One of my gym buddies who knows that I help companies improve their financial circumstances by fixing their bad habits, pulled me aside to tell me about the new company he just started working at. My gym buddy was hired as a manager because the company had very high turnover, kept losing their good employees and they were struggling financially. They were hoping my buddy could help turn things around. My friend told me that after working there for just ten minutes he saw immediately what the problem was. The business owner had this nasty habit of using profanity and creating degrading nick names for his employees like “hey stupid” or “hey dummy” (I’m being generous here – think derogatory racial slurs). Worse, the owner’s son, who also oversaw some of the employees, was doing the same thing as his father. Parent habits transfer to their children.
As a result of this bad habit of the owner and his son, employees felt degraded and worthless. The good ones quit, while the bad ones stayed on. The company was being run primarily by employees who believed they were worthless. As a result, the business was struggling financially.
I asked my friend if he talked to the owner about this. He said he had. I then asked him if he thought he could stop the owner and his son from talking this way to the employees. He said no. “You know more than I do Tom, bad habits are hard to eliminate if you have no desire to change.” I reminded my gym buddy that I help companies like this, all the time, change their financial circumstances by changing their habits. I told him I had a process to change bad habits within companies that was foolproof, as long as there’s a real desire to change. He didn’t think there was any desire on the part of the owner to change.
I’ve learned over the past 11 years of studying habits that most of the financial difficulties companies and individuals experience are caused by bad habits. In companies like this trucking company, most are formed at the top (think owners) and then trickle down to managers and eventually employees. Bad habits infect companies like a financial cancer, affecting morale, productivity and ultimately, cash flow.