Posted by: Matthew Molinari | April 29, 2012

The Real Housewives of the Supply Chain

Today, I am shocked again by the everyday things that can reflect the importance of running a business the right way. In my last post I talked about how a simple trip to Wal-Mart reminded me of some supply chain techniques. I cannot express this next part enough but tonight I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey beause my wife loves it and happened to catch some rare words of wisdom in tonight’s episode.

Rich, the husband of real housewife Kathy, apparently owns some businesses one of which is a gas station. He took his son to visit the business in the hopes to pass on some wisdom that he had learned over the years. Two things he said really caught my attention.

First, Rich said that as an owner you have to constantly be present and overseeing the business because employees will see that you are paying attention to details. He went on to say that if employees see that you care, they will care and if they see you are neglectful they will follow suit.

That is some very insightful advice that any owner or manager should look to follow on a daily basis. I firmly believe that employees take their cues from their bosses so in many cases a failure on their part is really a failure on your part to set up a system in which they can succeed. Don’t get me wrong, some employees are just awful and no amount of help could fix that. But in many cases, the same employee under different leadership becomes a completely different type of worker.

The second great piece of advice given by Rich came in response to his son saying he wanted to go into real estate because it seemed like rules didn’t apply to people in that industry. Rich paused a second and responded that starting a business based on anything deceitful or dishonest was a sure-fire way to be closing your doors quickly after opening.

What a great piece of advice in this day and age when so many people are looking for shortcuts to run their business. The real key to a successful operation is knowing that doing things right is the only way to do them. I saw a funny Wendy’s commercial the other day that said their burgers were square because they didn’t want to cut corners anywhere in their business.

In the age of internet billionaires it seems like everyone is looking for that get rich quick idea and ignoring the fact that it takes lots of hard to make an idea work. I think this is especially true in the modern supply chain where you need to keep your moral compass pointed in the right direction in order to avoid scandals like Wal-Mart is currently involved in.

These two pieces of advice also tie into each other in many ways. Your employees see more than you think and they know if you are being dishonest in how you run your business. If you are taking liberties you can bet when you are gone your employees are taking those same ones.

What types of things do you do in your business to demonstrate these two pieces of advice?

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