Thanks for the Memories

This is my last column, I’ll be driving to Michigan this week to join MK, then taking off for the rest of the year before starting my new position as Neighborly’s special projects director. 

Mary Kay has been in her position as for over a month and I’ve been living like a kid in a sparsely furnished college dorm since Thanksgiving. A couch served as a bed, a TV, two dishes, two forks, spoons and knives.

MK has been a trooper, she emptied all of the boxes from the move. Then we’re off to Florida to spend Christmas with the kids and grandkids, it doesn’t get any better than that.

It’s hard to believe in just a few months I would’ve been in the industry for nine years. I came in knowing nothing about auto glass and I leave as the industry is growing, thanks to ADAS.  Fortunately, Glass Doctor hired me for my franchising expertise– not in glass.

I want to thank somany people, but it starts with Deb Levy. I wrote my first leadership articlein March of 2013 and haven’t missed a week since. When I was young my favoritewriter was Bob Greene, for 24 years he wrote for the Chicago Tribune and wrotebooks about my favorite athlete, Michael Jordan. I loved his articles and howhe had the opportunity to write about whatever he wanted for all those years. 

Deb gave me the samelatitude, I could write about whatever I wanted each week as long as itpertained to leadership. I’ll miss sending my weekly blogs to Emm and Tara on Sunday nights.

Being a part of the ARG Alliance brought me all sorts of learnings. I could ask the members of this group anything about the business and they were always glad to help me. I’ll miss them and the times we had together. Paul Heinauer from Glass Pro was a person I looked forward to seeing at every Auto Glass Week. I remember MK and I driving to Austin to have dinner with Bob Rosenfield and his wife a few years ago.

So many of these people would be considered competition. I never thought of them that way because to me they were all my friends!

Barry Roberts from LYNX has not only become a great friend, but he also became a wonderful Christian brother. Someone I could always go to about any issue and wishing he was my next-door neighbor. We were sad when Chris retired and John left the company.

There are so many friends from both Pilkington and PGW. Keith, Brian and Bill at Pilkington, were always only a phone call away to help in any way possible.

The same was true at PGW with Gary, Tim, Brian, Todd and Bill. They all know they are welcome to stay at our house any time. 

Of course, the relationship with Mark and Brad at Mainstreet was well-founded over the years.  More than just acquaintances, as all these people, they were friends.

Eric, Gilbert and Shauna from Equalizer are partners who helped us so much. I’m so happy to recommend our franchisees go to them for training! I believe they’re the best.

I know I failed tomention so many others, so please forgive me. You’ll love Brad Roberson, my vicepresident and replacement as president of Glass Doctor. Brad was a greatfranchisee and will take Glass Doctor to a new level. You will all love workingwith him because he really knows the business.

I’ll miss Auto GlassWeek and the people of course, but what I’ll really miss is the silent auction. I loved bringing something home by having the highest bid. 

Continue to grow asleaders and you’ll ensure the level of professionalism in the glass business will rise as the years go on.

God bless all ofyou! If you get to Ann Arbor, Mich., you all have a place to stay … but please, not at the same time.

Learning About Grace

Early last week someone sent me a video that talked about “Your Legacy.” I was thinking about this when I watched the eulogy George W. Bush gave his father, George H.W. Bush, I ask you to take 12 minutes and watch it: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5975937478001/?#sp=show-clips.

I don’t believe his speech has anything to do with politics, especially when you see former Presidents in the front row. There were both Democrats and Republics sitting together, the Trumps, Obamas, Clintons and Carters.

This is something we don’t see much of anymore, is it. Seems to me most politicians are too busy talking about what the other party isn’t doing. As I’ve previously said, this is the worst time I’ve seen in America.

Interestingly enough I didn’t vote for H. W. for reelection and neither did MK. We didn’t even know each other at the time. We both ended up voting for Ross Perot. Then, like now, we vote for the person or party we believe is best for small business. Today we both contribute to IFA FranPAC which supports candidates who support small business.

What grabbed me is the relationship between H.W. and Bill Clinton, see the Time article:  http://time.com/5470205/george-hw-bush-clinton-presidents-club/

Think about it, Clinton was the person who kept H.W. from being reelected. I remember the time well, suddenly there was this Governor from Arkansas running against the President at the time. Clinton got 43% of the vote, Bush, 37%, and Perot, the rest. Years later they’re very close to the point that W describes these Presidents as “brothers from a different mother.”

Who is your biggest antagonist? Who is keeping you from achieving what you want? How long do you think it would take you before you’re great friends with the person? That takes a great deal of grace.

At some point we need to take the lessons of H.W – which I learned about last week during the eulogy. He taught his kids to handle life with dignity, humor and kindness, and also:

  • Vowed to live each day to the fullest;
  • He taught his kids anything was possible;
  • He valued character over pedigree;
  • This President looked for the good in each person and usually found it;
  • Giving back to the community was something he preached and did;
  • His kids learned failure is a part of living a full life, but never be defined by failure;
    • In victory share the credit, in defeat shoulder the blame;
  • He loved to laugh – especially at himself;
  • The man was born with two speeds – full throttle then sleep;
    • Remember, he jumped out of an airplane at age 90!; and
    • At age 85 he drove his powerful boat across the Atlantic with the Secret Service trying to keep up; and
  • He always responded with unconditional love.

To me this describes grace. I thought about everything his son said about his father. Then I thought of the video about leaving a legacy. It’s simple stuff, but it’s not easy. I wish I would have read more about our 41st President, but through his story, I learned a lot about grace. m Sh