Passion as a Management Style?

Passion – where did it go? Many folks I talk to say, “It’s just not fun anymore.” That can be the case. But where did that competitive spirit go? I think business is just as much fun, but the bar has certainly been raised. By now, most of you know that I am one of the team members that bought GreenLeaf and am a key part of the management team. Why did I do it? My wife says I am a glutton for punishment. But I have a different reason: passion.

Several of my articles this year have discussed passion. Those of you that know me understand my passion for business and how I apply it to all my endeavors. I am unrelenting in my desire to reach a goal. One of the business principles to which I adhere, but haven’t written about this year, is my management style. This has been evolving for a little over two decades now. Some of the components of that style include the following three items:

Manage by objective – I often see folks wringing their hands because they didn’t hit a goal and expressing remorse over some things they could or should have done. Never for me. When I decide to do something, I decide what it takes. I hold nothing back. You can accuse me of being over the top, but never of holding back. If I don’t hit the goal, I never have remorse over my methods. I know I did everything humanly possible to make it happen; so I have no regrets. It’s important to me, as I set so many goals and try to accomplish so much, but this approach allows me to turn the corner and go on when I fail.

Choose battles carefully – I don’t try to change something I can’t change or attempt something I know I can’t do. Life is too short, and energies are too rare. It’s that simple.

Manage by consensus – I didn’t learn this until I had been in business about 10 years. I thought I knew all the answers. I didn’t. I learned to listen better. Some folks were kinder, more diplomatic, and knew the financials better or simply had a different (and sometimes better) perspective. I met industry experts like Don Egilseer (Smart Parts), Al & Ed Lacy, Herb Lieberman, Garry Howard, Stu Willen, Howard Nussbaum, Ken Vonhoff, Don Fitz, Jr., even Barry Isenberg, and the list goes on and on. When several of us get together and work on an idea, and agree, it’s almost always a better product than if I did it by myself.

Well, I need to funnel some of this passion into my new job; so until next month, I am PASSIONATE.

Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, (best) or 817-834-3625 ext. 206.

To submit your letter to the editor here at American Recycler, click here.