How To Increase Profitability
Employee Friction and
© 2018 Robert Thibodeau. All Rights Reserved.
Published by Freedom Through Faith Publications, PO Box 4936, Baltimore, MD 21220 USA
For information, permissions, bulk purchases, corrections and other general information, please contact Robert Thibodeau directly at the Publisher’s address listed above or through the website www.bobthibodeau.com.
We are not lawyers. This book and the content provided herein is for educational purposes and is not intended to take the place of legal advice from your attorney or accountant. Every effort has been made to ensure the content provided in this book is accurate and helpful for our readers at publishing time. However, this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject matter. No liability is assumed for losses or damages due to the information provided. You are responsible for your own choices, actions and results. You should consult your own attorney and accountant or CPA for specific instances concerning your own situation. Any examples contained herein are either a result of the author’s own experiences or are fictitious examples used to illustrate a point or concept. Any names or any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT
T.E.A.M. TRAINING: How To Increase Profitability While Decreasing Employee Friction and Turnover
T.E.A.M. Training Explained in Plain English stand for:
Use this book to move your team, department, division, corporation, ministry, church – whatever type of organization you have – from where you are NOW to where you want to GO!
All successful leaders build the expertise of their staff for one thing – MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT!
All successful leaders will build the confidence of their staff to make decisions when the leader is absent.
All successful leaders will build the ability of their staff to REPLACE THEM if and when the situation dictates – while preserving the integrity and ability of the organization.
All successful leaders will do this using ongoing, never ending training. It is important to build this system into the day to day events as well as the crisis events. It is even more important to allow the “team” to make mistakes (as long as they are not going to cost the team, business or organization massive amounts of time or money).
This information is not provided to “toot my own horn.” I am including this section so you will be able to how and why I am able to offer my perspective on TEAM building. The success I have had in using this method of training was, initially, instilled in my through my military training.
I was first initiated to this type of training program during my Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Training program. I continued to develop this method of thinking and training during my Drill Sergeant Training School, which was two months of constant emphasis of training doctrine, methodology and critical evaluation of the new drill instructors ability to teach.
At Drill Sergeant school, we would go through Basic Training, essentially three times, during the 8 week program. Once, to prove we could do it. The second time, to learn how to teach it. And the third time to be evaluated as instructors. The Army did this to ensure only the best would represent the Army to new inductees.
It was probably the best three years of my military career! I loved being a Drill Sergeant Instructor. Bringing civilians into the Army and seeing them graduate 8 weeks later ready to go to their individual schooling; seeing the abilities each soldier had developed and how those 60 individuals were now functioning as soldiers. They each had demonstrated the ability to learn new concepts and use those newly honed skills as part of a larger unit. This was truly my best and proudest memories of my military career.
But, I did not finish there.
I applied for and was accepted into the US Army Officer Candidate School. I left my Drill Instructor status and signed into OCS all in one weekend. Talk about a major shift!
But, I found my days as a Drill Instructor helped me at OCS. Because they followed the same training philosophy, I could “see what was coming” before the Tactics Officer would even say anything. I shared my foresight with my platoon members several times in the first few weeks (and was correct in my assumptions and helped to prepare my platoon mates 100% of the time). My foresight of what the instructors “would do next” was so accurate, I had people from other platoon’s asking for my advice!
But I was able to do this because of the instructional experiences I had from BNOC to Drill Sergeant School and using those techniques and experiences for those three years on Drill Status.
After leaving active duty to pursue a profession in the insurance industry, I also was selected to join the Louisiana National Guard as a Tactical Instructor for their Officer Candidate School. I served in that capacity for almost two years before I resigned to pursue my insurance profession full time.
The Louisiana National Guard used the same training programs as the regular Army. So I was able to step right into the program without any other type of Instructor Training.
While serving part time with the National Guard, I was earning a living selling life insurance and learning the art of persuasion. After successfully earning recognition as a top salesman, I was ready to build my agency team. In order to do that, I resigned from the National Guard and devoted myself fully to that task.
I learned that my training techniques were also helpful in training new insurance agents. By using the same philosophy and “crawl, walk, run” techniques, I developed the #2 producing agency in the nation for our organization.
I also used this same technique when I became a police officer. I made myself valuable to the department I was with. So much so – I was promoted ahead of everyone in my Academy class. I was promote ahead of people that had been taking promotion tests for years! Why? Because of what you are going to read in the following chapters. Namely – do more than you are required to do and do it well.
You don’t have to “brown nose” your way to success. Quite the contrary to that notion! If the next step up the ladder of success with your organization requires you to have specific skills – start learning and developing those skills now, while you are becoming an expert at your current skill level functions.
Learn your current job – all that it entails – and learn it well. Learn all of those skill sets first, before you start to take on the “extra” things. But we will get into more of this in a later chapter.
My abbreviated resume would look like this:
Twelve year US Army career, both as enlisted and officer…
Three years Drill Sergeant Instructor with 2000+ hours in actual platform instruction…
Three years as a US Cavalry Officer (both in a combat line unit and as a staff officer)…
Two years as an Officer Candidate School Instructor (Louisiana National Guard OCS)…
Bachelor of Science, Aviation Management – Tarleton State University (Texas A&M)
Master of Science, Management – The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Retired Law Enforcement Supervisor, Maryland Transportation Authority Police
Ordained Minister since 2001…
Online Radio Entrepreneur, Founder of Evangelism Radio, an online Christian radio station…
Radio Program Host – Freedom Through Faith Radio Program…
Successful Podcast host – The Kingdom Cross Roads Podcast and Ministry Questions Podcast…
Author of several books (traditional and online e-books)…
Husband, father and grandfather and most importantly, a child of God!
“What Is This Training All About?”
As I was looking back over my life experiences (of which there are many good and many bad – but that is a story for a different day), I realized that all of the most pleasurable jobs and career paths I had were all developed around a training program.
These training programs were not designed for ME. They were designed to make me a better member of the organization. More valuable. More efficient. A better team player.
When I would implement the training and knowledge that I had accumulated, I found myself performing at a higher level. When I would perform at a higher level, I realized I was getting noticed by my superiors for performing at that new level – and promotions and pay raises resulted.
They were not promoting me to higher positions so I could now kick back and take it easy! No way! I was promoted to a supervisor position so I could TEACH my subordinates how to perform at a higher level also. The training, knowledge and experiences I was accumulated provided me a better income and a better resume, but more importantly, the organization was made better as well.
The organizations were not trying to “make more money” (well, ok, maybe at some level that would be a goal) – the organization was trying to become more efficient. When the organization would become more efficient, it would be able to handle emergencies and unexpected situations in a more efficient and professional manner as well.
When I look back at my military training, the entire training curriculum was designed to produce a more efficient soldier. A more efficient soldier was able to help the organization to become more efficient. The more efficient the organization could become, the more efficient the organization could accomplish their assigned missions.
One thing the military drove home was that of “knowing what the mission was.” You could not put a private out in a bunker with a machine gun and tell him, “Watch for the enemy.” He was worried that he would be left all alone out there. He was worried that the enemy was just behind that tree. He was worried about what would happen IF the enemy did show up. He was worried if the bunkers to the left and right knew what he was looking at.
