PALE BLUE DOT

TGIM!

THANK GOD IT’S MONDAY!

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

— Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

********* Some say this proves there is no God.  To me this proves there MUST be a God.   – Joel

RANDOM THOUGHTS

TGIM!

Random thoughts over the last several weeks that I have accumulated in the brain.

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One of my favorite ALL TIME quotes:

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, education and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”

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What core values are the Packers missing?

For me, it’s accountability.

In fact, I see that here.  Things are going pretty well, so we tend to let things slide a little bit.  We aren’t being jerks when we hold people accountable.  We are just trying to get better.  And the best organizations accountability is a WE THING, not a top down management thing.

The Packers success, bred a sense of arrogance and a sense that things will be fine, because they have always been fine.

It’s not any ONE thing, it’s ALL THE THINGS.  That’s what is so frustrating.

I think the Packers problem is that they keep looking to what worked in the past, not what needs to work now.

quote-it-s-harder-to-stay-on-top-than-it-is-to-make-the-climb-continue-to-seek-new-goals-pat-summitt-93-32-48

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CHOP WOOD.  CARRY WATER.

You have to wake up every day and chop wood and carry water.  Things going bad for you: chop wood, carry water.  Things going good: chop wood, carry water.

The second reading at the Mass I attended Sunday spoke exactly of this:

Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians around 51 A.D….

Thessalonians 3:7-12New International Version (NIV)

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.

Are we busy or busybodies, a huge difference!  I can be busy but really not accomplish much in the next 10 hours here at Drexel… or I can chop wood and carry water.  This is not Joel “driver” mode, but reality.  Think how much you GET DONE the day before your vacation, what if you worked with that intensity everyday?

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Do you believe how good you can be?

As many of you know I love coaching youth basketball.  Currently I am coaching some 7th and 8th grade boys.  The 8th graders, the natural leaders on a middle school boys team don’t expect to win.  It was halftime of our 3rd game in the tourney.  The game was tied.  I told them I expected more. I told them we should be winning by 20.  They looked at me like I was on drugs.   I think they expected me to be thrilled.  TIED AT HALFTIME COACH!   I said if they believed in themselves 1/2 as much as I believed in them, they would be upset as well.  They went out and won that game by almost 10 and got 7th place in an 8 team tournament.  We can’t shoot, dribble, and are very short, and the coach is mediocre at best, but besides that we rock!

I think that is how our margin works.  “Joel, you don’t understand MY customers…. WE ARE SIMPLY NOT WORTH 2% MORE.  WE AREN’T, I AM NOT.  If you only believed in yourself as much as I believe in you, we wouldn’t have margin problems.  We could change the world.  You have to BELIEVE.

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“We shouldn’t act surprised when we don’t understand what a God who says He surpasses all understanding is doing.”

Good point.

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Being more intense rarely gets more done.  Having fun gets more done.  BEING INTENSE AND HAVING FUN CHANGES THE WORLD!

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As we grow, look for SOLUTIONS… not why we CAN’T DO IT.  Same with your customers, you don’t have to say yes… just don’t say NO.

DON’T SAY: Sorry we CAN’T.  Instead say “How about this?”

You have to work as a person that lives for this moment, this time to shine, not a person burdened by rules.  MAKE SHIT HAPPEN.

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Speaking of that…

URGENCY.

Department coaches change the world… IF IT MAKES SENSE, have your annual pow wow scheduled sooner than later.  You can host it in March, but schedule it now, the date is up to you.  Start building that agenda.  Then execute it!

Be sure Andy and I are invited and talk to us prior.  We can help share the vision.

Big topic:  REVIEW YOUR PRICE INTEGRITY.  ALL SHOULD BE REVIEWED, SOME NEED A BUMP UP, AND SOME NEED A BUMP DOWN.  PRICE INTEGRITY IS A PERFECT BULLS EYE.  FIND THAT RIGHT SPOT so we can SELL WITH OUR SOULS ON FIRE!

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What were you gonna get done this year, but you know time got in the way….  That’s a buzz kill friends!  GET.  SHIT.  DONE.

The joy of accomplishment is much better than the joy of fear.

Our company wouldn’t be where it was if we didn’t move FORWARD.

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PEOPLE TIED TO SALES:

DON’T MEASURE YOUR SALES.  I AM TALKING TO ALL OF YOU THAT DO.  I REALLY AM.  YOU ARE MEASURING YOUR FRUIT.  FRUIT IS THE RESULT OF THE PROCESS.

