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  • Management Makes a Difference?

    It really hit me last weekend, when I was working overtime at the site I originally transferred from, that management of a security company really is everything to its successful operation. Specifically, account managers or site managers / supervisors. I thought that company reputation, and other things were the driving force, but I don't think so.

    I say this because at the site I transferred from, the account manager did his job perfectly. He was a former police detective, and was the best manager I worked under. He had an open door policy and was friendly. He was ontop of the schedule and clear with his requests. Even when we made mistakes he did not over-react or anything. While he was manager, we only lost something like 2 officers in almost a year. He retired a few months ago, and since then under the leadership of a younger site manager (whose experience was being a former security officer at another site) the site has lost 6 officers (hence the company willing to pay overtime to me for volunteering for a weekend shift.) I don't have to work again this weekend since they hired someone (wonder how long that person will last) but the manager really motivated people and held things together. And this can happen to any company and any account.

    Any supervisor/manager stories about this topic?

  • #2
    Jeremy I know "management" is vogue in the work-a-day world, but as in your illustration, "leadership" would have been the best way to describe how things changed when a real leader was replaced a something, a wonderkind.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      There is an interesting difference between a "manager" and a "leader".

      The term "manager" is usually an official title bestowed upon an individual by the declaration of those who are above him in rank in the organization. The term "leader" is an unofficial honorarium - a form of homage that is bestowed upon an individual by those who are below him in rank, i.e., by those who willingly follow him.

      In other words: Company executives can make a person a manager, but they cannot make him a leader. Only followers can declare an individual to be a leader. They usually do so by their actions in faithfully carrying out the leader's requests and other expressions of loyalty. Not the least of these expressions of loyalty is that the followers of true leaders will refuse to seek other employment even when the leader asks a lot of them, and even when the company itself may not be the most desirable place to work. The increased turnover you describe is a sure sign that you have a manager in place, but not a leader.

      Another difference between a manager and a leader is that the manager influences employee behavior primarily by issuing orders and these orders carry nothing but the force of his formal authority. A leader influences his followers primarily by means of inspiration, persuasion and the articulation of a clear vision. This vision is often called "the mission". When the leader does issue orders, they carry not only the weight of his formal authority, but the force of the follower's own desire to achieve the mission.

      As a result, employees working for a manager tend to do what they are ordered to do and little else. Very often, they must be prodded to do every little thing. The followers of a leader are internally driven (inspired) to do not just what they are ordered to do, but also to give the "extra" effort that they believe will help the leader to achieve the mission. They do not need to be pushed toward the goal. Leaders, in fact, sometimes have to literally force their people to go home at quitting time, to take earned time off, or to stop taking work home with them. Mere managers, on the other hand, very rarely have this sort of "problem".
      Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-03-2007, 04:06 AM.
      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

      Comment


      • #4
        When I accepted my last store level LPM role some years back I came into a mixture of new and old team members. Some were disgruntled, some were cruisers who did very little in the way of work with more excuses than a politician and some were new and lacking things such as PC and investigation experience. Those who did nothing and lied their way through a shift were brought to my attention and were told - you either work with me or against me and if you work against me you won't be here very soon.

        1 character who developed into a very protective colleague told me "you are a manager and you do not leave your desk", after I made my first arrest to which I replied "well I am not like that and I will arrest anyone who steals from us - inside or outside of the business". Often there would be home-life issues, splits, illness, you name it and I would just show a bit of compassion allowing a few early dismissals to care for loved ones or time to sort things out away from work.

        Scheduled O/T was a major issue as 2 people due to 2 hours travel each way and did not wish to partake in it. I would schedule them from their time in the door (45 minutes early) to their 2nd known train home - hence covering the O/T needs and ensuring they did not lose sleep from the extra O/T. When it hit the fan with a nasty arrest one time, the same 2 guys were the ones working next to me subduing a syring toting drug addict ensuring all of us were safe from harm.