In order to help the private understand his role in the battle plan, KNOWLEDGE was the key. An informed soldier is a better soldier. It was the Chain of Command’s job to make sure that every subordinate unit down to the private out in the bunker knew what their part of the battle plan was. They needed to know the reason he was placed on that ridge line. He needed to know what his fields of fire were; he needed to know that the bunkers on the left and right had intersecting fields of fire with his bunker. He needed to know that his squad was preparing additional fighting positions while he kept watch. He needed to know what his unit was doing in support of the Battalion, Brigade and Division Battle Plan. He needed to know what the Intelligence people were briefing the Chain of Command on about what the enemy was doing and if there was any anticipated attack and when they estimated that would come.
Now, that soldier knows his job. He knows how he fits into the entire scenario. He knows he has an important part to play and he knows his job is important, not only to his squad and friends, but the Commanding General and the General Staff as well.
He may never meet the General, but that General is doing all he can do to make sure that private out in that bunker is taken care of. The General and his Staff work hard to make sure the Division is ready to battle the enemy, but at the same time, the soldiers under his command are taken care of.
The training provided up and down the Chain of Command is designed to make the individual better prepared and a better contributor to the success of the Division in accomplishing the assigned missions it receives.
Let’s step back and look at how this same type of attitude can help in ANY COMPANY doing business today…
What about the new employee who is told to “file papers?” He is put in a room and and all he does it receive, sort and file invoices and other documents…all day…every day… by him or herself in bleak, boring office cubicle.
It would be very easy for that employee to start thinking along the same lines the Private out in the bunker did in our example. “Why does this matter? Nobody even knows what I do. This is boring. This job sucks. I need a different job…, etc.”
This employee will begin to let their mind wander…dreaming about other jobs. If they can’t find a category to put an invoice in, they will just file it and think, “It doesn’t matter anyway.”
This employee needs to have four things:
- Why this job matters and how it supports the company mission.
- What other employees in the cubicles around them are doing – basically, the department mission.
- How that department is important to the overall success of the company.
- What training is available to make the employee a more successful and contributing employee to the company’s overall mission.
Some people may think, “This is all wishful thinking. My Company could care less about me…”
YOU are who this training is designed for!
Not only is this training designed to show Department Heads, Supervisors and Company Executives how they can implement this type of training from the “top down” – but how to teach YOU, the employee, how you can make yourself more valuable to the organization!
When you make yourself more valuable to the organization, you will begin to see them notice you and promotions will follow (just like what happened to me)!
So, WHAT IS THIS TRAINING ALL ABOUT?
It is designed to create a more professional and stimulating work environment for both, employees and supervisors – from the Top Down and the “Bottom Up!” Supervisors will learn how to train their subordinates and subordinates will learn how to make themselves indispensable to their superiors.
To do this – we must make sure you become a TEAM Player! Not just a “team player” in the traditional sense – but have a working understanding of the T.E.A.M. concept of successful training used by the military and many successful organizations doing business today.
Are you ready? Ok – Let’s get started!!!
“T = TRAIN”
Why We Need to Build A Team
Every business owner, whether online or traditional brick and mortar store, needs employees. There may be some businesses where you are the only employee, but for this book, we are going to proceed along the lines of “needing employees” to run a successful business. For those who are running their businesses solo, when you need help (whether for vacation, emergency or expansion), you need to train someone to do what needs to be done.
Many people (myself included) have run our businesses doing everything ourselves. From setting up the websites to social media promotions; from product design and testing to product sales and support; from sales to marketing and customer service to answering email...
Despite the obvious fact that “we do not know it all,” we continue to do this for a couple of reasons. 1. We are just starting out and funds are tight. 2. We feel we need to be “in touch” with every aspect of the business as it is growing. 3. We believe others (i.e. employees) may not have the “heart” of the business in mind and will make mistakes. 4. We believe it will take a lot longer to train someone to do the job when we can do it quickly and be finished. 5. ALL THE ABOVE!
Be honest! How many can relate to one or more of those scenarios? How many, like me, can relate to ALL of those scenarios?
I will attempt to debunk each one of those items in this chapter. These are the main reasons we are not growing in our business. Your business may have experienced great growth in the beginning, but has now slowed down and you are trying to figure out why. I can guarantee you the answer is in one of those scenarios – if not a combination of one or more at once.
1.We are just starting out and the funds are tight.
I want you to think about what “would have happened” if you would have waited another three months to “open” your business. What were are the expenses that you could have waited on spending your limited resources on? What were the unexpected startup costs that you could have saved for if you had a little bit more time? What were the mistakes you could have avoided by taking just a little longer to analyze, plan and save some more money?
2.We need to be “in touch” with every aspect of the business as it is growing.
You need to have a “hands on” approach when you are just starting out. The business is still in its conceptual mode. It is still trying to find its “legs,” so to speak. You need to keep your hands on every aspect as it is learning to operate in the cruel world!
Take, for example, a baby who is just starting to initiate the first steps. The legs are wobbly. There is a lot of shaking. Unsteadiness. The legs want to move, but they just are not working the way the baby wants them to move.
What kind of parent would take that baby out to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and just tell it, “Come on! You’re walking on your own now! Just keep up!” And then walk off at a brisk pace to secure a good vantage point, thinking the baby will just “keep up?” That would be a form of child abuse!
Instead, the parent would hold the baby’s hand to help it steady itself. And when the legs would finally become weak with effort, pick it up and carry it to the desired destination. In fact, a good parent, probably would not even consider taking the baby to the parade until it was old enough to walk on its own!
Your business is the same way. You are the parent. You need to have a “hand on” approach until the baby is able to walk on its own! You need to be the steadying hand that offers direct, hands on support in whatever area is experiencing weakness at that particular moment!
But there comes a time when you have to let “the baby walk” on its own. That does not mean you let it fall and hurt itself! It simply means you need to allow your employees to handle the task at hand. Let them learn to “move their legs” and figure it out on their own. But just like the parent who allows the baby to take those first, independent steps on its own, you need to be there observing. And if the employee or employees begin to falter, give advice to them. Allow them to work out the issues at hand, but give advice. Soon, you will see them tackling the routine tasks on their own.
3.The employee’s may not have the best interests of the organization in mind.
This is true, in most cases. But the problem is not with them –it’s with you! If you hire competent people that can handle the areas of responsibility you are needing them to control, this will be come less of an issue.
If you hire someone just because you need help, and then tell them to work in an area they are not capable of handling, then it is your fault they are not producing. If you help them to learn why this task is important to the organization, you will help them to better understand their role in the success of the business.
But it cannot only be about the success of the business (which the default consideration in the employee’s mind is “more profit for you”), you must make the employee or employee’s see it is in their best interest as well.
That does not mean, “You need to do this or you might be out of a job” type of discussion! As the leader, you need to find ways to allow the employee to buy into the success of the organization. You need to allow them to see their contributions as serving the greater good! The good of the community and not just the good of the organization.
You could recognize an employee with a certificate or a gift for an exceptional job that impacted the life of customer by helping with a problem. You could hold an employee luncheon or any idea that will shift the credit from you to them. That is the important thing to keep in mind.
Do not do a “monthly employee recognition” or luncheon. Do not do it on a “routine” basis. Because then, the employees will look at it as “work” that they have to attend. Instead, do it whenever something significant is accomplished by someone just “doing their job.” If an employee handled a complaint by a major customer, recognize them for that! But, on the same token, recognize someone for doing their job on a daily basis which allowed you to woo a major client into doing business with your organization! The ideas are boundless and are only limited by your imagination!
