you’re ok. i’m ok.



I got this gem from Cardinal Dolan:

“The world says “I’m OK, you’re OK”. Advent reminds us that the world, and our lives, are a mess. We need something – *someone* – to make us whole. We need our Savior! Our lives are like the empty manger awaiting the birth of Christ!”

How true this is!  We are not OK.  Not even close.  We have issues…at work, at home… but we look the other way and say “I’m OK.”  God will and can help you.  Just stop to ask.  Stop to say, “I surrender…”

Same for our team here at Drexel.  Never be defensive.  Never blame others.  Never have an excuse.  It’s ok to say HELP ME.  HELP ME.  HELP ME.   That will make you vunerable and everyone else around you stronger so you yourself can be stronger.



I’m not ok… but I’m working on it!





p.s. Lastly I was asked today from a friend and industry leader:

Joel, give me FIVE THINGS an Executive Leader MUST do EACH WEEK to energize their org like this! Give me FIVE…. NOW … FAST…. From your GUT!

My answer:









I stumbled on this term.  And now am somewhat obsessed with it.  A term I’ve been trying to live for years.  To the point my life claims I have “no empathy” because she rarely if ever sees me stress or worried in troubled times.  It means to LOVE YOUR FATE in Latin.  Or essentially, no matter what “trust the process.”    In fact she even just told me that this weekend, “you have no empathy,” and I suppose she is quite right.  I struggle with that, and have to do better.  Just because I try (and I’m not perfect on it) in a AMOR FATI mindset, doesn’t mean others don’t need my love, support, and encouragement, and sometimes to mourn with them…however I always go back to AMOR FATI.

Fail Forward.

Fall 7, Rise 8!

Here’s a fantastic article explaining it more.

The Unfathomable Power of Amor Fati

— – 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.



Pictured: Jeremy Zimmerman and his son Gavin at the dockspiders game we attended on Friday.

Team, I was reading a book by Matt Kelly titled “Resisting Happiness”  and I stumbled on something he suggested maybe we can all try…and just try it for ONE DAY.

Or make it your daily ritual, but I think we can at least all try it for one day.

What is it we should try?   To work for one day…  for a specific cause, or person… even beyond Supplying happiness.

To summarize that part of  his book, I’ll use his example:

If someone says, “Hey the local playground could really use two trees planted and we will give you $500 an hour to plant them.”  You say sure, but you are very busy.  That Saturday you show up late, do crappy work, trees at an angle, not buried well, you don’t even believe they will live when you leave the playground, in fact you KNOW they won’t live… you planted them so badly, but you get $1000 as payment… OR

That same persons asks you, asks your fee, and you say for the kids you will donate your time.  It takes you all morning that Saturday and then you nuture them for the next year…and you KNOW they are growing great roots, a real source of pride for you right?

In which case are you HAPPIER?

The latter one is universally chosen, therefore proving the human condition does not work ONLY for the $$$$.

We work for the JOY OF IT.  THE LABOR OF IT.


So one day this week, WORK FOR GOD.  Or work for that person you know who is in an old age home that can no longer work.  Or work for your kids.  Or work for that loved one that passed away and can’t work any more.  It’s an act of prayer.  Work can be prayer.   Put those initials on a post it note, or clipboard, or hand tool, someway that ALL DAY you are not working for you… you are working for them.  Every detail, every focus, every smile given is for them.  I imagine you will go home that night feeling AWESOME… I also bet your work that day will be pretty awesome too as well as your feelings at work that day…

I haven’t decided who that person or mission for that day will be.  I’m gonna think about it, but I am pretty excited to choose.

– 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.






What a gem by Chelsea Watzig as she just COMPLETED the book challenge.  Very proud of the Drexel team member she is becoming!




My initial thoughts when reading this book was the similarities between Starbucks and Drexel. From the concept of leaders to having principles, processes and procedures in place; I never knew Starbucks even had such a business model.


Within the 5 key concepts that make up their business model, “Make It Your Own” was the one that stood out to me most containing the “5 Ways of Being”. With the Starbucks foundation based upon Be Welcoming, Be Genuine, Be Considerate, Be Knowledgeable and Be Involved; it made me think of our Core Values and the meaning we give them within our culture.


“Everything the company does is intended to give the customer a positive, perhaps uplifting, experience while purchasing a quality beverage or food item”. Whether it’s a food and beverage item or building materials, it’s not WHAT you are selling, but the EXPERIENCE you are giving to all customers.



This book speaks completely to Drexel. From having a vision in place to always delivering ‘Plus One’, Drexel is always working on improvements and analyzing areas for growth. Our consistency of how we do things, knowing what our clients want and always on a mission to Supply Happiness is what creates our “Raving Fans”.


It was interesting how Charlie went to different types of businesses to learn their ways and took home at least one secret of how that particular business was successful. From the food industry to the building industry, it’s all about the customers experience and what your company does to stand out from your competition.



The quote that stuck out to me was “It’s not hard to teach anyone the proper way to set a beautiful table. What’s impossible to teach is how to CARE deeply about setting the table beautifully”. This is so true when thinking about it. You really can teach anyone anything, but if they don’t have a passion for what they are doing or why they are doing it, you can’t change that. Relating to Drexel, not only do we hire 10’s, but we have a Team of people who love what they do and live by our core values. Hiring the right people, having high levels of communication and all sharing the same mission, anyone can become excellent at what they do job specific.


Once you have the right people working for your business, the number one factor of success will happen on its own; great hospitality. As the book states, “Success is based on meaningful human interaction to retain its soul”. When you have excellent service and amazing hospitality when a customer comes into your business, the price seems to be overlooked. Similar to Raving Fans, in order for you to create Raving Fans you must create a great experience for all customers as well as employees. As long as you always focus on taking care of people (employees, community, friends, suppliers, investors) long-term success will come naturally.



