It was six years ago this month that I realized I had to do something.
I was sitting around a roaring campfire in Ontario's cottage country with a cold beer in hand and in good company. This was my first leadership retreat after becoming the General Manager of a large heavy equipment dealership and I was excited for this new adventure.
Or so I thought.
Outwardly excited but in fact, I was miserable. Not about the job, or the people or the experience. Miserable because that day was my son's first birthday and while I didn't realize it at the time, missing it would have a profound impact on my life and career.
The next day as I listened to my peers describe their challenges and frustrations in the pursuit of driving results for their business, I was struck by the similarity of topics that I had experienced throughout my career. Many of these frustrations were familiar to me first-hand, while others had been etched into my memory after interacting with thousands of entrepreneurs and managers around the world during the previous fifteen years of my career.
It seemed like everywhere I turned where someone was running a business, the frustrations and inefficiencies were the same and repeated themselves over and over.
Unsurprisingly, the answers to these problems were also similarly predictable:
Like me, you’ve probably tried all of these any approaches, and failed. I was already working as smartly as I could, trying to grow myself as a leader, and was quite frankly fed up reading books with one or two takeaways hidden amongst the wordy Southwest Airlines or Amazon examples.
The fact of the matter is, for any business to be successful and for the person running that business to have a life outside of work, the business needs to be well managed. Not micro-managed, not governed through key performance indicators, and not eulogized for inspirational leadership visions of grandeur. Well managed where the fundamentals of how the business is run are simple, consistent, and add value.
I missed my son's birthday because the fundamentals of how my business was run were broken. I was spending too much time on the routine parts of my job and needed help with HOW I ran my business. Because I couldn't find a resource or book that was specific and practical to help with this, I decided to write my own. Driving Great Results is the culmination of tools I developed or refined from my experience and that of countless others to help you run your business and get time back for the things which really matter.
Is it a comprehensive list? Definitely not. I've purposefully left out important topics such as customer focus, marketing and sales, and finance, but it's a start. That’s why in conjunction with my book (publishing January, 2021), I wanted to launch the Driving Great Results blog. To share other tools, tips, and resources you can quickly implement to help you run a great business.
My goal for the blog is simple: short posts, twice a week. Once with a three item hit list and once with my perspective on a management (or leadership) topic that I think you'll find interesting and of value. Input on topics and feedback are welcome, and I’d love for you to connect with me and comment on Facebook (@ljsheppar).
My son turned six this month, and I haven't missed a birthday since. Welcome to my blog and I hope I can help you to not miss the birthdays!
PS - if you like where I'm headed with this blog, please like, share, or subscribe!