4.It would take longer to teach them to do the job then I can do it myself!
Well, this is probably 100% true! At least in the short term! But if you are looking at growing your business (and your profits), you need help. Help is in the form of employees. Employees need to be trained in handling routine tasks that will allow you to focus on growing the business!
When is a good time to hire an employee – even a part time employee?
If you are asking that question, then it is already PAST the time to do so! As soon as you have identified “routine” jobs that you do on a daily basis (answer customer emails; file paperwork; accounting activities; answering the phone; handling routine posts to social media; SEO work; etc.).
Yes, it will take you some time to teach a new employee their responsibilities. If you are the only other person there, it falls to you to do so. The faster you can get that person up and running, the faster you will be free to continue to focus on business growth!
The best time to do this is just after you have had a major event and you realize you could have done more if you had help. Do no try to hire someone just prior to the major event. You will be stuck doing more work because you are trying to handle everything yourself PLUS trying to train someone at the same time.
If you want for that short lull between events, it will allow you the time schedule training someone new. I would recommend a two-week training period. This does not include the interview and selection process! Two weeks for TRAINING!
(The first week which is typically five work days) could look something like this:
Day One: Sitting side by side. Allow them to observe what you are doing. Explain what you are doing and why. Maybe, by the end of the day, allow them to handle a couple of tasks which they have observed you doing. Correct their actions if needed. Offer compliments at the end of the day.
Day Two: Sitting side by side, review everything from day one. Continue to do these tasks yourself – but have the employee explain the “how and why” you are doing them. Maybe in the afternoon, shift chairs and allow them to handle tasks as you observe and ask questions about the “how and why” these tasks are being done.
Day Three: Allow the employee to handle the tasks. Observe and correct as necessary. Ask questions of the employee to ensure they have an understanding of the “how and why” these tasks are important. Perhaps, if you feel their level of competency has improved enough, tell them you will be in your office handling something…and you will be back in a little while. Allow them an hour or so on their own and then check on them to see how they are doing. Give a complement for “catching on so fast” and how this will help you.
Day Four: Allow the employee to have the opportunity to do the routine tasks without you looking over their shoulder. Just check on them every half an hour or three quarters of an hour. Encourage them to seek out your opinion of they are unsure of a particular task or a problem arises in an area they have not been trained in.
Day Five: Allow the employee to take control of the routine tasks for which they have been trained. Perhaps in the afternoon, add some additional work for them to do that will free up your time even more. Show them how to do it and explain the “why” for the task. Be sure to leave them with a complement before they leave for the weekend!
Day Six: Allow the employee to handle the routine tasks for which they have been trained. As the opportunity presents itself, train them in additional tasks to help you out. Review the new tasks you taught them on Day Five. Allow them to “take the ball and run with it” and encourage them to seek you out if they any questions.
Day Seven: By this time, the employee should be handling all routine tasks on their own. If they seek you out, do not “fix” the problem. Do not “tell them” how to fix the problem (unless it is in an area they have not been trained yet). Ask leading questions that will allow them to “remember” what to do. The allow them to answer their question of you by remembering what they have already been trained on! Congratulate them and encourage them on remembering.
Days Eight, Nine and Ten: They should be handling all of the routine tasks and only seeking your input in areas that they have not been trained yet. Continue to ADD to their responsibilities as you see them completing the routine tasks on a more efficient basis (i.e. they have some idle time now).
By following the plan above (or something similar – you have to design it around your business needs), you will find that you now have time to focus on growing your business while the employee finds their responsibilities are enabling you to grow the business. There is nothing better than being able to leave the office knowing it is being left in capable hands, even if it is only to meet someone for a lunch meeting! I know, I’ve lived it!
“E = EMPOWER”
To empower an employee to complete an assigned task is to give them complete control over the project. It could be something small (which is recommended for new employees) or it could relate to a larger project, interacting with many moving parts (other companies or other departments within your company).
You may be able to complete the project quickly on your own. You know who to call and how to set everything up. But if you are trying to grow you company; trying to free up more of your time so you can focus on company growth; trying to train your employee to handle the day-to-day, recurring projects – then you will have to release the employee or employees to do the job.
They will not be as efficient as you are. They will not be a fast as you would like. They may not even know who to call or how to proceed. But if you will implement this step – you will soon see your desired goal come to pass. You WILL have an employee or perhaps as staff of employees that are confident and able to to the jobs required. All you have to do is – LET GO!
When you first decide the employee has been trained in his/her day-to-day, recurring job functions for the entry level staff position, you can begin to prepare them for the next level.
Handling special projects.
These projects could be the main reason you are hiring them in the first place. But they had to get a basic understanding of how the office works prior to moving to this level. Now, as you observe how they handle routine assignments and duties and you are satisfied at their basic expertise – you can move them to the next level.
The training for this section on EMPOWERMENT simply means, letting them have the special project or special assignment and allowing them to “own it.” Make it “their baby,” so to speak.
You explain the importance of this task; you explain how this will be “in addition” to their normal duties. You explain the dead line for the assignment to be completed. You set attainable goals and due dates for progress reports – and let them go.
In the next section, we will discuss the “A” in TEAM (accountability) in detail. Here, however, I will briefly mention how to “spot check” on their work.
As you are walking by their desk from time to time (not every day and not at the same time every day), simply ask “how the additional project is proceeding.” Do not accept, “Oh, it’s going will…” as an answer. Ask specific questions to which you know the successful completion of the project hinges.
Ask leading questions that demand more than a “yes or no” answer. If the employee seems to not know the answer to the question or they say they are “stuck” on a particular problem area – give them a tidbit of advice so they can proceed. It might be something as simple as, “Call Jack in accounting and ask him to provide you those projections.” Always leave the employee with the understanding that “they” will be responsible for taking the action recommended.
By keeping the employee accountable, you are developing in them the ability to handle these projects; the ability to know “who to call” to get information; you are allowing them to “network” outside of their assigned department or even outside resources from the company. In most cases, they will eventually work with agencies that are not part of the company.
The important thing to remember is you must allow them to make the contacts. Do not “introduce” them to a contact unless it is very important to do so (you are turning over a department within your company to them – and this introduction is necessary to establish an important connection with this outside person or agency upon which you have built a successful relationship. This tells the other person that your employee is going to be handling this project and future projects for you.
By empowering your employees to handle these additional tasks, you will be able to evaluate their critical thinking skills. They will have to develop their interpersonal skills and organizational skills as well. All of these skills are necessary in running a successful business (and to be successful in life).
The education level of the employee is not really important (that being said, the education should be commensurate with the job, i.e. accounting, engineering, etc.). But for normal office interactions – a degree in Office Management is not really necessary – as long as the desire and ability is present in the employee’s mindset.
Once you have given the employee the initial project, be sure to evaluate the processes they have gone through in the accomplishment of that particular project. Give them tidbits of advice as they proceed (which we will get into in the “M” portion of TEAM and that is “Monitoring” their progress. But it is important to mention here that you must keep tabs on how the project is proceeding. Help them to stay on course and on schedule.
