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Leadership is Ongoing

Originally published: 03.01.20 by Pete Grasso

Over the years, we’ve published many articles on the topic of leadership. It seems to be one category no one can learn enough about. Month after month, leadership (along with financial) articles consistently rank amongst the most read content on hvacrbusiness.com.

When speaking with contractors, the topic of leadership often comes up as something they’re interested in reading about. While we’re comitted to providing new content every month, our entire library is available online and much of it is a good refresher. After browsing through some past leadership articles recently, I thought it would be a good reminder to share some of these nuggets of wisdom here.

Leadership vs. Management

Managing people also means looking after them and their needs, listening, and involving them whenever possible.

For most HVACR business owners or general managers, filling the role of manager means generating revenue, assigning work and financially managing the company. Growing a business and keeping it profitable requires tremendous time, energy and stamina, and it can seem natural to focus on the work that needs to be done, rather than the people who will be doing the work.

This is where leadership comes in. To make your business successful in the long term, it’s important

to nurture leadership traits in yourself and in potential leaders for your company’s future.

— Mike Moore, January 2019

The Genius of Leadership

The amount of energy, time, desire, passion and sheer will required to make your business grow and prosper is enormous. Yet, rarely do you see the owners working on improving his/her own leadership skills — to grow themselves personally so that, as the business grows, the owner stays ahead of the needs of the business and the people inside of the business.

You need to frame your leadership practices to be responsible to your people, not for your people. As a leader, you have to be able to hold them accountable for the work they perform at the standards you’ve established, and that means you have to create an environment of accountability and standards in the first place.

— Gary Elekes, March 2018

The Right People in the Right Roles

Matching individual talent with a role is not an easy task. Top performers in one environment can be mediocre in another. Conversely, mediocre performers may thrive in a new environment. Intangibles, such as attitude, culture and behaviors, however, ultimately determine a candidate’s success. Similarities in intangibles between your team and your company will create a higher engagement level, leading to greater productivity and better retention.

— Mike Abrashoff, December 2017

Empower your Managers

Leading managers is different and more challenging. It requires more patience and more coaching.

Nobody wants someone to consistently be watching over them, they need the freedom and flexibility to do things their way. A common mistake is to skip a level of management and go directly to the people because you have no faith in your managers. Do not meddle. Coach, teach and train.

— Bob McEwan, November 2017

How to Grow as a Leader

The many great leaders who have impacted their organizations in such profound ways all over the world have taught us that leadership is about service to others. The ability to show humility is one of the greatest strengths a leader can have and allows them to build trust and respect from their team. It’s our job as leaders to create an environment in which our team members feel comfortable enough to fully engage themselves, which will ultimately result in a strong culture. A strong culture will lead to long-term success.

— Jeremy Noll, August 2017

Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Boss

As much as we hate to admit it, our relationship with our employees sometimes resembles the parent/child relationship. We’re responsible for the actions of our employees, we give them direction and they often come to us for advice, both professionally and personally.

As leaders, we’re often tasked with pulling out the highest quality and most productivity from our team. This requires us to be purposeful and diligent. At the same time, we usually end up having feelings of care and compassion for our co-workers.

— Steve Schmidt, July 2015


About Pete Grasso

Pete is the editor of HVACR Business magazine. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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