COVID JOURNAL DAY 1

Here we are…

I will use my website to organize my thoughts for my own good.  If you want to read along fine… but do know it is more for my own benefit then yours (just how many rapid brain uses to control my madness…)

I will try to talk Covid…now all things can’t be covid, i will give that son of a bitch only the attention it deserves…

It will be random but here we go…

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We need to accept that 3 million Americans will die this year and we can’t keep everyone alive forever no matter how hard we try – And that our bizarre fixation on making every decision as if #Covid deaths are the only societal outcome that matters is profoundly wrong.  (Alex Berenson, who I follow on Twitter).
Here’s the thing, it’s our addiction to material goods and our own lives that have got us here.  People don’t want to believe or hear we are going to die… and perhaps very very soon.  Or that 17 people a day in Wisconsin are killed as babies in the womb, called to mimic the murders.. abortions.   We must believe in God.   Does Covid suck?  You bet your sweet ass it does…but it should shut down SOCIETY!
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#MEMORIESANDMOMENTS should not be left behind… for ANYTHING… we must LIVE…and living is taking risks… kids playing sports… and much much more!   It is risky, a bit?  99.96% chance you live…about a 99.5% chance you won’t have to go to the hospital with it… but it is A RISK.   LET KIDS WHO WILL NOT, WILL NOT, WILL NOT DIE OF IT… DO THEIR LIFE!  20 YEARS FROM NOW… THEY WILL BE ALL MESSED UP OTHERWISE!
IF YOU DON’T AGREE, KEEP YOUR KIDS AT HOME.  THAT’S FINE.
I am personal freedom guy… I believe people in America have a choice on most things… the government shouldn’t MANDATE to us… educate, advise, police bad things… but MANDATE… not so much…that’s on the person.
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Do I know if masks work? No. Do you? No.  They can’t hurt.  Correct.  Do they dehumanize people and cause depression.  Maybe.  So make your own choice I say.
Here are some numbers I go back too…
5.8 million in our state of Wisconsin.
400 hundred are in and out of the hospital  (sucks really bad)
about 5 a die with it, most very old people most in old age homes.
THOSE NUMBERS ARE REALLY REALLY SMALL.  REALLY SMALL.
WE CANT MAKE EVERY DECISION BASED ON COVID!
All that information is posted daily HERE.
Today… IF YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO CLICK OVER..

CASES UP 46%, DEATHS DOWN 40%!!!!!

young kids getting it… but not dying.   THAT SEEMS TO BE OBVIOUS.

 

THAT’S ENOUGH FOR TODAY.

 

WHEN YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD

Recently I put a video out.

I thought I could change the world with it.  Or at least the world I live in.  Bring back the student section and pep band.  Limit the time quarantined.

I built my case.  Did my research.  Read every damn google article I could find to support my beliefs.

What I found was that this is not how the public sector works (good or bad but reality).    You can’t just build a case, go the school board, and change NATIONAL policy.

What I realized was this SUCKS.

SOMETIMES LIFE IS HARD.

SOMETIMES THINGS ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.

AND SHIT HAPPENS.

This is one of those times.

School and school boards for decades (longer?) report to higher powers.  Those higher powers report to other higher powers.  Those powers are the CDC, the state and our national government.  Currently, their rules (and it’s not like the private sector, you CAN’T skirt the work rules) require

MASKS

DISTANCING

QUARANTINING

NO LARGE GROUPS (NO PEP BAND OR STUDENT SECTION)

in an abundantly cautious approach trying to do the best to protect students, teachers, administration and staff.

It doesn’t MATTER what you think, the policy is the policy built by someone you never met but have to trust based on their position above you.  THIS IS HOW THE GAME WORKS.

THIS GAME IS NOT WINNABLE. 

AND THAT’S OK.

I try to embrace life as a series of games.

I thought someway, somehow I could bottle up everyone’s frustrations and fix this.  I could outwork them.  Out educate them.  Out hustle them.

I CAN’T.  YOU CAN’T.

