Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Leadership
Dec 21
2016

Establishing Policy

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I often encounter circumstances with a client who becomes angry with an employee who did the wrong thing even though there was no policy against the action.  Granted some circumstances are so basic they don’t require the cover of policy, but the majority of procedures should be covered.  I recall one manager who left the warehouse door unlocked which resulted in a theft. One of the defensive comments was “We didn’t have a policy about locking the door.”  Rather than saying exactly what I thought, I said nothing. The manager got the point.

Oct 31
2016

Lead by Example

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Looking back at my college experience, I don’t remember tons of information from those four years. What I gained most was what professors taught me about how to think as a business person. I remember some one-line phrases that became “keepers” for my business career. One was, “Your business will become a reflection of you.”  The professor elaborated by explaining that if you come in late, sloppy, hungover; the staff that you attract will follow your lead. Likewise, when you are professional, honest and have a passion for serving customers; you will build a similarly focused staff.

Sep 07
2016

How to Keep a Great Credit Score

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Years ago when I was in the international trade business, I began to have some responsibility for the financial part of the business. I remember the first meeting I attended with our banker. I was primarily a spectator during the meeting to learn how meetings between bankers and businesses were conducted. As the meeting ended, the banker looked at me and said “One of the most important aspects for you personally is to maintain a sterling credit record.” The banker explained that if I ever wanted to borrow money for business, my personal record would be extremely important. This lesson is still true today because the credit of a business owner and the business are typically treated as one.

Jul 13
2016

Look Back on Key Benchmarks

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I like to set goals and measure progress. Jeremiah provided a model when he said, "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take.”(Jeremiah 31:21a, NIV)  Hopefully you set ten year goals for yourself and can review how well you’ve done. Additionally, I think it’s important to take a five year review because long-term business initiatives will make a major impact.

Jul 01
2016

How to Communicate a Sense of Urgency

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Frequently, businesses must execute with urgency while other times immediate attention is needed. I’ve learned through my experience that what I feel is an urgent matter may not be treated that way by somebody else.

I was aware of an issue with a customer. I asked “Lee,” the sales manager, to get the local representative to contact the customer promptly. I wanted Lee to discuss the issue and make sure we correctly resolved the problem. Two weeks later I learned that we lost the account. When I followed up with Lee to learn what happened, I found out that he put a note in the mail to the sales rep who didn’t even see the request for a week. It meant that no one had visited with the customer. I took part of the responsibility because I failed to communicate with Lee that he needed to get a salesperson to the customer within two days.