By Ed Wenck
Larry Heuvelman’s logo includes a hat.
“It’s the Owner’s Hat,” he explains. Heuvelman’s come up with a pretty slick acronym to define the different hats members of an integration firm might wear – the roles in a company can be expressed as “MOPEDS:”
Wearing that owner’s hat correctly is key to good management, says Heuvelman. When he’s presented with the notion that no job is too little for the boss – and that the act of picking up a broom and sweeping the shop floor might inspire loyalty – Heuvelman is contradictory.
“No. You wouldn’t see a CEO mopping up the lobby of his or her building, would you? That CEO won’t be CEO long,” he notes.
It’s sometimes a tough leap for integrators who started in the field – when that individual becomes the head honcho, having a history of hands-on, in-the-field work experiences can be distracting.
“I’ve spoken to people who say they’re just going to go and cover someone else’s job at a site for one day – which turns into two, then a week – and they’re not paying attention to marshaling the sales team or keeping an eye on workflow.
“And you know what happens next, right?”
That desire to get out and pull some cable when things get busy instead of bringing in new talent dovetails into another issue that Heuvelman’s noted: firms becoming “anorexic,” too understaffed to really be effective. Heuvelman cautions that a good owner-operator needs a stack of vetted candidates’ next to the phone – when the workflow turns into a flood, it’s time to bring in more help.
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In addition to the aforementioned advice, the “Being a Good Boss” coursework that Heuvelman’s developed for CEDIA 2017 will include the 30,000-foot view of the characteristics that make for the best Big Kahunas:
“Owners need to be leaders,” says Heuvelman, “and to do that, they need to keep this checklist in mind.”
Be Accountable – First to oneself, then to others. Plans are great, but they’re nothing without follow-through.
Be a Role Model – But don’t become too familiar with your employees. (Heuvelman cautions that keeping work “work” is important.)
Be a Person of Character and Integrity – “I believe in practicing being the person I want to be.”
Exhibit Leadership – Simply put? Be a mentor.
Another common error that Heuvelman sees: “I’ve worked with many owners who are afraid to hire ‘A’ quality people for their organization, whether because of money or intimidation."
It’s a mistake, and Heuvelman has a pithy way to sum it up: “If you find and pay more for the right quality person and let them do their job, they will help you make money, if you hire a lesser person, they may cost you money.”
Being A Good Boss
Presented by Larry Heuvelman, President, TheOwnerConsultant.com
Sept. 6 from 1 - 2:30 p.m. CEDIA 2017 - Registration is now open