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Wow these guys were stubborn and stuck in their ways! It can be the kiss of death to any business to get stuck in its ways, rest on its laurels, and refuse to change. Everything changes and businesses need to learn to change with the times, the customers, and adapt to what is going on around them.
Bob, Cal, and Dennis didn’t, and instead of listening to their staff and their customers, they had the mentality of “this is how we have always done it” and it wasn’t cutting it anymore.
It was such an interesting dynamic at Club VIP. Many of the staff had been there for years -- some started out as customers, some came out and found themselves there, and most agreed Bob and Cal really took on the role as surrogate parents. The problem with a lot of parent child relationships is that parents don’t like being told by their children what to do and children don’t like to see their parents fight, stressed out, or feel like they are being dismissed, and that was happening at the club.
The staff’s passion for not only the business but also the owners was great, but they felt like the “grumpy old men” had given up on everything. Bob was the day to day guy and the owner that the staff interacted with the most, but they felt he was closed down to not only change but to listening to them and his micromanagement (especially of Lisa) was breaking their spirit and their willingness to keep the passion going.I understood how they felt Bob was infuriatingly stubborn and really didn’t like to listen. He had a comeback, a joke, or an excuse for everything. Even when I brought a successful club promoter in to help give the crew ideas of what was in, hot, happening, and ways to promote the club, he was negative and shot things down. I was pleased and surprised to see Dennis get on board with the social media; it was the first spark of life I saw in him.
Making everyone imitate each other was a way for them all to see how they were perceived, and although he hated to admit it, Bob started to see how his staff saw him, and he didn’t like it. I was thrilled, because it meant I was starting to get through to him.Everyone worked hard, and it reignited the staff and helped the owners to admit that not only was change needed, but so was empowerment and that started with Lisa the manager. She had to feel in charge and in control, not micromanaged, so she could do her job properly and not be second-guessed.
I was nervous going into reopening day that everyone would fall into their old habits, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well everyone did. Lisa was a great manager when she was allowed to lead, the staff all worked well, and Bob, Cal, and Dennis were on good behavior. I was also ecstatic because if I ever need a day off, I have found my doppelganger!