What we can do….

HELP TEACHERS.   They might feel like me and think we should be more liberal in our views of this.  They might feel we should be virtual.  Their voice sadly doesn’t matter with how the system works.   It’s ok to tell them it sucks but support them either way.  We need them.   Support them emotionally and financially and give them a break.  THEY HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES THEY DIDN’T MAKE.

HAVE FUN OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL WALLS.   Get together (if you want) have fun.  Find ways to enjoy life outside the walls and curriculum of the public sector.  If your son loves basketball (yep) and your school cancels basketball it’s probably not the school’s fault but someone way up the ladder on a committee, it’s the system not the school.  So support your son, find a gym and program open and join that.  Move on quickly.  LOVE will conquer covid, not fighting.  #MEMORIESANDMOMENTS

EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN.  Don’t let them be sheep and just believe whatever they hear from ANYONE, be it you, your teacher, your neighbor or grandpa.  Tell them to do the research and think independently.  Kids are getting caught up in this.  Educate them on how Hitler attacked the kids first because they were the easiest to convince.  Keep conversations to children open-ended, don’t force your opinion on them!  Here’s a great read for them (and you perhaps) on the Hitler Youth.

DON’T BE MAD.  Hate the system, don’t hate the player.  It’s ok to try to change the system, BUT DON’T GET MAD AT THE PLAYERS.

EDUCATE YOURSELF.  Now that I have spent hours AND HOURS on masks, deaths, covid, and much much more, I feel not a medical expert but versed enough to make a conclusion for the best of my own mind.  I feel empowered and in control.   When you truly educate yourself you go from being a sheep to a wolf.  Being a wolf is a much better move IN THE GAME OF LIFE to prepare for this AND YOUR NEXT game in life.

GAME.  Life is a game.  A big one but a game.  This is A FANTASTIC PODCAST TO UNDERSTAND THAT.  And sometimes you just play the best you can.  But understand it’s meant by God to be a game!

 

FINALLY

CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES.  For me changing the “culture of covid” does matter but I can only control it at my work life (Thank God) and my home life.  TO FOCUS ON IT, IT MUST BE BOTH.  IF NOT, LET IT GO LIKE A FALL BREEZE.  That’s it.   So don’t stress over the stuff out of your control, and for me, the way a public school functions is primarily out of my control.   So I must MUST let it go to be the best version of myself so I can move on, help others, and be happy and do God’s will.  That’s it.

 

I’m moving on…and helping where and when I can… FAITH > FEAR.

FACIL,

Joel

 

 

 

 

 

AT DREXEL- WE ARE HANGING OURSELVES WITH A NOOSE MADE BY MEETINGS & EMAILS

TGIM!

Yep.  We are bleeding from the inside — a harsh truth for me as the current leader.

Our meetings are bad and I am certain our internal e-mail usage is worse.

Don’t worry I doubt our competition is any better, but in our effort to supply happiness and be a world-class company, this is a huge flaw.

Surely a weakness of mine, a blindspot I wasn’t ready to admit.

It didn’t even really hit me until I saw our top workplace survey.  Universally you stated in the survey we suck at meetings.

Then over the last two weeks, I observed them.  Yep …they stink.  I mean we used to NOT have them and I guess that was worse.  But I have been in some real stinkers.  Just ask Ross Harter and Jason Blenker (pictured in a google meet video conference recently.)

And if the ones I attend stink I am sure yours do too.  Amherst does them totally different and yeah, they are just ok.

“But Joel, every company’s stink, meetings just suck, maybe don’t even have them… ”

Not true.  Some have figured it out.  And I know we will too!

Meetings are where all the magic happens.  The NOW, THE CHANGE, THE FUTURE…EVERYTHING!  They should be engaging in every department!   Every time!  For leaders the majority of our day are meetings, we must realize that and embrace them much better with a much better format… a routine.   We don’t pull the loads, make the trusses, install the floors, pay the bills or anything.  CRAZY TO THINK, WE EXIST FOR COMMUNICATION AND GULP, MEETINGS.

