Should You Be A Hands On Manager?

By: Dan Kennedy on: July 22nd, 2010 3 Comments

A few days ago, I pointed out to you how very successful people can have significant differences. I used as an example the differences between Sam Walton and Donald Trump.

However, one of the principles that they both practice if you study them, for example, is hands-on-management. You’ll find if you read their stories they both pay particular attention to details.

Trump drives people nuts. One of the most recent things that I read about him is he’ll tour his hotel and if he spots cob webs or dust in a corner the next time he’s in that hotel he goes right to that corner.

He doesn’t make note of it, he remembers it. Of all the stuff he’s got to deal with he remembers that that corner in that restroom wasn’t the way it should have been. And he goes back to check. And then if it’s not he will stay there until somebody corrects the problem.

What’s this guy’s time worth?

I don’t know – thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour if you took his annual income and broke it out into the number of hours a year he could work his time might be worth that much. But he’ll stand there and wait until they correct that problem in the men’s room.

Walton – what did he spend his time doing? Visiting his stores, inspecting what he expects. You see they have a principle in common even though their personal styles are very disseparate and what we want to do is identify the principles and make the principles work for us.

Then the next thing we can do is then practice those principles we identify.

I saw a TV special on ESPN about Lombardi and one of his ex-players Jerry Kramer. He said, “If one thing stands out of your entire experience with Vince Lombardi what it is?” And Kramer said it was the constant, continuous, unending repetition of fundamentals.

He said, “We didn’t just practice taking a snap from center fifty times. We practiced it thousands of times.” The repetition of practicing principles that work. How much practice do you do?

The sales person says, “Gee my closing average isn’t very good.” How many times have you practiced that presentation? What do you mean practice? How many times have you practiced?

Yule Brenner performed the King and I. I forget now the number but more continuous nights on Broadway than any performance has ever happened on Broadway and Yule Brenner also practiced his part every single afternoon.


At a speaking engagement in Seattle a couple of years ago for doctors, a guy came up afterwards and said he wanted to become a speaker. And he said, “You know one of the things that mystifies me is that how do you know the first time you tell a joke to an audience the joke’s going to work?

I said, “You never tell it to an audience for the first time. You practice it on people that don’t count. And then it works a few time with those people, then when you get it right you practice it over and over again right.

You practice it over and over again. You tell yourself that joke over and over again until you are sick of it then you tell it to an audience.

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    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

    3 Responses

    1. Rob Anspach says:

      Walton grew an empire by allowing the common man to afford his goods, while Trump grew his fortune by playing on mans need to have more!

      Two different styles, yet both became famous for making millions!

    2. Scott says:

      Phil Mickelson didn’t win two green jackets by NOT practicing thousands of 3 footers. while the rest of us just pick it up.

    3. Jim Rowe says:

      Dan, I started out in telephone sales and my closing % went up and up after recording myself over and over until I sounded natural. I also did a little stand up comedy and always told my second best joke first…get them liking me and my best joke last…gets them to remember you.

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