Keith Lee on Management Systems

Aug 29, 2016


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Keith Lee Knows Management


In this week’s episode of the Sailing to Success Podcast Show, Lyndsay Phillips interviews Keith Lee. Keith Lee is a management coach and business owner. He was a sales rep with Thompson Marketing Service and worked his way up to president and owner, which is where he learned about Total Quality and went on to create his own leadership system.


  • How did your company win the Best Small Business Award?
  • What is a Make You Happy Job Requirement?
  • How do you get your team to buy into the mission of the business?
  • What goes into a personal development interview?
  • What are small tips you can give to someone just starting out?


Management Systems

  • A good system of management allows the front line people to get on board with the overall vision of the business.
  • Employee engagement is the hardest thing to generate from a management perspective.
  • A system is a written documentation of how to do something, they are less complicated than you think.
  • The franchise model is where the leader comes up with all the systems to operate from.
  • Keith’s method uses the knowledge of everyone on the team.
  • There are no performance reviews, they are replaced with personal development interviews where the focus is to build up the employee and get them motivated.
  • Having established systems saves everyone time.
  • For the exceptions to the system, the team is empowered to change something that isn’t working.
  • Customers are more than just the people giving your business money, they are the team and vendors you work with and they have to be treated the same way.
  • Your business sells happiness, not widgets.
  • Having your operation well documented allows you to train new team members very quickly which reduces the pain of turn over.

Employee Buy In

  • Employee buy in starts before you hiring them. It begins in the ad and the training they receive on the first day.
  • Teach the employee about the management system and why they do what they do.
  • For bigger decisions, involve a group of stakeholders.
  • Look for constant feedback from the team, this could be personal development interviews every week.

Personal Development Interviews

  • Go over the objectives of the team member. Start with their job description. Narrow it down to 8 major objectives.
  • Look for opportunities to help them achieve their goals.
  • No one enjoys a performance review. They don’t motivate or inspire the results the business is looking for.
  • Seeing progress in the team member is motivating for the employee and the manager.
  • Start out with what’s gone well since the last time, then go over the measurable objectives and their progress.
  • The manager doing the interview should be speaking about 20% of the time.
  • The team member should always be aware of the Key Performance Indicators that are relevant to them.
  • A personal development interview is the team member’s chance to brag.

Keith Lee’s Final Tips

  • Systematize every aspect of your business.
  • Stop doing performance reviews and begin doing personal development interviews.
  • Focus on making progress with your team and your systems every week.

Thank you for listening to my interview with Keith Lee! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review in iTunes!