DateJune 5, 2013
It was a hot August day in 1969 when the Beatles posed for the now-famous cover photo of their Abbey Road album. This picture shows they Fab Four just moments before the photo is taken of them crossing the zebra stripes of Abby Road. This woman passing by must have looked at all this and wondered, what is the big deal?
Perhaps the Beatles themselves wondered about the success of an album that would come without a title or even the band’s name on the cover; only a photo of them crossing the street. (You may already know, but Abby Road was The Beatles most successful record ever.)
You and your team may also be moments away from amazing success. Your job as the CEO, Owner, or President, is to make sure they are ready, and that no one gets off-track or gives up before seeing the results of their efforts. Too many companies stop just short of fame because they did not have a shared vision, a clear plan, and a team that could make it happen.
The members of our Top Executive Forums have achieved success through a combination of great technology, passionate team members, and determination. This has allowed them to cross the $10 MM annual sales threshold, and most are pushing the $100 MM level. This success has them facing the need to move from being a small business, to creating an organization that is prepared for leaps in growth. Now, more that ever, they are focused on the things that will help them capture the opportunities that lay before them. One such member is Michael Schneider of A-1 Locksmith.
Know what you Want
The late Steven Covey taught us to begin with the end in mind, because if you can see what it looks like, you can make it. Too many companies just keep moving ahead and seem to be happy that they are just moving; “I’m not sure where we are going, but we are making record time.”
A1-Locksmith has been serving the DFW area since 1949 and has built a reputation as a service company you can trust. Their growth has led them to add more locations and field technicians, as well as new product lines and services to meet the needs of the market. Michael Schneider is a CEO that is focused on creating a team that keeps the culture and vision alive as they continue to grow and meet the needs of their customers. Staying true to the level of service and trust that made A-1 great, is Michael’s focus as he adjusts the product offerings and retail locations required to meet the needs of a changing market.
Cast a Clear Vision
Michael took over as CEO of this family owned business, and is setting a vision for the future that will build on the foundation laid by their founder Joe East. A-1 Locksmith has built their reputation by providing trusted service and reliable products. Michael has created a vision of where the company is going, so his team (most of who have been there much longer than Michael) will follow him with the same passion and commitment as they have Joe for the last 60 years.
Michael added new technologies that have helped their market connect to all of the Joe East Enterprise offerings, including commercial and home security systems and safes. While doing this, he continues to share a vision of where A-1 is going and how they will get there, so his team feels engaged and able to follow. Change can be a hard thing for employees to handle, your goal as the CEO is to clearly communicate a path you are leading the team, so they not only give you a full days work, but also do it with a passion that encourages other employees to follow, and lets your customers see you truly care about their business.
Have the right People with You
It’s great to have passionate team members who believe in you and your vision for the company. You also need to have the right people in the right seats of the bus. To this end, Michael has brought in team members that provide essential marketing, IT, and customer service leadership to meet the needs of a digital marketplace that wants accurate information and service 24 hours a day. A-1 continues to grow into other markets and is making sure they have the right people to keep the wheels rolling fast.
When you review your business plans and the vision for your company, see if you have all the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Check whether there are any people who need to get OFF the bus so you have a team that can handle the hard work, and the fame that will follow. NOW is the time to make these changes so you are ready for the opportunities ahead and can handle them with excellence. You may find better results by just moving people from one area of leadership to another. Sometimes switching seats on the bus gives the team member a new view about the ride, and a new zeal about their work.
Stay on Course
It’s easy to look back and see the results of our efforts, but when we are just moments from fame, things get a little stressful and doubt can creep in. A1 and Joe East have weathered a lot of storms since 1949. Even things like a fire in one of their stores last year, served to draw the team closer and show them that they can face the challenges and win.
Your efforts to create a vision, plan, and qualified team, will enable you to stay the course, and on to Fame.
by Robert Hunt