By far my favorite out of all ten books! I see why it is the last one. I read this in four days and could not put it down. It really made me analyze my life and think about the things that I unintentionally focus on or do that is giving me no benefit for my future.


The concept of stop preparing and start planning along with burning the unrealistic goals you might be setting for yourself, really stuck with me. Everyone is always so worried about preparing for their future, when that is actually impossibe. You waste all of this time planning for what hasn’t come, when you could be focusing on tomorrow and improving whats in front of you by setting realistic goals for yourself. You never know what the day will bring and what life will throw at you when you wake up, but as long as you focus on the things that matter and are willing to change and grow with any circumstance, that is as prepared as you can be.


“Believe that everything that happens to you is in your best interest and an opportunity to learn and grow”. When you believe this along with treating people very well and always having a great attitude, no matter what happens to you, negative or positive, you will come out better than before.


“If you want to achieve your greatest potential, you must surround yourself with people who love you deeply, believe in you, encourage you, BUT who are also willing to challenge you to become the best you are capable of being”. Life is all about the connections you have and relationships you have built. You should always set out to enhance relationships as much as possible; showing genuine sincere appreciation, smiling more, listening to others & being the best you can be in every situation- you will live a successful full-filled life.




THESE BOOKS WERE FANTASTIC JOEL- thank you for giving our Team the opportunity to do this book challenge! It’s been a great weekend hobby- to read!


Cait- we can chat about my reviews on Monday.



The Last Supper is THE most famous meal ever.  Breaking bread often builds a bond, a unity, a friendship.  As the saying goes, “Everybody has got to eat!”

Here is an inspiring TGIM from probably our most social team member Kari Wik:




As I travel to the other stores, one of my goals is to meet more of the team and learn more names.  A fun way to get to know the team is over lunch. If you have never done this before, YOU SHOULD! Everyone likes eating good food and enjoying good company.


Thank you to everyone I have been lucky enough to have lunch with so far! I have enjoyed the laughs and the stories that were shared.  Some of the conversations were more serious and others were about process improvements.   All were time well spent. Sometimes taking a break and sharing some bread is just what your day or week needs.



Fun Facts I learned during my lunches:

  • We work HARD.
  • Our yard radios reach local establishments at lunchtime
  • Lots of us pack lunches
  • Many of our team members are trying to eat healthier
  • We have active families!
  • Some of us are getting married and having beautiful babies
  • We are proud of our fellow team members
  • We take great pride in our work!
  • And Frank Gitter won’t go to lunch no matter how many times I ask him. 😉



(But you already knew that, you work here.)






(I got to have lunch with these guys! From left to right, Will Cotter, Kari Wik, Hayden Serwe)



Processes, procedures, work time off, core values, mission, parking spots, Christmas parties, team break rooms, downtown area, team members, team blue…



Some key motivational and thinking points from Megan Rinzel as part of her book club challenge.  Thank you Megan for always being awesome.

As a team member recently told me about Megan:

“She is dedicated to the team. I see her work and the core values are rolling with her everyday. She thinks of teammates and cares about others. She is always willing to step up to new tasks. Manages her time well and is a grinder. She is in everyday early and stays till she pushes thru the 4th quarter. We are very lucky to have Megan and she makes the quality of my life better. She reminds and helps me to stay focused and positive when things get a little tough (maybe the teacher in her). Joel I could carry on and on but she definitely is a top percenter in team and core values!”


How can we treat our customers as they absolutely certainly deserve?


These days, rotten service is expected. Having a satisfied customer is pretty much the standard.  Good, not great.  That’s not the way it should be.  If you’re business is built upon giving your clients an “OK” experience than it’s doomed to fail. And unfortunately it’s a pattern among businesses.  As long as the service and abuse isn’t worse than they expected, then they’ll be back for more.  Because it’s No worse than the competition.  Bologna I say I can think of numerous times going out to eat or any store where I wasn’t as treated as well as I would have wanted to be, but then later shrugging it off like, oh well,  That’s just how it is now a days.  It shouldn’t be like that. Lowering our standards as consumers, enables business to get away with mediocre service. We should demand the best.


All good customer service stems from healthy and efficient systems.  Organized processes helps keep everyone on the same page.  Here at Drexel, it’s installed on day one how important it is to make your customer’s feel like they are the only ones that matter.  From procedures such as answering the phone on the first call, to offering water, to delivering materials when asked for it.  Everything we do revolves around the supplying happiness (or great customer service) to our clients.


Create a vision for your service – and that vision needs to be centered on the customer.  Know what you can and cannot do to exceed your customer’s expectations. Once you know what your vision is, you have to find out who your customers are and fine out what they want.  Find out what they want by asking them sincere questions.  Most customers do not have complete visions, but they do have a focus.  Help them by narrowing down what that focus is, discovering what means the most to them, and agreeing to make it happen.


When a client says ‘fine’ it is not a good thing It means trouble.  Silence is also not a good thing.  If you’re not getting a response it probably means that they are ignoring you for a reason. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and find out where the problem lies.


Deliver!  Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. Be consistent in all that you do to make a satisfied customer become a raving fan.

Treat your customers right – not because you have to, but because you want to.  The paying consumer is what keeps us all in business.  Don’t treat them as just another number, but value them as a person and give them the best service you possibly can.  When they choose to buy with us, they are trusting that they made the best decision for them and they are willing to put their hard-earned money into our business.   You can thank them for that by treating them with care, diligence, and appreciation.   Try to make your customers become raving fans, and remember a raving fan is most likely going to be a returning fan.



– 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.