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Try This Simple Management Tool to Stay Focused

March 15, 2019
Make a list of your primary roles as an HVAC business owner. Check it twice, three times or more each day and use it to prioritize and manage your time

Running a contracting business involves wearing a lot of hats, but at some point you need to put a few of the hats away and wear your leadership and executive hat. The problem is some of the other hats comfortable to wear, fun to wear, and so on.

Here is a trick a Canadian contractor developed to stay focused on the roles necessary for his company to prosper.
Jason Gautier runs a successful contracting business in Niagara, Ontario. He says, “I'm an owner who employs himself as president and general manager.”
That’s an interesting way to think about it.  Would you perform differently if you had a boss? Thinking as someone who managed you, how would you rate your use of time?
Like most of us, Jason can get distracted. Jason says he needs reminders. His reminder is a list of tasks he keeps on his desk. This isn’t a daily to-do list, but list of the roles he must perform.  Here it is…


  • Company Culture
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Training and Motivating
  • Recruiting
  • Developing Leaders
  • Measuring Performance
  • Marketing and Growth
  • Profit!

Culture is the top of Jason’s list. Developing the right culture is one the most important, if not the most important functions of a company leader.  Strategy is all well and good, but even a great strategy must be executed. Culture is self-executing. Culture is a company’s shared values. These dictate behaviors and behaviors generate results.  Thus, culture drives results.  This is why Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
The development of good policies and procedures is also essential. Companies can be people centric or process centric. When a key person leaves and is replaced, good procedures ensures the company continues to operate as before. When procedures are missing, changing a key person can change the company.
Training and motivating are also the job of the company leader. This does not mean the leader must do all of the training and motivating, but the leaders needs to ensure it occurs whether by internal or external resources.
Recruiting is critical. A contractor’s ability grow is limited to his ability to put butts in trucks. Thus, recruiting should be an ongoing activity. Even if not currently hiring, a leader should be lining up prospects for the next opening.
By focusing on the development of leaders, Jason is building a business that can run without him. This will allow him to work the things he wants to work on, the things that interest him. Developing future leaders is tantamount to developing future freedom.
Whenever performance is measured, it improves. This is human nature. A leader determines what is measured and ensures it is tracked.
If a company is not growing, it is dying or, at best, stagnating.  For a company to grow, along with recruiting employees, a leader must recruit customers and that means marketing.
Profit is last on Jason’s list, not because it is last, but because profit is all but assured if he takes care of everything above it.  Still, profit should never be forgotten or ignored.  It is a measure of how efficiently a company delivers products and services.
This is Jason Gautier’s list of his job duties.  What is yours?  What should you be doing?  What should you stay focused on?  Maybe you should detail what you-as-owner are hiring you-as-leader to do.
Jason Gautier is a member of the Service Nation Alliance where he also gets a performance dashboard, key business metrics, systems for Annual Success Planning, and much more. To learn more about the Service Nation Alliance or to attend a free Success Day seminar, call 877-262-3341 and to speak to a Business Advisor.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.