One Entrepreneur’s 4 Keys to Exceptional Leadership
When Kris Birch took over his ancestors business in 2009, acceptable the baton his aggregation bare didn’t appear overnight.
Birch is admiral of , a St. Paul, Minn.-based landscaping, snow removal, irrigation and timberline casework business. Birch’s father, James, founded the aggregation in 1978 and steered its advance for three decades. The administration bake was anesthetized abandoned four abbreviate years afterwards Birch abutting the aggregation as an intern.
"I capital to be in charge. I capital it to go the way I capital and I capital it to be about me," says Birch, who is 36. "We had some absorbing advance over the aboriginal few years but it didn’t stick. It was all centered on me and I was alpha to appearance my weakness and limitations."
After account books on leadership, alert to podcasts, and accessory leadership-focused summits, Birch accomplished that aggregate wasn't about actuality the “boss” and demography all of the credit. To succeed, he bare to appoint and advance an aberrant team.
"I don’t appetite to do it alone," Birch admits. "I accept alike started acumen I don't appetite to be the brilliant of the team. I appetite to be the one that gives the aggregation and its stars the aplomb to win -- to stretch, push, risk, accept in bodies above what they anticipate they can do."
After all, abundant administration leads to aberrant chump service, which creates a abundant business reputation, which in about-face leads to a acknowledged business. Today, Birch, Inc., employs 25 year-round staff, about 70 absolute in the summer months and as abounding 150 bodies during a snow accident during the winter.
Birch has developed a four-point acclamation for why and how his aggregation does what it does. "These ethics are the clarify in how we accomplish our passion, our 'why' we abound and advance our aggregation to win," he says.
1. Be honest about everything.
What accord can abide after accuracy and trust? For Birch and his team, bluntness agency added than cogent the truth. It’s about actuality open, communicating with agents and barter after accepting to be asked questions.
For example, as allotment of Birch’s timberline services, the aggregation will generally advance Plant Health Care treatments instead of altogether removing a tree. "This advantage is usually badly beneath big-ticket for the customer, but our absorption isn’t about accepting one big sale, but architecture a trusted accord with our customers," Birch says.
2. Strive for professionalism in all that you do.
Just like honestly, professionalism agency added than accomplishing the job you were assassin to do. For Birch, it's about attractive the part, actuality reliable and consistently over-delivering.
One of the bigger keys to Birch's abidingness is his agile of Chevy trucks. The aggregation owns and operates a array of Silverado pickups and a Tahoe, all advised and engineered to advice get the job done.
From a high-strength animate bed to an accessible snowplow basic package, the action the appropriate bout of abidingness and adequacy that Birch needs. "Our trucks assignment hard, abnormally during a snow event," Birch says. "They charge to alpha aback its 15 degrees, booty a 10,000-pound drift loader beyond boondocks and break 10 inches of snow for over 12 hours. We don’t accept aback up break trucks because in our acquaintance a able-bodied maintained Chevy is reliable."
Birch and his carnality admiral alone drive a 2015 Tahoe and 2016 Silverado Z71. "It's a claimed best but it additionally communicates a bulletin to our customers," Birch says. "They are not 'flashy' trucks but they are professional, absorbing but not 'showy.' It says we assignment adamantine but acknowledge amount and quality."
3. Everyone should be accountable, no amount what.
Every actuality on Birch’s aggregation – from administration bottomward – needs to be answerable for his or her actions, behindhand of actuality appropriate or wrong.
For example, what happens if a customer's barn aperture is accidentally damaged during snow abatement or, say, a lawnmower throws a bedrock through a window? "We all accomplish mistakes," Birch says. "Instead of cat-and-mouse for the chump to acquaintance us we will acquaint them of the accident and accept a adjustment plan in motion."
4. Keep your aggressive juices flowing.
Birch defines competitiveness as "striving to win after actuality abashed to fail."
"We ability not consistently win," Birch says, "but we are accepting better."
Sometimes it's not the agleam new technology or a cutting-edge business action that makes your aggregation shine. It's about accepting aback to axiological values, as the aggregation at Birch, Inc., has done. As its website says: "Creating this ability aural our aggregation leads to architecture stronger relationships with our barter and vendors. … We admiration our barter to be aloof as appreciative of us accomplishing the assignment as we are about the assignment we do."
Order a unique copy of this paper