Team, this is a monster load, you might want to digest this over several readings or one blast of info.  Up to you.  I apologize in advance for grammar, etc.


It’s light out at about 4:20am.  And by that I mean it’s not complete darkness.  Absolutely love seeing this.  We will have about 60 days of this.  I’m a morning person.  I see many more sunrises than sunsets.



This one REALLY hit home for me.  In fact BOTH have happened to me recently.  I do get frustrated sometimes, I play “HELL I AM THE OWNER CARD, HERE I GO!!!” when I can’t wait for the team, or just don’t feel like communicating it to 330 of you… and I do run ahead of the team, with the excuse that…they will follow if I run fast enough.  How wrong I am!!!

Also, IF YOU DON’T INVOLVE ME and you run ahead, I become very frustrated as well.  Sometimes the team will say, Joel we have been working on this, in reality…running ahead of the pack without anyone around.  I think that feels liberating to them.  Think of a child at the zoo, running ahead.  They are so free… until a parent calls them back, then the parent is so frustrated and the child is so sad and disappointed that their plans didn’t work out.  I’m gonna pick a bit on Dan Thiem here, because I know he can handle it and real examples are better than generalities.  Dan has sometimes worked hard on a new project, he’s so darn excited he could scream, yet I knew nothing about it.   When he tells me I have real concerns…and then I am that parent at the zoo…and Dan is that child getting called back.  Not fun for either one.  Dan I promise I will try to run with you sometimes, but please invite me along!  We all fall in this trap don’t we?


1000 afternoons.  That is how many Fridays afternoons people have had off approximately since January 1st, since we have implemented this in 2017. (20 Fridays, 50 people a Friday.)   Has it been easy?  Hell no!  As EB stated you have to start working MONDAY to make sure we are COVERED Friday afternoons or you are screwed.  Our loads, deliveries communications and quotes have to be BETTER THAN EVER.  Hey, that’s better for our clients too! 

Has it been without frustration?  Is the race over?  Did we “win”?  HELL NO!  The finish line is not even close, WE HAVE TO PUSH HARDER!   What do I mean?    Less work hours are confusing; there is always work to do, why are we being “punished”?   I’ve always been able to work unlimited hours, why the change?  Can’t I just work when I want to?… Team, this takes a great deal of talking it through.  All vehicles, animals, and people too are just BETTER with more gas left in the tank.  We are BETTER for working a few less hours.  Thanks to Andy, Amber, Emily, and Julie we are able to state matter of factly, we on average are working about 2 hours less a week than in 2016.  That’s a fact.  It may seem less, but in reality it is simply not true.  Do the math, the .50 raise offsets that very well!  This might not be true FOR YOU, and if this is a pain point, TALK TO SOMEONE PLEASE ASAP.  Let’s accomodate your NEEDS!   Great leaders, great companies have guidelines but also listen and adjust based on individuals.    LET’S TALK!  I HOPE I AM NOT SO INTIMIDATING THAT YOU CAN’T TALK TO ME.  FEEL FREE, ANYTIME, I MEAN IT!  STORE LEADERS ARE READY AS WELL, AS WELL AS ALL LEADERS ON THIS TEAM.  ONE TEAM, ONE VISION.

This pain point is worth it.  I truly believe it.  We must keep fighting for it.  Why do I believe it?  The 1,000 afternoons.  So far.  The time spent with loved ones.  The time away.  The time to rejuvenate.  I have even received a letter from an owner of an unnamed bar in Plymouth that appreciates the uptick in business! (I made that one up, just to make sure you were still reading this.)

1,000 afternoons.   That makes me smile.  I hope it does for you too.


Construction hard hats.  I was at a tailgate tour Friday.  PEOPLE THESE ARE GAME CHANGING AWESOME.  EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO TO ONE, I LEAVE WITH A HUGE SMILE AND SAY, “GOSH DARN THAT WAS FUN, WORTH IT, AND SPOT ON PERFECT!”  Anyways, last Friday we are at a commercial jobsite in New London (hey, I met a guy, great guy, hunts next to my dad’s place in Almond, we are now like fast friends, told me to stop and have a beer sometime….oh and he is building a 70×150 pole shed that we now have the inside track on…yeah these are SOO WORTH IT…and Cheyenne and the Blue Door Coffee Co. are doing a great job!) and we DIDN’T HAVE HARD HATS ON.  The newer account manager said kind of proudly, “Oh if he asks me to wear one, I always go put it on.”  I saw this as a teaching opportunity…

What he said is fine.  It’s average, it’s a B-, I guy wants something we go do it, probably better than mos suppliers he chooses.  But we CAN DO AN A+.   IT’S ABOUT UNDERSTANDING OUR CLIENTS, AND RESPECT, and FORMING GOOD HABITS.   If we ALWAYS wear a hard hat on a commercial site it shows a bunch of things:

  1.  RESPECT:  I understand your needs.  I know you don’t have time to race around and hold everyone accountable to wear a hard hat.  You are saying, “you can count on me, even if it’s apparent no one else is wearing one, I will, we will at Drexel always have your back.
  2. HABIT:  I always wear one.  That way it’s easy.  I don’t have to make a choice.  Commercial site = hard hat.  EASY.
  3.  I GOT YOUR BACK:  Even if today is a shit storm.  Today friend, you can count on me.  Always.  And it starts with my hard hat on ready to work for you.


Lastly, below is a picture of Admir and Aleik.  Tile guys from Albania.  Admir has been here 5 months.  They do amazing work.   They absolutely LOVE AMERICA AND I THINK THEY LOVE DREXEL EVEN MORE.  Most days we hire them on a subcontractor level to work for us to do tile work in the Brookfield area.  Classy guys I have gotten to know.  Don’t underestimate the power of supplying happiness and Drexel.  Admir and Aleik do not take Drexel or America for granted.  You don’t think Drexel is important.  Admir and Aleik need us, we need them.  Drexel makes that happen.



I am friggin jacked for this week, this summer, but especially this moment!  The sun is rising, I got to get in the shower, and get soon to a career I simply love.  A few days (and hours off) did this soul well, but now I am restless and hungry to change the world and supply happiness!   Let’s roll!  TIME IS A TICKING!  WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE AT AN HOUR WE DO NOT KNOW.  THAT SOMETIMES FOR ME IS ALL THE MOTIVATION I NEED!


– 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.



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