Production and the Executive
Updated: Jan 24
One of the biggest problems facing many dealerships and manufacturers is how to get people who can really work and produce at the level required, whether it’s a sales rep, a service technician or an administrative staff member. The “blame” for this lack of work ethic is often attributed to the lazy employee or society in general. The problem with this explanation is that it leaves the dealer owner and management team all but powerless to fix it. How can we change someone who doesn’t want to work or even worse shift the viewpoint of an entire society?
True success lies in taking responsibility for as much as we can as managers and executives in our businesses. Did you ever notice how a good executive can get people excited and producing? It seems like magic. Luckily this magic has a basic formula, and this formula when applied works even when up against the challenges of a worker who doesn’t seem to want to produce or a society that tells people that they don’t have to produce.
In many of my articles I outline basic principles of the Hubbard Management System. For this particular topic I felt it would be best to let you read it directly from the source. The following passage is excerpted from a Hubbard Management System Policy Letter written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1982. I think it applies to many businesses today just as much as it did more than 35 years ago.
WHAT IS AN EXECUTIVE?
“What is an executive? Is it someone who is important? Who gets more pay? Who has authority? Perhaps. But these are not the real reasons that such posts exist.
Most successful executives can personally do more work than other people: their output, quite usually, is very large. And though this is often necessary, that isn’t the reason either.
Let us take up the meaning of the word “executive.” It is derived from the word “executor” which means “a person who gets something done or produced.” The word comes from the Latin ex – completely + sequi – to follow, and means, “to follow through to the end.” In other words, to get something DONE!
In any business or production organization, its prosperity depends upon GETTING THINGS DONE!
The executive is there to ensure that the people produce what they are supposed to produce and in viable quantity and acceptable quality.
And that is why an executive is there and that is what he is supposed to do…
One sees the TV commercials and reads the paperbacks and they tell him that his goal is expensively bought leisure and that the ideal is to lie beneath the palm trees and do no work. Whole ideologies get built around this beautiful dream of a world in which no single person ever lifts a finger and sighs away his days in loafing bliss.
Unfortunately, this does not align with the facts. The unhappiest little kids in the world are those who have nothing to do: They whine and mope and quarrel and are quite a burden to their mamas. People on relief or living on social security are the most miserable lot, morale-wise, one ever collided with: they will tell you they would rather have a job. The death rate of men who have retired is startling: cast aside and feeling purposeless, no longer producing anything, they, as insurance companies will tell you, mostly pine away and die. In short, people who don’t produce are very unhappy people…
A certain amount of lying in the sun is a good thing. A laborer should not be worked to death…
Of course, there are penalties connected to getting people to produce. They are often green and unhatted [not trained so that one can produce the products expected] and need somebody to show them where to put what when. They are often bewildered and don’t understand why these papers have to go in the right folders. And when one tries to get them to do some work, they sometimes snarl back or walk off and won’t play pool with one anymore.
But if one thinks that by taking it easy on staff he will make points, an executive is VERY mistaken. Usually such an executive is actually despised. Down deep the staff knows what he SHOULD be doing with them and if he, having the title, doesn’t do it, they see him as a fake.
It is interesting that staffs respect competent executives who get the job done. They respect the one that makes them work and they trust him.
It is a maxim [a concisely expressed principle] that crews, staffs and employees respect only those in power who do their jobs and get them to do theirs. Oh, yes, they will elect people who tell them they don’t have to work. But it’s interesting that the first ones they blame when things go wrong are these worker-oriented softies: in the chaos of their wake, the next one people will support is a tough, strong one who knows his business.
The only executives that staffs and crews really respect are those who get them to produce and get the job done…
However one tries to coat the pill, there is no substitute, in an executive, for the ability to get the crew to produce.
The fire-breathing executive will be followed and supported when the wishy-washy old pal guy will be stepped all over in the rush to follow a real leader…
It is not hard to detect a happy, cheerful organization: its statistics are up. And it is not hard to detect executives who are NOT making their crews produce: there’s lots of conflict and trouble in the place and their statistics are down.
Management looks everywhere for executives who can get their crews to really produce. And oddly enough, so do the crews. If you don’t believe it, try it.” - L. Ron Hubbard