Shop Life Columnists

Change is a Good Thing

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We generally speak to you on these articles with things that are positive, things that can make your daily shop life easier or how to increase your bottom line.

A change in leadership is generally not seen in this light. This is because, often, leadership changes come from negative events. However, once the aftershock wears off, people see that change is a positive. In this article, I will go over some effects that a new voice can have in a shop or over an organization.

 

One for All

First and foremost, the biggest effect with a change comes from the members of your team. They are like a football team that loses a football coach. They are used to hearing that one person giving the direction, and they have learned how to perform to those standards he or she set for them.

There is something that I say to managers in my organization about hiring and its that these guys work for you: The crew was picked by the manager and, in turn, the crew is there for that manager. A leadership change could cause a slight exodus in the membership of the team, much like a new coach taking over a team. Expectations of the new head coach can be different, and they will want to put a stamp on their team. No one gets rid of the star players, but the depth can be affected.

However, a new voice is not always a negative for the crew. A new leader can bring in fresh perspective on the business and improve the performance of your shop. The biggest contribution that a new voice can bring is knowledge. There is something there that they know that took them to the next level. Were they a high-powered salesperson that can teach your team to exceed KPI expectations? Maybe they were a customer service driven individual that can instill a level of professionalism in your shop. The only way to know might be to stop accepting just good enough and make a move for better.

 

Change at the Top

One of the biggest changes that can affect a business is a change in the upper management role. This could be a district leader/manager or even as high up as an operations member. It's one thing to make a change in a store, where the lives of just a few people can be changed, but it is a whole new conversation when you are discussing the change of a major component to the clock.

The gears that run your company spin together as a unit and keep it moving. When you make a change at this level, it can have a bigger impact overall. These changes are generally due to someone not doing their job. With these changes, they will be looking to fix what is broken. This can, and usually does, include changes in roles below them. They will have higher expectations of the people below them, and if they are not cutting the mustard, then they will be gone.

The biggest positive that they will have is in the organization is fixing what is broken. They will bring a fresh perspective to the business and make positive changes. They will expect to have integrators that bring their vision to light and when they do, you will all be more successful. If you are reading this and you have a new district manager that is really getting on you, just think why they are doing that. They want to see you get better and how far they can push you to get the most out of you. Take it and run with it.

The most difficult thing to deal with in a leadership change is the relationship dynamic. We spend more time daily with these six or seven people than we do with our families. These people become a part of you and who you are. When a new face comes in and starts making changes, you see the way that it affects your “work family.”

 

Hitting Home

As I said above, these managers choose these people, so losing one is like losing a family member. I can say that I know this better than some. We are going through a change now in our organization.

We tragically lost a member of our leadership team in January, and as I seek out the next man or woman, his team is now reporting to me. I know that they were used to his management style.

I, to say the least, am a little more intense in performance and expectations. If you want to be the best, you must expect the best. There have been a few bumps, but for the most part, these guys know me already. I have respect for each of these guys for pushing through and striving to get better through the changeover.

They are better with it and for it because I was this change here two years ago. Sometimes, change is good!

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