Lou is a colorful character with a classic (East) Boston accent and a wealth of down-to-earth advice for anyone running a business. In this podcast, we covered the following topics:
When people talk about “teamwork,” they often focus on everyone pulling together and helping out when others are struggling. Lou points out that, while helping others or picking up slack may be admirable, teamwork is actually about knowing your role, executing your role to the fullest, and making sure you take your role to the next level. If you’re the quarterback, teamwork means being the best quarterback you can be.
2. VP of Synergy
To be an effective leader and make sure that everyone is executing on their role, you need to know what everyone can do, what they’re actually doing, and where they’re running into trouble. For this reason, Lou suggests that every business needs a “VP of Synergy,” someone who understands, at ground level, what is actually happening in the business and can connect the dots so that obstacles and issues are addressed and so that the organization is continually improving and executing on its mission.
3. The Goal of Business
Everyone is in business to make money (or “dough,” as Lou calls it). But making money isn’t the goal of your business and shouldn’t be your primary focus. “It’s not about more money overall,” Lou says. “If you do your job, that will come.” Instead, Lou encourages everyone to remember that the real business you are in is helping your partners do business and helping your customers achieve their goals.
4. Positions of Power
Being in a position of power doesn’t mean that you are king of the hill and can lord it over others; it means that you have the power to get things done. If you have a good understanding of what others can do, and have put in the effort to build strong relationships with them, you can often get done with a phone call what it might take someone else weeks to do. That’s real power.