RANDOM THOUGHTS- lots of em

TGI-SUNDAY!

In the last two months I had two vacations.  One with my family and one with 2 dear friends of Pam and myself.

I had a chance to read, reflect, watch multiple sunsets, get a little sun, have a few drinks, share many stories.  At those times, often is when clarity comes to me.  Things we should do, must do, or shouldn’t be doing.   Here are a few of them.

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First though, we changed some big things in Kiel and Little Chute this week.  Why? Wow!  Where did this come from?

Team we do NOT let go of people in our family with rash decisions, or angry emotions.  Often I quote the following… I have never personally let a person go in my life.  I am reacting to the team, or customers feedback, it is beyond a group decision: always.  It was a tough call, a very tough call as anyone asked to leave our company is, but needed.  I am not cold blooded, but I am inspired to run a world class organization, and with that sometimes change is needed.   I

f that is gut punch for you… don’t be scared.  That’s no way to live.  But it is ok, even encouraged, to ask a question if you are scared… “hey Coach am I doing ok, am I doing enough …?”

Sean, after we purchased Little Chute in November, was a hard working, loyal leader.  He retired.  Can’t fault a guy for chasing his other passions.  He offered to stick around for awhile, which shows his loyalty.  I told him, Sean, we will be fine.  Go be happy.  I wish that for all of you as well.

To say Thank you to anyone that has worked at Drexel at anytime over the course of 30 plus years is not only appropriate and obvious, but also there is no way I can thank them enough.  Life is weird I know.  I seem so “caring” now, when we it was my call to part ways.  I can even seem like a hypocrite I am sure.

This job isn’t easy folks.  But it is my job.  And we will go forward.

We aren’t going to shake things up with some radical new leaders.  Don’t worry.  That person will share the same visions of what we have.

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Now my Randoms…

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Team, in life, and Drexel I suppose, there needs to be kindness with BOUNDARIES.  We can be kind but we must have boundaries that we just can’t cross.  Just an example: Account managers can’t blow off huddles because they are working remote all the time.  Not in our culture.  Will.  Not.  Work.  Occasionally to call in sure.  But not as a habit.  I could go on.  As leaders, all of us, don’t beg, don’t bitch, but lead with kindness and boundaries.

Again.

Don’t beg.

Don’t bitch.

Set boundaries… and then hold everyone accountable to them.

John Wooden, 10 time NCAA basketball men’s champion did not allow facial hair.  True story.

Bill Walton, finest player in the country and a hippie in the 70s, boarded the bus to the away game, unshaven.  Bill I am sure thought, “I am the best in the country, the rules can’t apply to me.”

Wooden, didn’t bitch or beg.  He was kind.   He stated that he liked the look, but it was against team rules so Bill should get off the bus and if he wished shave and find a way to the game.  Which Bill did!

Wooden, didn’t call the School Chancellor and ask, what should I do with Bill.  He didn’t wait for Bill’s excuse.  He didn’t meet for an hour discussing it with Bill.  And he didn’t scream at Bill either in front of everyone.  He didn’t BEG Bill to change.    He didn’t BITCH.  But he DID hold Bill accountable.

We can learn a lot from that story.

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Act like a ROOKIE.

Todd Flitter has been using this one.  Our team needs to act like Rookies.  Rookies have energy.  They are thankful for orders, and tell their clients.  They follow up religiously.  Ask tons of questions.  They are happy just to have one account and be on a team.    They aren’t overwhelmed.   They are approachable and coachable.

I like that.

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RELAXED NINJAS. 

There is a term I love for our sales team: RELAXED NINJAS.  I think that should be our goal in 2019.  How do we transform our stressed out sales people into relaxed fun ninjas?  I look forward to that challenge.  That is what they want and our CONTRACTORS want as well.   Relaxed ninjas.  I am looking forward to getting there.   Our team, their families, and our clients will sense it and it will take us to a whole new stratosphere!

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Ok, produce stand is open.  What project are you working on…that now that sales season is here… you just have to put on the back burner until that cold day in winter.  Use a snooze, notes, google drive as a reminder.  Be smart.  Think before you do.

