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Al Writes

Making It Okay for Your Employees to Ask for Help

Is it okay for your Employees to ask for help at your company?

You might say yes. But, I wonder if that’s true.

The reason I wonder if that’s true is because at my shop it wasn’t. We had a typical New York shop full of “know it all” mentalities. That meant it was dangerous to expose what you didn’t know because at the very least it was cause for your boss and co-workers to unleash a ton of ridicule.

The other reason I know that your staff is probably highly unwilling to show you what they don’t really know is because I, myself, the boss’s kid (as someone who had risen to be the 2ndbest Tech at our shop of 25 Techs) would spend time talking Customers out of repairs that I wasn’t fully confident I could do.

Yes, that’s right I, the boss’s kid, would do that.

Also, the reason I believe that your staff won’t show you what they can and can’t do is because they probably oversold what they actually can do when you first hired them. Now they’ve become overly protective at exposing these weaknesses they have to you or any other management team members at your company.

Here’s what I know. All your employees have holes in their knowledge, and until you make it safe for them to share what they do and don’t know you’re going to be at risk. There will be lost productivity, mistakes or worse things like insurance claims or a sting operation that makes the news and makes you look bad.

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A 5-Step Process to Gain Control at Your Company

If we met on an elevator ride, could you tell me in that short amount of time what key numbers you need to know to run your business effectively?

Probably not.

And that’s okay for today but not for the long-term health and prosperity of your business and you.

I, along with my brothers and dad, kind of ran our company without knowing the key numbers too. So, know that there’s no preaching here but rather a desire to share what we learned as we went along. Know that we had always believed if you worked incredibly hard and kept expenses down the money would follow.

The answer is sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. What I mean is the accountants would walk into our office in December and say, “You had a great year. Go buy yourself some tools and trucks and pay yourselves a bonus.” We liked that visit very much!

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The Difference Between a Leader and a Manager

What’s the difference between a Leader and a Manager?

I get asked this question a lot when I do seminars and workshops. And even when I do 1-to-1 consulting. It’s a great question because this can be a confusing distinction between the two roles.

To me, a Leader has a vision and they share that vision with others as they try to move the company where they see it should be, so they end up where they want to go.

A Manager is busy getting the day to day stuff handled so the Leader can focus on the direction and the vision.

Leaders and Managers are both critical to the long-term success of any business.

But, there’s an issue that tends to pop up a lot when I work with clients. That issue is where there are Leaders and Managers and they are not sharing the same vision and they’re busy plotting separate courses for the company. It would be akin to have a car barreling down the highway with four people wrestling to grab the steering wheel and drive. Nothing good is going to happen in this scenario.

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Being Home Service Experts | The Home Service Expert

As plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical contractors, we are also home service experts. We have to be! Now, thanks to serial entrepreneur and $30 million home service business owner Tommy Mello, there’s a podcast for us, and he invited me to be on it to talk business.

Tommy’s guests include many $100M+ home service company CEOs and other top entrepreneurs. His mission is to get the information out there that people need to run a more successful home service business.

You can check out the episode <"http://bit.ly/homeserviceexpert-al">here. It’s now live!

P.S. If you like the episode, remember to leave Tommy a review on the iTunes show page. Thanks!

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The Importance of Getting Away from Your Business

I grew up working in my family’s heating business. And my dad’s coaching to his very young sons was, “We don’t do winter sports or take winter vacations.”

Basically, it meant every living breathing moment from Labor Day till April 1st was to be spent working in the business.

That made for a crazy time that could wear us and our employees down.

But, the nice thing was my wife saying to me in summer, “You home again?” or, “You’re going out to play golf again?”

That all changed when we branched out into the plumbing and cooling trades. Then, we had to be available 24/7/365. And my wife then began to say, “Are you ever coming home?”. Or, “When are we ever going to have time for a vacation?”.

The answer, for a pretty long time, was “never”.

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Adding an Additional Trade | Service Professionals Australia

On Pipeline to Profitability’s Episode 50: Adding an Additional Trade, Al Levi joins host Allan Ferguson to discuss the reason behind adding an additional trade to a business. Learn the ‘why’ and other great tips on this podcast. Listen now!

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Al Levi to Speak on Less Stress, More Success at 2018 WWETT Show

Going to the 2018 WWETT show? Great! Want to learn how to have less stress and more success in your contracting business? Yes, you do!

Al Levi, The 7-Power Contractor and CEO of Zoom Franchise Company, tells you how in TH18 – Wouldn’t It Be Great to Run Your Contracting Business With Less Stress and More Success? at 10:30a.m., Thursday, Feb. 22. Al is known for his practical and actionable advice. Don’t miss this!

While you’re at it please plan to join Ellen Rohr, President, Zoom Franchise Company, for her talk WE09 – How To Be a GREAT Boss at 8:30a.m., Wednesday Feb. 21, too.

And be sure to stop by the Zoom Drain Booth (5452) and get in on their cool “Main Drain Event” obstacle course challenge.

The WWETT Show—Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show—is the world’s largest annual trade show for wastewater and environmental service professionals.

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Top Five List

Ever gone to a great seminar, workshop or group meeting and come away with a ton of great ideas and an even bigger to-do list than when you went?

Bet it happens all the time. Am I right?

And when you come home excited to share with the whole team at work all the fantastic new ideas you’ve learned about and want to put to work at your company, your employees just cringe.

Why?

They’re left out of the process is why. Plus, they know you. You get fired up about the latest and greatest thing and everything else is thrown in the “mental dumpster”. And off you go on the next rabbit chase.

The problem is another great idea will pop up that you feel is even more urgent in what I call the “entrepreneurial seizure” moment that flares up all too often in a bad way. Well, having made it part of my Planning Power! work with companies for 15 years, I have the company allow me to do private 1-to-1 conversations with their staff and the overwhelming response to this type of thing is they hate it and they hate you when you do this.

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Retaining Your A-Team (Part 3) | The Site Shed

On Part 3 of the A-Team series on The Site Shed, Al Levi joins host Matt Jones to discuss how you can retain your staff and keep your A-Team. Learn to make the shift of offering a ‘job’ to offering a ‘career path’ so employees don’t want to leave your company. Listen now!

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Onboard and Train Your A-Team (Part 2) | The Site Shed

On Part 2 of the A-Team series on The Site Shed, Al Levi joins host Matt Jones to discuss how to properly onboard and train your A-Team. Do your employees have clear job descriptions, roles, and responsibilities? Have they been inducted correctly and been taught your way of doing things? Do they have someone to turn to for help? Learn more about on boarding and training by listening now!

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