One individual or company cannot save the world, but the environmental and economic survival of our planet depends on each of us doing our part. The difference we each can make in the “Sustainability Survival Chain” is more impactful and personal than we realize. We each must be constantly aware of actions that can make a difference. A story can help illustrate…
Bounding out of the house, our seventeen-year-old daughter, Tammy, jumped into the SUV and proceeded down the driveway. I was working nearby in the yard as she gave me a smile and a wave. Presuming that her mission was likely social, I signaled her to stop, and then asked, “Are you putting more into this world than you are taking out?” As she rolled her eyeballs, she asked, “Whaaattt?!” Shutting off the engine, she said, “OK preacher, is this sermon number 22?” I explained that the car she was driving burned fuel, extracting precious resources out of the world forever! We discussed how she must always be conscious of any negative impact as well as find positive tradeoffs. Part of her responsibility of life is to put something back into the world, to make a difference. As the years went on, Tammy indeed demonstrated that she had learned how to put more into the world, not only through her attitudes of recycling and frugality but in making a difference in her work, in her attitude to help other people, embracing what is right, and by having a kind heart.
We must each ask, “Are we putting more into the world that we’re taking out?” Knowing that teams emulate the boss, the difference a leader makes is amplified through many when answering the question. What an opportunity! Your convictions and actions leading teams to reduce waste, recycle raw materials, and conserve energy have a ripple effect to the masses. Always be on alert for opportunities to sustain the business, the environment, and the world.
Put more into the world than you take out! Only then, can we … Pass It On!
Quote from United Nations Secretary General Kofi A Annan: ” We thrive and survive on Planet Earth as a single human family. And one of our main responsibilities is to leave successor generations a sustainable future.”
Special note to readers: I want to thank my many faithful readers, as this week marks the first anniversary of FrontLine Focus. It is my sincere hope that this blog is helpful to you and your teams.
Thanks also to:
… and special heartfelt thanks to all those who have referred FrontLine Focus to your professional and personal colleagues, helping to Pass It On!
With Gratitude to Everyone, KB
“Why didn’t you call earlier?!” … This was the anxious response from my best friend Gary to my late-in-the-day phone call. I was congratulating him and wife Debbie on their 42nd wedding anniversary. Gary continued, “Because, I forgot and needed to be reminded!” I’m not sure how Gary fixed the situation but it no doubt involved something like a rush trip for a card and flowers, and then some serious groveling!
Gary and his son, Troy, lead a very successful business farming three thousand acres, a large dairy operation, a sizeable Pioneer seed corn dealership, a custom baling team, and a trucking operation. Throughout his life, Gary has worked hard, kept up with the latest technology, and led the growth of the business. He has grown to be a great leader, and I am proud of him.
I am repeatedly reminded how the growing complexity and dynamics of Gary’s farming business has many analogies to manufacturing and the corporate world. His business constantly requires more precise focus and follow-up. While remaining grounded in the fundamentals, continuous innovation is critical to success. Gary is persistently coaching his employees to focus on the details, to follow-up with each other, and to deliver quality results. He is the quintessential example of a leader who truly lives by the 80/20 rule. That is, being out there in the action 80 percent of the time, following up to make sure everyone is focused, working safely, and working as a team.
Whether you are leading manufacturing, farming, or a hospital nursing wing, great leaders must be “out there” with the teams, managing the focus and the follow-up to make sure they are doing what is right and what they say they are doing. This week, “be out there,” leading your team’s focus and follow-up.
Gary leads a highly successful farming business, but he certainly needs a better follow-up system for wedding anniversaries! Consequently, I have committed to call him a few days early next year — I can’t stand to see my best friend grovel, plus Debbie deserves special attention on their special day!
… And Pass It On!
Quote from Paul Harvey, about farmers, that applies equally to leaders: “It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners.”
Also from Paul Harvey, “So God made a farmer.” … click on this link for a quick listen to one of this great broadcasts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuzhwkaNC40