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Ask yourself: ‘Am I the Bottleneck?’

May 29, 2023
Sometimes the bottlenecks in an organization are its leaders. Honestly ask yourself these questions if you want to find ways to improve your operations.

When you think about it, the neck of a bottle is the narrowest part. That got me wondering if the folks in leadership—who are at the narrowest part of the organization—could be the ones causing the bottlenecks.

I think everyone in a management position needs to spend some time in self-reflection to determine if they are the reason progress does not happen.

Ask yourself: Am I open to new ideas and new ways of doing things? Or am I stuck in the rut of doing things the way you have always done them?

Do I seek out opinions that are different from my own and listen to suggestions and solutions with an open mind?

Do I allow time for brainstorming solutions without casting judgment on suggestions that surface during the brainstorming process?

See also: There may be cash hiding in your business

Obviously, at some point, you have to weed out the bad ideas, but during brainstorming, it is important to allow all ideas to be expressed. You never know when a bad idea will generate a great idea in someone else.

It's also good to periodically review your processes and procedures. When was the last time you looked at the work you had your staff doing? Do you have the right people with the right skill sets assigned to the right jobs? Are your people spending time doing tasks that could be automated or, worse yet, performing tasks that no longer need to be done?

See also: Take the time to re-evaluate your operation

One way to keep things fresh in your organization is to seek out people who have different backgrounds than you do and who have strengths in areas where you are not as strong. Doing so will strengthen the entire organization. No one can be good at everything, so there is no shame in bringing in people that have expertise in areas where you don’t. The trucking industry is a very competitive space, so anything you can do to make your team stronger will pay off.

As a leader, you need to be 100% certain that you are not the one causing the bottlenecks that are preventing your organization from being the best it can be.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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