Did You Make the Grade? (Conclusion)


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Howard Scott |

Understand your leadership style to be a better manager

PEMBROKE, Mass. — What is your management style?

Let me talk a moment about my own management style, as a former drycleaning owner. Then, think about your own style and grade yourself.

As a business owner with 17 full-time employees, my management approach was aggressive in a slow, undemonstrative, steely way. I wasn’t loud or pushy.

In fact, I was rather quiet. My general manager (a great person to have) did the “dirty work.” He hustled drivers when they were tardy. He made constructive criticisms. But my presence was felt.

At the beginning of each day, I was the one who asked/begged for special come-throughs. (“Can you do this for me?”) I was the boss who showed disappointment when things went wrong.

Which bring us to you.


How do your people regard you?

Are you a bully, constantly goading to do better? Do employees slink away from you when they know they are not completing their tasks at the standards you set?

Do staffers respect you as a person, causing them to work harder than they would ordinarily?

Are you viewed an up or down (or hot and cold) personality, which makes one unsure of how you will react?

Are you seen as autocratic, confident you'll be obeyed?

Do employees consider you an enigmatic presence, who confuses everyone with his/her indecisive pronouncements, and can’t figure out what your real motives are?

Look at yourself. Analyze what kind of a leader you are. Write down a description.

Was your insight accurate? Then decide how you motivate your people.

Perhaps you motivate the processing staff differently from the cleaner. Perhaps you use a different approach with your route sales. What is your management style?

Finally, give yourself a grade: “B+” manager? “C” manager? “A-” manager?

Why give yourself this grade? Because it makes you evaluate your effectiveness. From that understanding may come improvements to do things differently; refocus or realign your drive. Sure it’s hard to change behavior, but not impossible.

Finally, it’s good to understand your leadership style, including both how it works and how it doesn’t work.

Now go out there and be a better manager.

To read Part 1, go HERE.

About the author

Howard Scott

Industry Writer and Drycleaning Consultant

Howard Scott is a former business owner, longtime industry writer and drycleaning consultant. He welcomes questions and comments and can be reached by writing Howard Scott, Dancing Hill, Pembroke, MA 02359; by calling 781-293-9027; or via e-mail at [email protected].


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