Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:25 — 31.8MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | More
Executive leadership determines the level of market disruption. Two Men and a Truck CEO, Jeff Wesley shares his insights and stories about how he and his team grow their business at 17X the transportation industry average by continuously disrupting how their business operates.
Music: The Lachy Doley Group, Gonna Make it Up
from the album Conviction | Used with permission
Like the music? Get a free 7-track EP of The Lachy Doley Group
Blubrry Podcast Hosting
Blubrry Professional Statistics
For one free trial month, use promo code: SellingDisruptionShow
Engineering, editing, post production: Mark S A Smith
© ℗ 2017 The Bija Company, LLC All rights reserved
“PipeDrive drives my sales pipeline!” – Mark S A Smith
Special Selling Disruption Show Offer
Get a no-risk 45-day free trial, that’s an extra 15 free days when you use our link.
Executive Strategy Summit
Discover the insights, tools, and workshopping you need to be a confident, enthusiastic, efficient, and effective executive leader.
View Show Transcript
Disruptive Leadership: How Two Men and a Truck Grow at 17X the Industry Rate
Mark S A Smith: My guest today is Jeff Wesley, who is the CEO of Two Men and a Truck. You’ve probably seen their trucks on the road, that hand written drawing that shows two guys and a truck. He runs a franchise moving company headquartered out of Lansing, Michigan with franchises in 41 US states as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland. We’re going to talk today with Jeff about how he, and his team, and his franchisees have been disrupting the transportation world.
Jeff Wesley: Well, thanks Mark. It’s great to be with you today and I hope I can share some of the background on Two Men and a Truck and some of the cool things we’re doing to disrupt our industry.
Mark S A Smith: We’re gonna share some of those ideas with the listeners so they can take that to their business and make it as wildly successful as yours. I have primarily had other entrepreneurial authors and thought leaders on the show and you’re the first time that I’ve reached out to a larger organization to be a guest, so I’m really excited for you to share your wisdom with my listeners.
Jeff Wesley: That’s great.
Mark S A Smith: The thing that triggered my interest was the fact that Two Men and a Truck is really grown from nothing to 410 franchises, now you’re doing long haul, which is really challenging the transportation industry.
Click here to download the PDF now.
Jeff Wesley: You’re right.
Mark S A Smith: It’s disrupting it and some of the old carriers have disappeared.
Jeff Wesley: That’s correct.
Mark S A Smith: What I know about you is you started out working at Deloitte, you were a National Sales Director. You were the CFO and now CEO of Two Men and a Truck.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, I started off at Deloitte and then I went to work for a company called AccuBite Dental Supply, grew that. We sold it to a Fortune 500 company, got benched for three years because I worked for them but I couldn’t work for anybody else at the time. Then I joined Two Men and a Truck as CFO and eventually became CEO.
Mark S A Smith: You’re probably aware that 90% of executives, CEO’s specifically, come from a sales background.
Jeff Wesley: I don’t know if I knew that number, but that’s cool.
Mark S A Smith: It is cool. The other 10 percent are founders. The reason why is because sales is the life blood of every company. If you don’t know how to manage sales and run sales you can’t run a company.
Jeff Wesley: My background really is, I was a CPA by trade. I love to look at the numbers, look at the metrics, learn from the data. But, probably my biggest compliment is that I’m often referred to as a CPA with a passion for sales, which probably calls me a mutt, I don’t know.
Mark S A Smith: No, I think that’s actually really interesting. Most sales people ignore the numbers. What that means is that you work a sharp pencil and make sure you get all your margin.
Jeff Wesley: Yep, I try.
Mark S A Smith: The company was founded in the early 80s by Brig and Jon Sorber…
Jeff Wesley: Actually it was originally founded by Mary Ellen Sheets, the mother of the two boys, and for many years owned by the four family members. The daughter Melanie, was the CEO at one time and then Brig became the CEO and then I became the first outside CEO.
Mark S A Smith: Oh, interesting.
Jeff Wesley: In terms of CEO’s file it went from Mary Ellen, to Melanie, to Brig and then to me. They’ve all participated in some way with the company over the years. They currently are all on the Board of Directors.
Mark S A Smith: I like this transition of a family held business into something that’s really spectacular.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, it’s kind of a cool story.
Mark S A Smith: It is cool.
Jeff Wesley: We’re trying to keep all the neat aspects of it.
Mark S A Smith: An interesting aspect is the fact that Two Men and a Truck: boxes, trucks, and movers have appeared in six movies.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, we’re in quite a few movies actually. We actually worked the little Hollywood angle, too. We’ve been very blessed. We’ve had some big hits. Limitless was probably one of the bigger opportunities. If you ever saw that movie.
Mark S A Smith: Absolutely, yeah. Do you do that as a placement strategy?
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, we work with a broker out there that each year he works to position our brand. We review what we get put in to make sure it fits with our core values and ethics. People love it. Our franchises love it when they see us in a movie that’s like an awesome thing and it really impresses our customers too. It’s amazing how many people bring that up about us.
Mark S A Smith: I think it’s a really disruptive approach to marketing. Your company has always used the hand drawn picture of two guys and a truck and people remember that. I have boxes of yours where I keep my vinyl albums in. I’ve been carrying around for decades.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, it’s a pretty cool story. Mary Ellen actually drew it on a napkin at one time when the company began and that’s how it started. We’re a customer service company that happens to do moving. When you look at disruption, what’s really cool about Two Men and a Truck, we’re slightly over 30 years in existence. When Mary Ellen Sheets founded the company, you have a woman coming into the trucking industry offering up franchising for the first time.
Mark S A Smith: That probably blew people’s minds.
Jeff Wesley: That blew people’s minds. I think, was a first. I admire so much the opportunity to hear the stories of when she started, all the hurdles and all the people that said she couldn’t get it done and she would never survive. Many of them working against her to overcome those hurdles. You fast forward that, when we talk about disruption, today we have a legacy that’s so cool that we can look back on and be proud of. As you fast forward our history, all the kids have done a wonderful job in terms of moving the company forward over the years, all having impact. One of the significant periods in our history was 2008/2009.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, that was a tough time for all of us.
Jeff Wesley: Very difficult time. The family looked at the business and an incredible brand had been successful for many years and for the first time in history that they actually had a decline in sales. With the foresight, Brig Sorber was the CEO at the time, but he worked with the Board of Directors, all the family members. They looked at the company and they used that as a reflection point to say, hey, we need to really take advantage of what’s just happened. Look at our own organization and say we need to invest into what’s just shifted around us. Housing going down, the stock market crashing, the economy in a bad place and say we need to reposition this company and move it forward.
That was the first time where he looked at the leadership here and said we need to bring in skillsets that are different. That’s when I was the first person to come in from the outside. Together, myself and the Board and all the team members here at the home office, we took a careful look at the business and said we’re going to disrupt our organization. Actually, if you look at it with the foresight we had at the time, which is easy to say, we’re really well ahead of the curb and pretty brave at that time to say we’re going to invest into this. We’re going to look at every aspect and say what are the strategies? What are the levers of this business that will push it forward?
We looked at everything from our marketing, what our ad fund was being spent on, to say we’re going to be a leader in marketing whether it’s lead generation or online marketing, whether it’s our sales process. At the time it was a little bit disjointed and say we’re going to standardize the sales process across the nation, get everybody working off System One, align our franchises and proactively build this brand in new ways. We looked at our operating system and said we have an outdated operating system that’s not going to position us for the next five to ten years. We’re going to go to our franchises in the worst time in the history of Two Men and a Truck and say we need to invest in this to get probably one of the better operating systems in the trucking business. It has the foundational pieces to look at every piece of data, to learn from it, to be like an agile continuous improvement company going forward.
We looked at our footprint to say where was the strength of our footprint? Where do we need to add partnerships? We even looked at our compliance side when we looked at insurance and did unique things like captives and other things we brought to our brand. So, we’ve been disrupting since ’08/’09. Successfully we’ve been growing at 17 percent clips a year, which is unheard of in our industry.
Mark S A Smith: Fantastic for the industry, yes.
Jeff Wesley: Our industry has been growing about one to two percent. As you mentioned, many people are going out of the industry because they can’t compete. People love our brand. They love that we think customer service first, with all of our innovation disruption and to really try to position ourselves to be the leader in this space. Before, we were kind of like the Little Engine that Could, trying to catch up and be the leader. Now we find that we are the leader and we’re trying to stay humble and really bring an agile approach to all the opportunities we have.
