7.1. Your Job as a Manager and Business Owner


This course was written for those of you who are really committed to making your business not only a short—term survivor, but also a long—term success. It uses TINA, the management steering wheel, to help put in place the management behaviours that will form the foundations of a successful business. Running a business is hard, but if you are willing to put in the work, the rewards are worth it. TINA’s role is to prompt you, to provoke you, into keeping the wheels of your business turning because as long as the wheels keep going round, you’ll always have a chance to avoid the failure abyss. But beware, as soon as you stop managing, as soon as you take your eye off the ball, then your chances of survival start to diminish.


TINA’s is composed of four repeating management behaviours (Thinking, Implementing, Numbering and Analysing), which you can use and deploy throughout your business to remind you and your team to perform certain actions on a regular basis. Print out the management steering wheel and nail it to your office door, make it your wallpaper or simply write down the words and keep them handy. Whatever helps you best remember that your business’s survival is more likely if you:

  • Decide what it is that you want to do, make informed decisions and produce your plans (thinking)
  • Communicate your plans to those who need to know, to achieve your business goals (implementing)
  • Measure your business activities to generate your data, as numbers (numbering)
  • Give your numbers a good dose of ‘looking at’ regularly, to gain information (analysing)


  • Use this new information to adjust your existing plans and create new ones (thinking)
  • Communicate your latest decisions to those driving your business forward (implementing)
  • Measure the changes in your business data (numbering)
  • Study your new numbers to see what they’re telling you about your business (analysing)
  • Repeat from 5, above (remember that the wheel goes round and round)

As the management steering wheel goes round, you repeat management activities, again and again and again. Running a business contains, to a greater or lesser degree, a large component of doing the same things day—in, day—out. But it is just like walking: you put one foot in front of the other, again and again, with the result that you move forward on your journey. Lather, rinse, repeat, and so on. This tends not to be understood by people who create what is sold to the customer, after all the customer keep coming back for the same thing so you’d better have that ‘thing’ available, but management must understand that this is one of their roles as well. Regular meetings, briefings, emails, problem solving, failure investigation, recruitment, work scheduling, resource management, etc. All must be done and all will require repeating at various rates.


Doing something once and only once is not going to effect change; doing things repeatedly will. So, as a manager and business owner you must plan your time in a way that ensures that sufficient of your attention is focussed on thinking and implementing and numbering and analysing, day—in day—out, week—in, week—out. You would never think of driving for a year and only looking at your dashboard once, would you? So don’t take a quick look at your business, see everything is fine and then decide not to manage anymore. That way leads to failure.


This course contains many repeated messages, which reflects the way that TINA would have you manage: do it, do it again, do it again, and again, and again. Most of us get into habits, behaviours that can take years to develop. It should not be a surprise, therefore, to learn that it is extremely difficult to change those behaviours with one action, in five minutes. Usually, in order to change behaviours, you’ve got to repeat certain messages and actions with a frequency that ‘breaks’ the previous habit and/or establishes new ones.

Repeated messages change behaviours. Don’t just do it once and expect miracles to happen

Why do you think that adverts on the radio, the television and social media sites are repeated? If Apple had only to tell you to buy a new iPad once to make you do it, then they’d save a fortune in marketing costs. If Nike only had to tell you to ‘Just do it’ once, and then sit back whilst you bought piles of their sporting goods, then they could get rid of most of their marketing personnel. It doesn’t work like that. Repeated messages cause changes in behaviour, so repeating management actions will eventually embed those behaviours, increasing your business’s chances of survival. With that in mind, I’m going to do some more repetition in the rest of this chapter, picking out some of the repeated messages contained within this course and re—iterating why they are important.