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.



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.

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