A couple of years ago I heard a work story most of us would refuse to believe as I was listening to the EntreLeadership Podcast hosted by Chris LuCurto. Chris interviewed Joe Scarlett – former CEO of Tractor Supply Company (TSC). Joe is now CEO of Scarlett Leadership Institute and is both very knowledgeable about and committed to developing the next generation of leaders.
Joe shared an interesting story. He said as they expanded TSC from 300 to over 1200 stores, they had to identify district managers. So they watched the store managers and found those who were the hardest working, obviously committed to their work – they were responsible, dedicated and most were working 7 days, 60-70 hours a week. So they promoted those managers to the district manager positions – and met with dismal success. While they continued to work 60-70 hours a week, they failed to reach set goals, and many burned out and left the company completely.
Alarmed, the TSC executives were determined to discover the reasons why these hard-working guys were ineffective as district managers.
Essentially, what they determined was this:
Those guys worked 60-70 hours a week because they were ineffective at communicating, delegating and managing.
The strategy was then changed – they looked for store managers who were working 5 days a week, who went home to their families in the evening and who seemed to be much more casual and at ease in the store positions. Those people had learned to communicate well, delegate well and manage the people working with them in the stores.
“The cars that are still in the parking lot at 7:00 PM are seldom the corporate heroes.
More likely, they’re unorganized, ineffective managers who simply
can’t get the job done in a timely manner.”
— Randall Tobias, CEO of Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals
So – would you be promoted at TSC? Are you organized and effective enough in whatever you do to go home at 5:00 and enjoy other parts of your life?
I had the privilege of joining Joe Scarlett for his monthly Scarlett Leadership Institute Lunch & Leadership FREE Conference Call. We discussed leadership principles from my newest book – Wisdom meets Passion – and ways to manage diverse generations of workers. Click here to listen to that free conference call. Managing the Generations
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