Being the boss is a pretty good feeling for most
people. Those of you who own your business or have management authority draw a
certain comfort from calling the shots and being able to tell subordinates what
This is not a pleasant article to write, because
it has to do with failure. But don’t equate failure with being a loser. Thomas
Edison failed with thousands of different filaments before finding one able to
sustain the light of an incandescent bulb, and he most certainly wasn’t a
Last month’s article dealt with the art of asking
questions as a way to build knowledge of customers’ wants and needs. There is a
second part to that equation. Asking all the right questions will get you
nowhere unless you develop careful listening skills.
Most people think of being smart as knowing a lot of
stuff. I have a different definition of smart. It’s knowing what you don’t
know. Although the world is filled with self-styled know-it-alls, the truth is that
nobody knows more than a tiny fraction of all there is to know about any given
subject. Truly smart people understand that. The smartest people never stop
trying to learn more.
We are in a terrible economic environment and
many of you are feeling the pinch. There’s nothing you can do to increase
demand for roofing, so the focus needs to be on increasing your share of the
Most of you know your way around a toolbox very
well. If you didn’t you’d be doing something else for a living. At some point, though, you are likely to find
yourself in a predicament they don’t teach in trade schools and apprenticeship
classes. It’s how to cope with the most complicated machinery any of us will
ever confront - human beings.
After graduating from high school more than four decades ago, I went to work in a factory for a little over a year. Despite the passage of so much time, one co-worker remains etched in memory as a grotesque reminder that the good old days weren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
What should a person do when his files are bulging to the breaking point, and he’s too harried to organize his thoughts? I think the thing to do is dispose with narrative and compose a lazy man’s article like this one.
If our economy had been growing at a rate of 20 percent a year for the last decade or so, most of us would be luxuriating in hog heaven right now. That’s apparently where a lot of heavy equipment thieves reside because that’s been the growth rate for heavy equipment thefts since 1996, according to the Insurance Services Office. ISO reports theft accounts for more than half of all insurance claims for heavy equipment - more than the combined totals from fire damage, collisions, vandalism, natural disasters and whatever else.
Rick Johnson, a bright and witty consultant to the distribution industry ( www.ceostrategist.com ), recently published what he called “A Regulatory Compliance Inventory.” It lists the various federal laws governing employment issues and is worth reviewing. You surely know about most of these laws, but I bet after reading this list, many of you will be scratching your heads saying, “I didn’t know about that one!”