Business Owner as Teacher and Coach!

I was reviewing the monthly financials with The Boss in advance of sending them to his banker, one of the services I offer is coaching The Boss how to manage a banking relationship.  I was challenging The Boss with a few questions regarding the change in his backlog.  The backlog for the previous month was close to a million dollars and now for this month it is next to nothing, and the revenues did not reflect the million dollars in sales.  We took a step back to analyze why and search out the root cause of the miss-information.  Come to find out the production manager, who was only a few months out of the field and now in a management position, had made an error when estimating the backlog.

It didn’t take long to determine that the production manager was never taught how to calculate the backlog.  Fortunately, in this case, we caught the error and adjusted the information prior to sending the financials to The Boss’s bank. After we found the problem, The Boss and I had a few conversations about how to fix the situation so it did not reoccur.

What I explained to The Boss, who was a hard-driving no-nonsense manager, that one of his main duties as owner of the company was to teach!  This is something The Boss knew in the back of his mind but never invested a lot of energy or time to, especially with his young inexperienced managers.  The good thing about this problem was the young manager was totally dedicated to the company and was eager to learn.  He understood he needed more training and was looking forward to the one-on-one time with The Boss.

Remember when you were in school and your full-time job was to be a student?  Your teachers were the subject matter experts and your job was to learn the lessons.  These young managers are not that far removed from school and still have that mindset.  They are open to learning from The Boss, the company’s subject matter expert.  Spend time with these young people and offer the benefits of your years of wisdom.  You may experience a lot of personal satisfaction as you pass along the fine points of the job and coach them to their peak performance.  If The Boss does not teach the new managers they will either get the information from others in the organization, and the information may or may not be accurate, not accurate in this case, or with these younger managers you can expect they will Google their questions and think whatever comes up on Google is the correct answer.  Neither of these scenarios is what you want for your company.

The Boss explained to me that he had tons of work and the teaching and coaching thing was not necessarily in his character, I explained that these young managers would get the information one way or the other and would he want to control the process or have others steer the ship?  Teaching and coaching others is as important as knowing when to work on your business and when to work in your business.  It is a learned discipline and The Boss will have to decide how important it is to his company and dedicate his time and talents to developing the next generation of managers.