After the employee has handled three or four of these special projects, you should be confident enough in their abilities to release them to just “take on” a special project with no input from you at all. Their ability should be developed enough to assume total responsibility for the success of that project.
Does that mean you do not check on them? No. It means you do not check on them “as often” as you did in the beginning. Again, we will get more into this in the “Monitoring” section in a few more pages.
When you EMPOWER an employee to act in your behalf on a project, you give them your AUTHORITY to do so. This means they are contacting, networking and coordinating with other people, departments and agencies on your behalf.
Many times, this will make the new employee very nervous and unsure of themselves. You need to make sure you do not step in and take over. That means that you do not “give them the step by step instructions” on how to fix the problem.
If an employee continues to be “stuck” and not sure of what they need to do, this is indicative of one or more of the following:
- They are not fully trained in their office duties for which they were originally hired. This means they should not be given special assignments at this point in time.
- They know what to do but are unsure of their skills in doing what needs to be done.
- They know what to do and how to do it – they are unsure of their ability to contact the department or outside agency on your behalf (i.e. they want YOU to a make the initial call for them – a form of “introduction”).
Your response to #1 is to gently let them off the hook concerning the special assignment. If they balk at being removed (usually for prideful reasons), assign a coworker or even offer to work with them on the completion of this project. Do not assign more special projects until you feel they have developed enough to handle them.
If #2 is the problem, help them to break down the tasks into smaller, bite size tasks that they will be able to perform to accomplish a major task. Then, task by task, the entire project is completed.
For example, if they are unsure of how to get the required income projections, you can explain that accounting can help in this area. Then give them a couple of pieces of information you are looking for (i.e. Last years’ numbers; year to date numbers; percentage increase or decrease in the numbers; how a new source/method/etc. would improve those numbers. What the estimated cost to implement the change would cost; when the break even point will be to implement the proposed change; cost of waiting to make the change, etc.). This type of interaction allows them to see things from your perspective – allowing them to interact with, in this example, the accounting department in specifics (accountants love specifics!) and obtain the information you need to make an informed decision.
For reason #3, do not “give them” the answer or do it for them. Use questions to guide them down the path to “realization.” As you ask leading questions, this will give them the ability to look at the problem area in a new fashion. You question could be something like, “Well, this appears to be an accounting problem. Have you talked with accounting to see if they could help?”
Notice, you did not “tell them to call” accounting. You did not tell them who to ask for in accounting. You just suggested they do so. This is a form of training the employee to be assertive in their quest to network with others on your behalf.
Empowerment is simply giving the other person the AUTHORITY to act in your behalf. If they are working for you (or for the company), then they are working in your behalf. So allow them to do so and gain experience so they can represent you in an increasing manner.
This will allow you to increase the capacity for you to take on future projects and, hopefully, create increase profits as well.
“A = ACCOUNTABILITY”
In this section, we will review some of the information discussed previously, but in a more applicable manner. Using Accountability in the development of your team is the MAIN way you will develop the skill set you want your team to have!
By holding your team members accountable for their performance for the project you have given them will allow them to develop confidence in their abilities. In addition, it allows them to get “mini-victories” in the processes. Yes – the end result is the primary objective, but there is a series of steps that need to be accomplished (on time) in order to achieve the ultimate victory.
Take, for example, getting ready for work. The ultimate goal is to walk out the door on time to arrive at work as scheduled. Here is a list of possible steps a person would normally go through in order to achieve the specified goal of “walking out the door on time…”
1.Wake up on time
2.Have coffee and breakfast
3.Brush teeth and get dressed (apply makeup if required)
4.Make sure you have all relevant paperwork, memo’s, note pad, etc. that is required
5.Car keys, wallet (or purse) with driver’s license, cell phone, etc.
6.Walk out the door and lock the door behind you.
Now, if you were the BOSS (and you are the BOSS of your own life), you would have to break each of those steps down into achievable steps as well…
1.Wake up on time
- Go to bed on time in order to have a good night sleep
- Set the alarm clock for the appropriate time to wake up
ii.Back up the time (let’s say it is 90 minutes to get ready).
- How long will it take you to get to work (and arrive on time)?
- Use that time to calculate your wake up time.
2.Have coffee and breakfast
- How long does it take to make the coffee?
ii.Is it possible to “pre-program” the coffee pot to be brewed before you wake up? (That is how I have mine programmed).
- How long does it take to prepare and eat breakfast?
ii.Do you leave the dishes in the sink or put them in the dishwasher?
3.Brush your teeth and get dressed (apply make up if required)
- Use the “Backward planning process” to determine what time that should be
- Make sure you are ready to walk out the door at the appropriate time
5.Grab your care keys, wallet, purse, etc. (make sure you have your ID/Driver’s license…
6.Walk out the door; lock the door and off you go!
Notice how many “mini victories” you achieved in making it successful for you to leave for work on time! Many “mini victories” actual stack up to make a MAJOR VICTORY. If you fail at ONE mini victory – it can derail your trek to your MAJOR VICTORY.
For example – you wake up late; skip the shower; skip breakfast and you grab the keys and out the door you go to make it to work on time…half way to work, you remember you forgot an important file folder on the kitchen table.
Now, you must turn around and rush back home. You grab the folder, jump back in the car and are speeding to get to the office – at least in an attempt to be on time…
That is, until you see the flashing lights pulling behind your car! You are REALLY going to be late now! After what seems an eternity, the officer hands you the speeding citation… $190 fine! Your spouse is going to be really, REALLY angry now!
You arrive at work 25 minutes late. The meeting is starting in five minutes and you don’t have time to adequately go over the entire presentation in your mind – so you just rush into the meeting room to “pretend” you have everything ready…
But during the presentation, one of the attendees notices an error in your presentation. An error that you should have caught – and the look on the face of your boss says so!
You finally finish work, a little embarrassed, completely frustrated…but at least this day is over! As you leave, your phone rings…it’s your spouse. Someone has burglarized your home! The 60” flat panel TV is gone; your new iMac is gone; several other little collectables you had accumulated over the years – they are gone, too!
The police say it looks like the burglars entered through the unlocked front door! How can that be, you locked on your way out this morning…until you realize, that in you rush to go back and grab that file, you forgot to lock the door as you left the second time!
It’s ALL your fault!
If you would have used the “backward planning process” correctly, you could have woken up on time and everything else would have fallen into place. But, but not achieving that ONE MINI-VICTORY…your entire day went downhill very fast!
Not only did you skip the shower; skip the breakfast; forgot the file; left the door unlocked (allowing thieves to just “walk right in” and steal everything you cherished); you also received a speeding citation; you boss is disappointed in your preparation for the clients…and the day just goes on and on…
And it all could have “possibly” been avoided, if you would have just gotten out of bed on time!
That is how mini-victories can keep your day on track.
“M = MONITOR”
The hardest part for a manager or business owner to do is turn the operation over to someone else. They worry about all sorts of things going wrong. The micromanager will check in several times per day (sometimes, even while they are on vacation)! Some of the worst micromanagers will hover over their employees while they are attempting to accomplish a task, criticizing them every step of the way.
“Don’t do that! Do it this way…”
“I told you how to do this! Can’t you do anything right?”
“Get out of the way! Let me do this – AGAIN! Now, watch me and learn…”
I hope those examples do not sound familiar, but I have heard them in some of the organizations I have been involved with over the years. When they happen, if you are not the one saying those things, watch the reactions of the people involved. The looks on their faces are ones of embarrassment, fear, intimidation, sometimes looks of disgust – but never looks of appreciation.
