Report: Staff Initiative Hits All Time Low in Middle Management

I was at a networking meeting recently, and found myself in a small gaggle of business owners, all complaining about one thing – no, not the government’s squeeze on small business, or the tax man’s hefty cut, not even about the weather – they were all grouching and grumbling and finding fault with… their people!

One, Mark, was a really successful bloke.  He’d built his business from nothing, working with a really small team that he’d hand picked and trained himself.  And from what he said, they’d had great fun together, finding customers, building relationships, growing their revenue like topsy – they’d hit a £1million within 12 months – what a team.  What a joy it had been to go to work.

Until, seemingly overnight, it all changed. 

Their great success had meant a bigger team, and with the bigger team came the bigger problems. People not turning up, people waiting to be told what to do, people all doing things in their own sweet way. Mark had lost count of the number of days he’d wasted sorting petty people issues.

He’d tried to distance himself, making two of his original team up to manager as some sort of buffer.  But they’d been worse than useless, coming to him with every problem, wanting him to make all of the decisions, and not making any impact on performance. One of them had already gone, and Mark knew the other was looking for a way out too.

He was clearly frustrated as hell.  He’d lost his love for his business, felt like it was all falling apart, and he was working so much harder now, just to stand still.

And around him, the rest of the gaggle stood, nodding and agreeing and sympathising. ‘Poor you Mark, we know just how you feel.  Same story, different day for all of us!’

Oh my life, I couldn’t bear it.  Such successful business people, struggling like this, and all sooooo unnecessary!

So, I took a deep breath, and stepped into the pool of gloom.

‘Hey guys’ I said (cos I’m cool like that!), ‘I understand what you’re going through, but you know it doesn’t have to be this way, don’t you?’

They turned to look at me, like I’d just said that Elvis had ridden past on Shergar. 

But I ploughed on anyway…

‘Nobody comes to work wanting to do a bad job.

‘Do you mind me asking you Mark, if your two managers had ever managed before?

‘I could be wrong, but it sounds like the lack of initiative comes from them not knowing what you’re trying to achieve, maybe not having systems to follow, not being trained properly, and are they getting regular feedback and recognition?’

By this point, they were standing open mouthed, so I continued:

‘If you want your life back – want managers who take initiative and a team that performs whether you’re there or not – look to McDonald’s. Look at what they do! Their consistency.  Their reliability.

‘How much happier will you be when you have that in your business?’

You CAN have a successful business and a life.  You CAN build a team like McDonald’s and have their level of consistency.  If they can do it, so can you.

Want to know how?

Then download our McFreedom Report, and learn how to model McDonald’s to gain your own McFreedom.

Click HERE to download.

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