(Time to read this Blog is about 3.5 minutes)


Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “A family business is simply a partnership where blood boils at room temperature.”
    …Donald Cooper.
    Note:   Much of my Biz Coaching work is with family businesses and partnerships that need help in sorting out key challenges.  To receive my ‘Partnership & Family Business Audit Sheet’, no charge, email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    Create a 4-minute employment video that will ‘grab’ and attract quality job candidates:
    Treat staff recruitment like a marketing problem…because that’s what it is. First, you have to have the right ‘product’.  In this case the right ‘product’ is employment experiences and career opportunities that will ‘grab’ your target employees and clearly differentiate you from your competitors. Then, you need to tell your story in a clear and compelling way.
    One of the very best ways to do that is to create a high-quality ‘Employment Video’ that tells your story. There are probably several talented videographers in your area who can help with this.  I’ve created a Template to help you plan and script just such a video.  Click here to download it.
  3. How many decisions do you make in a day? The average adult makes 33,000 to 35,000 decisions each day. 
  4. News Flash! Tomorrow, Feb 22, is ‘National Cook A Sweet Potato Day’!  Now you know.
  5. 76% of Canada’s business owners plan to exit their business within the next 10 years. Some of those businesses will be sold for a decent profit…and some will just quietly close.  If you’re one of those biz owners, what’s your Plan to exit gracefully and profitably?
  6. A hidden cost of owning an electric vehicle that no one tells you about. The cost of insuring an electric vehicle is much higher than its internal combustion ‘cousin’. For example, in the UK  electric vehicle insurance rates jumped by 72% to 940% last year, compared to only 29% for combustion vehicles.
    Many UK insurance companies are simply not insuring electric cars at all.  Apparently, the cost of collision repair on electric vehicles is significantly greater than internal combustion vehicles and there’s a shortage of staff qualified to work of electric vehicles. 
  7. Peru produces over 4,000 varieties of potatoes in a brilliant array of shapes and colours. We spent a month touring and cruising in Peru and Patagonia this past December…and we loved it! 
    Potatoes originally grew naturally in Peru and are now one of the most cultivated and consumed vegetables throughout the world.


Now, to this week’s important topic:

Problems on the ‘front-line’ are almost always a symptom of problems at the top:          

What happens on your ‘front line’ has a huge impact on your bottom line.  But, when things go wrong on the front line, it’s almost always a symptom of problems further up in the organization.  And, sadly, it’s always easier to blame the front-line folks than it is to look for and deal with the real problem further up the line…especially if we’re the problem.

In over 20 years of coaching businesses around the world, I’ve found that the eight common management shortcomings listed below cause most of the front-line problems in any business.  Which ones might be at work in your business…and what will you do about it?

Keep in mind that the ‘front line’ is not just where we interact with our customers. There’s a ‘front line’ in the warehouse, the accounting department, in manufacturing…and in every other part of the business.

Note:  This project requires a high degree of self-awareness and a great deal of personal courage to see and admit to what’s really preventing your front-line people from doing their job wonderfully.  Then, it will also require some considerable wisdom in knowing how to fix what needs fixing and, finally, persistence in implementing and following up.  Use the boxes on the left to check off any of the challenges listed that may be hurting the effectiveness of your front-line people.

Our ‘front-line’ problems are most likely caused by one or more of the following

1.  Lack of clear expectations, indecision, mixed messages or conflict at the top.

2.  A lack of urgency or caring at the top.

3.  Toxic leadership style at the top. Toxic or lazy middle management.

4.  Poor communication.

5.  Micro-managing from the top, or from middle management.

6.  Not investing in the systems & processes required to deliver efficient, consistent and extraordinary outcomes on the front line.

7.  Not hiring the right people and then ensuring that they have the training, tools, empowerment, ‘hugs and rewards’ to do their job wonderfully.

8.  Failure to deal with non-performance. ‘Bad apples’ are allowed to stay and pollute the entire group.

Many businesses actually set up their front-line employees to fail through one or more of these 8 shortcomings.  How does your business rate and what will you do to fix what needs fixing?  Involve some of the best minds and hearts in your business in this important exercise.  Encourage them to be frank and open in their comments.  Listen intently and calmly and ‘thank’ them for their courage and insight in speaking their truth.  Then, decide what action will be taken, by whom, by when, measured how.  Finally, implement effectively and follow up diligently.


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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