📈 How to Lead Your Business to Higher Growth in 2019 – The Hines Story
It’s no secret that there are many different factors that ultimately lead to the success of a business. I was fortunate to learn a very important lesson early in my career that has helped me tremendously. By following what I am about to share with you now, I have been able to excel as a leader and help many businesses grow and operate at highly efficient levels.
Staring out as an 18 year old Operations Supervisor in a large Fortune 500 corporation, I was given an understanding of the expectations that were required of me. When my manager told me of “The Hines Story,” I initially chalked it up as another case study that would be read in one of my college business classes. It wasn’t until I actually started applying this method that I truly understood the power of what will follow.
Over the years, I would share this exact story with those that could benefit. As such, I am extremely happy to have the ability to now share this amazing process with you. Enjoy!
The Hines Story
Coaching Your Team About Understanding Expectations to Grow Your Business
Mr. Hines, the owner of the Hines Lumber Company recently had to fill a top executive position. Two of his managers with equal experience were considered, but the choice went to the man who had fewer years with the company. Upon learning of the promotion, the other man asked Mr. Hines why he wasn’t the one selected. Instead of answering him, Mr. Hines asked him if any lumber had come in that day. The man said he would check and a few minutes later reported that a truckload had arrived that morning. Mr. Hines then wanted to know the type of lumber. After again checking, the manager told him it was number 6 pine. Mr. Hines then asked the man, how many board feet were in the order? Again leaving the room to check, he returned shortly with the answer of 3500 board feet. This type of questioning went on for several minutes.
Mr. Hines asked the man to sit in the next room, leaving the door ajar so he could still hear. Mr. Hines then called to the manager who had been promoted and asked him if any lumber had arrived that day. The manager said he would check and in a few minutes he returned with the following answer. A truckload of number 6 pine had come in on track three at 9:30 am and totaled 3500 board feet. The lumber was unloaded by 2:00 pm and stored in warehouse number 18. It was order number 65-03 for the Williams Company and its total value was $16,352.00.
Mr. Hines thanked the man and said he could go. After the second man left, Mr. Hines called in the first manager who had heard the entire conversation. The first manager said he now understands why the other man had been promoted instead of himself.
(p.s. I have not been able to track down the origin of this amazing story. There are a handful of published articles with the same information and no source.)
What is the lesson to take from this story?
Regardless of the type of business you operate or the size of your company, leadership is very important. Even as a “one man band” home service company, you are ultimately accountable to yourself as a business owner and operator. This lesson on leadership and coaching your team about understanding expectations is fundamental to the success of your business.
Develop these traits into the daily operation of each team member in your company, and the growth you are looking for will soon follow!
- Take the initiative: Don’t always wait to be told about getting the work done. This mindset will allow your team to get out ahead of opportunities or problems.
- Operate with responsibility: Take pride in the work you do! Pay close attention to details and give your maximum effort through it all. Learn from any mistakes and take action to prevent them from happening again in the future.
- Communication is key: Clarity on tasks or objectives is paramount. Between all the different forms of communication in todays business, a message can sometimes be confusing. Set the expectations early about asking questions for clarity if needed. Having to “work backwards” because of a misunderstanding can become costly.