Many people feared them, but when you couple that fear with respect – you have with the ultimate in leadership qualities.
In the photograph below we have Eric Morley on the left, and Brian Train on the right.
A memorable image of a memorable time. Two legendary personalities – but the end of a great company.
Of course the only people who feared Brian were the undesirables he didn`t want in his ballrooms and nightclubs. His motivational style was to work alongside everyone, building up a bond that only the foolish would ever want to break. This was also the way he made huge profits for Mecca – by also motivating his customers. He was their friend, and no night out was complete without paying him a visiting.
Eric Morley was a different character altogether. He knew that the only way to truly motivate his managers was to allow them ownership of their premises. Albeit within the Mecca parameters. His annual inspection visits were the motivational highlight (not for all) of his managers.
In one town he would inspect the rear of the stage, and its mechanical workings. So the telephone network ensured that every rear stage area in the country was spotless.
So in the next town it was the emergency battery room. And you`ve guessed it. A nation of spotless emergency battery rooms.
And so it went. All of which was to the advantage of the manager`s yet to be visited.
Within his armory he also had the “Managing Director`s turn”. A simple, but effective move, whereby he would lead his entourage in on direction, spin into a u-turn and shoot off towards the cleaner`s cupboard or the boiler room!
He also had his advisory team, who game him all the information he needed on the manager before he entered the building. A confusing strategy that led towards many a novice letting down his guard, and underestimating the challenge ahead. Many a fledgling manager fell foul to tough lashing for not knowing a multitude of facts and figures about his business. All because he relaxed a little too much.
One thing the two men had in common was their anticipation of the end of a once great company. They both knew that the winds of change would bring centralisation, diktats from the accountants, and the move towards disregard for the core nightclub management skills – once so vital to the company. A new breed of executive was in the wings. And neither man saw a place for himself alongside them.
Shame – but there are still many more fabulous stories to tell along the way.