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Organized.  

I assume relaxed ninjas are organized.   I can’t say it enough.  Youmail.  Google Notes.  Snooze.  All great tools.   Your phone can be a deadly weapon, or a time drain.

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PAULS.

Team, pauls is a real thing.  Gonna happen.  Dan Evers HAS designed a home with a 3-d walk thru, a rendering, a material list, and can do the truss quote automatically.   We also have found some great leads on automated equipment.  Stay.  Tuned.  Just because we don’t know what the future looks like, doesn’t mean we should run towards it.  The builders I have been talking to are not only very receptive, but are craving it.

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Get Ready to Be Busy.

Part of being organized, a relaxed ninja, a rookie, is doing FIRST THINGS FIRST.

Each day, or the end of the day, whatever your mood, make a list of things to do.

Then do FIRST THINGS FIRST.

Great leaders, teammates, people, athletes do that.

Golfers you can’t worry about the next hole and if you miss that shot and then what.

Swing, concentrate.  Move on.

Same with our jobs.  Feel overwhelmed?  Why?

Just do FIRST THINGS FIRST.

As I lead Kiel and Little Chute…yes I am the “short term” coach there I will just do FIRST THINGS FIRST.

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HARD WORK.

Sunday 6am.  I am writing my TGIM.  DON’T BITCH AT ME or ANYONE ELSE… THAT YOU ARE BUSY IF YOU AREN’T GRINDING SOMETIMES.  I am not talking burnout.  But there are points in your career that you HAVE TO GRIND.  Balance is real, I am going to be with my family the rest of the day…but right now.  I AM GRINDING.   Yesterday afternoon many of you got a few e-mails from me, I don’t want you to keep pace with me, I am just saying, IF YOU HAVE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO, YOU BETTER GET GOING.

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The builder said RIGHT AWAY.  ASAP.  NOW.

We are better than that.  YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT.   Ask better questions and quit putting the entire supply chain IN A HYPER STATUS.  QUIT IT.  YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT.  Drill down, have a conversation and get better.

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YOU ARE STILL E-MAILING TOO MUCH.  TALK TO PEOPLE.  BE A PERSON.  I AM SERIOUS.

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Here is something I am wondering and will take to the team as well.  Just and idea.  As A-Rodge says, “RELAX.”

I wonder… job titles are meaningless, I realize that.  Yet, words are very powerful.  Choose wisely… so

Coaches… in life have the power to fire, etc.  Our coaches aren’t really coaches.  They are really captains of the team.  The guy on the bench with you that wears the “C”.  I think maybe our coaches just be re-titled Captains.  More appropriate.

So Coaches to Captains?

Store Leaders… kind of blah.  Not really us.  We really don’t have stores.  Menards has stores.  Kohl’s has stores.

Ok, how about Head Coach.  I like that.  Head Coaches are some of the best leaders in the world, aren’t they?  hmmm….

What about Spuda and Beth “vps”…. I don’t like that either.  We don’t have presidents, why do we have vps…

How about Leaders?

The difference between a captain and leader.  80% of a leaders time is leading their team.  20% of a captains time is coaching.

and two more…

Account Managers don’t have an assigned leader by “title”.

Maybe, just maybe Todd Flitter should be

the Account Manager Leader.  Nice and clear. (Words are powerful.)

and then Doug Carlson…

 

Andy is Defensive Coordinator

so

Doug’s title:  Offensive Coordinator

To recap:

Coaches go to Captains

VPs go to Leaders

Store Leaders go to Head Coaches

Todd to Account Manager Leader

Doug to Offensive Coordinator, speaking to an emphasis with the account managers but a little bigger picture of it all.

Looks like the business card company may have just got a little busier.

Stay tuned…. just my idea, we will put it on the team to decide.

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Fun.