        My first week I went scrouging around the place and found an unused bar fridge so arranged to have it brought into my office for us to use. I bought a cheap kettle and we had our own kitchenette especially when I raided the staff meal rooms for coffee - sugar - tea and milk to use in our office. Other LP teams were jealous when word got out about how well we were kitted up but I got tired of reaching fatigue and being unable to enjoy a hot coffee without too much fuss. Same as when I came across disused furniture and brought in a new CCTV room chair for the key operator. It was done early one morning only for him to call me with tears of joy over what a difference it made for his comfort.

        As it was posted - anyone can be a manager and anyone with training can be a good manager - but it takes a few people with the right internal skills to be a strong leader who can motivate their teams to keep producing exceptional HONEST results when others are struggling to maintain their own integrity.
        "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
          My first week I went scrouging around the place and found an unused bar fridge so arranged to have it brought into my office for us to use. I bought a cheap kettle and we had our own kitchenette especially when I raided the staff meal rooms for coffee - sugar - tea and milk to use in our office. Other LP teams were jealous when word got out about how well we were kitted up but I got tired of reaching fatigue and being unable to enjoy a hot coffee without too much fuss. Same as when I came across disused furniture and brought in a new CCTV room chair for the key operator. It was done early one morning only for him to call me with tears of joy over what a difference it made for his comfort.
          Small things can make a BIG impact on your guards.
          At one of our hospital accounts, we drive the shuttle van to ferry patients to the building, and also sit in the employee lot in the van at night during shift changes.
          One day, I got an offer from XM for a free XM radio if I would add a second radio to my account for an additional $6.99 a month.
          I ordered the free radio, and installed it in the hospital van for the guards to listen to. We've had the radio for two years now.
          The guards LOVE that radio! It helps keep them occupied during slow periods, and with 150+ channels there is something for everyone. It's well worth the $6.99 a month.

          Another thing I make sure I do is remember when a guard does me a favor by working an extra shift, driving 75 miles to fill in at a remote site, working a post they hate as a favor, etc. and make sure I return the favor. When that guard asks for a day off, I'll say, "sure, you covered X account for me last month, so I'll see what I can do." 99% of the time he'll get his day off, even if I have to cover his shift myself.
          Today is deer hunting opener in Minnesota. I usually hunt the whole season, but for various reasons I'm staying home this year. Today and tomorrow I am working double shifts so two of my guys can go deer hunting with their kids. Money in the bank, my friends. I now have two guys I know I can count on if I have a call-off or get hit with a weekend special at the last minute.

          I also believe in leading by example. My guards know that even though I could work straight Mon-Fri 0800-1700 if I wanted to, I'm not afraid to pull a midnight shift at a construction site once in awhile. It's the old "I won't ask people to do what I won't do myself." You may not realize it, but your guards notice EVERYTHING you do.
          Last edited by Badge714; 11-03-2007, 10:36 AM.
          "Striking terrific terror in the hearts of criminals everywhere" Since 1977.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
            Another thing I make sure I do is remember when a guard does me a favor by working an extra shift, driving 75 miles to fill in at a remote site, working a post they hate as a favor, etc. and make sure I return the favor. When that guard asks for a day off, I'll say, "sure, you covered X account for me last month, so I'll see what I can do." 99% of the time he'll get his day off, even if I have to cover his shift myself.
            Very smart! By tying the "return" to a specific act of "extra effort", you accomplish three things:

            1. You acknowledge the extra effort that was made.

            2. You give something in return.

            3. And by tying #1 with #2, you motivate the officer to respond to such requests again in the future.

            Excellent!!
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
              There is an interesting difference between a "manager" and a "leader".

              The term "manager" is usually an official title bestowed upon an individual by the declaration of those who are above him in rank in the organization. The term "leader" is an unofficial honorarium - a form of homage that is bestowed upon an individual by those who are below him in rank, i.e., by those who willingly follow him.

