I am an avid reader when it comes to business and “Self Help” revolving around business habits. There was a period when my business was growing, I was taking on more employees, but wasn’t feeling like I was the best manager I could be if I wanted to bring the business to the next level. Around Thanksgiving in 2008 or 2009, in the midst of the most recent “Great Depression,” I was browsing the business section of the local book store and came across Michael E. Gerber’s “The E Myth Contractor.”. The title, “The E Myth Contractor,” caught my eye. It was a very small book, around 100 pages, so I grabbed and began reading it. I found I couldn’t put it down. It appeared to tell the story of my father, my grandfather, most importantly many of my customers.
The excerpt below (from pages 47 and 48) completely changed my understanding of how to manage and approach my business. I highly recommend this book for contractors, both large and small, it is a must read.
I hope you enjoy the excerpt. Bill D.
THE E MYTH CONTRACTOR
“We often hear that a good manager must be a ‘people person.’ Someone who loves to nourish, figure out, support, care for, teach, baby, monitor, mentor, direct, track, motivate and, if all else fails, threaten or beat up his or her people.”
“Don’t believe it. Because management has far less to do with people than you’ve been lead to believe. In fact, despite what every management book written by management gurus (who seldom have managed anything) says, no one yet – besides a few tyrants – has ever learned how to manage people. And the reason is simple: People are unmanageable!”
“Yes, it’s true. People are unmanageable. They want more, are inconsistent, unpredictable, unchangeable, unrepentant, irrepressible and generally impossible.”
“Doesn’t knowing this make you feel better? Now you understand why you’ve had all those problems! Do you feel relief, the heavy stone lifted from your chest?”
“The time has come to fully understand what management is really all about. Rather than managing people, management is really all about managing a process, a step by step way of doing things, which, combined with other processes, becomes a system. For example;
- The process for completing an estimate.
- The process for answering the telephone.
- The process for installing a switch plate.
- The process for erecting a wall.