Store Leaders (head coaches?) on Thursday are having our monthly meeting where we really try to work on all the above and more.  They have a cadence and a groove.  We try to learn from each other.  I enjoy these.   We haven’t done anything “fun” together in years.  Too busy “grinding” and we don’t want to set a bad example.  BUT sometimes you JUST GOTTA HAVE FUN!  We will be at opening day of the Brewers game, followed by the Bucks game that night.  Wish us well.  Wish us fun.   We will be back Friday.

The reason to step back and have a little fun sometimes as I started this blog IS when you slow down all the magic happens.  As Whitty is hanging off a chandelier and Doug is climbing a roof, will be the exact time CJ and I have a breakthrough of some sort.  Yep.   For real.

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Lastly… a few Crocuses are budding.  Robins are chirping.  I hope you stay off the TV, unless you love college hoops or are binge watching a movie or series…then enjoy!… and get your butt outside a bit.

It’s where the magic happens!

See you all Monday.  I have a couple stores to be the Head Coach of!  Can’t wait!

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DREXEL’S CHEMICAL COMPOSITION

A MESSAGE TO OUR CUSTOMERS

BIG IS FINE- BEST IS BETTER

BETTER > BIGGER

Our chemical composition:  Who is Drexel Building Supply

Okay so we doubled our sales from 2003-2009 and doubled again from 2009-2013.  However, as our customer, you aren’t looking for a bigger supplier; you’re looking for a better one… no you are looking for THE BEST ONE.

You are looking for one you can trust and treats you like a friend; makes you feel important and special, because you are.  You are looking for one that will deliver value by delivering you the right information and products, to the right place, at the right price, at the right time.  And one that works with you to increase your sales, reduce your cost and improve your productivity.   One that saves you:

TIME, STRESS, AND MONEY.

Because without YOU their isn’t US, we can never stay stagnant we can never quit getting better.  We work to improve you and your clients EXPERIENCE with us every time.

Our goal is to be the BEST supplier and subcontractor on your job.  Not among our competition, but the BEST you have ever worked with regardless of industry.

That’s a lofty vision; but that is what every team member understands when they begin the journey with us.  No problems, only solutions.

We were founded in 1985 by Albert Fleischman as a TEAM based on the work ethic, pride, and truthfulness of the Wisconsin immigrant German farmers.  Those farmers that surround our small town of Campbellsport, WI and where Albert has deep roots.  Another aspect of what we do is to HAVE FUN which follows the tradition of these hard working German immigrants as well.   We serve builders and their clients, industrial customers, agricultural communities, interior designers, commercial contractors and weekend warriors.

Our servant leadership style currently serves 6 locations with over 220 team members.  Drexel makes deliveries daily to all parts of Wisconsin at an ON TIME AND IF FULL RATIO OF 92.2% COMPLETE AS OF THIS WRITING– primarily South Eastern, Central, and East Central Wisconsin.  It our customers request we can deliver ANYWHERE… and have delivered to over 25 states and growing.

We are here to help you achieve your goals, be it for one small deck to a 100 million dollar a year new construction company.

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– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

 

WORKING MAKES ME HAPPY

I don’t really have any hobbies. I always felt odd about that, but now I feel confident about this.  It’s what makes me, me.

Here’s why: From an article on Inc. Magazine.

“For entrepreneurs, working means fun and relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, most entrepreneurs are not workaholics. I describe work as the things we have to do in order to do the things we want to do. Some people like to play sports or dance or do woodcraft as a hobby. Entrepreneurs love to build businesses. We get excited about opportunity, networking and product development. When I sit at a Yankees game, I amuse myself by calculating the per-attendee revenue and cost of services to figure out how much money is being made. When I run a 5K or kayak, my brain lets loose with creative ideas that can either improve my business or create something new from the resources I have.

I feel blessed that the things I love to do are also the things that make money and give me a sense of accomplishment. When I need to rest my brain and body, I do so. But very soon, I go back to doing what I love because I enjoy it and it makes me happy.”

