August 10, 2021
To The Point Superstar Ken Goodrich and CEO of Goettl is back! Ken and host Chris Yano are hosting an exciting four-part series on the 7 Centers of Management Attention. These 7 Centers have and continue to be an integral part of Ken’s strategy, and are a tool he uses to great success in improving broken businesses and Goettl-izing the nation. We think you’ll find them incredibly useful for your own business, too. If you haven’t heard any of Ken’s previous appearances, we invite you to go back and take a listen.
The 7 Centers for Ken go all the way back to the late 80’s when Ken first encountered the E-Myth book by Micheal E. Gerber. The E-Myth discusses in great detail the 7 Centers of Management Attention and how to apply them to your business. Like many in the HVAC industry, Ken’s initial introduction to running a business was thinking if he just got in a van and drove around fixing air conditioners, he’d probably make more money than working for someone else. He learned pretty fast that as you grow a business, there are plenty of challenges that require you to organize yourself to tackle properly. Doing the work of the business is not “being in business”.
Ken embraced the 7 Centers and applied them to his business, even making them directories in his computer. They have been in his computer systems ever since, and help him organize his business systems, forms, spreadsheets, and everything else according to the correct categories. The categories are Leadership, Management, Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Conversion, and Client Fulfilment. For this episode, Ken is covering Leadership and Management. While others might start at the end of that list, Ken believes it is crucial to have the first two items in order as soon as possible. Whether you’re a smaller company trying to organize and prioritize your business or a larger organization hitting a plateau, the 7 Centers are a great place to start.
When you’re just starting your business, leadership probably isn’t what you’re going to focus on first. You’ll be desperately searching for what will put money in the bank today instead of thinking about planning for the future. Ken understands this all to well, as he experienced it himself, but wishes he had focused on leadership in the beginning and urges everyone to do the same. Think about where you’re taking your team and your company, and what you’re doing it all for. What do you want in life, and what do you want your life to look like? You’re the primary shareholder of your company, and need to strategize to figure out what your business needs to be in order to accomplish your goals.
Once you know where you’re headed, what is your strategy for doing so? How will you get there, and what will you do better and differently to attract customers in the timeframe you’ve established? It can be hard to think about your life in its entirety and make a plan that far down the line, but people that think big picture tend to be much more successful. If you think of your business in these terms; getting from point A to point B, C, and so on, that’s leadership. It’s where are we going, and how are we going to get there.
People often confuse leadership with management. They also confuse it with being the smartest person in the room. The leader is bringing everyone together and headed towards a common goal. Leaders play at the 30,000 ft. level, looking at the landscape for new opportunities and steering the ship away from danger as well as thinking about the structure of the business and where it’s going.
A manager, on the other hand, is focused on the day-to-day routine of holding the team accountable to the established business systems and processes. It’s running the processes, keeping score, and ensuring the team is motivated and organized on a more micro level.
A key part of management that many misunderstand is that it is a skill. Leaders often believe they are also good at management, and unless you’ve learned the skill, practiced it, and become proficient, you simply aren’t. You also can’t take your best tech, promote him to service manager, and expect him to be great. In other words, you can be a great player but a subpar coach.
Management is no different than fixing an air conditioner in that it is a skill you have to learn and practice until you’re good at it. Certainly some are born with a more natural talent for management, but there is a strategy behind good management that isn’t inherent. A few years back, Ken signed up for MAP (Management Action Programs), which was a 3-day course and ongoing follow-up meetings to create and implement a management system. There are lots of other tools and courses on management, but the bottom line is that with the proper training and practice, you and those around you aren’t just going to be the management your business needs to reach its potential.
Ken will be the first to tell you he didn’t have the skills needed when he got started. Go online, take some classes on leadership and management. Get the training and tools you need to understand your goal as the founder of the business, focus on going in that direction and document it.
In addition to the E-Myth, Ken also uses the book The One Minute Manager for management, and a book titled The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership for leadership. With just the information in those two books, Ken believes you can be and create the best leaders and managers in our industry. There’s a low bar in the trades, and as we continue to evolve that level of leadership and management will improve and change. If you start right now, with those foundations and the right execution, you’ll be at the top.
Another thing to consider is your role in the company. Many business owners are great leaders, but not the best at management. Ken falls in that camp. Others might be great at the day-to-day, but leadership is something they aren’t comfortable with. Having the self-awareness and humility to accept that someone else might be better suited than yourself to take on certain responsibilities in your team can greatly improve not only your business, but your quality of life. If you’re struggling with a certain piece of your business, find someone competent to take that piece over and grant them the authority, space, and freedom to run with it.
Great leaders are influential, and great management provides the necessary support to realize the vision of the leader. Leadership and management have to be in place for the other Centers of Management to work. Whether you’re just starting your business or you’re searching for ways to bring new growth into your organization, following along with this series is great way to head in the right direction.
In Part 2 of our series with Ken Goodrich, we’ll be taking a look at the money element of business and how it’s less about taking it home and more about organizing and counting it. Stay tuned!