We just launched mini markets for the first time, which are smaller markets where they didn’t fit our typical size demographic, but we think they’re going to be very successful in feeding to our overall model. We’re very excited about the roll out of our Value-Flex program.
Mark S A Smith: Let’s talk about the Value-Flex program just a little bit. That is extremely innovative in a world where other folks have copied the Two Men and a Truck … Two College Kids and a Truck kind of stuff. A lot of people have been cloning your brand for a while. But, you’re bringing a whole new element to the idea of long haul moving. Let’s talk about that.
Jeff Wesley: When you look at Value-Flex, our customers keep looking at us and saying we want more services from you. When you look at us compared to tradition movers we think customer service first, that’s one of the main reasons we’ve grown, is our referrals. In terms of people love to work with us. Our interstate model, which had over the last number of years been growing double digits, we looked at it and said even though we’re very happy with where it’s going we can do better here. We didn’t feel we were priced in the best position for all the customers that wanted to work with us. We were very good at going point to point so in essence if you wanted to go from Michigan to Florida you could use one truck and move with us but we’d be empty coming back so it wasn’t always the best price model.
We looked at it and probably again, with foresight, saw a changing market place that we were in. Our goal is always to be disrupting ourselves before we get disrupted. The thing we have learned over the years is, I think you would appreciate this, in almost every business model, if you’re not nervous about tomorrow you should be. Because of the collision of technology and the money on the sidelines willing to feed new businesses and change them as well as just the different dynamics of how businesses are evolving and the lines they are crossing over in. So, we have new competitors today. This fit perfect, that we needed to look at this model. We researched it for a year and a half studying a white paper. If we’re going to go into the interstate business, what is the best model that fits our franchises that have worked collectively to gather and what’s the best tools that we can put in their hands.
We researched things from what the military was doing in Europe to all the competitors that we saw out there that were evolving in this space. We stand on customer service and we have nationwide the best professional moving team that’s out there. Those are a couple of the core competencies that we have. We developed this interstate model using containers and we’re so excited to roll this out. We just rolled it out in 13 hubs. It’s pretty cool from a franchising system to give them these tools that are flexible to get them to work in a unified way under the regulations of trucking that we’re fully in compliance with, which has a lot of unique aspects to it. I compare it to Uber.
You can take a move with us and maybe get it for half to a third of the cost and our franchises win too. To me, that’s pretty neat when you can bring to the customers an awesome brand with a 96 percent referral rate with a new technology and service more people. It really represents our brand, our core values of customer service first. We’re very excited about it.
Mark S A Smith: Rightly so. You’re really bringing a whole new flavor here. There are other companies that do interstate pod, container type of business. They’ll drop it off and you get to do the rest of the work on both ends. What you offer is a complete end-to-end service where the two men show up and fill up the container. It arrives at the other end and two more men show up and unload the container. What a fantastic model of a great service for people. It really disrupts the transportation business.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, we think so. We’re very proud of it. We think we’ve put the time and effort into it. We’re very proud of our franchises that continue to work in alignment to our collective vision that we have as an organization. We continue to update, but we think that focus on customer service separates us. If you go with a traditional van line, you’re stuck to get moved around in a truck and you might not know when it’s going to arrive. You’re going to know when our containers are going to arrive. You’re going to know they’re totally under the control of Two Men and a Truck. I don’t know if you know, one of the top stressful things in life is moving?
Mark S A Smith: It is, up there with divorce.
Jeff Wesley: It’s up there with divorce and all the bad things that can happen. We’re very proud of the fact that we’re doing this as a brand. We’re very excited about the future. When you look at the market share that we think we can capture with a product like this and I think it fits with all the qualities that Two Men and a Truck try to bring every day to the market.
Mark S A Smith: I think it’s excellent. The idea of you bringing together all of your franchises, 410 franchises, is that what you have these days?
Jeff Wesley: We have 370 worldwide and we have about 10,000 team members that work the Two Men and a Truck brand. They’re all, every day, professionally trained, background checked and we continuously work on growing their careers. One of our core principles is moving people forward. We spend a lot of time with our movers and drivers and all of our team members to make sure their time with Two Men and a Truck, they develop their skills, they understand the importance of our core values starting with our Grandma Rule. Treat everybody like you want to treat your Grandma.
