Kenny Chapman: A company’s greatest asset
In business, accounting rules govern a lot of things. Many of us who came up in the field of the home service trades had to take some lumps and bruises from an accounting and money-management standpoint before we were truly positioned to grow effectively and create process-driven, profitable and self-managing companies.
The challenge with any outside entity governing what’s important to you and your business has to do primarily with vision and goals. You have a vision that is hopefully your very own and vastly different than the competition in your marketplace. This is what matters most. Your company or position means you get to create the vision of execution and what winning looks like.
Due to the way the accounting world has built our standardized reporting systems, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. This is hard for me to even put in writing because I believe so strongly in numbers, benchmarks, trends and forecasting around percentages and numbers. Focusing on your numbers, the balance sheet, and income statement will set you free.
However, after almost a quarter of a century building, running and coaching companies in this great industry, it’s become very clear the greatest asset that’s not on your balance sheet.
Your people are your greatest asset. Period.
Creating rock stars
This column is about truly understanding what these people mean to you, how you can help them grow as individuals, and how they can thrive for years to come with your great organization.
Certainly, we can’t dive into balance sheets and people without stressing the power of leadership. Progressive owners and managers understand there is a delicate dance happening post-Great Recession in most markets. This dance between accountability and the “inmates running the asylum” has become a real challenge for a lot of companies.
Many leaders have become afraid to enforce standards and systems because there is nobody beating down the door to work at their companies. This is a massive mindset issue laced with limiting beliefs that there are no good people.
Has the people side of this industry changed? Has the recruiting side of this industry changed? Of course, it has changed tremendously, and the speed of change with both people and technology is just getting ramped up. It’s time to get onboard, gain clarity, and build your team of rock stars.
As the leader, there are three areas of focus that directly impact the quality of the team member experience at your company: vision, planning and culture. To gain some clarity, we’re going on a short journey to see how these paths all play off each other and intersect.
Vision is everything. It’s unique and it’s yours to find, figure out, and create. Vision is one of the most liberating and scary things in the world because it can be a bit intimidating to commit to a vision.
There can be confidence challenges when becoming clear about vision. There are a lot of fantastic exercises I can send to you if that would be helpful, but we don’t have the time or space for all of that here. The point of vision is to get a specific picture in your head of what you want your puzzle (your business) to look like when done.
When you are really clear about what you truly desire and deserve with your team and business, things become easy. Okay, maybe not easy, but definitely easier. With vision comes clarity, and once you have clarity, you can begin planning.
Planning is your map. If you think about vision as the picture of what you want, let’s use your favorite vacation spot as an example. The vision is the picture you have in your mind of the beach, the perfect blue sky, sun-kissed waves, etc. You need to have the picture of what you want or you could make a big mistake and find yourself in Alaska when Florida was what you desired.
Now that you have the picture of where you want to go, start with travel plans to find the safest, most efficient way to reach your destination. Think beyond a traditional 50-page business plan your banker makes you create and jump through hoops to renew for your line of credit. I want simple. Simple plans get executed. Simple plans make money. Simple plans create freedom.
Remember: Just because you create the plan doesn’t mean there won’t be some detours on your path. Many of us lived through The Great Recession several years back, and it became necessary to adjust our plans and routes. The vision is much more set in stone than the plan. The exciting part of the journey is that the plan will evolve and change continuously while executing your overall vision.
The third key area for the greatest asset that’s not on your balance sheet is addressing, understanding and creating a phenomenal culture. It’s important for you to define what type of culture you want to have and what culture really means to you and your business. One definition of culture is that it’s a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.
There are some pretty powerful words in that last sentence. Shared attitudes. Shared values. Shared goals. Are these being shared by the team members in your company? If I or one of our Blue Collar Coaches spent a day at your shop, what type of shared goals and values would we identify?
Whether in my own companies or in client companies, culture has been a critical success factor that too many leaders struggle with. When the energy of a team becomes shared and is then unleashed toward a common goal, amazing things happen. It happens every day in this great industry. Are you unleashing a shared team culture based on your vision and plan?
Take the time. Do the work. Get a clear vision. Start on the plan. Build your culture around the biggest asset that’s not on your balance sheet — your people. Do these things and see how your unique market advantage begins to move you forward in all areas of your business and life.