The Business of Business - Two Daughters & Their Dad

4-21: Leadership Potential: The Untapped Powerhouse for Business Enhancement

October 15, 2023 Staci, Jennifer & Jack Dempsey Season 4 Episode 21
The Business of Business - Two Daughters & Their Dad
4-21: Leadership Potential: The Untapped Powerhouse for Business Enhancement
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how nurturing your employees' career development could turbocharge your business growth? Let us, a father-daughter trio, guide you on this transformative journey. Together, we unearth potent leadership potential within your teams, offering a fresh perspective on the significance of career development. In our vibrant discussion, we emphasize the importance of an environment that encourages growth and autonomy. Listen up as we share our wisdom on how to identify employees with a proactive attitude, an integral quality for future leaders.

Our conversation doesn't just end at identifying potential leaders; we also delve into the crucial bond between leadership development and business growth. Learn from our personal experiences as we emphasize the need to recognize and harness your business's weaknesses, strategically placing the right individuals to tackle them. We underline the fundamental aspects of effective training, involving your employees in the process, and opening dialogues to understand their ambitions. We're here to help you discern the prime candidates for specific roles and how to arm them with the skills needed for success. So, plug in your headphones and join us on this enlightening journey of leadership, growth, and corporate success.

Nuggets:
* Look for those showing initiative
*Beware of wishing thinking; for growth, people need skills and initiative
* include future leaders in the decision-making process
* Don't just fill seats

Email us at: TwoDaughtersAndTheirDad@gmail.com

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Jennifer Faith Dempsey has been in the beauty industry for over 10 years. For the last 5m years, she has owned J. Faith Hair Studio. She brings her experience on how she balances entrepreneurship and motherhood. Check out Jen’s blog.

Staci Joy Dempsey is an insurance agent, a mom, and a busy non-profit volunteer. She truly understands what it means to be an entrepreneur. Staci serves as the podcast's host.

Jack Dempsey is the dad who heads up this busy family. He is a founding partner in Dempsey, Weiss & Associates, an Elmer, NJ-based insurance and investment firm that began more than 30 years ago.

Staci J. Dempsey:

Hey there and welcome to the business of business podcast. Here we are, two daughters and their dad, seeking to inspire and educate you to follow your dreams of being in business by teaching you the business of being in business the good, the bad, the humor are all parts of our unique perspective as an entrepreneurial family. Hey everybody, and welcome back to the business of business podcast. Two daughters and their dad. I'm your host, stacy J Dempsey, and the J is very important because it brings a lot of joy. I have with me today, like always per usual, thankfully, I have them the dad, jack, and I have the other daughter, jennifer. Good morning to the both of you, great morning.

Jack Dempsey:

Good morning everybody.

Staci J. Dempsey:

So today we're coming together to talk and share a little bit about why it would be important to invest in career development for people that you want to be leaders in your inside of your business. There's so many opportunities now for business owners and employees to seek out some personal and professional development, but specifically today we want to talk about how we can pour into specific people in our businesses that can help us grow and also have them feel fulfilled inside of their position. I feel like maybe and I could be wrong that maybe dad's done this a couple of times. What do you think, don A?

Jack Dempsey:

few times. Yeah, for sure.

Staci J. Dempsey:

One or two times at the rodeo. So why don't you maybe start by sharing with the listeners, maybe, how to identify the people or the groups of people that we would want to kind of focus and bring attention to, for career development, for our businesses?

Jack Dempsey:

