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Success for Independent Contractors: Strategy and Character

By Todd Liles October 30, 2012 Success for Independent Contractors: Strategy and Character

Leaders that desire to grow to be the best they can be for their team are always working to combine attributes that will produce success within their HVAC, plumbing, or electrical company.  Overtime, true leaders and mentors within independent contracting companies will learn that the best leadership style comes with a mixture of interpersonal values and business skills.  However, the best combination comes when leaders implement a large dose of personal integrity with a dash of business smarts.  Norman Schwarzkopf (a successful former US Army General and Commander) explains this successful combination in this intriguing quote, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”  In our post today, we are going to take this quote and break it down to explain the importance of these two specific areas—strategy and, most importantly, character.

-Strategy- the ways in which we develop our team, build our business model, and grow KPIs-

Every strong team will use a company plan to guide them throughout the business world, whether it is within their interaction with clients, the manner in which they close sales, or the way in which they keep paperwork records.  Strategy works to keep a team organized, on track, and accountable.  Strategy is developed first within the minds of company owners and leaders, then initially developed with the company mission statement.  A mission statement is broken down to reveal the categories in which a team must focus in order to reach the company’s most basic goal.  When these areas are broken down, then team training can be implemented in order to ensure that a company team is presenting a united front within all areas of business, company-client relations, and company-community relations.

-Character- the way in which we make decisions and conduct ourselves—even when no one is looking-

The character behind a company begins with the company leaders.   These mentors and leaders set the tone and the standard for all other company team members.  When company leaders emphasize the importance of honesty, service excellence, quality, and trust by living these attributes out then team members will be more likely to follow suite and walk in the tracks of their leaders.  However, if a company does not begin and stem from leaders that have a character of strength and integrity then all the strategy creating in the world could not keep their reputation in the business world and with clients from becoming tainted.  Our character building is established by focusing on making moment-by-moment choices based on what we know is ethical, even if no one is watching.

While an independent contracting team’s strategy is essential to lasting success, it is secondary to the company leaders’ as well as the company team’s character and integrity.  Strategy can be developed over a matter of days, weeks, and months but character and personal values are instilled over an individual’s lifetime– thus their influence runs deep.  When business skills and strategy are mixed with strong company values, integrity, and character then it is a combination that propagates not only monetary business success but builds a positive and lasting company reputation and standard.

Company growth and success comes from strategic business plans but first and foremost from the character of company leaders.  In the quote from Norman Schwarzkopf, we learn that while the mixture of character and strategy is ideal, the most important component is always character.  Here at S.E.T. we love working with company leaders and their teams as they work to build strong businesses but also strong leaders through character-building.  Thank you for following our weekly post.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training

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