The proper thing to do is to step back and let them figure out the process on their own. Naturally, if it is something that could endanger someone or cost the operation a huge amount of money, the supervisor is right to jump in. But in 90% of the cases, it would be alright to allow the employee time to figure out the steps themselves.
This is very hard for the entrepreneur, the business owner or a very organized and detail oriented supervisor. They want speed and efficiency. And rightly so! That is one of the hallmarks of a great leader. But we must always step back and look at the big picture.
If you are in the position of needing to hire someone – you should be selective in whom you hire. Do not hire the first person that comes in off the street. You should have an application period. An application review period. Then an interview period. If you have more than one person involved in the existing operations, involve them in the hiring process (preferably the interviews).
If you take the time to plan each of those application processes, you will be able to hire the most qualified person for the job. Then you need to have the appropriate training process (see the chapter under TRAINING). If two weeks is not enough time, extend it to three or four.
But there must come a time when you allow the employee to begin to work on their own. Acknowledge the fact they will not be as efficient as you or a more experienced person. But if you are hiring the most qualified person for the position to be filled, they should catch on fairly quickly.
Your job, as the supervisor, is to stand back and WATCH!
That is why I call this section “MONITOR” (not micromanage)!
MONITOR means to “observe or to watch.” It does not mean to “interject or do yourself.”
MONITOR what the employee is doing and allow them to make mistakes; identify the mistakes on their own; make the appropriate adjustments on their own and accomplish the task – ON THEIR OWN!
Again, let me emphasize, this is not easy for the typical manager or boss. They are usually type “A” personalities and want to “jump in and get it done!” I understand that. That was me! But I understood, if I wanted to be able expand and grow my business organization, I would have to learn to “trust” my employees.
If you break down the tasks into steps; teach the employee one step at a time; allow them to learn to do each step and then move the training to the next step – and repeat – it will not be long before the new employee is doing all of the tasks themselves.
The way I did it in my business was to teach step one by using four important training tasks. These tasks have been used by the military for many years and works. The way to train a new employee to accomplish the task is to:
- Demonstrate how the task is to be accomplished. Remember, focus only on one step at a time.
- Explain how to do this step.
- Demonstrate how the task is to be accomplished again.
- Allow the employee to do the task and evaluate their results and correct if necessary.
Then, allow the employee to do the task again. If the ONE STEP is successful, then repeat the process for the next step. Allow the employee to begin at step one, then move to step two. If completed successfully, repeat the process for step three and so on.
Yes, this may sound mundane. It is a lot easier to just do the entire task and tell them to watch and learn. But it is not FASTER and it will not be as EFFICIENT.
These steps have been used by the military for years. It is called BASIC TRAINING!
As a former Drill Instructor, this is the process I used to transform more than 700 individual civilians into trained combat ready soldiers in just a few short months. In the military, they do not take a General’s son, fresh out of high school, and give him a command of combat Division! Even though his father may have been an outstanding leader, it is not something that can be inherited. It must be learned!
The son may receive an appointment to one of the military academy’s. After four years there, receive a commission into one of the respective branch of the military. Again, not at the rank of General, but as a lowly Ensign or Second Lieutenant. The newly commissioned officer has been taught all of the “book knowledge” and now must learn how to apply that knowledge in accomplishing the mission.
The new officer is put in charge of a platoon of soldiers (between 30-50 people). The new officer has NO PEOPLE SKILLS. He knows what the end result should be, but he has not been taught how to motivate and supervise the people. Therefore, he must rely on the NCO’s (Non-Commissioned Officers) who have been doing this type of job for years.
The new officer is trained by the NCO’s as well. They teach him what the soldiers must know and how they accomplish the tasks. That way, the officer knows some of the details of the jobs the young soldiers must accomplish on a daily basis.
At the same time, the new officer is trained by his unit commander in how to effectively run the unit as an officer. He is taught how to function with the other platoon leaders and how the unit operates as part of the larger unit (battalion size – which simply means larger unit).
I have oversimplified this process, but the point I want to make is this: every organization must have an effective training program where the superiors are able to MONITOR the status of job accomplishment while providing adequate training for the new personal.
In the military, this training is ongoing from Day 1 until retirement or discharge. There is no let up in the training. Every day is a training day – even in combat. The more experienced soldiers are teaching the new arrivals how to survive – things that were passed down to them when they were new in country.
And now that you know what the T.E.A.M. stands for (Train, Empower, Accountability and Monitor) – I want to show you how you can utilize these methods to ensure your organization will function at a far superior level than you can imagine…
“THE SUPERIOR FUNCTIONING UNIT”
“How to think like your boss’ boss and give your customers superior service at all times.”
How would you feel if a multi-million dollar operation was about to take place with your organization? Nervous? Excited? Uneasy? Worried?
All of those emotions would be justified.
How would you feel, if just before this multi-million dollar operation was to kick off, one of your most senior supervisors was in a car accident or had a heart attack and was not going to be able to help for weeks, if not months? How would that affect your plans?
Would you jump right in and take over the operations of that department? Making sure that everything was going to work and personally handling all of the tasks that department was to accomplish (and accomplish all of your job related duties as well)?
That would be scenario in many, MANY organizations from coast to coast today. Would it work? Probably. Would it be as efficient as if that senior employee had not been missing? Probably not.
So, what could a boss do? I mean, you were depending on that persons’ expertise in his department to make sure all of those critical tasks were accomplished. Without him, you had to do (as his boss). You had to make sure all of his subordinates were doing what their job requirements were. Otherwise, your multi-million dollar opportunity might fail!
Well, I will go back to my military analogy again (and my background as both, an enlisted soldier, an NCO and as a Commissioned Officer – as well as my background as a police officer, patrol supervisor and shift supervisor).
In the military (or police department), subordinates are trained to do the next level position in the chain of command. As soon as they are able to accomplish their routine tasks efficiently, the process begins of grooming them for promotion. That mean giving them opportunities to “take command” of detail (anywhere from 3-8 personnel) to accomplish the assigned tasks of the detail.
It could be anything from conducting a patrol to picking up trash; from raking leaves to digging bunkers. For the police, it could be handling an accident scene or an initial investigation in a crime. The point being, training begins for the next level of supervision as soon as the personnel show they understand the routine tasks of their day to day job requirements.
“Well,” you say, “that may work in the military. But it does not apply to my business.”
I would not be too fast to say that. Let me explain…
Remember the scenario I laid out…
A multi-million dollar opportunity is about to handled. If done properly, it will catapult your organization to the next level of business opportunity. It is extremely important that each division or department in your organization functions exactly as they are required. No exceptions or this could cripple your organization for years to come. It could actually close your business down. You are 100% invested in the success of this opportunity.
Then, just days before it all begins, you receive the news that one of your most trusted supervisors is not going to be able to participate. What to do?
If you use the following system – that situation will resolve itself. In a matter of hours. Read on.
STEP ONE: TRAINING FOR PROMOTION
If this were to happen to a military unit getting ready to deploy to a combat zone…for simplicity, I will use a battalion size operation (composed of 3 companies with 300 soldiers each plus a Headquarters unit of 100). So we are looking at the deployment of 1000 soldiers.