Yeah, and I think it's first. I think it's important that we just kind of define what we mean by career development. It could be some might call it career development, some might call leadership development, but basically it's investing in your employees, investing in the employees for future growth, in their roles within your business. And I heard a long time ago now I don't even know when, but it's been a long time that if you want to grow your business, you know your higher employees. If you want to multiply the size of your business, then you develop leaders, and so so that the key word there is develop, develop leaders, develop people. You know, for you know a career with your organization, and so I think you know the way to identify, you know the people that you're going to make that investment in. You know, really, you know needs to kind of be addressed right at the hiring point, if you can. You know, hopefully you're hiring. That's one of the criteria, that's one of the filters that you're looking at. You know, with the person, is, you know, is this person someone who has the potential to grow with your organization? You know. So you know that should happen right at the point of interviewing and hiring. Now, sometimes we don't get that right and sometimes you have to make some adjustments around that, but that's that would be the goal. And one of the things I've always looked for, you know, is once we get someone in a role, whatever initial role they might be hired into, is one of the biggest things I look at is are they taking some level of ownership in their position? You know, are they looking at, you know, are they looking at it as this role that I have with the organization, almost like this is my own little business, this is I'm being an entrepreneur with, with my role, and you know, or is this person just looking, always looking to just be? You know someone who's able to get the work done, but they're always going to rely on others, you know, to kind of make those bigger calls. Or you know they don't want to take responsibility for their job but they don't want to go beyond anything to really take ownership. So so you know, just always I always look for that. Where someone's really and you can hear it in their language, you know, you might say, you know they might say something to the effect that you know, if it's someone answering the phone, they might say well, you know, I don't, I don't have anybody available for you to speak to right now. So can I get your name and number and you know we'll get right back to you shortly. But that word, I, you know that using that word, like I'm, you know, I'm in charge here, I'm in control of this. You know, I have, you know, some level of ownership over this. You know, just, sometimes it's just some of those things that you can begin to pick up and help people. Help people stop. Communicate is a good way to also see if that's a person that you want to invest to, because if they take ownership of the position they're hired into, they're most likely going to be taking ownership of any role they have as that responsibility increases. I think that's the first thing to look for. Then the challenging part is what does that look like Now? What is career development? What is leadership development? What does that look like from a training standpoint? That can be, again, depending upon the type of business that you're in, will determine how you would handle the training. But again, communicating, I think, is the other big thing with people, is they want to see, especially in today's world. We talked about a little bit of early recording. One of the things today is people. Incomes important, work-life balance is important, but I think one of the most important things people are looking for now, especially younger people coming into the workforce, is this a company that's going to invest in me for my career. You can go out and you can get different types of education, but at the end of the day, the real education is working, that day-to-day role. So is this company going to be investing in me to make me better, stronger and give me that upward mobility that I'm looking for within the organization?

Staci J. Dempsey:

Yeah, well said. I can remember when as an example, maybe just to give some of our listeners a visual when I worked for a large chain convenience store about 150,000 years ago, I quickly moved from being a part-time associate to being almost a store manager. I was one level below that, but the only reason I was one level below that was because I was 19 years old, I hadn't quite reached 21. But in that two and a half years, the first thing that I think that I personally showed was initiative that, yes, I'm willing to. Yes, I have a schedule right now that I have to keep because I'm in school and you tell them that up front. But that, yes, I have initiative to come in when someone needs to leave early and fill in, or I have an initiative to asking questions as to why we do certain things, wanting to learn more. And again, I did not know what my life looked like at 17 years old. But in that two and a half years, as the more that I showed initiative and asking questions, it got the attention of people that were in management. And then, when I asked, how can I learn some of these processes, how can I learn more about the business side of the store Is when they would. Then they offered me certain classes, some specific training on the business side, and again, obviously I didn't stay there forever, or not even really that long, but I think what I showed was initiative and that was kind of the light switch of okay, let's start putting this out to this employee. Did they take us up on that? Great. Okay, let's offer her this. Okay, did she take us up on that? Yes, and so I think that sometimes now, being more in a business owner role, I think sometimes the business owners can meet someone that wants to come inside our business and we start wishful thinking of this person has the potential, this person can do this, this person's got this, but we then don't recognize that they are not showing the initiative and we sometimes maybe start pouring in and investing a little too soon because we want them to succeed, we see it in them, but they don't necessarily see it in themselves. And so I think that when trying to discern between someone that we want inside of our business because we see it in them and we can see them in a leadership position versus is this somebody that wants to be in a leadership position and then how can I get them there. So I think that that would kind of also be because before we hit record Dad was mentioning there's some businesses that rely on that high schooler like I was to come in and kind of work those odd shifts and to do that. They're probably not going to be lifelong employees and so almost to not jump the gun and start investing right away. We kind of have to let them kind of show us what they've got or at least have an interest in it.

Jennifer Dempsey:

