You are probably right because it is your vision and your baby. But failing to teach people how to do things your way with your vision and continuing to do it yourself is a complete failure as a leader. Didn’t you have visions of owning your own business so you could sip a cold beer while on a beach with white sand somewhere without a care in the world? Are you? Or are you carrying two or three cell phones with you?

You probably think you look super cool and important. I think you look like someone who has failed to become a leader and failed to train staff to handle the daily business.  

Do you change flat tires? Probably not. So, why would a dispatcher or chauffeur call you to report a flat? What are you going to do about it? Probably call a tow truck. The dispatcher should have a list of tow companies on account or a credit card for such emergencies. It’s called trust. It’s called leadership. It’s called management. It’s called empowerment.

I am so amused when I am with a group of operators in a focus group, an educational session, or a just having dinner when they constantly have to get up and leave the room to take calls. You should never have to leave the room to quote a rate, handle a breakdown, talk to an angry client, or find out why someone was a no-show (passenger or chauffeur) or anything else, really.  

Have your people take care of the routine stuff. The business is running YOU if your business constantly interrupts your life. You are not running the business when you have to carry multiple phones, step away from the dinner table to come back to cold food, or interrupt a dinner conversation because you have to take a call. You should NEVER be interrupted by work on the golf course or at the grocery store. Just STOP! Train your people, and then entrust and empower them to make decisions on your behalf. Reclaim your life in 2018!

Related Topics: business management, cellphones, employee management, Jim Luff, LCT Blog, smartphones, work-life balance

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Faisal

     | about 4 months ago

    I am working for nycgreatmovers.com from last one year and really my boss teaching me everyday somethings for this business. We are a team here and work like brothers. Hoping we will do a great job. BTW thanks for this nice post.

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