Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - 34

UP FRONT
BUSINESS FITNESS by Paul Boucherle CPP CSC
BUSINESS FITNESS | TECH TALK | MONITORING MATTERS
Business Asset Protection 101
AS SECURITY PROFESSIONALS, we understand how to
protect our customers' facilities, assets and people
against critical events that would harm them.
But what about protecting your own company's most
valued assets? Do you pay attention to your business? Well, if
not, you should!
High-quality talent - those who solve problems, work
tirelessly, and show up and deliver with a smile and a good
attitude - are unicorns. They're also expensive to replace.
Circumstances that are out of your control include retirement,
sickness or relocation for personal/family reasons.
Other circumstances, however, are well within your control.
These include quality leadership (at all levels), open and
eff ective communication, understanding of team members'
motivators/values/goals and, most important, active listening.
What if you don't exhibit these qualities? You pay a steep
price, my friend! What's the tab? $50K to $75K+ and six months'
loss of productivity! Any systems integrator owner who delivers
high-quality customer service gets this observation. Those
who don't are frankly B players, at best.
Pick Your Situation
If you're a new senior leader of a company, there are typically
three business scenarios that are common. Pick your situation
and refl ect on it.
Save the Titanic: The company that you've parachuted into -
hopefully, with your eyes wide open - is at serious risk of sinking.
Multiple business hull breaches will require dispassionate,
urgent decision-making and immediate triage measures.
The delivery systems for customer service and profi tability
have taken torpedoes in the main hull, and they don't have
Zebra fi ttings (watertight doors) to contain the damage. The
ship is taking on water; passengers (customers and associates)
are getting into lifeboats to avoid going down with the
ship. What leadership style makes sense here?
There's only one answer: a total, full-on, Marines-style mission
to save USS Your Company. It's not pretty, and it's heavy handed,
but it's necessary and strong. To save the ship, decision-making is
not by committee; micromanagement of decisions is required.
This management style will ruffl e feathers in the company
culture. Survival takes priority. When revenues are low and costs
are high, bring lots of body bags; there is going to be wholesale
attrition. Trust me, hurt feelings will not matter much to a " my
way or the highway " manager. Notice I did not say " leader. "
What can make this individual a leader is honest communication
with associates, delivered in a timely manner and with
confi dence, to lead the company forward.
A New Growth Vision
An Approachable Leader: What about a company that is not fundamentally
broken from a revenue or operational standpoint but
that might need a new growth vision to remain relevant, attack new
opportunities and seize new incremental profi t/volume margins?
In this role, you need an approachable leader who listens
and appreciates the assets that he/she has been entrusted to
develop. You need someone who communicates well and who
paints a vision and mission with a wide palette of colors...
someone who can talk to all employees concisely but with
passion, candor and sincerity.
Leaders who put this into practice will have a " good to great "
company story to tell! Employees fl ourish; team members contribute
in new ways; and management attracts new A players
to join the team. Attrition is virtually nonexistent, except for
those who reluctantly retire.
Management Mismatch: Now, what if you have a company
scenario like " B " but with a new company manager like " A " ? Well,
in my opinion/experience, a few things are going to happen:
1. The costs of talent attrition will be staggering, even though
new management will oſt en downplay them. " Hey...the
cost of doing business! " Blah blah blah.
2. Company and employee morale will be terrible, as team
members will be ruled by fear and kept in the dark until
they get a rude surprise.
3. The customers and channels you serve will know something
is not right with your culture, and they might start
looking for alternatives. Taking a hit to your company
brand is quite expensive.
In today's security industry, the top talent pool is shallow. So,
don't install a high diving board manager to manage a wading
pool; you won. SSI
PAUL BOUCHERLE, Certifi ed Protection Professional (CPP) and Certifi ed Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfi eld, Ohio-based
Matterhorn Consulting (matterhornconsulting.com) and an SSI Industry Hall of Famer. He has more than 30 years of diverse security and
safety industry experience. He can be reached at paul@matterhornconsulting.com or @swisssherpa.
34 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Jan/Feb 2024
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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024

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