I have just this weekend read 3 books on meetings.  Very good ones by the way!

We will GET THIS FIXED!   I am going to start working with the team immediately Monday.  Which is cool.  We have a good plan.

*****

Drexel’s E-mails are bad too.  I’ve seen…    “Hey everyone the toilet doesn’t work.”   Ok.  Or…  An open-ended e-mail with no real reason but to brain dump.  Ok.  COACHES AND CAPTAINS, LEADING FROM THEIR EMAIL.  OUCH.   Customers and our QBs having almost an entire relationship via email.  OOF.

Here’s the real truth.  You can’t get the EMOTIONS out in an email.  It all can be taken wrong.

EMAILS ARE CONSTANTLY INTERPRETED WRONG.

Take for instance the line

I DIDN’T SAY YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL.

You can interpret this six ways depending on which word you emphasize:

  • didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”

Six words, six different meanings — imagine if this had more complexity than 6 words.

WOW.

So what are we gonna do about it?  I am going to insert myself into EVERY email group.  And coach up when it’s used too much and horribly ineffectively.  Yep.

That’s my job.  For real.

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Here’s my 3rd point..

Being a leader at Drexel is MY RESPONSIBILITY not a REWARD.

I take my job very seriously.

And I expect that from my team.  By that I don’t mean we can’t have fun, duh, I love to goof off at work.  It does mean we have to sacrifice, hold others accountable, weed out or train the weak constantly and fix shit.  Literally, DO THE HARD STUFF NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO.

We also have to have better meetings where we all learn what we are doing and why and fixing our big problems BEFORE they happen.

Leadership is lonely and thankless – if you are DOING IT RIGHT.

You see most “leaders” at other companies I know always ask me to go golfing, or Cabo (CABO!), or “network” around the country, OR VEGAS!, or fishing, or VIP their customers.  And their meetings float around as they pick and choose what parts of the company they enjoy.  They feel “making it to leadership” is a reward.  I busted my butt for 25 years… I finally made it.  Or, we are now a 250 million revenue company, we deserve to have offsite retreats that just really getting drunk on the company dime.   VIPing customers is really an excuse to live the life of luxury on the company dime and on company time.   I hate that crap, I know that is really just saying, we are the bosses, let’s goof off for the day… not thank you.  I was called “steadfast” last week.  Yes, sir, I am addicted to the grind.

Or some leaders like to do what they are good at or is fun for them.  Taking care of accounts themselves.   Diving into things they like instead of things needed.

Not for me or our leaders.  We have to work to define the kinks in the hose and then fight like hell to fix it.  And communicate the hell out of it all- BETTER MEETINGS.

RESPONSIBILITY NOT REWARD.

****

Getting better at Drexel isn’t easy.  But it’s totally worth it.  Better meetings and better emails will help EVERY individual at Drexel and EVERY customer.  I can’t wait to get started.  I LOVE HARD PARTS!  THAT’S THE GRIND BABY!

****

LASTLY, I AM TALKING TO YOU OVER ACHIEVERS THAT ARE ALREADY TAKING NOTES ON WHERE YOU PERSONALLY WENT WRONG AND HOW YOU WILL PERSONALLY FIX IT.  I HAVE A PLAN.  I WILL WORK WITH YOU ALL ON IT.  OUR MEETINGS WILL BE AWESOME.  IT’S MY MONKEY.  PLEASE WAIT FOR THE FIRST MOVE FROM ME BEFORE YOU GET STARTED!  DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND CONFUSE YOUR TEAM!  STAY WITH YOUR FORMATS FOR NOW!!!!

Facil,

Joel

DEATH

DEATH.

 

Why are we so obsessed with COVID?  99.6% of us won’t die from it…  and we all know that FACT, yet here we are.

I think it is because COVID forced us, made us, convinced us that DEATH IS REAL.

So we as 2020 humans think WE CAN CONTROL THE STOPPAGE OF DEATH.

