Besides waiting for Kane, Aldo has other priorities for the day. He thinks back to the previous evening. For the past 14 years, Aldo has engaged in a nightly ritual of having a cup of his favourite herbal tea with his gorgeous wife. Just prior to that, he sets his tasks for the next day. This helps him focus on getting the right things done and moving towards achieving the goals he has set for himself.
Aldo is a great believer in goal-setting and fondly recalls the book that his father gave him when he started his articles at Deloitte called The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield et al. The book has played a significant role in Aldo’s business and personal life in that setting goals has helped him achieve more than many of his peers. Aldo was able to bring in more business than the partner in charge of his cluster at Deloitte and earned himself the nickname ‘Rainmaker’. On top of his tenacity and will to learn, Aldo’s love for people development allowed him to mentor first and second year clerks with whom he often shared a key element of helping people achieve their potential: the power of believing in oneself. His knack for unlocking this potential is one of the main reasons Aldo loves the business world so much.
He looks at his list of imperative tasks and sets about his next priority. He picks up the phone and dials a number he knows by heart. While he would usually ask Charmaine to get the person on the line for him, he doesn’t this time. This is a call he needs to make himself.
“Good morning, Aldo,” a familiar voice answers.
“Good morning, Charles.”
“What can I do for you on this beautiful morning?”
Aldo hesitates and then answers slowly, “I have a problem?”
“Aldo,” Charles said, concerned. “Those are powerful words. A problem?”
“Sorry, I had a late night last night, let me rephrase. I’m facing a challenge and I was hoping you could be a sounding board?”
Charles has been Aldo’s business coach for over four years. Apart from assisting Aldo and his leadership team in planning their annual priorities for the business and facilitating quarterly reviews, Charles is also always able to offer Aldo a non-biased bird’s-eye view of things. While Charles is not an expert in the manufacturing field, the issues that Aldo experiences are not technical in nature. Rather, they relate to business principles and the running of his company, and drawing on Charles’s expert knowledge of optimal business practices has helped Aldo steer his company through some stormy waters.
The challenge that Aldo is currently facing is one he has not encountered before. As part of his ‘spring cleaning’ process Aldo looked at all the various aspects of the business and the one that concerns him the most is the graph that depicts one of the most important ratios in his business. It’s a ratio that Aldo has neglected to monitor in recent years because of the superb profits the company was making but unfortunately the ratio is currently well below the industry average and Aldo has decided to take corrective action.
“Charles,” Aldo says, “our revenue per employee is well below the industry average. We have far too many employees for the revenue we generate and the profit we’re making.”
Charles keeps quiet, knowing that the silence will lead Aldo to clarify further. “I need to review our staff complement and I will have to take decisive action, but where do I start?,” Aldo asks.
“Have you thought through the options?” asks Charles.
“Well, the answer must lie in our people and in the culture we have built.” Aldo has worked hard for many years to build a company culture that supports his value system. It is a culture that is well defined and understood by most of his employees and Aldo knows that those who believe in the culture will help him figure out what to do. There is one more question he wants to ask Charles before tackling the rest of his priorities for the day but at that moment the line goes dead. Charles is currently traveling and must have gone through an area with bad signal. Aldo makes a note in his conference planner to ask Charles his question the next time they see each other. For now he has work to do. He wonders if Kane has arrived yet.
To be continued…