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Attitude vs. Behavior: What’s the Difference?

Attitude vs. Behavior | Al Levi The 7-Power Contractor

“That Tech has a bad attitude.”

“I don’t like the attitude of our bookkeeper!”

“What’s wrong with the attitude of our dispatcher?”

Bad attitudes are everywhere, it would appear.

Based on…what?

In most cases, nothing, other than your opinion, that is. An opinion, by the way, that that colored by your attitude toward others! In fact, my new favorite saying is, “I see what I believe” not the old (and incorrect) saying, “I’ll believe it when I’ll see it.”

As owners and bosses, we’re quick to judge. It’s what we do. We compare people to some fictional version of how we think we were when we did their work. The part we leave out is that our vision of ourselves, especially as times goes by, is akin to the fish growing larger every time the fish story is told!

No, you couldn’t put a water heater in by yourself in one hour. Nor could you install a new heating system by yourself in two hours. You didn’t carry that giant hot tub up four flights of stairs by yourself and install it in an hour, either. And when you were up to your elbows in grunge on a job, or a customer groused at you, you may have come back to the office a little grumpy, too!

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By | June 20th, 2017|Leadership Power, Staffing Power|Comments Off on Attitude vs. Behavior: What’s the Difference?

What if I Train Them and They Leave?

What if I Train Them and They Leave? | Al Levi The 7-Power Contractor

Resistance—I get a lot as an industry consultant but when it comes to convincing a contractor client of the importance of training, resistance is something I can bank on.

I listen politely as they recount a bad experience or two they have had because they invested in someone who then left the company and went work for someone else—usually a competitor.

After a few minutes of this, I interrupt them and address the elephant in the room: “So, what you’re asking yourself is, ‘What if I train them and they leave?’”

“Yes.”

My reply, the only one that makes any sense, is, “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”

The next thing I typically hear from the owner is, “Darn it. I know you’re right and I hate it.”

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By | June 6th, 2017|Leadership Power, Staffing Power|Comments Off on What if I Train Them and They Leave?

I Can Do Everything… In a Job Interview

I Can Do Everything! The Interview | Al Levi The 7-Power Contractor

Stop me if this sounds familiar:

In the job interview, the candidate told me they could do it. Who knew that they couldn’t? Me!

I got blindsided by this so often in my contracting life. Looking back, it’s easy to know why I didn’t know what they could really do and not do. I hired out of desperation.

Here’s the reality. Sometimes, an employee would give us two weeks’ notice that they were leaving our company. And that was okay. Sometimes, we’d get one week’s notice. And that was tolerable. Sometimes, they’d just leave the keys to the truck in the front door mail slot and leave a note attached to their keys that they were gone. And that was bad.

It was really bad because we were always busy and needed everyone to be onboard. We were in the lucky position of having more work at our company than bodies to get the work done. I say “lucky” because we were able to charge the right price and be more selective about whom we did and didn’t work for and the type of work we would and wouldn’t do.

Yet again, it was a problem because we were always in reactive mode when it came to staffing.

How bad was this approach to staffing? My brother, Marty, called our hiring test “The Mirror Test,” which sarcastically meant that in our desperation, all you needed to do was fog the mirror and there was a good chance you could be hired. We were of course kidding….sort of, anyway.

Well, something had to give, and finally it did.

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By | May 24th, 2017|Leadership Power, Staffing Power|Comments Off on I Can Do Everything… In a Job Interview

Hire the Willing and Provide Skills or Pay the Price

Hiring the Willing and Provide Skills or Pay the Price | Al Levi The 7-Power Contractor

"Hire willing people and provide them the needed skills instead of hiring spoiled veterans with skills and behavior problems.” This has been my mantra since I was a contractor at my own Long Island plumbing, heating and cooling shop.

When did I latch on to this core business philosophy?

Well, it was at 2 a.m. while standing in my office one night talking to my brother, Richie. As usual, in a company full of 25 plus Techs, we were still out there helping late into the night (I mean morning).

Disclaimer: I’ve changed the name to protect the not-so-innocent and I cleaned up the language, but I bet you can only imagine what true New Yorkers would be saying to one another in this situation.

The conversation with my brother went something like this. “Don was the best Tech at their shop? I mean for heaven’s sake he’s barely mediocre compared to our guys. And can you believe how much money we had to pay him to come work here?”

To which I replied, in an exhausted and muffled tone, “I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Techs telling us how great they are in interviews when we hire them or taking the word of others about how great this Tech is.”

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By | May 9th, 2017|Operating Power, Staffing Power|Comments Off on Hire the Willing and Provide Skills or Pay the Price

Run Your Contracting Business with Less Stress and More Success | The Site Shed Podcast

In this episode, TSS046, Matt Jones, host of The Site Shed Podcast and I get together for some Tool Box Talk around the systems and processes that my brothers and I developed for our family’s plumbing, heating and cooling business. Now known as The 7-Power Contractor approach, we discuss it and the systems and [...]

By | May 18th, 2016|Operating Power, Planning Power, Podcasts, Staffing Power|Comments Off on Run Your Contracting Business with Less Stress and More Success | The Site Shed Podcast

Why Buy Another Contracting Business Book?

Al Levi Introduces His New Book, The 7-Power Contractor

Good question!

Is there a shortage of business books out there or business information out there on how to be successful in the contracting business? Nope!

Can trying to figure out what to do with all that information be overwhelming and confusing? Yes!

By | March 17th, 2016|Financial Power, Leadership Power, Marketing Power, Operating Power, Planning Power, Products, Sales Coaching Power, Selling Power, Staffing Power|Comments Off on Why Buy Another Contracting Business Book?

Checking In vs. Snooping

In a bunch of management articles and blogs I’ve read in the last few years, there is more and more discussion about the ever-growing amount of time being wasted in the office by personnel and staff in the field. A really good blog on this subject is in the link below: http://blog.tempoplugin.com/2012/how-do-people-spend-their-time-at-work-infographic/ The issue I’ve [...]

By | June 9th, 2015|Staffing Power|0 Comments

How is Staffing a Company like Filling a Bathtub?

When I teach Staffing Power! in seminars or in one-to-one work with clients, I share that it’s all about a never-ending approach to the following five things: Always be recruiting Always be hiring Always be orienting Always be training Always be retaining This is all about the last one….Always be retaining. So, how is staffing [...]

By | September 8th, 2014|Staffing Power|0 Comments

Trust But Verify

For the history buffs amongst you, “Trust But Verify” was a quote widely attributed to President Reagan in the late 80s when dealing with the Russians and in particular nuclear disarmament. I think this quote applies every bit as much to running a business and the interaction that needs to go on between employers and [...]

By | June 11th, 2013|Staffing Power|0 Comments