Business Growing? So Must Your Management Style

By Joe Legato, Bill & Rod’s Appliances & Mattresses

At the time of this writing I am in my 11th year of working in the family business and in my sixth year in some type of management role.

When I entered into management, we were a very small business in a very small location. When we wanted to talk something out or needed guidance, we could simply turn our chairs around or walk across the room. My team knew exactly where I stood because I was with them all day.

As we have grown, we have moved to a larger space, added more team members and added additional layers of management. Things still seemed to flow as they always had. I would talk individually with our team members while walking the store, and it seemed to be keeping everyone on the same page. We have continued to grow.

Now we are larger than ever, with even more volume and moving parts. Everything around me has changed except me, still trying to manage solely by walking around. I have maintained great rapport with my team, but channels for clear direction have been muddied.

What happened?

It’s more like, what didn’t happen. I neglected formal meetings — regular sit-downs that reinforce our company standards, core values, troubleshooting of processes, and how to address recurring issues. This crucial piece of the puzzle helps to build solid foundations for future growth. They keep all managers on the same page and can be replicated within their divisions.

Management by walking around is not bad; and in fact, I would strongly encourage it. But there comes a point when that alone is not enough. Regular meetings with intentionality will maintain the vision and keep managers engaged, and that energy with sustain growth.

Bill & Rod’s Appliance, Inc. is Located in Livonia, MI. we serve the Metro Detroit area.

Joe Legato is Chief Operating Officer of BrandSource member Bill & Rod’s Appliance & Mattresses, a retail and service company in Livonia, Mich. Now in its third generation, the family-owned and operated business provides appliances, mattresses, grills, and appliance parts and service to the greater metro Detroit market.