Tools For Success : Pulling People Through Keyholes

The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. E-mail me to get the first article (or any of the other articles) in the series. Each takes a closer look at one of the tactics listed in that first article. When we sold Greenleaf to LKQ, I was in charge of legal items and environmental. After closing, they gave me a trophy tombstone labeled The Locksmith. They called me that because I was so good at pulling people through keyholes. To become a locksmith, you have to lead so that your people want to perform. When the heat is on, you need people to perform and not miss deadlines.

Here are some of the ways you can get results from your team:

  • You NEVER tell people the stick-in-the-spokes deadline. You have a soft deadline and an early deadline and a final deadline. Not telling them the true deadline allows them to shine and makes you look good. It allows for inevitable missteps and still lets your team over deliver and be heroes.
  • Make sure they buy in to the goal. Let them help prepare the goal and the plan.
  • In my case, getting clean environmental phase ones was key to closing the transaction. I offered each site manager a $5,000 bonus if he got a clean report. You think they weren’t cleaning and preparing for that inspection?
  • Give them the resources they need to deliver the goal. In most cases, you have to let them tell you what those are; it doesn’t do any good to demand results but withhold resources.
  • Make sure they’ve been taught your mantra of how to pull people through keyholes so that those they delegate to can make them look good by over delivering on the expectation.
  • Have a sense of urgency about everything. Sure some things are easy, but don’t slow down because you can. You will need that lost time on one of the steps that goes wrong!
  • Perhaps most important to being able to pull people though the keyholes: your people have to like you. They have to want to perform and you have to lead by example. Is your car there before they arrive and after they leave, especially when a deadline looms?

Remember only you can make business great!

Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.

Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.