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Yep in a nutshell that’s me.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

So… I went to Hot Springs…and Left a Better Person

Our company and particularly our store leaders are drivers.  By that I mean they are driven.  Working until Midnight.  Starting at 5am.  Whatever it takes 24/7.  We’ve been so busy we haven’t even met, even a conference call, for well over 6 months.  Until we went to Hot Springs, NC.  Where CC’s tavern in Wayne WI, meets Door County, WI.  That’s the best way to describe it, even though probably only a few thousand people in the world know what I mean by that.  Country living meets Southern Hospitality.  And throw in the wandering souls doing the Appalachian Trail and that’s… Hot Springs.  (They got cell service 4 years ago.)

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Anyways, our leaders at Drexel talk and stay in touch but never did we break bread or anything like that as it got in the way of the day to day needs of our customers and our team.

Never again.  We WILL take a once a year sabbatical, retreat, re-group, re-focus meeting of the minds off site and somewhat off the grid every year as long as I work here.  Simply must.

Why?  It’s kind of like not getting a good night’s sleep.  Sometimes you need to recharge the batteries and connect again.  And remember why you love your co-workers, your career, and well just life in general so much.

In fact a long term company goal is to own a re-treat center so more team members and customers can do this with us.

Why was it so good?  I will limit it to 10 reasons (I could go on forever but will pick the top 10.) This might help anyone entertaining this idea for their company.

1.  The guy.   Ken Wilbanks was perfect for our group.  An industry insider as well as a mentor and guide.  He led us perfectly where we needed to go.  He knew where we were coming from and led us into the unknown future.  Vee, a wonderful leader in her own right, complimented him extremely well in the process.   She is an industry OUTSIDER so the different perspectives on how to grow were perfect.

2.  We worked. (Remember we are driven men!)  8 hour shifts.  3 days.  Of training.  We would of craved even more.  For our group a QUICK and FOCUSED TRIP is perfect.  Some groups I am sure are more laid back.  Be sure to set the right pace for your group.  That’s important.

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3. We played.  A little morning fishing.  Some quality time in the hot Springs.  Surrounded by nature.  The fishing was fly fishing.  It was outside our comfort zone.  I think an important element to grow with your team.  Good to do as a group.  Nature is good.    It’s good to RELAX AND CELEBRATE.  It’s needed in life.  And sadly we do forget to do it when we are so “driven” with goals and ideas.  A pause is good.  And moonshine and singing and all sorts of laughs.  I even did the Appalachian Trail.

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4.  We took away small action plans.  Don’t take too many ideas away.  People run with too many ideas and choke on em.  Grab a few that you can do.  Makes you feel like you are accomplishing something to go to the next one.  Grab too many and do none and you fail.  And feel like you’ve failed.

5.  We took away big vision plans (3-5 years.) Everyone needs to be on the same page.  Especially leaders.  These sort of moderating trips do just that.  Every time I have done them.

6.  Make others empowered too.  We gave the leaders “left behind” a small reward and they embraced their role.

7.  The right people.  No one in attendance was “on the chopping block” or “didn’t fit in”.   If you have people like that 1) fire them before you go.  2) don’t take them and fire them before you go.   Yeah, I’m not joking.   If they just don’t fit in, fire them.  Life is short.  Hang out with people you like to hang out with.  Don’t expect them to change on a 3 day voyage.

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8.  Make it off site but in sight.  Get off the grid but leave just a little time so everyone can check in.  No reason to have anxiety about being away from the world.  Make sure they have wifi!   Make it in sight.   Let your entire team know what you are up to.  Don’t hide it.  And make sure they know WHY you are doing it.   Explain.

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9.  Take great notes.  You will forget 99% of what you learned.  Don’t let that fire you lit go out the second you get back into the office.

10.  Dont’ be a tourist.  Be a traveler.  Good general advice.  But try to do what the locals do.  You will learn a little local culture and your trip will be more memorable.  And you can see how your team treats others.  There is learning to be done there too.

View of the early morning from the "Smoky Mountains".  All who wander are not lost...

View of the early morning from the “Smoky Mountains”. All who wander are not lost…

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

BLAME IT ON MY A.D.D.