The root gives you the fruit, the fruit is just the byproduct.  If you count your apples, it is really hurting the root.

Grow your root and your fruit will grow in abundance!

 

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU MEASURE WEEKLY?

HERE’S SOME IDEAS:

JOB SITE VISITS

NEW TOUCHES

PERSONAL THANK YOU NOTES

HUGS GIVEN

HOW MANY SINCERE APPRECIATIONS

ON TIME AND IN FULL FOR YOUR PERSONAL JOBS

FIRES PUT OUT (LESS IS BETTER)

TEXTS RETURNED IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS

E-MAILS RETURNED IN 1/2 A DAY OR LESS

ORDERS YOU DELEGATED OUT

HOURS NOT IN THE OFFICE

FOLLOW UP CALLS AND THANK YOUS

A DONATION YOU MADE PERSONALLY BECAUSE OF YOUR SUCCESS

BOOKS READ

I can’t tell you what to measure.  What do you want to get better at?  Measure that!

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CHANGE:

The progression of change:

Shock

Fear

Resistance

Reality

Faith

Positive change

 

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Recently Nick Whitty and I were discussing a book he just read:

In the United States car assembly factory, they were PROUD of the fact that after each car was put together they had a quality control manager with a wooden mallet walk around the car and tweak anything that was off.

In Japan, they were PROUD they had no such person.  When done right the first time, no such person was needed.

DOES YOUR DEPARTMENT HAVE A WOODEN MALLET PERSON?

IF WE DID OUR JOB RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, COULD THEY OR RATHER THOSE STEPS BE ELIMINATED.

CURRENT PROCESS OF A POTENTIAL LOAD THAT GOES OUT AT DREXEL

  1. PULLING TEAM, CHECKS OFF ALL ITEMS AS THEY PULL AND MARK ACCORDINGLY AND DESIGNATE A SPACE FOR IT.
  2. LOADING TEAM, DOUBLE CHECKS PULLING TEAM FOR ANY ERRORS.
  3. DRIVER BEFORE LEAVING, DOUBLE CHECKS LOAD.
  4. JOBSITE WE UNLOADED AND THEN TAKE PICTURES OF OUR LOAD

 

COULD ANY OF THESE STEPS BE ELIMINATED OR STREAMLINED?  I DON’T HAVE THAT ANSWER… BUT YOU MAYBE DO.

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If your customers love you and you love those around you and you are having fun doing it…  your job just got really easy didn’t it?

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– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.

 

 

 

 

EVERYONE IS THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT

TGIM!

GUEST WRITER CAITLIN STOLL.

Caitlin leads the charge on the supplied happiness front.  What a wonderfully cool and impactful career.  And she is the perfect fit.  Tough when it needs to be, but soft when it has to be… she is heart of our operation.

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I recently moved back in with my parents after living on my own for 10 years. My small remodel turned large remodel forced me to move out and my parents graciously offered to have me move back in until the remodel is complete. Let’s be honest – once you move out of your parents’ home and move back in you can easily notice the different generational characteristics. Having more than one generation under one roof had me pondering generational differences and what they mean – For my family, for Team Blue, and for our ever changing world. Here are my findings thus far…

 

Interesting fact about Team Blue:  Our team has a generation demographic of roughly 59% Millennials, 29% Generation X, and 12% Baby Boomer.  Each group has its own unique characteristics and mindset on life and work that are based on experiences during their lifetime. To continue to maintain success (supplying happiness) as a team we need to understand each generation

our-team-demographics

 

“The Boomers”

The Baby Boomer generation were born between 1940 to 1960 and grew up in a time of dramatic social change. They have seen civil unrest, assassinations, and Beatlemania. Many parents of this generation missed out on their youth due to WWII so they pushed for the best possible life for their children (The Boomers). This generation is extremely optimistic and open to change. With their parents’ efforts to give them the best life possible, the boomers are seen as being very career focused, shown through their loyalty to those they’ve worked for and their incredible work ethic. With the intense focus on the personal career we also see the envelope of the 40 hour work week being pushed out.

 

 apple

“The Middle Child”

Generation Xers were born between 1961 to 1981. This generation is seen as the middle child because of its placement between the two largest generation demographics. Known for being independent and adaptable to the workplace and its challenges.

