Volume 10, Issue 5 - September/October 2008
Heroes and Role Models
WHO WE ARE AS PEOPLE OR professionals has a lot to do with our heroes, role models and all the experts we meet in between. As I reflect on the passing of my father this past spring, the difference between them has become clear to me.
I remember having heroes like Mike Nelson (Lloyd Bridges from the TV show “Sea Hunt”), Jacques Cousteau and all the astronauts who went from Mercury to Apollo. Our parents are also our heroes from a very young age. They are given the job of role model the day we are born. Some parents are better at it than others. My parents did an outstanding job. My mom demonstrated time and again how to stay calm and clearheaded in an emergency. More than once she coolly drove me the seven miles to the local emergency room as I was growing up.
My father, who worked for Skil Power Tools at the time, nurtured my love and aptitude for all things mechanical. (Unfortunately, I never did get that clock to run right after I took it apart to see how it worked.) When my dad’s job was eliminated, my parents worked as a team when at age 55 he started a new career in politics. He was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives and served four terms working on local and state issues in which he believed.
Once, over dinner, I told him how
difficult it was to transfer state inspection
stickers at the glass shop I
managed. He asked some questions
and asked me to outline the problem
in a letter to the head of the New
Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles.
A number of weeks went by
and he asked if I could meet him at
the capital with my boss for a presentation
ceremony. He explained that
the state was now going to license
glass shops to be able to replace existing
inspection stickers and my
shop was going to be license number one.
Meeting the Greats
As I spent more time networking with the committee members and working on the board of directors of the Glass Association of New Hampshire, it became easier to acquire the information crucial to my job. I met people like Jack Aho from General Motors, Len Stolk from Ford and Russ Corsi from PPG and I was honored to be able to go to them for information.
Who Are Your Heroes?
Who are your heroes and role models? What kind of role model are you for younger co-workers or employees? Do you speak positively about your customers when they are not around? What example are you setting for those around you? Have you ever taken any of your frontline employees to an industry event to expose them to a broader view of their industry? I knew a glass shop owner that told me he didn’t take his installers to local trade shows anymore. He said it was because when they get back to work, they want to try “all these different, new ideas” in the shop.
Here’s another idea: take a new employee
to a local trade show or vendor
open house. Seek out the counsel of true
industry experts and share their information
with others in your business. Be
a positive role model to not only your
employees or co-workers, but your
competitors as well. Be grateful for the
true heroes in our world—they are the
most humble of all and they walk