Well, I love that. You guys said that. I think what comes to mind for me inside of my business that has been really exciting. As you hire, obviously as a certain position, and then, as I've shared on the podcast, we have these monthly or quarterly meetings with our team and now all of a sudden you have an employee that's coming to you like, hey, I'm really enjoying maybe training and asking for more. I wanna be more in a leadership position. You can count on me, I wanna kind of go more in that direction. And so having that communication with your team with individually can kind of they can express to you what they want and how they're trying to grow and it can benefit you too. So you can kind of pull back out of training, plug somebody else in and then, of course, coach them through how to become a better leader in that position. But always a beautiful opportunity when an employee comes to you saying, hey, I want more, I'm ready, give it to me, I wanna be in charge of this. Or, like Stacy is saying, initiative. I know it might seem like something small, but I deal with a lot of inventory. So one of my employees kind of just got into this schedule of writing inventory ever so often. So I don't have to do that anymore, and so it might not necessarily be this big leadership position, but for this employee it's like I'm in charge of the inventory, I'm gonna own it, I'm gonna make sure we have everything that we need, and it gives her a bigger purpose with inside of the business. So I think that that would be key to kind of you might hire someone in one position and see like you know what they're really doing well when they're training someone. So let me now let me plug in right and like it reminds me of what dad was saying when we had Emily and Joel on the podcast. It's like he's tested us throughout our lives of like if are they really ready for what they want, and I think that that's a great outlook to have with your employees too. You know they have to show you first that they can, that they want it, that they can do it, that they can take ownership of it, and then you know you can just really train for more of a leadership point of view. So that's an option too.

Joel Dempsey:

Dempsey Weiss Associates is a multi-line insurance agency, successfully meeting the insurance and financial needs of the landscaping, business, contractor and agricultural community in Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1989. To learn more, visit us at wwwdempseyweisscom. J-faith Hair Studio. Centrally located in Southern New Jersey, j-faith Hair Studio is the place to go to become the best version of yourself. Confidence in your appearance is always important and a great hairstyle is an absolute necessity. Visit jfaithhairstudiocom to book your appointment today.

Staci J. Dempsey:

Yeah, absolutely. And leadership, can you know, investing in career development or career leadership can look very different for different businesses and different industries. You know, for me what comes to mind is we have we have a long-term employee, vince, who has been with us. He just celebrated 19 years and, you know, I jokingly said I can't believe that you're 19 years old enough to do anything. But I remember when Vince got hired because it was shortly after I got hired but I've seen him in action and challenging situations, uncomfortable situations, and I think when I look back, you know in what maybe his leadership, like what we invested or primarily what Jack and Dave invested into him. As far as leadership was, you know, really working on this, a situation came up he didn't know the direct answer, but then, when he talked it through with Jack and Dave, now he's got it. Now he knows, when a similar situation comes up, that what would Jack and Dave say needs to happen? That took time, that took investment, that took making mistakes, because that certainly happens, but it takes some of that time, commitment and really almost I say quote unquote training, but it's the ongoing, consistent talking through of this is how we need to, this is how the business needs to run In my place, feel confident in making certain decisions, but I've noticed over the years that once it happens he's got it. I don't know if I mean clearly Vintzel communicates and goes over things with Jack and Dave, but probably not nearly as much as in those dad's shake it his head, not nearly as much as in those early stages.

Jack Dempsey:

It's interesting now, and actually more than interesting. It's very rewarding now to see where I'll get copied on emails whether it's Vint or others in the office on situations where they made decisions and just copying me on it. But the point is that you can see in there that they're making those decisions in the vast majority of the time. I can't remember when. The last time it wasn't, it would be like that's great because it's the right decision. It was the decision I would have made, but now I don't have to be in that role of spending the time going through everything to ultimately make that decision. So, again going back to what I originally said, if you want to grow your business, hire employees. If you want to multiply, develop people, develop leaders, give people to develop them, because the way you multiply businesses, you have more people who can really release to make decisions that at one point you are making all those decisions and the amount of time that that saves you then to be able to focus on things that are truly important to grow your business you can really focus on. So and I think that's you hit it on the head states because it's like how do you do that? Well, the way you do. That is not so much a formal training. It's including people in the processes. So they see how you gather information, they see how you work through and analyze that information, then ultimately make a decision. And then they kind of bring, they see it, they experience it, they start to understand the process of doing it, bring their own style to it to a certain extent. But again it's more about the training is more about being intentional, about making sure people are involved in those processes.

Staci J. Dempsey:

