Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 14:05:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Result Oriented Owner
Crouser Report OnLine Copyright 1997 Thomas P. Crouser, February 24, 1997 -
Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written
consent of the copyright holder.
I will be presenting three seminars during Sunbelt Graphics in Atlanta
February 27th through March 1st. Titles: Using The Print Shop's Financials
for Profit (Thursday); Working Together In The Family Print Shop (Without
Killing Each Other) (Friday); and Profitably Growing The Small Press Shop
(Saturday). Hope to see you there. Also stop by our booth during the show and
meet the Blonde Lady in Person!
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The Result Oriented Owner
Transmitted from Jacksonville, Florida
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INDEX: In this issue: The February 1997 Crouser Report focuses on The Result
Volume 8 Number 2
Dear Friends. . .
In our October 1996 edition, I discussed the perfectionist owner and how
these high-compliance-type individuals have difficulties leading their teams
when they clamp down in their decision making process. Well, over the years I
have had the pleasure of working with another type which I now would like to
bring to your attention: the results-oriented owner.
The basis of most modern personality profiles goes back to two
psychologists, Myers and Briggs, who later married and became Myers-Briggs
and authored many studies of the behaviors of normal people and developed the
Myers-Briggs battery of personality instruments. Others, building on their
work, developed shorter and quicker, although less insightful, instruments.
We have used one of these instruments for years and it has been extremely
important tool for us in assisting small press printers in unravelling
complex situations. Absent training, we owners rely on our instincts or
profiles when faced with problems. Mix in the absolute power position of the
owner and you can have one skewed organization. Why? When we are in control
of our own business, we make the rules. Untrained, we will make rules based
on what we want to do not what we should do. Spoiled, some would call it.
Uniquely, this same business owner can perform admirably working for someone
else in a structured environment. If we were to go get a real job, the
expectations are known. We would have to perform specific tasks within
specific frameworks. The description below is a worst-case scenario of an
owner run amok. Not all owners with the profile do actually run amok because
with self-discipline and understanding, we can use the positive forces in our
profiles for good. Only strengths overused become weaknesses. This is a
second in a series.
Do it now! The results-oriented person makes things happen by just willing
things to happen. They epitomize the rugged individualist and their
get-in-your-face style drives fear deep into the heart of most workers.
Interesting to me is the fact that most results-oriented people really are
not results-oriented. No, rather they are action oriented. You see their
compulsion tends to be focused on how quickly a worker responds to a command
rather than the actual results of the worker's labor.
So, I see these owners usually seriously misjudging the abilities of their
workers and having an excruciating time in being able to replace ones that
leave, and they do leave fairly frequently.
Result-oriented people tend to avoid constraining factors such as a budget.
You see them many times with the latest digital do-dads whether they need
them or not. They tend to have the attitude that they are going to show
someone something whether or not the accomplishments are in support of real
goals. Many times these folks strive to have that little plaque on the press
down at the trade show which says, This press has been sold to Pretty Fast
Result-oriented people tend not to like being told what to do. They
generally resent an authority figure as much as they are one to their
workers. Sometimes they will risk their family's entire future on the slight
they received down at the plant and throw away their career and pension just
to show the s.o.b.'s who themselves were downsized a few years later.
Some interpret their self-confidence as arrogance. As a leader, their worst
habit is holding a worker up to an expectation that they themselves are not
willing to maintain. Workers have to fill out the work orders before a job is
produced, but they don't. When a worker does something wrong, this leader
lets them know by basketball management. They blow a whistle and point at
the offending worker who must hold up their hand in repentance before the
entire group. They usually tell me they told them to do it one way, but I
rarely see evidence that the leader does it that way themselves.
Frequently they will put their workers in win-lose competitions with each
other. Frequently morale isn't morale, it's fear. They overuse impatience to
achieve their ends and don't want to hear explanations from a consultant,
just specific steps. I usually respond that if they really wanted to know
absolutely, positively what to do, they should have asked me when I was 20.
I'm older now, so I don't know as much.
Result-oriented people like difficult tasks, competitive situations, unique
assignments and important positions. Some political printing offices in the
trade association are held by these folks based on their zealous pursuit of
everything. You can almost see it in their eyes. They must have the absolute,
positive right answer everytime.
The biggest threat, in my opinion, to the result-oriented owner is their
tendency to avoid constraining factors, routine work and time-consuming
details. They are consistent in their flip-flops. On one hand they ask
meaningful and complex questions, but easily become bored and challenging
with a meaningful and complex answer. Simple answers to complex questions is
what is wanted.
Forceful and direct, their people skills were learned from Atilia the Hun.
Untrained they continue this approach until they self-destruct, or at least,
cause a lot of destruction. They frequently are the ones who become restless
when forced to work with others and either quit the group (meetings are a
waste of time) or take over the group and become its sole voice.
Their can do attitudes tends to make them great risk takers regardless of
the odds. Many times their reliance on real data is limited, but many times
their gambles pay off. I usually note that just because one wins a gamble
doesn't mean that it was a good one (someone does eventually win the
Because result-oriented personalities are quick in thought and action, they
can be impatient and fault-finding with those who are not. They are
determined and persistent even in the face of antagonism. Many times they
seem to thrive on antagonism. In a few cases, they live for antagonism.