 

“The Activist”

Millennials were born between 1982 and 2002. This generation has seen significant change throughout their lifetimes.  September 11th, the Financial Crisis of 2008, and the intense rise of technology. Extreme ambition and desire to make big impacts on personal projects or their careers can be easily misconstrued as seeming entitled.  As a “team based” generation with a civic mindset, many Millennials were part of teams and groups whose focus was to work on projects and ideas as a group. The internet helped foster the ideas by allowing them to always be connected to their friends and could focus their energy on causes that emotionally connect with them (i.e. Komey 2012).

635948139113080372-1686930021_istock_000057454036large

 

Why is this important? In 2015 Millennials surpassed the Baby Boomer generation as the nation’s largest living generation.  As we continue to grow our Drexel team, our Millennial demographic will also continue to grow. By 2025, Millennials will make up over 75% of the workforce. In an industry that has been hit hard in past years due to recessions and other financial woes, it will be even more important in the next 4-5 years to attract new talent and retain our current “rock stars.” The grouping listed above are buckets of what the media and ourselves have stereotyped each generation. In the next 4-5 years we will need to focus on each other’s strengths and work as a team to retain our current team and grow with the incoming millennials. It truly is an equation for success = supplying happiness!

 

Don’t Generalize my Generation:

Wanna hear something else that may perk your ears up, WE ALL want to be ourselves and not be bucketed. From baby boomers to Gen X’ers to Millennials each one of us is different.

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CONQUERED IT

TGIM!

Matt K just conquered the book challenge, here in all it’s glory is his final review.  (Spoiler alert, if you are IN the book challenge, um, don’t read this.)

Matt, Millwork Guru and assistant store leader in Brookfield, aka "Gronk" pictured with his wife Cari and some dude in a Bucky Badger costume.

Matt, Millwork Guru and assistant store leader in Brookfield, aka “Gronk,” pictured with his wife Cari and some dude in a Bucky Badger costume.

CONGRATS MATT! WOW.

MATT IS A ROCKSTAR, WORKS HIS BUTT OFF, SMILES A LOT, NEVER MAKES EXCUSES, AND ALWAYS HAS CONTAGIOUS POSITIVE ENERGY.   LOVE THAT GUY!  – JOEL

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Hey Joel,

 

ALL DONE!!!!

 

Thanks for initiating the challenge.

 

Thank you Keith for staying on me in the beginning.  It was a push that I was not initially a huge fan of haha, but well worth it.

 

This is by far the most I have read since college and it has been well worth it.

 

I won’t apply everything (really learned a lot) but I will do my best to take what I can and use it when makes sense.

 

SETTIN THE TABLE

 

This was my least favorite book.  There is a lot to gain from this book, but it was just a little slow for me.  In the begging when he was talking about all the places he had been and all of the different food he has eaten it just made me hungry…but honestly I’m hungry all the time so it may not have been the book.

 

Biggest take aways for me from the book…

 

-Be selective at times, don’t dive in without thinking it through.  He had many opportunities to open restaurants, whether it was a different style of food or different location.  He was always selective.  Did his research about the neighborhood, other surrounding resturants, timing, would he have the right people and time to make it successful?  We also need to do this at times.  Is a new account awesome?  YES!  Are they all good fits? NO

-Anyone can do what we do…we will do it better.  It’s the little things that make us special, makes us different…makes people talk.  Anyone can open a restaurant…most fail.

-Don’t set out to be average, everyone can be average. He was always pushing for profection on every night, because any given night could be the night the critic comes in.  Head of house, wine temp, items on the menu, salt placement…nothing over looked or unnoticed.

-Be passionate!  Give it your all, if you can’t don’t bother.  When you go out to a resrutaunt you know when they don’t care.  I’m sure our clients can tell too. Anyone can push paper, take orders etc…we you have a passion people see it and feel it.  Clients will feel that genuine passion and be less inclined to find a new supplier…or restaurant.

 

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE

 

-Great life book.  Are there things to take away that you can apply to work? Absolutely, but this is a must read for everyone and anyone.

-Every day we take things for granted, being able to walk, fresh air, healthy, I can see, I have food at home…the list could go on forever.  Take time to appreciate how lucky you are…every day.

-Don’t get caught up in the rat race.  When I die no one is going to talk about what I sold in millwork in 2034, no one is going to announce how many sq. feet my house is.  Hopefully everyone is going to talk about the people I touched, the memories I made, the relationships I made, love I shared…My wife is not going to care how much money I make….they are lots of rich people that are divorced.  Remember what is important every single day!!