Mark S A Smith: What a great rule. It’s just so easy for people to take in.
Jeff Wesley: We’re pretty proud, if you look at our corporate headquarters it’s all about branding. Grandma Eb is up in our foyer as you walk into our building and she serves as the vision of the Grandma Rule. For Mary Ellen Sheets that put that as a founding core value way back when, she was a visionary well ahead of her time when it came to setting the founding principles, the core values, the mission statement, benchmarking, the need for data. We’re just blessed to be able to continue to work on her brand, to grow it and continue to do great things with it.
Mark S A Smith: You operate in a disrupt before we’re disrupted mindset. I think it’s really brilliant. It shows up in the success of your organization. What are you going to disrupt next?
Jeff Wesley: That’s a great question. I give everybody here at home office as well as our franchises a lot of credit. When we talked years ago, when we started down this evolution of we need to work hard to stay ahead because there’s going to be new competition, new technologies. I wish we were wrong but we were actually right. We have more people crossing into our space than ever before. I think you see other industries like Amazon coming into new areas. We’re going to be driving autonomous trucks in the next five years. We look at every aspect, from our IT roadmap that’s very robust, from the standpoint of how do we bring new technology to our trucks? How do we bring new technology to our customers? How do we enhance our customer service in the home with video and new aspects that way?
At the same time we look at the tools that our franchises have to make sure that they’re in a good position bringing our movers and drivers new tablets and ways to train in the field when they see unique items to deliver customer service. We just had a thing, kind of boring but disruptive, we just had study come out with Blue Fin on how we’re trying to bring compliance to a new level. They just worked with the Two Men and a Truck brand and did a market research study on securing credit cards in the field so we know our customers are taken care of. I’m really proud of the fact when you look across to all of our units and all the brand, we really have a balanced score card to our disruption and we’re trying to continue to stay agile, yet have a long-term vision. We have our vision laid out for 2020 that says what Two Men and a Truck will look like when you walk in and see this organization, which is pretty cool.
It hits all aspects in even how did we disrupt communities in terms of doing more community service. We’re pretty complete in our goals. We’re very compassionate. We all love this brand. We work very hard. Very proud of what we’ve accomplished but we wake up every day saying we better stay ahead of it and stay humble and disrupt because if we don’t do that we’re going to miss opportunities and we don’t want to miss them.
Mark S A Smith: I think that’s fantastic. This concept of being humble, I think is really understated. In a prior show I had Mary Ramon on and we talked about humility as a disruptive agent. She pointed out that in Jim Collins book, “From Good to Great”, that the single identical leadership across all the good to great companies were leadership, yourself, being humble. The idea of it’s thinking more about others. This customer service strategy and of course, since you’re in the franchise business your customers are all the way down the chain.
Jeff Wesley: I agree and I think the other aspect you mentioned there is a key of leadership. We are constantly working with our team to challenge them. We need people to make mistakes. We’re okay with that. We’re blessed with a franchise system so we’re constantly testing ourselves, each other, which is kind of neat. We want to be quick to market. We want to be as complete as we can. We want to be growing leaders from every person we hire. I really admire the talent we have. I admire our people, that they are willing to put themselves out there. We encourage them to make mistakes. We’ll learn from them, but at the end of the day we need to keep moving. When it comes to Millennials: Millennials love our company because there is a bigger purpose to our company. We have our own campaigns for moms with shelters, a movers for moms program.
Mark S A Smith: Wow. Very cool.
Jeff Wesley: We do charity work across the country. They really admire there is a bigger purpose than Two Men and a Truck and just taking care of customers, doing what’s very stressful, but they also love that they can come in here and be innovative. That’s very exciting to us. We don’t want to lose that innovation. One of our biggest fears, I think, as a group and as a team is that we’ll get stagnant. So, from day one every person we hire, we talk about leadership. I’m just very blessed to work with one of the best teams that I’ve ever seen.