              In other words: Company executives can make a person a manager, but they cannot make him a leader. Only followers can declare an individual to be a leader. They usually do so by their actions in faithfully carrying out the leader's requests and other expressions of loyalty. Not the least of these expressions of loyalty is that the followers of true leaders will refuse to seek other employment even when the leader asks a lot of them, and even when the company itself may not be the most desirable place to work. The increased turnover you describe is a sure sign that you have a manager in place, but not a leader.

              Another difference between a manager and a leader is that the manager influences employee behavior primarily by issuing orders and these orders carry nothing but the force of his formal authority. A leader influences his followers primarily by means of inspiration, persuasion and the articulation of a clear vision. This vision is often called "the mission". When the leader does issue orders, they carry not only the weight of his formal authority, but the force of the follower's own desire to achieve the mission.

              As a result, employees working for a manager tend to do what they are ordered to do and little else. Very often, they must be prodded to do every little thing. The followers of a leader are internally driven (inspired) to do not just what they are ordered to do, but also to give the "extra" effort that they believe will help the leader to achieve the mission. They do not need to be pushed toward the goal. Leaders, in fact, sometimes have to literally force their people to go home at quitting time, to take earned time off, or to stop taking work home with them. Mere managers, on the other hand, very rarely have this sort of "problem".
              That is an awesome, awesome post. Very true and well said. May I print this and post it on our bulletin board at work?

              As a supervisor, my favorite part of the job is nurturing and developing leaders. Also, it is identifying the leaders and pushing for their promotion to management. IMO, only these leaders should be managers.

              On a job where starting pay is not enough to support a family (as a single income), where employees often look a the job as a stepping stone or "additional income", it is really really important to foster the kind of relationship with employees that they do not want to violate. To get them to see your respect of them as something important enough to them to want to continue to earn.
              formerly C&A

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeremy View Post
                It really hit me last weekend, when I was working overtime at the site I originally transferred from, that management of a security company really is everything to its successful operation. Specifically, account managers or site managers / supervisors. I thought that company reputation, and other things were the driving force, but I don't think so.

                I say this because at the site I transferred from, the account manager did his job perfectly. He was a former police detective, and was the best manager I worked under. He had an open door policy and was friendly. He was ontop of the schedule and clear with his requests. Even when we made mistakes he did not over-react or anything. While he was manager, we only lost something like 2 officers in almost a year. He retired a few months ago, and since then under the leadership of a younger site manager (whose experience was being a former security officer at another site) the site has lost 6 officers (hence the company willing to pay overtime to me for volunteering for a weekend shift.) I don't have to work again this weekend since they hired someone (wonder how long that person will last) but the manager really motivated people and held things together. And this can happen to any company and any account.

                Any supervisor/manager stories about this topic?
                Yep...I am in a situation where half of the supervisors are excellent, half of them are weak. And the account manager is also fairly weak, going with whatever wind blows strongest at the moment. The customer is pretty solid, very hands on. We report as directly to him as we do our own account manager. That is the setup.

                The "politics" of the situation is that we, the good supervisors, prioritize the customers wishes over the account managers wishes. Because all too often the account managers wishes are very strongly influenced by the group of weak supervisors. He never has an issue with this as we have pulled his butt out of the fire on a few occasions when he backed the wrong dog and came out on the losing side where the customer is concerned (getting his head chewed off over the phone etc).

                The customer has already said, "I don't want "john doe" working this account anymore." and the account manager keeps john doe anyways. Meanwhile john doe supervisor will chew out a guard for a wrinkle in his uniform while right next to him the fence line is cut top to bottom so anyone can just slip in or out. John Doe says, "mehhhhh, they'll never fix that fence, its been like that for years. What is the point in reporting it?" My shift, I get on the site, patch the fence cut with zip ties, have the guard post in line of site with the patch, report the hole and next week it is fixed.

                The set up is that we report directly to the captain (top supervisor) who reports directly to the customer and the account manager. He is the customers "right hand man" where uniformed security is concerned and is responsible mainly for operations. The account manager is responsible for billing and hiring (etc) and is technically above the captain. He has the final word where our company is concerned but the customer has the final word on whether or not the customer continues to contract with our company.