Yeah, absolutely, and also for different businesses. I think that it's important that they identify where they need a leader, where they need some leadership, and what does that look like? And sometimes in my experience, for example on the board for Meals on Wheels in the last, we'll say almost year now, we've had a lot of turnover on the board and kind of what we learned in that process was that we were trying to fill seats, to fill seats, rather than identifying where are the weaknesses inside of our board as far as people, what kind of people do we mean? With expertise, with networking, with resources, even with a personality and mindset? Because we lost some people on our board through retirement that were very black and white, very one level, all the time, and every so often, if it wasn't black and white, then it wasn't ready to be brought to the table, and so sometimes, I think, even analyzing what type of personality was needed, and so once we kind of hunkered down on certain things and certain type of aspects that we needed in board members, were we able to start seeking everybody that was on the board then. That was, I say, left, because there was only a handful of us. Now, when we go out into the world. We know what those things are, to look for what we need, rather than just hoping and praying that we come across someone and in the process of that, what has happened is it's gone from almost me and the executive director making all of the decisions to fewer people on the board that can. We can point someone to be a leader in an area to help us make a decision which is in the world of non-profit is really how it should be. It really shouldn't be left up to one or two people. It should be a collective unit. But I think also identifying where is the weakness in our business that we need a leader and what does that leader, I say, look like? But what kind of mindset do they have? What kind of personality would that look like? Do we need someone that's introverted or extroverted? Do we need someone that's incredibly detail oriented, or does that not necessarily need to be a specific bullet point? So I think, sometimes identifying those things before we start asking people to even interview or come inside of our business, because then you're not necessarily in a, you don't necessarily feel in a desperate situation, which I have felt, that desperate feeling when trying to get someone onboarded to the board at times.

Jack Dempsey:

Another way to address kind of that development is also spending time with that person on your team to really even ask some good questions where how can we help you, how can we wanna invest in your development, what's something that you feel like you need to get better at what you do for us, and start to draw them out Again. You don't have to always have to have like this training regimen, training program that you're just going to plug people into and maybe sometimes you have to do that. Depending on the size and scale of your business, you might have to do that to some extent, but for smaller businesses I think it's much more effective to really have a conversation and determine what's the best training we can provide you to help you get better at what you're doing and ultimately be able to have a stronger career path with us.

Staci J. Dempsey:

Yeah, absolutely it's. Career development is really not just a point A to point B scenario. It's not here. Let me give you this book and guess what you're gonna turn around to be a leader or it's gonna be an ongoing thing and really a conversation as well. Once you start really start talking and you have kind of entered someone into the training process of I wanna build you up on it, give you more information. Like dad mentioned, bringing people into the conversation. I cannot tell you how much I have learned by just sitting in dad's office listening to him from what he says on the phone, in particular in good conversations and in tough conversations. But it is something that people who want to have a career and people who are looking to be somewhere for a long period of time, that wanna have a purpose in what they're doing, they wanna feel they want to be important in their role. They want to feel important in their role. Those people are out there and sometimes you kinda have to spend some time sifting through that on who and what is gonna be a good person in that role. But those people are out there and once this kind of starts the line, it really does work out really, really well and I think dad can attest to that with I don't know five retirees at this point, with, I think, at least all over 10 years. Clearly others were much higher than that, but clearly those people felt important inside of their roles and felt that they brought value and were responsible for making important decisions. That's for sure.

Jack Dempsey:

So an interview of a gentleman who had really grown his business and scale multiple locations around the country, and one of the things that he indicated was the reason he was able to do that was one he developed people, because obviously he can't be at all those locations at the same time. So he had to develop people. And the other thing he did again, this wouldn't be right for every situation, but he also gave them. He would set, even though it was one business in terms of what they did, he would set each location up as its own business, so it would be its own LLC or, you know, s corporation, that type of thing. Then he would actually give those people who he identified as the leaders and he would actually get them ownership and part of the business and give them that level so that, yeah, he didn't give it to them right out of the gate, day one hire, but if they hit these different career development and other benchmarks then they would actually get ownership in the business. So again, that was something he said was a game changer for him in trying to grow his business scale. It's once they had some real ownership where the profit of that business would make a significant difference for them financially. He said that was the game changer. So again, another idea, not going to work in every situation, but it would certainly be another way to accomplish career development and leadership development within the organization.

Staci J. Dempsey:

Well, great conversation today. We hope that we have at least brought this topic to everyone's, brought this topic to top of mind for everyone as we kind of go into the end of the year, maybe even putting down on that plan, identifying weaknesses inside of our business where we can maybe bring in some leadership or leadership positions, and what does that look like, what does that feel like? And hopefully you have found something positive and something useful out of this conversation. So, until we see each other again, we'll see you guys soon. Bye-bye, thank you all for listening today. If you have questions you would like for us to answer on the podcast, please email us at twodaughters. That's T-W-O, twodaughtersandtheirdadcom. And until we can be together again, please be kind to each other and, most importantly, be kind to yourself. We want to thank you for listening today. Please subscribe so you never miss an episode, leave us a positive review. And we want to say thank you to our sponsors, dempsey Weiss Associates and J-Faith Hair Studio.

Investing in Career Development and Leadership
Developing Leaders and Growing Businesses