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Looking Ahead

2019 is less than a month away, and my last weekly blog will be in a few weeks, as I’ll be turning the reins over to my VP, Brad Roberson, who has 20 years in this business. I know Glass Doctor will be in great hands!

MK has already moved to Ann Arbor to lead another Neighborly company, Molly Maid. I’ll be taking on another role in Neighborly by working directly for our COO as the special projects director for more than 20 brands.

I went back to one of the first articles I wrote for glassBYTEs – March 25, 2013. These are a few excerpts from it that stuck out to me for this week:

Leadership: What Are You Overcoming?

As I think about “leadership” in our industry I ask you this question – “What are you overcoming?”

As I look back, I realize the only thing I ever needed to overcome was myself. My attitude, my pity parties, my inabilities to make the tough decisions – even though they were the right decisions. I needed to stop ignoring the red warning flags of hiring the wrong employee or, especially, not becoming a better manager.

What do you need to overcome? Is it that you have competition? Grab a phone book (it’s that yellow thing you use to keep the door open – the thing we used to use before Google) and check out “attorneys.” Think there’s competition there? Drive down the street and check out the restaurants. Think there’s much competition in that business?

Do you need to overcome your inability to find the right employees? I don’t know one business on the planet that serves people, and doesn’t cry out for good employees. It’s always their number one challenge regardless of the industry.

The challenge with leadership is that it’s an “every minute” thing. What you did yesterday counts, but what’s more important is what you will do with your challenges today. Good leaders understand there will be daily challenges.

Good leaders know inspiration means perspiration. Whatever you face in the next two weeks will, in most cases, be much easier than being run over by a truck! Continue being a leader in all you do!

Six years after writing that article I feel the same way. You should look back on what you needed to overcome this past year. I’ll bet you a dollar everyone who reads this had to overcome something in 2018 they could never have predicted would happen to them.

ADAS brings us different challenges, but we all had to find a way to overcome them, didn’t we?

Now is the time to set goals for 2019, decide where you’re headed, how many people you need to hire, what trucks you’ll replace, and which employees you’ll choose to “free up their future to work for someone else”.

Take a fresh look at your operation and ask yourself if it represents you the way you want it to. If it doesn’t, start working to change it. That’s what leaders choose to do.

Making People Feel Special

Do you make people feel special? Your employees? Your family? Your friends? Leaders do!

Last week my daughter’s boyfriend surprised her. They live in the Tampa area, but he scheduled a trip to Dallas months ago to see one of her favorite bands Saturday night. Jae and Jeff are both in their 40s, but Jeff knows Jae lives life to the fullest. She has her own company in the medical field and he told her to not be on call this weekend. Part of Jeff’s surprise was having them drive to our house on Thursday night when they got in and spend the weekend with us, as well as going to the concert.

It was an amazing weekend. For those of you who have adult children you know what I mean. It is always great to spend time with them. Jae knows many of our friends and has done a mission trip with, and even vacationed with many of the people she saw over the weekend.

Sunday morning my vice president and I took an early morning flight to attend one of Glass Doctor employee’s mom’s funerals. When we arrived at the visitation on Sunday afternoon our employee was so surprised.  As we met the members of his family, as well as his father, they understood how much we value and appreciate this employee. His mom died unexpectantly, and his parents were married 59 years and he told us about the magic of their marriage–a marriage we all want.

One of the most touching stories I learned was about the lady who passed away. Although her death was sudden and unexpected, over the years she had written a letter to all of her children expressing her thoughts and love for them. Wow. There is a lesson we all need to do today!  She wrote one of those letters 13 years ago. Let’s not wait until we are on death’s door to express our love for our families.

Sunday night we drove to Cleveland for dinner with our Cleveland franchisee. Our franchisee hired his daughter seven years ago and she also joined us for dinner, and she has taken that franchise to new levels.  As leaders we need to understand the brilliance our kids have. In most cases they have watched, and now appreciate, the work ethic we exhibited. When they join us in our businesses they finally understand “why” we have done what we do, and they quickly learn when they, too, are part of our business.

Last year our franchisee nominated his technician for Glass Doctor’s Technician of the Year.  What he wrote about this person was heartwarming.  When I presented that award, I could see the appreciation that employee had for his employer.

Another lesson for leaders. Do our employees know how much we appreciate them?

A surprise for a loved one . . . letters from a mom to her children . . . a national award nomination.  Every week we see examples for us as leaders. We simply need to make sure we recognize the leadership lessons are there every day of our lives.