-Living funeral.  Everyone always says these amazing things about people after they die…Did they ever get to hear that?! Why not?! Tell them!!  I could call my mom and let her know how much she means to me on the way home tonight and she would cry, I know because I have done it.  That’s not hard.  How many guys tell that to their dad?  One of their buddies?  Tell people what they mean to you, how much you love them, it’s ok.

-I knew he was going to die when I started the book, yet I found myself trying not to cry while finishing it at the gym in a cut off t-shirt…super badass

-Don’t get lost in your day to day…everything else is going to go away, and it doesn’t matter.

-LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

 

STARBUCKS EXP

 

-Culture..live it, breath it, embrace it.  They do it and so do we.

-They sell something that tons and tons of other people do, and so do we.  They also try to WOW everyone they can.  Little things can go along way.  Spill your coffee?  On the house.  Coffee for the road? Take your Drexel travel mug.

-Create loyalty.  Everyone has “their” Starbucks.  We are making so they have “their” supplier.  We are and will continue to do the little things along the way and make everyone from top to bottom feel special, and that is why they will stay.

-They really care about their “partners” just like we do our team members.  It is a lot easier to buy in when you aren’t just another number.  From top to bottom everyone cares about me here, I love that and I tell everyone that asks.  I think people love to work at Starbucks, not that they love coffee, but the culture around them.  That’s why my closet is full of blue…love it here!

-Employee empowerment…empower to WOW.  We are all have the ability to WOW, put out fires, make the call (within reason)

-Surprise and delight.  We come in early, stay late, send the wiene wagon…that goes a long way.  Don’t forget that.  This is what makes us different, makes us special.

-Embrace the resistance.  Good, bad, really bad…always an opportunity to get better, learn, put out a fire so fast it makes you look good.

-Leave your mark. Charity, loyalty…just care when others don’t.

-Attention to detail.  Letting the coffee go for longer than an hr, one guy noticed.  One guy notices when we kill it too.  He talks, word spreads.

 

BURN YOUR GOALS

 

-You always have a choice.  Choosing to do nothing is still a choice.

-Everything happens for a reason..even when stuck in traffic.

-Everything is in your best interest and use it as an opportunity.  Even when we was bleeding from his nose he still said this.  I am focusing on this, bad thigs are a way to get better.  You can always learn or find good in every situation.  It make take some effort, but it’s there.

-READ READ READ READ…someone has done everything, and they prob did it really well…then wrote about it.  This is the most I have read since college and I am going to continue to better myself, I promised myself that.

-Don’t focus on your goals, focus on the process.  If you do everything it takes to get there and you do it all right, or bounce back…you will get there.

-How are you using all your minutes?  Are you getting better? Are you getting better mentally? Reading? Practicing? Embracing the grind?

-Don’t wait for the moment, train for the moment.  If you are always training for it, when it presents itself you will be ready.

-Don’t listen to yourself, talk to yourself.  It’s easy to talk yourself out of things or put yourself down.  Pick yourself up and talk yourself  into it!

-Learn from others, mimic what they do, pick up good habits…Julian Edelman did it with Wes Welker, seems to be working out.

 

ALL DONE…

 

Again, so glad I did it.

 

Thanks for the push fellas.

 

GRONK OUT

 

 

Matt Kavetschanky

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TGIM!

picsmeme-time-quote-21

Time.

Be early.

Or be late.

It is impossible to be exactly on time, so choose to be early.

Being late shows that you value your time more then the other person’s.

They might think you are rude or arrogant.  Nobody wants to be thought of as rude or arrogant.

It’s a discipline.

being-on-time

Don’t be afraid to call out a team member or trade partner for being late… and use core value #10 #accountability as the reason.

Being early is important.bs8ugx7iqaaedjp

 

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.

EB AND CRAIG’S LEADERSHIP TRIP TO MARYLAND

TGIM!

Craig Johnson, store leader in Berlin,  and EB, yard coach had a chance to do a week long leadership training in Baltimore.

Craig did a recap to share with you all.  Wow, sounds like they learned a life time of knowledge in one week.  You might want to come back to this several times to digest it all.

Pictured left to right (EB and Craig) while traveling to Maryland.

Pictured left to right (EB and Craig) while traveling to Maryland.

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Team,

Thank you very much for investing in me and EB and allowing me and EB to experience the LMC Conference.  It was spectacular.  LMC really set it up great.  EB and I learned lots, seen a lot of great things, and met a lot of great Lumber People.  I would recommend sending other Leaders in the future.  I know this was not cheap but well worth it.