In this situation, you have a Battalion Commander, his Executive Officer, four Senior Staff positions with subordinate officer, NCO’s and staff – all making up the Headquarters unit.
Each Company has a Company Commander, his Executive Officer, a Senior NCO called a First Sergeant, 3 platoon leaders and their Senior NCO’s and all the soldiers.
If one of the Company commanders was the person who had the car accident or heart attack, just one or two days before deployment, would the Battalion Commander (the Company Commander’s direct supervisor) run down and begin to manage everything that had to be accomplished at the company level to effectively deploy the entire Battalion on time?
The company executive officer would jump right in. He had been training for Company Command. He knows what needs to be done. He is familiar with the Platoon leaders and knows their jobs as well. He would be charged with making sure the Company is prepared to deploy on time.
The Battalion Commander may require daily reports from this Executive Officer. He may even send the Battalion Executive Officer down each day to see how things are going. But all of the preparation would be the responsibility of the Company Executive Officer.
The Battalion Commander may also assign another of his Captains (Company Commander rank) from one of his Senior Staff positions to assume command of the Company and allow the next in charge person to take over the Senior Staff position and responsibilities.
The point I am trying to make is that the Battalion WILL DEPLOY. Failure to do so could cause greater problems than losing a million-dollar contract in the business world!
But the military would not have the senior commander jump in and “take charge” of a subordinate unit. Instead, they utilize the process of training the subordinates for the next supervisory position.
That means the squad leader (5-8 soldiers) is training his soldiers to take over HIS position. At the same time, the squad leader is training for the Section Chief’s job (16-24 soldiers). The Section Chief is training for the Platoon Sergeant’s job (40-50 soldiers) – which just happens to have the newly commissioned officer as the “platoon leader.”
The Platoon Sergeant is also training for the First Sergeant’s job (which is to support the Company Commander and Company Executive Officer in the performance of their duties).
If, in combat, a section leader is killed or unable to continue the fight, the senior Squad leader will step up and take over the section. If a platoon sergeant is killed or injured and unable to continue the fight, the senior section chief will step up and continue to lead the unit.
If the Battalion Commander is killed or injured, the Battalion Executive Officer will step up and assume command of the battalion. If a First Sergeant is killed or injured, the senior Platoon Sergeant will assume the First Sergeant duties and the senior Section Chief will assume the platoon sergeant’s duties and the senior section squad leader will assume the section chief’s duties and the most senior enlisted soldier will assume the squad leader duties.
What makes this work is the continuous training that takes place. From the lowest enlisted person to Commanding Generals (they attend the “Commanding General Staff College” before assuming command). Everyone in the military is always training for the next level of supervision!
That is what makes everything work with what is called, “Military Precision.”
Although it is important to train for the next level of supervision, that alone will not ensure the success of the mission at hand.
In the military, every mission is designed around what is called the “Operational Order” or “OP ORDER” for short. Each level in the chain of command has their own “Op Order” that is given to the subordinate unit. The larger the organization, the more detailed the Op Order is. Which means down at the squad level, it is only dealing with the squad’s mission assignment to accomplish the platoon’s mission.
But, there is one section in the Op Order that is called “The Commander’s Intent.” This is what the “Next Level” has focused upon to accomplish the mission the larger unit has been given.
For example: The Commanding General calls in his Brigade Commanders and gives them the mission. He tells them what his “intent is” for the accomplishment of the mission. The Brigade Commanders go back and develop their Op Order that details what their Brigade’s mission assignment is and how the Brigade Commander sees it being accomplished.
The Brigade Commander gives this Op Order to the Battalion Commanders (of which, our example Battalion is part of). This means the Battalion Commanders Op Order will have the “Commanders Intent” in the accomplishment of the Battalion Mission.
This process is repeated all the way down to the squad level. The Squad leader briefs his men on how he wants the squad to accomplish their assigned tasks…and also emphasizes what the Section Chief sees as his overall mission.
If the platoon sergeant is injured and not able to continue, the senior section chief will assume his duties in the combat operation. He already knows what the Platoon Leader’s Intent is because he has been briefed on it in the Platoon’s Op Order. At the same time, he is probably aware of what the Company Commander’s intent is, because that would have been briefed during the Platoon Op Order as well.
That means, at the section chief level, the section chief is conducting operations, not just to accomplish his sections tasks, but thinking about the platoon’s objectives as well. If he needs to step up and take charge, it’s not a big deal – he does it!
If the Company Commander is unable to function, the Company Executive Officer takes charge. He already knows what the Battalion Mission is and what the Brigade Commander’s intent is as well.
Inside the police department, especially the midnight shift, it is not unusual for the entire precinct to be under the command of a corporal or sergeant during the night. The command structure knows the training this sergeant has received has prepared him to handle the routine duties that come up and to make an initial response to emergency situations.
The supervisor’s role is to handle the emergencies per “department policies” as he or she has been trained to do. They are also taught to notify the chain of command of the emergency situations as soon as possible. This emergency alert will go all the way up to the Chief of Police within just a few minutes.
The Chief of Police rarely will respond to the emergency situation. He has trained supervisors who are capable of handling the on scene situation. If something out of the ordinary happens, they will contact the Chief of Police and ask for his opinion. But these types of situations rarely happen.
The Chief of Police has complete trust and confidence in his people – all the way down to the patrol officers. He knows the supervisors on duty know their jobs and they know how to THINK LIKE THEIR BOSS!
That is the important part I wanted to get to…THINK LIKE THE BOSS!
If you can train your department heads to make their decisions by “What would my boss want me to do?” Then you are training them correctly…up to a point.
The SECRET is: Think Like Your Boss’s BOSS!
Teach them to accomplish their routine jobs by THINKING about what THEIR BOSS wants to accomplish. But, for even better results, to think like YOU. What is it YOU want them to do in their routine jobs and in emergencies? That is what needs to be communicated!
If you can teach people to think “What would my boss’s boss want me to do?” And then accomplish the task at hand in the appropriate manner as they have been trained – you will have an environment that exudes success at every level.
In that situation, if your senior supervisor is the one involved in the accident (in our initial example), you just tag the next in charge. You may have him report to you if anything comes up that he is not sure of – but trust him or her to make the correct decision based upon past training and performance.
If you implement this type of “Promotional Training” – your organization will begin to function with “military precision.” It will be noticed in the professionalism and motivation among your employees. When an emergency situation comes up, they will already know what to do – even if it is only until you arrive.
You could be on vacation half way around the world and something major breaks back at the office – they should not even call you until the emergency is handled. Then, they still may not call you if, once the emergency is handled, everything returns to normal operations. You might not find out about it until you return back from vacation!
Isn’t that what being a business owner is all about? Or a senior staff of an existing business? Having the trust and confidence in your junior supervisors to THINK LIKE THEIR BOSS’s BOSS and make all their decisions according to company policy and guidelines based upon how they know their BOSS’s BOSS likes things done!
I will give you just one example from my police officer days. I could give numerous ones, but this is just one of many…
Interstate 95 (I-95) runs north and south between New York City and Florida. It is a major artery highway that has thousands of vehicles traveling on it every single day. If there is a serious accident, it could endanger the accident victims and the first responders working the scene to have vehicles zipping by at 70 MPH, just feet away.
