As I relentlessly followed up on the implementation and the application of all business coach action steps found within The Service Profit Chain and The Value Profit Chain, I found this outraged our mediocre employees. They were upset that I demanded excellence and that I had systems in place that allowed our management team to inspect every aspect of job performance. The mediocre men got upset that we were going to have drug tests, we were going to pay people based off of the merits of their work. They were frustrated to learn that slothfulness was not going to be tolerated ever again. The Service Profit Chain and The Value Profit Chain books had resulted in the creation of a DJ Connection software dashboard that allowed us to keep tabs on all customer service notes, customer buying patterns, closing percentages, good behavior, bad behavior, employment history, promptness, accuracy, honesty, and integrity in a precise and quantifiable way. Jason, with his computer programming background, was feverishly working daily on the creation of this DJ Connection software and dashboard. Every day he worked at its creation, knowing that once it was complete, he would receive 3 percent of all gross sales henceforth, regardless of how large DJ Connection grew.
I am sure that Jason’s wife hated me, and I am sure that Jason hated me; but he always remained positive when talking to me as I mercilessly harassed him with questions like, “Dude, when is this software going to be done? Armageddon is just around the corner.” Finally, after six months of programming and countless changes in the requests everyone was making for the program’s functionality, the new Gandalf program was complete. This program was a beast. It had “Windows run time errors” constantly, which was a direct result of the endless maze of variables I had demanded Jason factor in. And yet, every time there was an error, Jason would dutifully go home that night and fix it. This process was repeated every night for over a month, and then when we finally thought the program was done. All of the guys and I got together at the office around midnight to enter in all the old customer data and files. It was brutal, but hopped up on Redbull, we typed on while jamming out to ultra-loud rap music, and then it happened. The program crashed, and we lost all of the data! We lost it all. The all-nighter was now cut abruptly short, the music stopped, and we were all let down like a hot air balloon that had just been shot with a rifle. Boom! We crashed hard!
After the dust settled and the frustration and yelling subsided, Jason was back at it again. As he dutifully began looking for the cause of the computer crash, I finally noticed that he was definitely committed to the business coach and vision of expanding DJ Connection to become a nationwide franchise-able company.
Over the next few months, the stress reduction that the systematic business coach approach we now took to everything resulted in the firing (or quitting) of about 60 percent of the DJ staff. Essentially only the “A Players” survived the cut, which was awesome. A few of our guys left to start businesses that quickly fizzled or failed completely (which was unfortunate to see). Some of the guys who would not conform, but would always do just enough to get by, got mad and quit; however, DJ Eric, DJ Marquess, DJ Thom Clark (my dad), DJ Dan, DJ Sean, DJ Josh, DJ Jason, and I survived.
DJ former-choir-boy-turned-demon-spawn teamed up with another former employee, and started a company to compete with us. Dick Bonaparte (not his real name) had finally exited the picture. Vanessa and I had now personally paid back all the investors, we were still standing, and our customers were still loving us. Business coach victory and success felt so sweet! In the election of capitalism that was taking place every day, we were winning as the customers were voting for DJ Connection with their dollars (and their trust). The year was 2008, and we had now created a multi-million dollar entertainment business, so we had some serious work to do in order to ensure that each and every one of our customers was wowed with our “systematic excellence.” If something was not working the way it should have been, and if we ever irritated a customer, we would simply locate the area in our business coach system that was in need of an improvement and draw attention to it during the following week’s Monday morning meeting, like Southwest and QuikTrip. DJ Connection had become the best wedding entertainment company in the country. DJ Connection had become the vehicle I needed to help me reach my personal and financial goals. I now owned DJ Connection, and it no longer owned me. DJ Connection had become another American business coach and success story.
“Knowledge without application is meaningless.” – Thomas Edison
Help this business coach post to be slightly more meaningful than the toast of a half-drunken best man by answering the following introspective and self-examining questions:
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