….is to sit in the seat of the sausage makers in your company.

The longer you run your company, and the larger and more complex it gets, the further and further you get from the sausage makers seat.  Let me repeat that, with out using the meat packing industry analogy.

The longer your run your company, and the larger and more complex the company gets, the further and further removed you get from how your product or service is produced, how it is delivered and how the customers respond to it.

So sit in the seat of the person(s) who do these things.  Not everyday. Not to get good at it.  Not to pick at the ones who do it.  Do it so you understand what they do and to get insights from them on the obstacles they face doing it.  Then work on those obstacles.

A long time ago, in a previous career, somehow I had the wisdom every once in a while (once a quarter was my goal) to walk a mile in the shoes of the sausage makers in my company.  I worked for Kelly Services in Pittsburgh, PA.  The sausage makers were the ones who took the orders for temps, interviewed applicants and hired them, and then matched up the right temp with the right customer.

It would have easy for me to never take orders, or interview and assign temps every again.    I wasn’t any good at it anymore.  The staff had great fun teasing me about my ineptitude.  Yet every time l sat in their seat I learned something new about the challenges my team members had and could help them deal with the obstacles to their success.  I understood the process.  I could help them make better sausage.

Taking it further I could sell and guide the sales people better, and I understood the customers better.

So take a page out of “Undercover Boss” and sit in the sausage maker’s seat every once in a while.  That is if you want your business to grow and improve.