As a new patrol officer, fresh out of the Academy, I might be one of the first responders to the scene. I would be focused on handling the situation involving securing the scene; helping the victims, calling dispatch for an ambulance, etc. The senior patrol officer responding is looking at things from a different perspective. He or she may be looking at the safety of the traveling public; the safety of the responding officers and medics; the safety of the victims…which is the most important thing.
As a new officer, I was not yet trained to think like that.
But, once I was on the road a few years and having had many experiences like that, I was beginning to “think like my boss’s boss.” The Shift Sergeant back in the office wants to make sure the scene is handled expeditiously and safely. His patrol supervisor must make the decision on the scene on how to make the scene as safe as possible and help the victims at the same time.
The patrol supervisor has the authority to ORDER that all traffic on that artery of highway be STOPPED and DETOURED off the highway (if the accident scene involves a fatality or serious injury, a Crash Reconstruction Team is called and their investigation could take 3 hours or more, during which no traffic will be allowed to travel through the scene).
Once I was trained to handle those types of serious, emergency situations, I PERSONALLY could order the shut down of a major highway artery! The shift sergeant had the absolute trust that I could evaluate the scene and make that determination.
Once the victims had been removed and the debris cleaned up and the Crash Reconstruction Tem had cleared – the order was then given to reopen the roadway to normal traffic.
As far as being the senior patrol officer on the scene, my job was finished.
But, let’s look at what happened up the chain of command…
I made the decision to close the roadway…
My shift sergeant, having trust and confidence in my abilities from past experiences…tells State High Way to “shut it down” and dispatches other officers to establish detour exits (totally disrupting traffic – but we are making the attempt to keep some traffic flow to continue).
The Detachment commander is notified and, per department policy, will respond to monitor the situation from the scene and communicate to the Senior Staff and the Chief what is going on the status of the investigation.
The Chief of Police rarely will respond to these scenes. He has complete trust and confidence in his Senior Staff and Detachment Commanders to handle the situation and make the appropriate decisions.
The Chief of Police usually calls the Governor’s office and talks to the Governor’s Chief of Staff and apprises him of the situation. The Chief of Staff will then inform the Governor. The Governor does not usually come down to inspect the accident scene – even though a major highway interstate artery is shut down in his jurisdiction! Why? Because he has complete trust and confidence in the Chief of Police’s decisions as well.
So, from the Governor down to the Patrol Officer, everyone has the trust and confidence of his subordinates that the right call will be made – every single time.
You might ask, “I don’t understand. Ho does all of this applies to me and my organization.”
If you select your subordinate supervisors (Department heads, whatever you want to call them) and instruct them to train their delegated supervisors according to company policies and standard operating procedures. And to teach them to look at their decisions through the eyes of their supervisor (initially) and then through “your eyes” – and to make the appropriate call based upon that training…you will have a smooth running operation!
It will not happen overnight. It might take a year to implement. But don’t give up. If it is not happening – ask “WHY isn’t this happening?” Do not accept anything less than total compliance.
You will hear your department heads whine and complain that it cannot be done. But it can be done if YOU demand it be done. Inform your supervisors that if they are “unable to get this accomplished in their departments – maybe they are not right for the job.”
YOU must demand this level of discipline!
“If I did that, they would quit!”
GOOD! That means now you can hire (or promote from within) someone who WILL train to standard and run the department according to the “Commanders Intent.”
Teach your people how to THINK LIKE THEIR BOSS’s BOSS THINKS…
Teach your people how to handle their routine jobs successfully on a daily basis…
Teach your people how to handle to “routine emergencies” that pop up from time to time…
Teach your people how to handle the extreme emergencies that may arise when you are not there (based upon company established policies and procedures)…
Teach your people that you have their backs on the decisions they make in these emergency situations… that as long as they are following company protocol, policies and established procedure, there will be no repercussions regardless of the outcome…
Teach them your “COMMANDERS INTENT” in how to handle extreme situations...
If you do these things… you will increase your company’s retention rate…
You will see an increase in moral…
You will see an increase in job pride…
You will see an increase in your bottom line (because of job retention, training costs will begin to decrease).
In short – train your team (employers and supervisors) how to use the proper training methods and how to think like you want them to think – like you!
One more area I would like to discuss is mainly for Supervisors – but can by used by Subordinates as well if handled correctly:
When things go wrong – YOU accept the blame…never blame a subordinate unless it is malicious and willful and intended to purposefully destroy equipment, product or the business.
Other than those situations, YOU accept the blame. In the eyes of your client; in the eyes of your subordinate supervisors and in the eyes of your employees.
NEVER put the blame on someone or on some department unless it is willful, malicious and was intentional. Then, the appropriate response is to fire that person immediately. But make sure those were the conditions being met. If the problem was lack of training, lack of monitoring or any combination of those items – YOU accept the responsibility. Then implement training to correct the deficiency.
When things go right – YOU never accept the credit…you pass along all the credit to your team members – as a whole. You may recognize someone on your team for an exceptional job – in front of your team. But when representing your team to your superiors, you only give credit to the entire team.
When it comes time to leave the team you have built, either as a supervisor and you are receiving a promotion, or you are leaving to pursue other interests, you will know your team can function without you.
If you are leaving your team, you can assist your replacement by teaching them to utilize this system in their life. Especially the part about “Thinking like your boss’s boss.” It will go along way in helping them to be successful and making the transition for your subordinates you are leaving behind a lot smoother as well.
Train your new employees from the start in the T.E.A.M. concept…
Teach your supervisors to use the T.E.A.M. training concept…
Teach your supervisors to make decisions based upon HOW YOU WOULD HANDLE THE SITUATION…
Hold your supervisors responsible for teaching their subordinates in thinking like THEY WOULD THINK (which you have already taught them to think LIKE YOU would think)…
This ultimately will result in every employee in every department in every situation…
THINKING LIKE YOU WOULD THINK!
And it all starts with training new employees and then existing employees and supervisors to use the T.E.A.M. training concept…
TRAIN…for the skill level required for routine tasks that must be accomplished by the employee.
TRAIN…for the next supervisory level of ROUTINE tasks that the employee can help with…
EMPOWER…the new employee to do the routine tasks with minimal supervision.
EMPOWER…the new employee to make decisions upon what he or she believes you want accomplished.
ACCOUNTABILITY… Unless this is a critical decision (in which case, the new employee should not be making this decision yet), allow the decision to play out. If the outcome is not the desired outcome, hold the employee ACCOUNTABLE and use it as a teaching point. Then allow the employee to make some corrections until the desired outcome is accomplished…
ACCOUNTABILITY… Allow the supervisor to make decisions and then BACK the supervisor (unless the decision is totally wrong and against established policies and procedures). EVEN IF THE DECISION is wrong and negatively impacts the contract or deal you are making – if the decision was one you delegated to the supervisor to make – BACK THAT PERSON and do not “blame them” for making the decision. Use it as a teaching point and move on.
MONITOR…be sure to have your finger on the pulse of the business. Monitor each department, especially as you insist on them using the T.E.A.M. training concept. Remember, “M” is for MONITOR and not for “micromanage!” Do not make the base decisions that should be made at the employee level and supervisor level. Allow them to make the decisions and teach them how to make their decisions based upon what YOU want accomplished.
