September 2003

Publisher’s Notes
An Opening View

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Some of you may be just starting your career in the millwork industry. Some of you may be in the middle stages of your career. Some of you may already have put 40 years of work into the millwork industry. What makes you keep coming back for more? What makes you tick? Basically, how do you motivate yourself and those around you in your workplace?

Brian Welsh If you are just starting out in this industry and you are trying to climb the ladder to success, you already have the motivation. If you are in the middle of your career, you just may be thinking to yourself, “Do I really want to do this the rest of my life or should I change careers now or not?” Most likely, you have different responsibilities now not only in the workplace, but also for your family members, so your decision is going to be a bit harder.

If you have been in this business for 40 years, you are most likely saying to yourself, “What can I do to get out of this business and hit the golf course?”

No matter the stage of life we’re in, we all face the daunting task of getting out of bed everyday and facing it. Life is full of daily changes in our personal lives and in the workplace. As our industry goes through change, what are you doing to keep up with the competition? How are you motivating your employees in a down economy? 

Asking yourself to make changes is always hard, but asking people around you to make changes is harder. It’s like crossing your arms or your legs the normal way, and then trying to cross them the other way. It feels awkward doesn’t it? A simple task such as crossing your arms feels strange, so why would changing work habits feel good? 

You need to come up with a way of embracing change and having everyone around you accept 
it in order to survive in your environment. Everybody likes a pat on the back, a “nice job” or “thanks” for going the extra mile to get that order filled and out the door on time. In a time when a pay raise might not be too readily available to give to the employees who deserve one, going back to the basics will do a world of good. 

Another idea is simply to include others in the decision-making process. Explain what is going on and gather ideas. Everyone has a brain, and most want to use it in what they do daily. Now, I do agree that there will always be those who oppose change and will not accept it. Those people’s negative attitudes may give you difficulties in the future. The simple solution for those types: Apply a good “shock and awe” campaign on them!

Obviously, I’m just kidding. I look at it this way: You can lead, you can follow or you can get out of the way! 

Make it a great day!

Brian Welsh



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