It's an honor to remember and thank those who came before us in this industry, and to share here, a memory I have of one of these sometimes-forgotten heroes of the printing industry, Carl Williamson, owner of Kennedy Print Shop, Baton Rouge, La.
Businesses with beautiful showrooms, great quality and service, with a recognizable logo and brand colors are usually well-known, successful franchises. These type businesses have an X-factor, those unseen investments that are actually invisible to their customers. However, if you are a professional observer, like myself, it's only natural that you’ve developed a kind of X-ray Vision, to see these invisible investments.
One of the great lessons I’ve learned from having three business careers, and years of watching the "Phantom" in action is, that with almost every pivot I made in business, the change paid a dividend.
"Leaders are born, not made," some say. In some cases, that may be true. But, in my three careers, what I have witnessed is: Leadership is learned and developed. It's a DECISION to step up in a lead position! There's hope...
What does being a “stupid idiot” have to do with Systemic Success? EVERYTHING!
"Blondin" was the most famous tightrope walker of all time! In 1859 he became the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. He later planned to attempt crossing over the majestic Falls on a tightrope, but this time, pushing a wheelbarrow.
I know countless business owners who declare they started or bought a business to gain their freedom, their "independence" from having to punch a clock or have a boss to set their schedule. They want to make their own rules, come and go as they please and set their own agenda. That’s exactly why I, too, wanted to be self-employed. However, I soon discovered, I was NOT as free as I thought I would be.
I've heard my fair share of "empty wagons" in my time — those owners of chaotic businesses who regularly go off on their employees when errors are made or equipment breaks down due to poor maintenance, and all those other unnecessary, system-busting errors that happen in a business. These kinds of owners and managers make a lot of noise but rarely offer (or even look for) a real solution.
Not meaning to get political here ... but, if any U.S President called your office, asking for you personally, would you not be (to say the least) curious, and promptly (after some mental adjustments) answer that call?
If you're a business owner or manager, you've no doubt interacted with seemingly intelligent people, with much expertise and impressive backgrounds; people with certain "know how," but who don't seem to get the WHY of an obvious situation.
When a lemon tree is ripe for the picking, anyone who has ever tried to deprive it of its fruit soon discovered it has thorns, and can be as self-protective and obstinate as some of the prospective customers you’ve met with, trying to get THEIR business, in order to grow yours.
A diagram of a Customer Experience Map is a great document to have in your Operations Manual.
Procrastination is a paralyzing quandary that many of us deal with on a daily basis in business. It's easy to become sidetracked, even immobilized, choosing to deal with non-essentials that require little commitment or perseverance, rather than face opposition or confrontation.
WHY do so many owners choose to endure PAIN on a daily basis? WHAT could I possibly say to convince them, that without written processes for their day-to-day operations, they are doomed to endure longer and longer hours, stress, errors, lost revenue, rework, sleepless nights, tears, internal backbiting, dissatisfied customers—two steps forward and three steps back?
What does a business owner or manager do when the PAIN OF DISORGANITIS strikes?