Industry Leaders Share Their Favorite Titles

This Month:

Jeff Carpenter, Contractor Development Leader, Owens Corning

The Book:

Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon

What is the message of the book?

Listen before you lead! Most people think great leaders have all the good ideas. The truth is, great leaders just take the time to listen for great ideas. Similar to building a team, make sure to take the time to get to know your customers and employees so they feel comfortable to open up to you. No one has all the right answers, which is why it’s important to look to the other team members for support.

How did the book inspire you?

The book was completed just days before Bo Schembechler’s passing in November 2006, which in and of itself is inspiring.

Bo, who successfully led the University of Michigan’s football team for 20 years, was always a passionate coach. Anyone who watched him and saw his energy from the sidelines as he interacted with players and referees knew just how much he cared for his team and the game. But that passion also made him successful. Leaders must be passionate in everything that they do to be successful. Without passion, employees will lack the drive to follow the team.

I also thought it was interesting that before every season, Bo and his team decided on their team and individual goals. Everything they did after that was done to achieve those goals. From a company standpoint we do the same thing by making sure that goals are clearly stated upfront so that each and every employee knows the “game plan” for both long and short term.

How did this book help make a difference at your company?

We’ve spent a great deal of time working with our customers to determine their needs and then delivering that to them, but it has taken a lot of listening. The development of our DurationTM Series shingles and our Preferred Contractor In-Home Selling System are examples of how we’ve incorporated many of our customers’ great ideas.