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LEADERSHIP NICHOLSON Terry Group president, Clockwork Home Services, Inc. Rising Tides and Sinking Ships I 24 t’s been hard to avoid stories of com- panies failing over the past year, but when a company finally goes un- der, sifting out the real reason isn’t always that tough. Companies don’t fail. People fail. When a company throws in the towel, it’s often because leaders have failed to lead and managers have failed to manage. The prob- lem is that often leaders are not great man- agers, and often managers are not leaders. As the owner of a contracting company, chances are you need to be both, so how do you excel as a leader and manager? LEADERS: CREATING AND COMMUNICATING THE VISION If your business is a ship, then the leader’s job is to point the ship in the right direction. You need to create the vision and paint it in a way that inspires everyone to get on board with one common purpose. Great leaders inspire others to want to achieve the desired goal and then provide the means by which it can be done. Pointing the ship in the right direction will only get you there if everyone else on board believes it is the right direction. When they believe that, they’ll go to work on making sure they get there.Or as General Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do, in the manner you want it done, and getting themto believe that that’s what they want to do.” If your vision is to add a second location to your company, it’s the leader’s job to paint that picture and inspire everyone else to want to achieve it too. WINTER 2010 • THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR THE MAIN DIFFERENCE? Great companies need great leaders, and great companies need great managers. And more oft en than not, both responsibilities fall on the same person. Aft er all, management is a component of leadership, and leadership is a component of management. Th e two are sepa- rate, but they do overlap. To excel at both, you must realize that while management can be learned, leadership must be earned. Getting your team to believe in your vision takes earning their trust, and that can take time. To do it, you can build your cre- dentials so others see your track record, and you can persuade others to follow your plan. If a lack of leadership and management is why companies fail, your prescription for suc- cess is to make sure your company is strong in both of those areas. One of the ways to do that is to attend leadership building events like Profi t Day or Discovery Day with other suc- cessful contractors. Make 2010 the year you attend one of these events to boost your leadership and manage- ment skills. You can avoid becoming a sinking ship by improving your leadership skills and rising with the tide. For more information on great leadership building opportunities, contact Terry Nichol- son at TSC MANAGERS: EXECUTING THE DETAILS FOR ACHIEVING THE VISION Management is the process of coordinating and overseeing all of the team’s tasks that go into achieving the desired goal. For example, if the vision is to add that second location, where will the location be? Who will staff it, and what advertising should be placed to make the phone ring? Those are some of the tasks that are involved in turning the vision into reality, and it’s the manager’s responsibility to see them through. A good manager will look for ways to achieve the vision faster, more efficiently, and more profitably. When companies fail, the ship starts sink- ing and crew members jump overboard, and it’s oft en because the leader didn’t create an ex- citing vision or the manager didn’t manage the tasks necessary for a successful voyage. To operate a successful contracting compa- ny this year, make sure you have both strong leadership and management in place, and if you’re weak in one or the other, now is the time to make a change. If you’re a great leader, but not a great manager, it’s time to build a management team around you that can suc- cessfully execute your vision. And if you are a great manager, but not a great leader, now is the time to make a commitment to increase your leadership skills. “If your vision is to add a second location to your company, it’s the leader’s job to paint that picture and inspire everyone else to want to achieve it too.”

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