                When the new captain came on about a year and a half ago, there was major problems, high turnover, allot of theft, the customer was unhappy. The captain fought to cut the dead wood out of management on the account, got rid of all of them but the account managers favorites. The result is far less turnover, theft is practically eliminated and the customer is happy. This is where things stand now. It is a constant struggle with those guys. All they do is complain and talk about how stupid everyone above them and below them is. They make fun of the guards and hang out in the dispatch office a third of their shift, talking and drinking coffee. They make decisions they have no authority to make, confuse the guards constantly, and really PO the customer.

                Jeremy, again this sounds like opportunity. Don't underestimate how important a customer that is happy with YOU can be. If you are 100% squared away and the customer knows it, you could end up running the site yourself, or at least working your way up towards that.
                formerly C&A

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sec Trainer does make some very good points in his posts and agree with his comments and supportive arguments in this one. Another thing I had more time was a mini-microwave in a spare room which let them reheat meals or drinks and enjoy some privacy away from the other staff.

                  I recall my contract guards threatening to strike if they had to move sites from under my control. I was happy to put together a crew of all ages and would often just bring back a box of coffees for them on weekends. Word soon got around that the other sister store's security got NOTHING but worries from their boss. These guys were on peanuts and a $3.00 coffee seemed like a 20% payrise to them - especially when you spend a few minutes shooting the breeze and taking an interest in their life outside of work.

                  But in saying so, I have worn "3 up and 3 down" a few times in order to get things done with idiots who wish to play god or those who refuse to listen to what is being asked of them. I don't enjoy it but there is a time and place for it and sometimes it just happens with warning. My old LP crew would often vent at me - I got it all - but better for them to do it to me with an apology 30 minutes later, than someone else and I admit I have vented to them as well ............... not at them ............ but to get it off my chest. Better in an office and to leave it at work than take it home in a brief case.
                  "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Being an Account Manager, I let my Guards know they are doing a fine
                    job. While everything else is going to "hell in a handbasket" at the GateHouse, at least my Guards are the one good thing about the job.

                    I have been an Account Manager at my site going on four years
                    Including myself, there are six Guards. One Guard per shift, 24/7.
                    Four of the five Guards who began at this account, are still with me
                    today.
                    http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/ Greatest Comedy team ever!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most people I meet in management are in "Mis-Management" I found out a long time ago you don't have to know what your doing to be in charge.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A bad supervisor can be horrible!

                        Management / supervision, if it's good you can like things you might never otherwise put up with at a job. If it's bad, even if you have a good job, you can hate it.

                        I have known supervisors who were very good at being very BAD, and MEAN. You know, it was their way or the highway. I have known more than one person who has actually had to go out on a stress retirement based on the actions of a supervisor that 90% of the people working at the company hated.

                        You basically had your choice of secretly hating him, or openly challenging him, which would then get you written up often, or put in a situation of having to handle the worst working situations the most often.

                        Even others who hated this supervisor, when they were promoted to an equal rank of the hated one, would not challenge him. I asked why they did not, and the answer was that they did not believe that the other supervisors would back them up, even though most of the other supervisors also hated him.

                        So, what do you do when one person has that much power to cause grief in the lives of many. Hope they retire, which this jerk finally did.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cocknaces View Post
                          John Doe says, "mehhhhh, they'll never fix that fence, its been like that for years. What is the point in reporting it?" My shift, I get on the site, patch the fence cut with zip ties, have the guard post in line of site with the patch, report the hole and next week it is fixed.
                          I would've thought that was common sense? while I use fencing wire instead of zip ties the intent is still the same... to maintain a secure perimeter, much better than having some 'oxygen thief' slip though your fence and cause difficulties

                          I'm of the opinion that a truly good leader inspires those they lead through example... pure & simple
                          "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Generally, from what I've seen, the guard's job is to report the fence break. Not to fix it. The client did not authorize the repair.

                            No, I'm not kidding.
                            Some Kind of Commando Leader

                            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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