Joe Coulombe was a visionary.
At least, he was by most standards. In the late ’50’s, he launched a small chain of convenience stores in southern California called Pronto Markets, that was similar to the 7-11 model.
But then, he altered his business model. Always one for innovation and improvement, he created something that would better serve the growing population of the “well-educated” and embraced the health food movement.
Eventually, the market grew, so he decided to add more locations—especially around universities and young professional hubs. He added more healthy, organic foods to the markets’ shelves, and diversified his offerings. He paid his employees so well that most of them average 35 years with the company. He trained them to be better than the rest. “What I keep telling people [is] forget about the merchandise; it’s the quality of the people in the stores…So it’s the quality of the people and new ideas.” (New York Times interview by Pat Morrison, May 2011)
That market is Trader Joe’s.
Joe Coulombe realized something that most companies forget…”it’s the quality of the people” that will ultimately lead you to success. When the team is unified and energized around a common purpose, they are motived to achieve far more than is asked of them. Leadership and team development are key to unifying a team. We are not referring to an off-the-shelf “training” that adds no value, but a customized, engaging, business-relevant process that permeates throughout the organization. That is what LeadAdvantage has done for many leading organizations. We partner with your internal team to create a winning formula for your leaders, future leaders and organization. “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
Developing those who lead our teams makes sense. Yet, that level often are the ones who do not receive any development at all. There are two primary reasons development does not occur at the management level. One, because the managers don’t believe they personally need it (the mentality of “my team needs training, not me” or “the problem is out there somewhere,”…when in reality it is right here…with the manager and his/her ability to lead effectively). Two, the company doesn’t think investing in leadership development is worth the time and money. Either case can be detrimental to productivity. A side note is that it needs to be a high-energy, engaging, business-relevant process that brings reality to the room and provides value-added practices to take away and put into play immediately with the team. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that offer comprehensive training and development programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized development. But it doesn’t stop there. These companies also enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training & development. It would seem that continuing to invest in training and development, even when there are hard times, is the smart play. (Newsletter by Karla Gutierrez, August 2017 – taken from http://businesstrainingexperts.com/knowledge-center/training-roi/profiting-from-learning/) A notable finding from a Skillsoft survey was that employees do not expect training to stop once they are no longer a “new-starter.” Some 68% felt workplace development was always relevant, regardless of seniority or time in service. (Entrepreneurial Magazine, May 2016)
We often promote our star players and assume due to their knowledge and work ethic that they will be strong leaders of others on the team. Yet, more often than not, the star player acquired that status because of doing what they were good at and what came naturally…focusing on the actual work. That does not necessarily make the “star” good at leading or developing others, nor does it mean they enjoy doing those things. This is the number one reason I am asked to coach managers in organizations…they are great at their job but not at leading their team…and they are failing as a result. At that level, it is more important to lead effectively and teach others how to work efficiently than it is to do the work ourselves. We must stop thinking of leadership development as skills training or as a soft skill. Leadership is most definitely the toughest part of management. (Be Legendary by Sherri Baldwin & Rick Vipperman) We have to expect highly talented managers and high-potential leaders to also be exceptionally skilled in effective leadership and coaching/developing their teams, and we have to maintain to retain these high quality people. That is how you take your organization to the next level quicker. You can’t afford not to continually develop your leaders and you can’t afford not to call LeadAdvantage today. Let us help you customize a winning formula for your leaders and organization. www.leadadvantageinc.com