Shut down businesses, schools, wear masks, social distance.

SHUT DOWN DEATH.

Yet death exists all around us.  Always has, always will.

We have to learn to

LOVE when we are here.

Truly ATTACK each day with enthusiasm.

We all waste hours, days, weeks, thinking we will live forever…there will be time down the road…but really all we have is this moment.

Quit wasting those moments.

AND HAVE FAITH

That GOD IS IN CONTROL AND NOT US.

WE CAN’T STOP DEATH.

I think our culture thinks we can somehow… and that is our stress point… thinking us humans are in fact in control.

I am not saying throw damn caution to the wind, and not wear a seatbelt (or a mask) or a life jacket…

but I think this is our anxiety, our confusion, our stress….

the world stopped and said, LOOK AT DEATH, LOOK HOW VULNERABLE US INCREDIBLE HUMANS ARE…

SILLY.

GOD’S PLAN.  NOT OURS.

and WHEN (not if) we DO DIE, that we will be saved by our faith and GO TO HEAVEN TO LIVE FOREVER!

JOEL

 

 

LITTLE HINGES SWING BIG DOORS

LITTLE HINGES SWING BIG DOORS – W. CLEMENT STONE

This quote hit me like a Mack Truck!

It’s so true.

We can’t lose weight: if we eat that donut.

We can’t have an amazing family if we don’t take time to have a meal together.

We can’t have a wonderful relationship if you don’t stop and ask, “no really, how are you doing!”

We want to do PAULS, total offsite construction, and be the industry leader.  We can’t do PAULS t if we can’t land a simple panelized job and build it well…

It’s the littlest things that end up being the biggest impact.

Making my bed in the morning is a little hinge…

If you want more…here’s a great 5-minute video.

 

HOW WE RUN THIS SHIP

PTGIM!

From @bobgoff via twitter.

 

Team, I can’t think of a better way of how we try to run our company, Drexel.

“Eyes on the horizon,

feet where you are,

navigating what’s in between

with courage, hope, authenticity,

and Jesus.”

 

What does that mean to us?

Eyes on the Horizon.

We have a vision, we are going places.  We are changing everything we do … always!  In the knowledge that we must always get better.

Feet where you are.

Be present.  Make someone’s day TODAY.  Be in the moment.  Do the incredibly routine incredibly well!

Navigating what’s in between with courage, hope, authenticity, and Jesus.

We do that with courage (faith in each other and the plan), hope (optimism!) authenticity (be yourself!) and Jesus… yes God has a plan and loves you, even at work!

 

FACIL,

JOEL

IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME, IT IS HARD TO BE A NICE HUMAN

TGIM

Craziest thing!

In 1973 a study was done, where adult students were told to prepare a project on the Good Samaritan.  It was all rigged.

HERE’S A GOOD SUMMARY OF IT:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/darwins-subterranean-world/201703/my-favorite-psychology-study

You see on the day of their presentation 1/3 were set up to arrive early, a 1/3 on time…and a 1/3 were DESTINED TO BE LATE…

And then they set up the scam…

They literally had a person that needed help in their path…

You know what happened?  ONLY 10% OF THOSE LATE HELPED!  SOME STEPPED RIGHT OVER THE PERSON.  60% HELPED IF THEY WERE EARLY!

(I know 40% never even helped…but that discussion is for another time.)

So basically if you are STRESSED TO THE HELL OUT, OR BUSY, BUSY, BUSY… ALL THE TIME… even if you are currently studying on how to be a good Samaritan, you won’t do the right thing!

It makes sense if you are “self-preserving” your own body, or mental health you are the one that needs help, so your mind protects you… but if you think you are always helping… you probably aren’t really helping anyone… because your mind is so busy self-preserving…

How true it is… a stressed out person can’t even help themselves…. how can they help you!?!?!

YOU WILL NOT

“WOW” A CUSTOMER….