Mark S A Smith: What a great idea. If you can offer people the opportunity to come as a laborer and say look, this is a path to leadership, that changes so many people. You’re generating all these brand new, hardworking, focused on making a difference people, in every community. Jeff, that is admirable and your purpose is not only disruptive, it is extremely humanitarian. Bravo.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, I agree. Many of our franchise owners today, our average franchise is well over two million dollars, most of them started out as front line people. As our brand has grown up and got more sophisticated. We have more doctors and lawyers and people that are looking for investments. We have some people that own 15 locations. We have a mix but we’re very proud of the fact that people can make a career path here. Really proud, even today, when you look at our home office, we were just recognized as one of the coolest places to work by an independent party. Really proud of that fact too. One of our core values is “fun”. We like to have fun within our locations and here at home office also.
Mark S A Smith: That’s great. I want to go back to something you said a little earlier. In five years we’re going to have autonomous trucks. Tell me what you see, where that industry is going, because it’s obviously to me you are going to be needing autonomous trucks to do this correctly and fill your disruptive goals.
Jeff Wesley: It’s coming, so we have a vision aligned with things we’re working on but we also extend the vision to other things that we know are coming that as an executive group that we need to be prepared for. We spend a lot of time, even with the Governor of Michigan, we’ve attended different conventions and seminars with the automotive companies. Understanding what’s going to happen in this space, quite frankly, most of it is already here today.
It’s just a matter of how are they going to deal with insurance? How’s that car going to make a decision in certain times? But, the technology is there in place. The good news for us is there is demographic swing in the US. Finding people is hard, so I guess if the truck is driving itself that’ll be better for us. At the end of the day we’re the best at moving stuff, so it’s something that we’re going to applaud, watch as the industry changes and evolve with it. We see it coming and we don’t see it’s a problem. We actually think it’s going to be an opportunity for us.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, I think it’s going to be a big opportunity for a lot of people. Right now the issue with autonomous cars is two-fold. When I talk about autonomous cars, almost every conversation I have with an audience and I ask people to raise their hand of who’s afraid of the fact that you’d get into a car that doesn’t have a steering wheel, who’s afraid of that? More than half the audience’s hands go up. There is a fear factor, and I think about the first person that got into an automobile 100 years ago, the second is just the politics of autonomous vehicles as you pointed out, with insurance, but it’s really going to disrupt so many aspects of our world. A lot of businesses are going to go out of business like, we lost buggy whip manufacturers when we moved to cars. You’re in an interesting business where you’re to have to always have human beings load those trucks, pack those trucks, pack those boxes.
Jeff Wesley: That’s the good part. Until there is a robot that figures that out, which probably somebody is working on something like that, but the way it sets today we set very good as technology changes to be supplemental to our vision and our goals. You’ve still got to move the stuff, we think we’re the best at that. So, we’re very happy with our footprint. We’re happy to have a team of 10,000 members and growing. Bring it on. Bring on new technology. We’re excited about it. When you look at the leadership here, we’re constantly working to stay ahead. Other things that are going to change is search and Google technology and all the crazy stuff that is going on in the marketing space in terms of making sure we’re in the right position for those opportunities too.
Mark S A Smith: You’re in the business of moving billboards. Every one of your trucks lets people know what the heck you do for a living and it’s so clear.
Jeff Wesley: It’s really a cute brand. Some people still think there is only one truck running around though. We have to talk to them.
Mark S A Smith: No, there’s more than one truck. I’m sure we have a listener or two that is going to say, “It sounds interesting Jeff. How can I find out more about being a franchisee?” That wasn’t the intention of this show, but based on what you’ve told me in this conversation I’m sure people are interested. You looking for more franchisees?
Jeff Wesley: We’re still looking. We still have markets around the US that we’re looking to fill. Our franchises are performing better than ever in terms of their overall success and growing quicker actually than ever. If you’re interested, you call Two Men and a Truck here at the home office or you can go to TwoMen.com and you can look at our site and there is a franchising tab on that.
Mark S A Smith: I’ll make sure that’s on the show page. If people are interested in exploring that.
Jeff Wesley: The one thing that is interesting, you were mentioned that there is, not everybody wakes up and says they’re going to work for a trucking business. I never said that.
Mark S A Smith: Right, you started off selling dental supplies.
Jeff Wesley: Right, there you go.
Mark S A Smith: To auditing books.
