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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.

Being Thankful Before Thanksgiving

As many of you know, Mary Kay and I are moving to Ann Arbor, Mich. this week. I’m still officially in Waco as the Glass Doctor president until the end of the year, but MK starts her new role as Molly Maid president immediately. My vice president, Brad Roberson, who has been in the glass business for over 20 years as a franchisee and now at corporate, will take over.

I flew into Ann Arbor Thursday night because we were closing on our new home Friday. MK has never driven in snow before and since it was snowing all day Thursday, we agreed I should take an Uber to the hotel.

Mohammed, a man in his mid-20’s picked me up. He moved to the U.S. six years ago from Lebanon. His English, he said, was terrible. His sister and her husband lived in the Detroit area and his entire family moved here.

I asked him why they moved. Mohammed doubted anyone would even ask this question. He beamed while saying it was for the opportunities here. When he came here he was 19 years old and had nothing. He mentioned trying to go to school was a chore because he just couldn’t understand his professors, especially those who spoke quickly.

Now he has a college degree, is building computer boards for the airline industry and recently got married, his wife is also from Lebanon. Traveling back and forth was very expensive while they were engaged. Mohammed told me how hard he had to work to be able to make the trips back home to see her before they were married.

She’s taking night classes to be an interior decorator and working full time during the day.  When she has class, he drives with Uber because he’s also helping his parents out. He explained the move has been difficult for his parents who are now in their early 60’s. They left everything, to come here. Their English is still poor and becomes a burden for them.

Mohammed said his friends in Lebanon can’t find work and that its unemployment is over 58 percent. But he still believes his parents will return to Lebanon as they move into their golden years. He however, hasn’t been back since his wedding and isn’t sure if he will return.

He beamed when talking about how much he has been able to achieve in six years.

America, the land of opportunity.

When I watch the news each night, I see the opposite. My flight was delayed because someone in Austin, where the flight originated, was shooting at airplanes taking off. Inspectors spent an hour at the DFW airport looking for possible damages.

Both parties are angry with the election results. There was a time when two people could talk civilly despite having differing political views, much of that has passed. It’s important to watch what isn’t happening in Congress and the Senate because our representatives simply won’t work with the other side of the aisle.

America, the land of opportunity.

Regardless of the challenges life delivers, I know how blessed MK and I are. This year she’ll even learn to drive in the snow.

Happy Thanksgiving.