I am not a smart or particularly well-read man. So I really had no firm idea who Steve Ballmer was until he stepped into my sports world. This happened when Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this summer from that old guy with racist tendencies who also lacked judgment with the ladies.

It turns out this rich man, the recently retired CEO of Microsoft, has more energy than Richard Simmons at a Red Bull convention. Upon further investigation, I came to the realization that Ballmer is a true leader. If you have not seen him in action, I recommend viewing some of his speeches on YouTube or scanning the QR Code at the top of this article.

Ballmer is known for his energetic personality that often translates into motivated employees and coworkers. While he did not always make the correct decisions at Microsoft, he was respected by many. That passion was once again evident when he was introduced as the Clipper’s owner.. His enthusiasm breathed life into a fan base, helping to distance that group from its checkered past.

Motivating HVAC Employees

Would this work at the HVAC level? Absolutely.

Plenty of contractors are doing this. Granted, they are not doing it to the extent of Ballmer, but an enthusiastic contractor can motivate the troops. A great example of this is Trademasters Service Corp. owner and ACCA chairman Dave Kyle.

Now, I am a part of the Joint Futures Committee, an HVAC think tank in which individuals from every walk of the HVAC industry meet annually to brainstorm solutions to future HVAC problems. I was lucky enough to be placed in Kyle’s group during this year’s meeting. It was a long meeting that occurred the day after everyone had traveled to Washington, District of Columbia, so energy was not at an all-time high. But Kyle’s energy, motivation, and positive outlook was incredibly infectious. Now, perhaps that was because he was popping mini Kit Kat bars like my 7 year old on Halloween night, but you couldn’t help but feed off his enthusiasm. He had a glow in his eye that you can’t fake. You could tell Kyle was truly passionate about his company and the industry. With leaders like Kyle, it is no wonder that ACCA is such a productive, forward-
thinking organization.

Now, if this short interaction with Kyle inspires my spirit, imagine how his employees respond? Employees want to feel like what they are doing matters. This is especially true of the millennials the HVAC industry is trying to recruit. For some, this is what changes a job into a career.

Now would be a good time to ask yourself how your employees feel when you walk into a room. Obviously, running a business is a time-consuming and arduous task, but do you bring energy when you walk through your business’s doors? Are your employees tired when they walk out of the weekly staff meeting, or are they energized?

It does not end with the employees either. Passion and energy (or lack thereof) can be exhibited for customers. When contractors are sitting at the kitchen table, the customer will be much more likely to buy if the contractor is exhibiting passion for the service they are providing. And, frankly, the customer will be more apt to believe what the contractor is saying.

Contractors do not need to be Ballmer or motivational speaker Matt Foley. Frankly, that is not everyone’s personality. But even a soft-spoken contractor can exude passion about the industry. Think about that on your drive to work in the morning.

Publication date: 9/8/2014

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