Jeff Wesley: We’re looking for people with a good business acumen. People that can come in and manage people, manage the system. We have CEOs and dentists and doctors and we have a lot of young Millennials now leaving insurance industries and places like that who want to own Two Men and a Truck franchises because they see the opportunity. They love our core values. They love what our brand stands for. We have some that are diversifying for their retirement. They just want a little business to play with as they move out of their professional career.
Mark S A Smith: It’s sounds like a cash flow based business. What a wonderful type of business to be in. How do you find good workers? This is a question I have all the time. I could imagine, for you, finding people that have the skills and are willing to sweat every day, to lift things, is a challenge. How do you do that?
Jeff Wesley: The time and effort we put into recruiting has gone significantly up. In the old days you’d have openings and you’d put a posting out there and people would arrive. Years ago we kind of evolved and treated them just like our customers. We’ve got to go work it. Making sure people see the opportunities with Two Men and a Truck. We need to get our name out there. We need to work with colleges. We need to do a lot more. Even at the home office level, used to be just a franchising issue, but we spend more time making sure that people understand the opportunities here at home. Home Office has recruiters here working on behalf of our franchise system. We’re really proud of the career path that you can have here. You have a great opportunity to earn while you burn, work on your management skills.
Mark S A Smith: I love it. Earn while you burn. Yeah!
Jeff Wesley: And, do some cool things. It has been a significant evolution for us. We have full time recruiters here at home office working on it. We find people stick with us. They love our brand once they get an opportunity to see and learn more about it. We also work really hard just on our culture so we can retain people. Whether it’s at the franchise level, the system level, building those careers, working the guys to make sure that it’s a fun job. Making sure they understand what they need to do to be successful. It’s hard work and I really admire the team we have out there every day that gets it done.
Mark S A Smith: That’s extraordinary and of course, you’re having to orchestrate this across many locations, the United States and you have offices in the United Kingdom and in Canada and in Ireland. So, where are you going to go next? Are you going to go to other places?
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, we’re always interested. We’ve had opportunities to go to more countries. Right now the focus still is on the United states and some of the things we’re doing to disrupt, we feel that’s a great space for us. I think there will be more international things coming in the next three to five years but right now our focus is really the US and we’ve got to get the world to settle down a little bit. It’s a little crazy out there.
Mark S A Smith: It is a little crazy out there. The news makes sure that we feel every bit of that insanity. You get to illustrate that it doesn’t have to be that crazy in your locale. You can have leadership, you can work hard, you can get things done. You can make a difference in your community and that’s how we get to change the world. We start with the corner where we are.
Jeff Wesley: I agree with that. I think that’s great advice. One of the reasons we’ve been successful is we’re aligned and working together and we have challenges but we also are looking for solutions. We’re not looking to avoid positive and negative things when they come up. We work on them and we move forward together. If we could see some of that leadership at the National level we might have a better world, but it seems like working on solutions has not been the trend with certain parts of the world lately.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, we’ve been focusing on why do we have the problems versus working on solutions and that’s not how we advance the planet. We do that by creating solutions and we do it together realizing it’s going to be hard work. Just like moving is hard work.
Jeff Wesley: I admire our brand. When you have this many locations, this many personalities, to collectively be working towards one vision says a lot about the character or the quality of the franchise owners we have.
Mark S A Smith: How much training does your average franchisee get so that you install this culture in these leadership skills?
Jeff Wesley: That’s a great question. When you come on and join our brand and we put you through formal training here at home office, we also put you through different phases from First Gear to Second Gear as you start up. People are working with you at all times. Then, it never goes away. When you look at our evolution, we online training, we have Intranet that has lots of information that we continue to update as we learn and develop new ways to do things. Once you sign up for Two Men and a Truck you’re kind of all in. We’re really proud of the fact that as a franchising system, we’ve tried to separate ourselves apart in terms of our support.
We have a 99.8 percent continuity rate with our franchises. That’s very important to us. We try to be a franchise system that partners for life. We look at core values deeply when people come in and the ability to work together. Once they’re here we can support you in whatever your struggle might be or your challenge might be. If you come in and don’t know accounting we have a bookkeeping service. If you don’t know how to do marketing we have a marketing play book for you. If you’re not good at computers we’ll get yours setup for you and we have an implementation team. When you look at the business acumen there is certain people that come in that can do all those skillsets, there is certain people that come in when they start up, that they have a weak point and just really proud that we have the team here to support, unlike some systems that might not have that, we do.
