John D. Rockefeller spent his life giving away vast fortunes yet by the time died in 1937, his assets equaled 1.5% of America’s total economic output. To control an equivalent share today would require a net worth of about $340 billion dollars, more than four times that of Bill Gates. Eventually his state to state empire Standard Oil Co. grew to country to country, plotting from 26 Broadway entire ocean fleet of tankers transporting millions of gallons of oil. Standard oil had 4,000 miles of pipeline, 5,000 train tank cars and employed over 100,000. The company was so large when the Geodetic Association announced plans to measure the earth it would enable the trust to learn the exact size of their property. So how did he do it? I believe the answers can be revealed in these three categories exposed in the 676 page biography TITAN by Ron Chernow, here is what I learned: (more…)
At Georgia Powder Coating our business model is built around service. It’s how we differentiate ourselves from the competition. We like to say we are the Ritz-Carlton of power coating. It’s one of the reasons we were selected two years in a row as one of the best companies in North America according to Products Finishing Magazine. That said, sometimes great service requires more than saying, “my pleasure” after a thank you. What about when great service and unruliness collide, and is the customer always right? Recently we had a client that was very difficult to please – actually I don’t think they have ever been pleased with anything. After reworks, refunds, apologies, and trying to educate the client on realistic expectations, myself and my team were continuing to be verbally abused and even cussed. I struggled with how much abuse my team should be subject to. When should I draw the line? Where would addressing the client’s behavior be considered rude and not ‘service like’?
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said, “Everyone will walk around with a Starbucks cup in their hand.” And you know, I think they are pretty dang close. To cast a vision is vital. Vision seems to be a new trendy business term with titles like CVO for Chief Visionary Officer. The CVO is expected to steer the organization’s course into the future. What markets, products and how the organization will look and feel are what the CVO must articulate. Actually, the truth is, casting vision is not new at all. King Solomon, to whom God gave a “wise and understanding heart such as no one has had or ever will have!” (1 Kings 3:12), cautioned “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). So if God says vision can prevent people from perishing and organizations of all sizes reap its benefits, there’s no question of its importance. But do we have to have a CVO title on a business card to cast vision? Must the vision be about organizations and profit and loss statements? (more…)
I need to start this post with a whole lot of disclaimers. For one, I don’t think people go to hell for drinking and I have a whole host of cherished friends and relatives that drink alcohol and I love them dearly and don’t judge no matter what they choose to do personally. That said, I imagine as my son gets older he will one day ask, “Dad, why don’t you drink?” and as I thought about the answer, I jotted a few reasons down so here goes:
I’m in the finishing business for individuals’ and corporations’ metal parts. This means one order could be for a farmer who wants to restore an old rusty water pump to display on the farm, while the next order is components for a $65 million jet aircraft. Our struggle for years has been valuing the farmer just as much as the world wide corporation. Some have said, “Why bother? They are not the same in regards to sales totals,” but that just never felt right. Who says the farmers water pump quality should be any different than the corporations components? However, they obviously have different end uses and goals in mind. (more…)
I understand how in his countless years of study about how to win friends and influence people, Dale Carnegie said, “Dogs are the ultimate example, you need look no further”. Bo was truly one of the most authentic loving personalities I have ever known. When I looked into Bo’s eyes I could see his soul; in other words, he had the ability to love and it was widespread. Because Bo and other animals have the ability to love, that brings us to the first reason he is in heaven. (more…)