Monday, April 22, 2024

Why every business needs a baddie*

John-Paul Drake

When you look at all the iconic movies there is always that one character who is a ruthless bad guy – the ball breaker. Gordon Gekko (Wall Street) or Al Pacino’s Tony Montana (Scarface) – the a**holes.

By Drakes Director John-Paul Drake. 

Many businesses, especially family-run, are started with the assistance of family and or friends. There’s nothing wrong with this, but when it comes down to the tough decisions, emotions can overtake the right decisions, and this is when the problems start. All businesses need to make tough decisions all the time.

You cannot run a successful business that is full of yes people. There needs to be that person who can be ruthless and is capable of making tough decisions for the betterment of the business, irrespective of who’s feelings may be hurt.

Emotion can cause the right decision for the business to be taken away. It may be difficult, but you have to sit back and make sure you are asking “what is best for the business”. The reality is that most business decisions are made on gut feel and emotion. When really, they need to be made with the business at the front of mind, taking out any emotion. This is not easy to do and it takes courage.

My three tips to think about when business decisions need to be made:

  • What is best for the business?
    Stop, think and take the emotion – the ego – out of the decision. What is best for the business also needs to be apparent on all levels from the shop floor to the accounts departments. Everyone needs to think of the overall best decision for the business not for their personal gain or success.
  • Humanise the solution – not the situation
    My business is built on people – 5500 of them in fact. They are our single most important asset and crucial to everything we do. It stands to reason then that every decision we make will affect my people. How is the solution going to affect a person on the other side? Whatever the decision made, think about how it will affect the business moving forward and the people in the business. Will it be in a negative or positive way?
  • Ruthlessness

Ruthlessness is the key factor in making smart business decisions. It’s not about being hard-nosed for the sake of it. It’s about making the right call for the business, irrespective of how unpopular the decision may be. What’s better – to make a decision that disappoints five people short term but creates 100 jobs long-term? Or keep those five people happy but don’t create opportunity for others?  Sometimes, you need to be cruel to be kind. Take the emotion out of the decision.

Being the good guy is of no use to anyone if the decisions ultimately lead to your business failing. Find your baddie.

When you look at your business or the business you work in, who is your Gordon Gekko?

*When I say baddie, I mean a ruthless, courageous person (being non-gender specific) who is able to take the emotion out of any business decisions. Not someone who is doing a bad job or is a bad person.

LinkedIn: @johnpauldrake

Facebook: @JPDrakeAU


YouTube: jp drake

Instagram: @shake.and.drake

Podcast: /DucksDontGetColdFeet


About John-Paul Drake

John-Paul Drake has retail in his blood. Starting out as the trolley boy and shelf stacker 30 years ago in the family business, his passion for retail is firmly solidified as the Director of Drakes. JP is a staunch supporter of supporting local and is not afraid to call it like he sees it. 

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