TAKE TIME TO ASK SOMEONE HOW THEIR DAY IS GOING…

SIT AND BREAK BREAD WITH SOMEONE…

COME UP WITH GOOD IDEAS… 

You are just in survival mode…

SO…

 

FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME… TO GET AHEAD.

AND IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THAT… LET ME KNOW… TIME MANAGEMENT IS CRITICAL IN ALL THE WORK WE DO!

 

BE ORGANIZED ON OUR CUSTOMERS BEHALF THIS WEEK PEOPLE!

 

TGIM!

 

JOEL

RANDOM THOUGHTS #17

CUSTOMER SERVICE ISN’T ONE DEPARTMENT IT’S THE ENTIRE COMPANY’S RESPONSIBILITY!

wow… how easy we can forget that as we grow… but it’s SO ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

How can you delight and wow a customer today?  What can you put a little extra “you” glitter on?

****

Never strive for good.  Just strive for better.

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Ask good questions to get good answers.  Before you ask the question, pause, think and ask the right question.  Ask a follow up one if necessary.  It’s ok… take your time.

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Think bigger.  Dream.  DREAM.  What do  you want here?  Less stress?  More money?  More responsibility?  A different role?  THEN DREAM IT!

****

“THE RUNG OF A LADDER WAS NEVER MET TO REST UPON, BUT ONLY TO HOLD A MAN’S FOOT LONG ENOUGH TO ENABLE HIM TO PUT THE OTHER SOMEWHAT HIGHER.” — THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY

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If you think the world is a disaster.  I believe you.  If you think it is a paradise.  I believe you.  Your brain tells the story…

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The more time you can spend with nature, the more your faith will grow.  For me, it’s really that simple.

****

Even if you live to 150 year olds, that isn’t very long.  I’d get to living RIGHT NOW.

***

BALANCE TO ME IS JUST PLAIN INTENSITY, AUTHENTIC, AND FOCUSED.  Don’t think about work at home and vice versa.  But when you are at either THAN GET TO IT.  You will never wish you were on social media more…

****

4 F’S.  FRIENDS.  FAITH.  FAMILY. FITNESS.

Explore each a bit.

Friends.  You need them.  They make you laugh, inspire you, and hold you accountable.  I suck at this right now… my friends know it and I know it… but to me, it is the least of the 4.  I hope they know it too, and then builds our friendship not diminishes it.

Faith.  Center it.  Own it.

Family.  They are yours… spend time with them.

Fitness.  Both physical and mental.  If you are not fit… you will eventually not be good at any of the other 3!

****

Winter succumbs to Spring, Spring shows us hope is eternal and gives signs of better days!

Spring is not as good as fall.

Fall is fantastically too short.  Summer.. oh precious summer… you have my admiration!

****

Personally, I have to keep reinventing myself as we grow.  I can’t do what I even did 12 months ago.  Do you realize I haven’t been in Brookfield location THIS YEAR?  They are rocking it, wings are spread and they are GOING PLACES (literally to New Berlin.)  I miss them greatly.  I truly do.. each of them and smile just thinking of all the days I spent there and all the good lunches.  Lots of tears there too!

I have to re-double my effort on offsite construction.  We are not there yet, not close.  Our PAULS project is still too far on the horizon.

This week though we are bringing in Ben Hershey with what he knows on robotics and future planning of our growth.  Looking for traction.

Once you find traction… it’s GO TIME.

Still way too clunky for my liking!

I don’t mind helping out in other areas and I do that a lot don’t worry!  But I have to focus on what is the #1 thing…and right now..that’s it.

 

****

I think sports is essential.  Without it… life is just not as good. Same for music concerts.  Without it… the world is a little worse.  I truly believe that.

****

Masks or no masks?  Sometimes I feel they are essential because people tell me they are.  Sometimes I think what a joke, people are trying to control me and our society.  I have no idea which one is right.  Maybe both.  Both is probably the right answer.

****

This is pretty darn good.

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If you believe in the afterlife… it’s ok… your story isn’t written yet here on earth.  Think about that.. .it is just the start really … so don’t worry about failing!  Don’t worry about failing!  fail away!  make a difference!

