People Know if You’re Watching

Linda LaitalaBusinessLeave a Comment

Last week a friend was venting his frustration about his neighborhood coffee shop.  Early every Saturday morning he goes for a run, planning to stop to read the newspaper and have a leisurely cup of coffee when the shop opens.   

The scheduled opening time is 7 AM, but the woman who opens the coffee shop on Saturday is never on time.  She wanders in a few minutes after 7 and turns on the lights and starts the coffee before letting the waiting customers enter.  Then she sets out the fresh bakery items.  This happens every Saturday she works.

Customers are annoyed and grumble, but apparently she’s not supervised.  The Monday-through-Friday manager is never present and it’s obvious the owners don’t monitor her performance.

His story reminded me of a very different scenario. A couple years ago I took a tour of a large, successful manufacturing company with the Senior VP of Manufacturing.  Along the way he stopped twice to have what looked like to me a serious conversation with the department supervisors.  When I asked if there was a problem, he replied: “Whenever I see someone not doing their job, I take it up with their manager because that’s often the cause of the problem.”

Two very different styles of management, two very different results.

How do you manage your company?

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