By May 13, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Just Sit There, Take Initiative and Ask Questions

Don’t Just Sit There, Take Initiative and Ask Questions

I learned early in my management career about the value of asking questions instead of just sitting there and accepting the status quo. As it turns out, it's good management.The lesson has stuck with me. At the time, I was responsible for managing a large office complex in a downtown core. This included managing the leases for retail and office as well as the space my organization occupied within the building.

For some reason, the contract with the parking garage operator was managed out of our central office in another city. They procured it and were managing the contract. It was the only element of the complex that I wasn't responsible for.

Initially, I had enough to do so didn't think much of it. But one day I was talking to the parking operator and ask him how things were going. He told me that the corporate office was pretty hands-off and every time they made suggestions, they were pretty well ignored.

Since parking is a touchy point for office workers, particularly downtown, I was quite aware of the local parking situation. We were one of the only parking garages not offering an early bird discount for parking. He had suggested that we implement the early bird pricing scheme, but the corporate office ignored them.

It may seem counter intuitive to lower your pricing, but we were just on the periphery of the downtown core with other surface and underground lots nearby and our parking garage was seldom full. The early bird discount may reduce the amount of money from each car, but the parking operator knew from his experience that it would increase the number of people who park at our garage, therefore increasing overall revenues.

Since our corporate office took a slight disinterest in this responsibility, I managed to convince them to hand over responsibility to me. As soon as that happened, I asked the parking operator to implement the new pricing approach.

In the first year, we increased revenue by $200,000 simply by implementing this easy pricing model that everybody else downtown was already using.

Initially when I became responsible for the complex, I was told to simply ignore the parking garage because somebody else was responsible for it. But by asking the question and taking action, including adding to my overall responsibilities, I was able to deliver a benefit for my company and add a personal achievement to my resume.

Whenever something looks a little bit odd to you, don't sit back and accept it. Ask tough questions and take action.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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