I have self-diagnosed Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.  I completely EMBRACE this.  Meaning, I hold multiple conversations at once.  Do 100 tasks at a time.  And let my brain zoom.  I’ve hired people that take care of the stuff I won’t.  Not that I can’t but I won’t. Because I embrace who I am and my passion.

Embrace your passion.  People listen to others, try to fit in, and hell don’t embrace their inner passions.  If you like garden.  Garden like a mother fer.  Teach people to garden.  Have the slickest yard on the block.  If you like to paint your face.  Paint your damn face.

Yolo, and all that sh!t.  It’s real people.  You only got one shot at this, and if you are good at something, get better.  If you want to be good at something do it.

And remember, in proverbs in the Good Book it states. Iron sharpens iron.  Man sharpens man.  So yearn for your passions and find those around you that can sharpen your iron and you sharpen yours.

Here is the song.

Sail.  By Awolnation.  Some would say this song is about giving up.  Or an excuse.  I feel he is sailing to greater heights.  Or he wishes he was different.  I think it is about embracing who you are.  No matter what.

Here’s the lyrics.  There’s not much to it.  Which in itself makes sense.  Keep it simple.

Sail!
This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D. baby
This is how an angel dies
I blame it on my own sick pride
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby
Sail!
Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself (myself)
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby
Maybe I’m a different breed
Maybe I’m not listening
So blame it on my A.D.D. baby
Sail!
La la la la la
La la la la la oh!
La la la la la,
La la la la la oh!
La la la la la,
La la la la la,
Sail with me

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So blame it everything I do on my ADD and you will probably be right.  And that’s not only ok, it’s exactly the way it’s meant to be.

So let’s go with it shall we?

This video has been driving me crazy!  Like I randomly saw it on VH1 on a Sunday morning or something and now ti consumes my thoughts.  It’s cock fighting with stuffed animals and the care bear wins.  WTF!!!!!!!

Why will the Bucks always suck under Herb Kohl.  The G.M. came out after the draft and said he job was to develop talent AND make the playoffs.  THAT DOESNT’ EVEN MAKE SENSE!   TAKE LEMONS AND MAKE ORANGE JUICE!  This is called in business lack of mission.  What is the Bucks mission?  Yep, I have no clue either. Stuck in suckity!

Speaking of sucking bad the Brew Crew (bandwagon is empty, Wisconsin loves the Brewers when they win only.  Can we just all admit we are just Packer fans and the rest just fills the gaps?)  are on pace to lose 100 games.  Historically bad.  Only the 2002 team that lost 106 broke the 100 game barrier.

IMG_20130626_092920_210Drove through Oshkosh during Country USA.  I swear you actually feel the energy.  I am 20 years too old for that stuff…and not really my thing, but you got to love it.   Here was my one second summary of the event by a Kwik Trip in Oshvegas.

Male fathers in Wisconsin in the summer are clueless.  They are lacking clues.  I am talking fashion in the weakest sense of the word.  In the fall and winter guys do fine.  Fall we can wear camo and jeans, winter we have layers, all is well.  Summer?  We die in the fashion sense.  Camo hats.  Jorts.  Funny t-shirts we have had for 25 years.  Socks that don’t really do anything.  Crappy tennies or crappier flip flops.  Our horrible bodies don’t quite fit into anything.  We wear a sports hat.  That’s how we roll.  I swear we don’t even think.  Grab the top pant, the convenient shirt, the shorts that are close and the hat that is on the shelf.   Summer outfit complete.  Just take a minute to put a little plan together.  That’s all it takes.  And if you are close to 40 and have clothing from college, it’s time to go.  Just think before you dress.  Thanks.

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oh wow.

I totally lost track of the Bachelorette this season.  What is wrong with me?  Not sure.

I thought I had more stuff, but that’s it.  post over.  blame it on the a.d.d.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president and solution provider for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

Bear vs. Car

Bear vs. Car?  Would you guess it was a tie?  Me either.

Great video during Bears vs. Packers week.  Less than 100 days til the start of the NFL!

Also, in other news would you rather be the bear (ouchie) or the Brewers who have lost 17 out of 22.  That’s not a typ-o.