By Bill Tremblay
After devoting the majority of his career to the heavy equipment industry, Luke Sheppard has compiled the lessons he’s learned into a new book, Driving Great Results: Master The Tools You Need to Run A Great Business.
In Driving Great Results, Sheppard provides entrepreneurs and managers with 19 practical and proven tools to build, launch and manage a successful business.
“I discovered early in my career that I was spending too much time in the weeds, and not enough time on the things that really mattered,” Sheppard said, who held a senior leadership role at John Deere.
“I started developing tools and approaches to dramatically reduce my good work time and dramatically increase my great work time.”
The heavy equipment industry allowed Sheppard to travel extensively, first as an engineer and then as an executive. Through his travels, he met thousands of entrepreneurs and managers from all walks of life.
Many of his encounters were with small business owners who were doing incredible things in their industries, yet struggled with some of the fundamental tools they needed to run their businesses.
In China, Sheppard heard from a factory manager describing the difficulties in recruiting the right people for his production lines; he often found himself caught in an endless loop of hiring, evaluating and firing.
In Finland, a logger explained his difficulties in deciding where to invest his money to grow his business. In Minnesota, Sheppard heard from the founder of a startup in the medical equipment industry who struggled with how best to communicate necessary and frequent changes to her staff, while keeping them engaged.
And in Ontario, Sheppard met with the owner of a rapidly growing chain of do-it-yourself car repair facilities who struggled to keep his garages clean and organized to ensure that his customers had a positive and safe experience.
“It became very apparent that many of the struggles and frustrations they faced were consistent, regardless of industry,” Sheppard said, who is now the principal of Sheppard & Company Management Consulting based in Ottawa.
“This book focuses on fundamental business tools to help with these frustrations.”
The 19 tools explained in Driving Great Results tackle numerous management topics from investment for growth to hiring the right people to strategic communication.
Some tools were developed or reinterpreted by Sheppard, while others have been around for decades, like management by walking around or a 5S audit. When properly applied, Sheppard said the tools will help reduce frustrations often encountered when running a business.
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“There are fundamental things that every business needs to do well to be successful. I believe that I’ve captured many of those in the 19 tools in my book,” Sheppard said.
“My hope is that the reader will recognize where their business is falling flat, and be able to quickly implement a tool from my book to address their issues.”
As well, many of the tools outlined in the book tackle time management. Sheppard explained time was a specific focus when he set out to write Driving Great Results.
“My sincere hope is that the reader can implement these tools to help them get their time back and invest this time in a more beneficial way back into their business, or simply use the time to do whatever it is they love to do,” he said.
Driving Great Results: Master The Tools You Need to Run A Great Business is available on Amazon, Indigo or via drivinggreatresults.com.