Driving Great Results: Master The Tools You Need to Run A Great Business
By Luke Sheppard
This recent book provides entrepreneurs and managers with nineteen practical and proven tools to build, launch, and manage a successful business. Having spent most of his career in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry, and eventually, in a senior leadership role at John Deere, Sheppard wrote the book after seeing how a lack of strong leadership was impacting the industry.
The book aims to help business leaders and managers focus on what's really important by filtering out the noise, solving problems, and driving results with practical tools and solutions that address important issues such as:
· How business owners and leaders can stop second-guessing, and make better, quicker, and more informed decisions
· Tips to hire the right people and limit employee turnover
· Strategies to fix the time-sucking and dysfunctional aspects of a business so business leaders can spend more time with their families
· An analytical approach to deciding where to best invest hard-earned money to grow a business
· Starting a business in 2021: unique challenges and innovative solutions
· Three steps to better prioritize tasks, projects, and goals
· Why managing your own behavior is the first step in influencing others
· The power of gossip, and how to do it ethically
· Three rules for better formal communication
· How to drive better results in less time
Entrepreneurs and managers have it tough. They are constantly strapped for time, balancing pressure from all sides, and challenged to deliver value to their business, employees, and customers, all while learning how to do their job most effectively. Driving Great Results provides practical and proven tools, in simple and direct language, that entrepreneurs and managers can quickly wrap their arms around and then apply to run a great business.
Sheppard has had the privilege to travel extensively, first as an engineer and then as an executive in the construction equipment industry, and has met thousands of entrepreneurs and managers from all walks of life. Many of those folks were small business owners who were doing incredible things in their industries, although they struggled with some of the fundamental tools they needed to run their businesses.
He listened as they vented about familiar topics, such as how to make decisions based on fact rather than instinct, when to communicate critical information and how much to share, how to hire the best people and keep them, and how to consistently drive their businesses forward without having those businesses suck the life out of them. Their struggles were real and alarmingly consistent, regardless of the industry.
In China, Sheppard heard from a factory manager describing how hard it was to find the right people for his production lines; he often found himself caught in an endless loop of hiring, evaluating, and firing.
In Finland, Sheppard heard from a logger explaining how exasperating it was to make high-quality decisions when determining where best to invest his hard-earned money to grow his business.
In Minnesota, Sheppard heard from the founder of a startup in the medical equipment industry who struggled with how best to communicate necessary and frequent changes to her staff while keeping them engaged.
And in Ontario, Canada, Sheppard met with the owner of a rapidly growing chain of do-it-yourself car repair facilities who struggled to keep his garages clean and organized to ensure that his customers had a positive and safe experience.
These entrepreneurs and managers were seeking practical tools to help them run their businesses. That is why Sheppard wrote Driving Great Results: to address problems like these with tools he has used successfully over the past twenty years. Some tools were developed (for example, the Zone of Opportunity) or reinterpreted (types of communication) by Sheppard, while others have been around for decades (management by walking around, 5S audit).
The tools featured in Driving Great Results are founded in experience, engineering principles, and real-world results. When properly applied, the tools will help reduce the frustrations so often encountered when running a business. Managers and business owners can then spend their time on the things that really matter: their people, customer satisfaction, market and product differentiation, and more time with their family or doing what it is they love to do.