Mark S A Smith: I think that’s a really important aspect if you’re going to have a successful franchise. Not everybody has the same level of business acumen. My study of leadership business acumen is in the top three absolute must haves to be a success. Number one in my opinion, is emotional intelligence and presence. Number two is discipline, both professional and personal. Number three is business acumen. How does that map to your experience working with your teams?
Jeff Wesley: I agree with that. At the pace we’re going we really have to have a tap on everything, which is knowing the data, knowing where projects are, knowing where the results aren’t scoring every day, how we’re doing. I think it’s aligned with what you said, but I think active, embracing your organization and being involved every day is very important leadership.
Mark S A Smith: It is. Leaders have to lead every day.
Jeff Wesley: I think coaching and management, however you define it, is under-utilized and many times not given the credit that it deserves.
Mark S A Smith: Well, coaching, as you’ve pointed out in the conversation, is really helping people back fill their weaknesses, not making their weaknesses strong or making their strength stronger than back filling. So, you have created a system that allows you to do that so that every franchisee has success. 99.8 percent continuity, that’s extraordinary. Must be the highest in the industry, of any industry.
Jeff Wesley: We’re definitely at the upper end of that when we compared it to other stats. We truly care that everybody is successful with Two Men and a Truck, and we really work hard to make sure that happens.
Mark S A Smith: This is a fantastic conversation. Actually Jeff, it went way deeper than I expected for it to go. I’m very much impressed.
Jeff Wesley: Thank you.
Mark S A Smith: I’m very much impressed with your leadership skills and the things that you have in mind and the fact that you plan to disrupt but then again, I had that sense when I first contacted you, that you had some interesting insights on how to run a large business and continuously disrupt it to make it work.
Jeff Wesley: Well, I appreciate that. There is a lot of valued members of our team here that help every day. We have a great executive team, a great Board. It’s just awesome that we all work together, learn together each day. We make mistakes but we continue to move forward and that’s the key.
Mark S A Smith: If you’re not making mistakes you’re not pushing the envelope, are you?
Jeff Wesley: I agree.
Mark S A Smith: It’s impossible not to live without making some mistakes.
Jeff Wesley: I agree with that. I actually think this should be applauded, so I agree.
Mark S A Smith: It takes guts to make mistakes sometimes.
Jeff Wesley: Yeah, it takes guts and it takes a certain unique group of people that are willing to continue to push the envelope over a period of time. We’ve had close to 90 months of consecutive growth. That’s a long run.
Mark S A Smith: Especially since you started off at the downturn.
Jeff Wesley: I think our people still wake up every day and are passionate about we can do more. I don’t overestimate that because when you’re running a marathon, it’s difficult to finish that race. We’re all just so excited about what still is ahead. I think that’s what makes us so passionate.
Mark S A Smith: The root word for passion is torture, so if you’re waking up in the middle of the night thinking about this stuff, you’re being tortured. I am tortured by the fact that how are we going to disrupt next, so I get it.
Jeff Wesley: I agree with that and there’s probably some emotional balance where you have to applaud the small wins every day and look back at the day and say even though there was challenges, it was a good day. It can be stressful and torturous as you put it. Is that emotional balance or maybe it’s a good wine, I don’t know.
Mark S A Smith: We’ll take both. One of those balances. Let’s work hard, let’s play hard, let’s have fun. I like that as a core value. A delight to have you as a guest. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your insights and also your story so freely and so openly. You contacted me on Twitter.
Jeff Wesley: You just looked like an interesting person that I can learn from so I probably…
Mark S A Smith: Thank you. I’m honored by that. May I continue to feed you the thought leadership that you can use with your team. Thank you Jeff. A real delight.
Jeff Wesley: Well, thank you. Just to all your listeners, if Two Men and a Truck can ever help them in any way we’re here to serve and we look forward to the opportunity.
Mark S A Smith: Thank you for being a great guest on the Selling Disruption Show.
Want to Read the Rest of the Transcript?
Get Instant Access: We'll show you the rest of the transcript and give you a PDF (A $2.99 value) in exchange for your email address and permission to send you updates about the Selling Disruption Show and our sponsors. You'll hear from us weekly, unless we take the week off.