 

Day One Morning Ryan Manion , President of the Travis Manion Foundation spoke to the group.  She is the sister of Travis Manion who is a Soldier who lost his life on a Second Tour of Duty in Iraq.  He lost his life trying save two other solders injured in a Sniper attack.  Ryan told a story about her brother as the family new that his second tour of duty was going to be different than his first.  This on was going to be more dangerous.  She tells a story of when her husband and Travis went to a football game shortly before he was leaving and when they were walking out of the stadium they were stading on top of a set of steps and her husband said “Should I push you down the steps so you break your ankle so you do not have to go”  and Travis without missing a beat said “If Not Me, Then Who.  If I do not go than someone else not as prepared as me will go and that will put others in more danger.”  She also talked about Brendan Looney, Travis’ roommate at the Naval Academy and best friend who was a Navy Seal and lost his life three years in a Helicopter Crash in Iraq.  There is a book written about them and their friendship called “Brothers Forever.”  The Foundation helps families of fallen heroes make a positive impact on others lives as they move forward from their tragedies.  There was not too many dry eyes in the audience after this opening speech.

 

Things that resignated with me was the character and dedication to this country that these young men and women have.  I am going to adopt the “If Not Me, Then Who Mantra”  at work, as a husband, and as a Father.  No more excuses.  I have room for improvement in all three areas and the only person that can make that happen is me.

It was also powerful how the Family on how they turned this tragedy into a positive impact on others.  Ryan talked about when they were in that position they could “Pull up the Covers, or Push off the Covers.”  When we face adversity at work or life time to “Push Off The Covers”.  If they could do it in this situation, my adversity is pretty miniscule to what they faced.  I have no excuses.

They also adopted the Losada Ratio of 6:1 Positive to Negative Interaction.  This reinforced what we learned from Ken on our retreat in North Carolina when he said 10:1.  This is a good remider as leader that we need to continue to positively reinforce what our Team does.  We have great Teams and we must continue to tell them how great they are instead of dwelling on the few mistakes they do make.  Positive Reinforcement.

 

Second Speaker was Bill Goodspeed, who was a past president for Huber.  Huber was a 6th largest OSB manufacturer in 1996.  He gave us some homework to do before the conference.  He explained his story of how he felt there was no future in becoming larger in the OSB market with LP and Weyerhauser dominating the market. His goal was to change there 80% OSB to 50% Specialty Products by the year 2000.  This was a whole Cultural Shift for Huber.  The homework was him explaining there situation and we had to identify there problems like changing the culture from thinking OSB and into specialty.  They had to hire differently to get there.  Spend more money in R&D and time in the field to discover the problems Builders were having.  This was a success story as they are mostly specialty products like Advantech and Zip Panels today.  My take aways were spend a week a quarter in the field.  I need to schedule time with account managers once a quarter in the field learning from our customers.  I sometimes struggle with our Ready, Fire, Aim Approach.  I have not been tolerant of us making mistakes.  I want to do it right the first time, but Bill talked about the mistakes they made and without them they would not have been able to Grow.  Tolerate Mistake.  Fail Fast, and Grow from them.  At least were trying new/different things some will be a success and some will fail.  But either way we are growing in the process.  He also talked about the importance of communication getting everyone on the same page.  As a Store Leader I play a very big part of this as we grow.  Engaging and getting
Buy In from the Team Members is very important.  When we have our Leader meetings how important is is to communicate the vision of where we are going so we are all pulling in the same direction.  They were very similar to us and that they are looking for Attitude and Aptitude not Experience.  I stole three interview questions they ask everyone.

  1. Why are you here?
  2. Are you looking for a job or this Job?
  3. If were to offer you the job will you accept?  (how committed to this is this individual)

 

Weds in the afternoon we toured the Naval Academy.  This was really cool.  The buildings were incredible rich in History and Architecture.   The men and women that have been through the academy have done some amazing things.  Some are War Heroes, Astronauts, all tremendous Leaders in our Countries History.  One thing that stood out to me is these kids discipline.  All kids are required to play a sport, weather it is Division 1, Club Ball, or intramurals.  I am guessing they were not spending time in there room playing Techmo Bowl.  There commitment to this country is incredible.  There Culture is one of Self Discipline, Mental Toughness, Physical Conditioning, and Loyalty to this Country.