You should use this training with the understanding that this training can be implemented from the bottom up as well as the top down! As a patrol officer, I was already familiar with this type of training and took it upon myself to implement and learn my supervisors job. I was made a Field Training Officer and taught newly graduated academy officers how to “Think like I would think and to think like the shift sergeant would think.” Most of my officers that I trained were quickly promoted because they had a better grasp of the next level supervisors job.
I was promoted ahead of my peers to patrol supervisor. I took it upon myself to learn the shift sergeants job – and to think like the Detachment Commander…I was again promoted ahead of my peers and ahead of others that had been shift supervisors for many years. As the shift supervisor, I took it upon myself to learn the Detachment Commanders job and to think like the Chief of Police and his senior staff would think. At the same time, I began to train my subordinates to “Think like I would think and to think like my boss would think.” I could go on vacation or take days off and not even worry about how my shift was running.
This training system works!
I used it successfully in building my insurance agency. I hired and trained agents to sell like I sold. They became award winning agents in less than six months! I hired office staff and trained them until I identified someone who “Thought like I thought” when it came to the office staff responsibilities – and made that person the office staff supervisor. I could go on vacation and not worry about the office. The agents knew what to do and how to do it and the office staff would function like they were supposed to.
So, civilian, military or quasi-military like the police, fire departments, etc. are – this system works!
Teach your people how to THINK LIKE THEIR BOSS’s BOSS and you will have a very smooth running organization - at all levels. This will allow you to focus on growing your business – and not on running it!
Your friends, who are running other businesses and always fretting over issues you have others handling, ask you how you do this, you can tell them you know how to
GROW YOUR BUSINESS BY USING THE T.E.A.M. TRAINING CONCEPT
This training manual is based upon the training philosophy that the author has used successfully over the last 40 years. This training philosophy has been successfully used by the author in the military (where he first learned it); in his civilian business life (where he built an insurance agency from the ground up into the #2 producing office nationwide for his company in just 5 years); and as a police officer, patrol supervisor and a shift supervisor for his police agency.
All examples used are from the authors own personal life experiences. All examples pertaining to the words “You, Your Business, etc.” are only used for hypothetical cases. Any resemblance to actual situations you may have experienced is purely coincidental.
About The Author
Robert Thibodeau came from a divided home life. His mother died when he was 18 months old. His 19 year old father decided he could not raise him alone and was going to put him up for adoption. Instead, his grandparents stepped in and became his legal guardians.
He was raised mainly by his grandparents. But in between were a few years where his father would take him back in to live with him. That is when his father was not in prison and was married to one of his four wives.
Immediately after graduation from high school in June 1977, he entered the US Army as an enlisted soldier. He served nine years as an enlisted soldier with numerous commendations during that time. He was the first person in the history of the 8th US Army Non-Commissioned Officers Academy to graduate with a 100% rating throughout the in house academy period. He graduated as the “Distinguished Graduate.” This distinction soon found him appearing before numerous “NCO of the Quarter” (which he won each round, from his unit to I Corps). He then appeared before the 8th US Army NCO of the Year Board and placed 2nd, losing first place by only 2 points. The slide projector which he was using for his presentation jammed. He was able to quickly clear the jam in just a few seconds, but the three member panel deducted one point each for the jam. He lost by 2 points (meaning he would have won NCO of the Year if the slide projector had not jammed).
He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) two months before he was technically eligible (because of his Distinguished Graduate achievement and his Distinction earned throughout his NCO of the Year competition.
He was selected to attend the US Army Drill Sergeant School and became a Drill Sergeant (or “DI”) and served three years in that status at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was also selected as the Drill Sergeant of the Quarter for his Brigade while serving as a “DI.”
He was hand picked to transfer from Fort Bliss, Texas to start a new Drill Sergeant program at Fort Eustis, VA in 1984. He served two years in that position before applying for and being accepted into the US Army Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, GA.
Within his first two weeks at OCS, he had already accumulated four “merit points.” This was an unusual achievement as most Officer Candidates do not earn even one merit their entire four months of training! This further demonstrated the professional level of leadership he possesses.
Since he was earning his college degree by taking classes one or two classes at a time throughout the first nine years of service, he found himself in the unusual position of being “out of contention” for promotion to Captain during his first round of promotion selection. Despite excellent ratings and superior achievements in tactics and evaluations, he was passed over for promotion selection as he was competing against Military Academy graduates and ROTC graduates in June 1989. This was also when the Pentagon decided to cut back its officer corps to save money.
Despite what could have been called as “stellar career” – he was passed over and then denied a second chance at promotion (as the Army Regulations specified), when the Secretary of the Army waived the “Second Passover Promotion” cycle in order to mandate the cut in officer staff.
Thibodeau was out of a job…
He was offered the opportunity to return to enlisted status, but declined.
He opted instead to begin an insurance career. Within just a few months, he was scoring high on the sales leader board for his company and began using these same leadership training techniques contained inside of this book to facilitate his own career. In just two years time, he was in a position to open his own agency office.
He then began hiring new agents and used the training philosophy contained inside this book to train his new agents and office staff. Within just a couple of years, his office was the number two producing agency in the country for the company he was working for.
When a buy out of the home office company started a change in the way the sales force were being told to operate, he decided it was time to close the office and pursue his dream of becoming a police officer.
At the age of 45, he became a Police Officer Candidate for a State of Maryland police agency. He graduated and began his law enforcement career. He used the same strategies and techniques described in this book to immediately gain recognition and awards from his department.
He was selected to be in the high visibility positon of Department spokesman as the Assistant Public Information Officer. He has been interviewed numerous times in television, radio and print. He was selected ahead of all his Academy classmates for promotion into leadership positions and advanced training, including Homeland Security training.
It was during this time he enrolled in The Johns Hopkins University Masters Degree Program for Law Enforcement Public Servants. He graduated in May 2008 with his MS in Management and a Certificate in Police Executive Leadership. His career was looking good…
Until he was injured while assisting with an accident investigation on the highway on a rainy night – where he was ultimately injured as well.
Two more surgeries over the next three years, as he fought to stay on duty, it was determined that he could no longer effectively perform the duties of a law enforcement officer – and he was forced to retire.
While recovering from another surgery, he started an online Christian radio station (www.evangelismradio.com) . This station rapidly grew in popularity and in August of 2015, it was rated by Shoutcast.com as the #1 online Christian radio station, in genre, in the world. It has maintained that ranking about 80% of the time. What started with only one broadcaster now boasts more than 50 broadcasters from all levels of ministry service!
Thibodeau has been sharing his training concepts online and in person for years. Now, he is following the advice of others in putting this program together in book form (this book is the result of that effort) and also in seminar format.
If you are a small to medium size business owner and would like to have Robert Thibodeau come to your organization and give a presentation / training on the T.E.A.M. concept to your supervisors, department heads or employees at large, either in a conference format or small department format – get in touch with him! You will not regret it!
For more information on bringing Robert Thibodeau to your office, company or conference, for a half day or full day training session (or as a breakout session of a larger conference), contact him a firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Robert Thibodeau, PO Box 4936, Baltimore, MD 21220 or call 443-986-9990.
Robert Thibodeau has been married since 1978 and has two grown daughters and seven grandchildren (at the time of this writing) and spends a lot of quality time with his family – everyone living in the Baltimore area.