****

My marble jar is getting smaller.  What do I mean?

READ HERE:

https://joelfleischman.com/2015/12/

RANDOM THOUGHTS #16

TGIM!

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

I read a bit over the weekend… here is what I think I learned…

Happiness is like wine in a glass.  You must first be self happy.  You yourself can’t continually beat yourself up, you must be of sound mind and good spirits.  Then your happiness chalice will overflow and you will radiate happiness.  It’s a Jesus thing too… “Love one another.”

***

Divide and conquer.  We are growing friends!  Over 20% this year in almost all departments!  That means we must divide to CONQUER!  Our leadership team is taking on several new roles both in systems and supplies.  Of course as we finalize details, YOU will be the first to KNOW!

***

People.  It’s all about PEOPLE.  Period.  It’s not a front door issue, it’s a people issue.  It’s not about board feet it’s a people issue.  It’s not about a transition strip that is back-ordered, it’s about people.  PEOPLE WIN THE WAR on HAPPINESS.  Over our last several SHUS we have hired EXCELLENT CULTURAL PEOPLE.  Now it is on US to train and develop them to make them ROCKSTARS!

***

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are trying to take our competition OUT OF BUSINESS.  Wow, Joel that is brutal.  No…not really.  I just feel if we can UNIQUELY help people better, that is just a simple cause and effect.

***

We are close to working out our systems GROWTH model… What does that mean?  Robotics.  More facilities.  More upgrades.  Stay tuned. 90 DAYS WE WILL HAVE IT IN WRITING.  FYI, consultants tell us we have 15% market share of all trusses built in Wisconsin.  Our new facilities will bump that to 35%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

***

New Berlin.  We keep putting the pieces of the puzzle together.  Hope to put a shovel in the ground this fall.  Transfer Brookfield team Spring 2021… if things go as planned.  This week?  We are working on SOLAR.  Price, etc.  Reminder, solar is at our Amherst facility.

***

4th of July.  It’s been nice having off Saturday mornings.  I hope you are changing the world with family time, etc on your Saturday morning off!

***

100 deliveries a day in Campbellsport.  Each person from the person answering the phone… to the person unloading the cabinets must work in perfect harmony.  When it works and it does over 93% of the time!!!  It is really a work of art.   The standards that team sets is amazing.

***

Thank you all for your hard work.  This is GENERALLY the CRAZIEST WEEK OF THE YEAR in many departments.. ENJOY THE SHIT OUT OF IT.  AND MAKE IT FUN!

***

too blessed too be stressed!

***

AMOR FATI

***

GO

***

JOEL

LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTION

THE PYRAMID AND TIMING OF COMMUNICATION

LOWEST LEVEL.  Talking about someone but not TO someone.  Gossip, rumors, assumptions.  Response Time:  Can’t respond, it didn’t happen.

LEVEL 2.  Text.  Short.  Abbreviated.  Emotionless.  Full of holes.  Response Time: 2 hours or less.

LEVEL 3.  E-mail longer.  Nicer.  A bit more formal… Short.  Abbreviated.  Emotionless. Response Time: end of the business day.

LEVEL 4.  Phone call.  You can hear and feel the emotions.  You can chat, connect small talk.  But you can’t see a person’s reactions.  Response Time: voicemail.. end of the business day.

LEVEL 5.  Hangout/Zoom  97% there!  You can see reaction, you can guage it all.  This is how humans were MADE to interact.  It’s how we do things!   Response Time:  Be early, stay late.  Be present!

LEVEL 6.  Nothing replaces a hug or handshake and face to face time.  Response Time: Put your damn phone away.

LEVEL 7.  Break bread.  Nothing like taking the time to eat with a person.

LEVEL 8.  Do what they love to do.  See someone doing what they love to do is … priceless…

 

IF YOU ARE STRESSED I BET YOU ARE LIVING IN A LEVEL 1, 2, OR 3 WORLD!