HVACR Business

AUG 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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8 HVACR BUSINESS AUGUST 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com W hen I think about instill- ing leadership in others, I can't help but recall my early days with Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning. Coming into my first leadership role in 2008 at the relatively young age of 26, I had no idea the wild ride I was about to encounter. roughout my earlier years, I had as- pired to be in a management role but it wasn't until I was a manager myself when I learned what that really meant. e greatest learning curve I encountered is probably one of the most common ques- tions young leaders ask themselves today — What is the difference between being a manager and being a leader? Managers & Leaders As I advanced through different posi- tions in the Isaac organization, I couldn't decipher the difference between managers and leaders and, honestly, at the time I don't think I was even aware there was a difference. As time went on, however, it became obvious to me there is a drastic difference between management and leadership. I began asking myself, "What am I, a leader or a manager? How do those on my team perceive me? If I am a good manager, how do I become a great leader?" At Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, it's impossible not to think about these things because they've been part of the company DNA since well before my em- ployment began. In fact, three generations of leaders before me have paved the way in this regard. One of the pivotal moments I can re- member is during my first management as- signment of our, at the time, only branch office in Avon, N.Y. I was young ; I lacked confidence and experience, and I was fac- ing what turned out to be a yearlong up- hill battle to turn things around in this operation. A couple months into it, I reached out to our president, Ray Isaac, for guidance. As any manager would do, I told him the problem, then offered my solution and suggestions. His response to me was probably the single most important thing I've heard to this day and something I refer to as a game changer. He said, "Are you asking me or telling me?" My nervous response was more of a question, "I guess I'm telling you?" To that he responded, "Good for you. Do it. I trust your judgment." Trust & Confidence At the time, it meant a lot to me to have the trust of our company's leadership, to the point where he'd allow me the oppor- tunity to make these decisions. Looking back on this, however, I realize what a pro- found difference this made in my life, both personally and professionally. I'm certain I asked him questions to which he already had the answers and could have easily rattled off the solutions. Instead, he made a conscious decision to The ability to show humility is one of the greatest strengths a leader can have and allows them to build trust and respect from their team. BY JEREMY NOLL HOW TO GROW AS A LEADER A first-hand account of one service manager's leadership journey — the people who helped him along the way, and the difference between being a manager and being a leader

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