I am no longer working with this client anymore…
Recently, I was consulting with a client. Revenue was dropping. Morale was low, and the future of the practice was dim. The owner had a committed leadership team who had endured years of ups and downs. They were in for the long haul and were insanely loyal. However, if things didn’t turn around soon, all of their futures might be in doubt.
To discuss the challenges and changes that needed to take place, the owner called a staff meeting. Good call. The team needed to be together. Encouragement was needed. Actionable plans were essential.
Instead, the meeting was full of anger, yelling, and complaints…from the owner. Their time culminated with the owner complaining about the cost of the upcoming Christmas party. The meeting came to a close. The owner left declaring it a helpful time together, and the staff sat alone in the room, in silence, starting at each other.
With a list of new to-do’s accompanied with the threat of losing their jobs, they slogged back to work, eager for the week to end. Many of the long time faithful considered quitting. Some wondered if making less money was worth it. Most updated their resumes. They eventually turned out the lights and went home.
I doubt that many of you reading this are like this owner. More than likely, more of you have been the abused staff than the abusing manager. Either way, think about the impact of this moment on the staff.
The future of the practice is at stake. The staff is being threatened.
A calm, steady hand of leadership is needed. The owner is yelling.
The Christmas event that every one looks forward to? The owner begrudges paying for it.
This isn’t my usual post. It doesn’t end with “3 Tips How Not to Be This Owner”. Please consider what leadership looks like in struggling times. Consider how you like to be led. If you need to vent or go off, don’t put that burden on your staff.
Calm, confident, steady leadership is what every business, and even family, needs to guide others through tumultuous times.
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of ProSight Success. He has worked in the eye care industry for nearly 20 years. He has consulted in the medical field, manufacturing, accounting, and many other disciplines.
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Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.