 

Weds evening the Academy’s Wrestling Coach, Joel Sharratt, spoke to the group at the Naval Academy’s Football Field.  His message was of knowing your purpose.  Know your Why with Faith, Family, Friends, Finance, and Fun.  Schedule time for all.  Know your why.  All in whatever you do.  Expect to win.

 

Day Two Morning Session.  Under Armour.  Two Gals from there On Boarding Team and One Team Training/Education Team.  This for me was probably my favorite session.  Under Armour is a true success story.  Started in the Owners Grandmas Basement in the 90’s and this year will push 5 Billion in Revenue.  I feel like they align with our beliefs.  Core Values.  Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast.  They are all about Culture.  They start Everyday with a chant.  They are there for the athlete and start there day with a Locker Room Chant.  They get into an athletic position.  We Are.. Fired UP!  Do Twice.  Then two pats to the thighs than two claps.  They do that twice on the third one they they pat the thighs three times a little slower and lastley two quicker claps.  Than conclude with a collective Grunt “Ugh”.  The girls had the group do this and you could not help but be fired up and ready to go for the day.  There onboarding process is very similar to The SHU.  I think we hit the mark on that one.  You also get the sense that they are more than just a T-shirt Company Selling T-shirts.  There is a higher calling there.  A Sense Of Passion.  A Sense of Giving Back.  A Will to Win.  They are Drexel but on Steroids.  We are on the right path.  We are doing more than just selling 2×4’s.

 

Random sayings from the Girls @ Under Armor

*Choose to Bring Energy into the Building Every Day.

*Make a Great Product

*Tell a Great Story

*Build a Great Team

*Provide Great Service

 

Thursday Afternoon We went Baltimore Rowing Club.  Lets start by saying Rowing is Hard.  We had 6 people in a boat.  We also had a coxswain who faces the rowers and is responsible for the steering of the boat and coordinating the power and rhythm.  So important to have all six in snyc.  Paddles entering the water at the same time at the same depth.  Really hard to do.  Being in sync is way more important than having pure strength.  Communication is the key.  We as leaders at work are similar to the Coxswain in keeping the Team all rowing in sync and pulling in the same direction.  Key is in the Communication, always be Communicating and Effectively Communicating.  Can never Over communicate.  When we were not on the water we were playing some Team Building Activities which are good takeaways for Friday Meeting Activities.

 

Friday Morning, we had Kevin Rochlitz, Corporate Sales & Business Development for the Baltimore Ravens.  Probably the most laid back talk, very open forum.  The group asked lots of questions.  We got to hold there Super Bowl Ring.  Man they are heavy.  The Team is allotted 220 Super Bowl Rings the owner purchased additional ones for so Everyone, all the way down to the janitors got one.  That’s pretty Cool.  Reminder as we grow to remember everyone along the way.  Everyone Matters.  Everyone plays a Role in our Success.  The Ravens have a true family environment.  Owner pays

 

The other thing that I took away from Kevin was that Listening a a Really good trait of a Leader.  Sometimes the Team just needs us to listen to their ideas, problems, and etc.  I know this is an area I can get better at taking the time closing the laptop or putting down the phone and truly engaging with that Team Member.

 

Our Facilitator was Dr.  Steve Bannon who is from Austrailia but recently moved to the states.  Couple things I took from his teachings was the What,  So What,  Now What, from each session we took time to reflect on each session.  What was important.  How did I interpret that.  And Now What is my action plan.  Really good thing to utilize with team in meetings.  For me taking a time to reflect after the Store Leader Meeting and putting the action plan in place for communicating what is important to the team and how to do it effectively.

 

I also like his SBI for delivering feedback.  “Shovel the Pile when it is Small”.  SBI is Situation/Behavior/Impact.  Address Right away the situation.  Focus on the Specifics of the Action or Behavior and the Impact it had.  His theory was that this was a better way to communicate effectively with Teammates.  Rather than delivering the “shit sandwich”  between two positive pieces of bread.  Sometimes the message gets lost.  His thought was Honest, Timely Feedback is always the best way.

 

Just some Random Things:  I met a lot of great people and leaders in this Industry.  Our Culture is out there.  A few people asked me about it, what do we do.  I think we are ahead of the curve on this.  I also learned that you and your father have done a wonderful job in the succession planning and how important that is not all companies have done so.  I heard some nightmares at the conference.  Thanks you for noticing the importance of this.

 

Thanks again for the opportunity.