A native New Yorker, East Texas Area Developer for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services David Stein has learned the ins and outs of business in his numerous sales, management and executive positions.
His years in corporate America, both good and bad, provided experience so that when it came time to start his Office Pride franchise, he felt prepared for what he wanted to create.
In corporate America, Stein was never comfortable with micro-management. Instead of him being able to make decisions he and others were capable of, higher-up managers made them for him – and at times without consideration of the ripple effect of those decisions.
“If you are free to make mistakes, and you are not in fear of the consequences, it propels your creativity,” Stein says.
At one point in a senior-level position, Stein became frustrated, as it seemed difficult to get anything from his personal task list finished. He decided to journal his daily activities for a whole week – but he stopped after two days when he saw the issue. At this point, he had already spent 11 out of 16 hours on the phone responding to other people’s requests, rather than focusing on his main priorities.
Fed up with the structure and culture, he decided to make a change and leave corporate America. As all business owners struggle with this, he had to decide how he could lead an organization and perform basic labor functions at the same time, knowing it wasn’t possible.
Even with a brand new business, there was no way to do both while growing and leading his business. Thus, the birth of the Leadership Triangle Model. This concept enabled him to delegate tasks properly amongst his employees, and in turn allowed him to focus on his leadership responsibilities.
“As an owner, dealing with day-to-day tasks is not where you are going to grow,” Stein says. “Great leaders find people who do tasks better than they do them.”
The Leadership Triangle Model has three tiers from top to bottom: Executive Leadership, Management Supervision and Employee/Labor/Maintenance. According to Stein, the higher everybody in the organization operates in the triangle, the more successfully the company performs.
“The two most important activities of every day are finding new clients and finding new employees,” Stein says. “Everything else is support.”
Stein believes when you hire the right people for the right position, they will naturally enjoy their job.
When it comes to managing, Stein is a “hands-off, words-on” kind of guy. To make sure things are running smoothly, he completes a “drive by.” He swings by a manager’s office for a couple of minutes, chats about a client or situation and then goes about his business. Client update? Check. Trustworthy employees? Check. As President Ronald Regan practiced, “Trust, but verify.”
Maintaining good talent also means maintaining stellar company culture. If you ask Stein about it, he’ll say, “You just have to care. It’s not a head thing. It’s a heart thing.”
Stein leads so that his employees know he values them. In addition to openly caring for his employees, he encourages them to help one another grow. Currently, Stein’s leadership team is doing a study of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
Ultimately, he follows one golden rule: treat employees as if they are human beings. For Stein, that has made all the difference since leaving corporate America.
As for his upcoming peer-to-peer session at the 2019 Contracting Success Conference, Stein hopes listeners take one idea away – “stay in your lane bro.” When leaders and managers refrain from micro-management and intelligently and accurately trust their employees, it benefits the whole company.
“You can’t pitch and catch at the same time,” Stein says. “I am capable of making decisions, and so are the people who work for me.”
Stein’s session “Creating Your Leadership Dream Team” will be held during the 2019 Contracting Success Conference, November 20-22, in Las Vegas. To register, visit convention.bscai.org.