January '23

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 88 of 103

G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 8 3 Lead by example The fastest way to alienate employees is to tell them what to do instead of showing them how to do it. If you are unwilling to jump in and do the hard work or refuse to learn each facet of the business, your business will suffer. Your behavior will always outweigh your words. Inspire your team and get them to duplicate what you do. My grandfather was legendary in how he ran his dealerships through leadership. Even though he died when I was six, he was a larger-than-life charismatic character and I wanted to dress and be just like him. He got a haircut every week and he was always impeccably dressed. He insisted on having his underwear and socks ironed. He never went anywhere without a suit and tie, his hat, and dark glasses. (He looked like a cast member of "e Godfather") I think that is where my obsession with clothes, leather jackets, and grooming (and recently, bour- bon) originated. And some OCD behavior for good measure. My earliest memories are of ogling big GM cars with fins in his Marfa showroom and how he doted on his employees. (I'm glad the fin fad went away in the early 1960s.) He was active in the commu- nity and financed the college educations of many employees, sometimes anony- mously. His relationship-building talents helped him sell lots of cars (even during the Great Depression and WWII). He and his sales team even had Hollywood celeb- rities continue to buy vehicles for many years. Some future actors and directors were stationed at or performed for troops during World War II in Marfa at Fort D.A. Russell (also a German prisoner of war camp) and Marfa Army Airfield, a pilot training site. is started a Hollywood love affair with Marfa that has endured to this day. Duplicate yourself I mentioned this earlier; you must learn to duplicate yourself with your team. You cannot do it all. And when it comes time to sell your company some- day, you do not want to be the business. You want to be a part of its success, but only as a cog in the well-oiled processes you have developed. When you can, hire someone just like you. As a perfectionist, I looked for tal- ented people with passion who had simi- lar traits as me: persistence, a good eye for details, an artistic flair, a knack for sales, and a great attitude (the saying, "hire for attitude, train for skill," is true). It's diffi- cult to give up control of your business. Do not let your ego stand in the way of creat- ing a profitable enterprise where others can help you run the day-to-day operations. Someday you will want to take more than three consecutive days off, sell or retire. Find organized people that can do the more basic tasks that take up your time. Your goal is to work on your business, not in your business. Finding someone who can match your work ethic is a huge obstacle, especially in today's world. Look for old souls in young bodies. ese indi- viduals can be a blessing and you will wish you could personally thank their parents or grandparents or other caregivers who instilled wisdom, aptitude, and pride in their core. When you create written policies and procedures, you set up your business for success. Nita and I were fortunate to have worked in large companies and we ran our small business like a big firm until it actually became big. is helped us assim- ilate much easier once we were acquired by a larger organization because we had run like a multi-million-dollar company since early on. Duplication is what made Colonel Harland Sanders wealthy. He took his chicken recipe and duplicated his efforts through franchising. Today, there are over 24,000 KFC outlets in more than 145 countries. at's a lot of chicken — too much to cook by yourself. During my summers in West Texas, I often worked on my great uncle's ranch. Ranchers have shaped the political, social, and economic identity of Texas since the 15th century. It's a way of life. Working cattle is not an easy life; you start early, and teamwork is fundamental when you are dealing with 300-pound calves or 2,400-pound adult males. Everyone must learn how to rope and ride a horse so well it's instinctive. It once took ten cowboys to drive a herd of 3,000 cattle across the sparse grassland. e cowboys had to move as one and each learned to 1 2 Find organized people that can do the more basic tasks that take up your time.

Articles in this issue

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - January '23