What can be done? Again, I have been picking on one personality type out of
fifteen models. Don't get the impression this is a horrible person with no
redeeming values. Trained, the result-oriented person is of great value to
the business and can be a great business leader. They are quick in thought
and action and, when used appropriately, are spark plugs who cause unique
actions to begin. If I was going to be in a fox hole facing an enemy, I'd
want at least one result-oriented person in there with me. Although they
prefer to work alone, they are capable of persuading others to support their
efforts especially when it comes to routine activities. Used appropriately,
they can be team builders if they do not let their other tendencies kill the
They take charge when they think it is necessary, even though they might not
be in charge. Appropriately, this is a great strength. Inappropriately, it is
a great weakness. They are uncompromising in their drive for results.
Appropriately this leads the organizations to new heights. Inappropriately,
this destroys organization through fault-finding and undue criticism.
They can be trained to know when their feelings are running amok. They
learn their internal demands aren't always possible and stuff happens. They
can learn to rely less on fault and rely more on follow me leadership.
They are sensitized to the reality that their demands can not always be met
and that is okay. They need to develop more genuine concern for others;
practice their patience (yes, we are in charge of our own impatience); and
seek humility (because we are not perfect).
They can improve their lot with acceptance of sincere development of coping
techniques for their greatest fears: others taking advantage of them;
slowness in others; and being too soft or too close with others.
Any strength overused is a weakness. The result-oriented leader generally
has a challenge in seeing the reality and not just their perception of it.
Learning about ourselves is the first step in being able to know and lead
others. Owners need to practice much more leadership and a lot less
Real World Follow Up
After the publication of our January 1997 edition on the basics of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (which was basically the same as our March 1, 1987
edition), I was called by a successful printer in the mid-west who was in
trouble. Seems a salaried worker had filed an action with the Department of
Labor for backpay. The printer, it seems, had employed him to run the bulk
copy department of his print shop which was doing real well. The worker had
domestic problems with his second ex-wife and was sharing custody of a child
with her and all of the attendant responsibilities. So, the worker ask if he
could have some flexible hours. Not only that, but the printer told me he
really didn't care what hours the worker kept because he was doing his job
and the big production copy jobs he was responsible for were getting out. So,
instead of keeping hours, the printer and worker entered into an agreement
for a salary for x hours, say, 50 hours of work a week and the worker could
select the hours basically. Everything was happy ever after.
That was until this last year. This last year, the printer said he hired the
worker's older son (from his first marriage) for the print shop and Well,
that didn't work out so he was terminated. A month after the son was
terminated, the worker files a claim against the printer for non-payment of
overtime wages. In addition, the worker announced the action to every other
person in the workplace and encouraged a couple of other workers who were
similarly salaried non-exempt to do the same thing.
Well, here we are. Is the worker a salaried exempt (from overtime) employee?
No. Okay. Is the worker a salaried non-exempt (from overtime - meaning you
still have to pay overtime). Yes. Okay, is the agreement for $X for 50 hours
of work alright? Yes. In fact, the Fair Labor Standards Act assumes a 37.5
hour/week workweek for salaried non-exempt workers absent any other
agreement. Being that this agreement was for 50 hours and the pay divided by
the hours didn't violate minimum wage provisions, then it was okay dokey. So,
what could be the problem? The printer did not keep a record of time on the
worker. The worker did not punch in and out on a time clock and never turned
in a weekly time sheet. So, the printer, in my opinion, can't really say when
the worker did work. But, it seems, the worker has produced a time sheet of
his own which shows his overtime OVER the 50 hours agreed upon during each
The printer's question to me was whether or not he would loose the business.
Well, no. It will cost him some money, but back pay is limited to two years
absent fraud. And, a method of computing overtime pay known as half-time pay
could possibly be used which will further limit the amount of back pay. So,
the printer was advised to hire an attorney (primarily to assist in
minimizing other potential situations), assess the damages and come up with a
settlement based on the facts. Then, get right with the wage and hour people
and stay there (which he had already begun to do). Well, that's it this week
from the real world where the printers are never late, the customers are
always right and the workers are all above average.
Performance Group: We have three openings in our Performance Groups. If your
print shop isn't doing as well as you think it should and think you might
benefit from a challenging environment, then contact me for a confidential
discussion of your shop and whether participation would be appropriate. Call,
fax or email me with your name, address and telephone. As always, we gladly
chat without charge and there is no obligation.
Travelog: Hope to see you at the NAQP meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada February
10-13th. Pamela and I will also be presenting three seminars and manning our
booth at Sunbelt Graphics in Atlanta, February 27th through March 1st. Hope
to see you soon.
Happy Trails, Tom Crouser
P.S. For our result-oriented owners: You can't have everything...where would
you put it? Humorist Steve Wright.
More Steve Wright stuff because I like it: It doesn't matter what
temperature the room is; it's always room-temperature. . .I went to a
restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time.' So I ordered French toast
during the Renaissance. . .Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the
same time. I think I've forgotten this before. . .I went to a general store.
They wouldn't let me buy anything specifically. . .While I was gone, someone
stole everything in my apartment and replaced it with an exact replica. . .
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Sunday, March 09, 1997 2:05:16