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Learn how to lead from founders who have been

I will always remember the day I walked into work 12 years ago.

That’s when the staff stole my toilet paper.

On this special day, three or four people are taking a smoke break. My mom was inside – she was my customer service rep at the time – and both of her phones were off. She tried to put the caller on hold. But boy, she’s ready to pull her hair out. No one helped her.

I feel very angry. I feel like I have no control over anything in the business. I hate the wordculture. I hate my employees. I would rant: “They don’t listen, they don’t love me, they don’t know, they’re not smart. If they do it, or if I don’t do it right, it’s not going to be done right.”

Heck, I even hate my own business! I hate it when the phone rings – it rings in the middle of a movie, on the night of dinner, after a walk…I’m on the phone all the time.

But then I realized…

Everything I do is for myself.

I let bad things happen.

Me, Tommy Mello, is the problem.

If I can’t take responsibility for the company, why should I expect my employees to do the same?

I did not appear as a leader. I am not responsible for my mistakes. I am not giving my employees the support they need. How can I expect them to succeed?

That’s how I’ve taken responsibility since then:

1. Choose not to be a victim.

My parents got divorced early. I got a job when I was 12. My mom worked three jobs – she was a waitress, a waitress and a bartender. I turned it all into a good thing. My mom taught me how to work and how to love. My father taught me how to stay competitive. Stay away from victim mentality: “I’ll never do that.” “I’ll never do it.”

2 . Apologize when you screw up.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. I do it all the time. But here’s the thing: if you screw up once, you can learn. You can get it right. You can say “sorry” and fix the problem. But if you keep making the same mistakes over and over, then you can only blame yourself!

3. Representative, do not pour.

Most owners think they are delegating, but the reality is they just dump the work on their employees and expect a miracle to happen! No wonder they didn’t get the results they wanted. So how to properly delegate? Well, I created systems, processes and checklists so that everyone knows what they are doing, how and why. I also asked Al Levi—a veteran home services business owner and consultant—to create our how-to manual. We had nothing when he came in to help and I am forever grateful to Al.

4. Make mentoring and training a priority.

If your employees don’t use the best systems, they’re useless. That’s why they need ongoing support to provide high quality and consistent service. We provide training examples and scripts, and we do weekly live role-plays. We also completed a brand new training center this year. result? Most of our top technicians have just completed training.

Bottom line:

The “worst employees” are usually the good ones. Most of the time, they just need your help. Ask yourself: “Am I giving them the systems or training they need? Can they be coached?” And, more importantly, look at yourself in the mirror and say honestly: “I take on the leader’s Responsibility?”



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