Leadership Blog

Put More Into the World than You Take Out

“Put More Into the World than You Take Out” is a message that can stick with your children and grandchildren on America Recycles Day, this November 15. Over the years, my wife, Nancy, and I repeated this message through words and actions to our children that dovetails nicely into the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” theme.

Reflecting further back, my parents were raised in the Great Depression. My mother’s family lost their farm and possessions during the dust bowl. My father’s parents lived day-to-day feeding eleven children in a humble farm setting. They lived the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” lifestyle out of necessity, and hence, it was a way of life as well as an expectation that was firmly communicated.

Then, as the economic growth engines in America kicked in, my family benefited from the technologies and economics that improved the quality of life.  And yet, the tradeoffs took more out of the world than was realized. Now society is arguably playing catch-up to find better practices and find new technologies to deal with the “Third Wave”. So, here we are, knowing all is not hopeless, but knowing our critical situation is one where we all must collaborate and cooperate to have a sustainable society and planet.

To have a little fun this past week, I asked my siblings and children to recall some of the recycling practices we learned from earlier days on the farm, some examples listed here:
• Sleeping pillows were made from cloth flour bags and chicken or duck feathers.
• Cloth diapers, rather than disposable, were used for infants.
• With almost 50 cousins, we always recycled and patched clothes as the kids grew up.
• Worn clothes and rags were transformed into rag rugs.
• Washable handkerchiefs were used instead of tissues! (my sister’s favorite “yuk” item now)
• Rainwater was collected in barrels and recycled.
• Everything possible was composted, from apple cores to egg shells.

To include you in the fun, please email me some of the more memorable recycling practices from your upbringing at kb.frontlinefocus@gmail.com, which I will summarize here next week. …and thanks for your input!

One individual or company cannot save the world, but as we proliferate the message and actions to “Put More Into the World than You Take Out,” the environmental sustainability of our planet improves.

“America Recycles Day” is November 15, so you have time to tune recycling practices to make a difference. …Only then, can we Pass It On!

Quote from Ecologist and Scientist Adolph Murie: “Let us be guardians rather than gardeners.”

To learn more about “America Recycles Day,” click here: http://americarecyclesday.org
…and I encourage you to then pledge to recycle more by clicking the link on the left side.



Posted in Sustainability | Leave a comment

It Can All Change In A Flash!

It can all change in a flash and a crash!  Years ago as my friend, Stan, was preparing to land his twin-engine airplane, he was keenly aware that his log entry that day would pass 10,000 flying hours. As Stan turned into the downwind of the traffic pattern, he was feeling the pride for having flown so many hours without an incident.  Turning onto the crosswind leg with a clear beautiful sky, Stan again mentally reflected on his superior flying record.  When on the final approach, Stan was feeling especially gratified until something happened that he describes like this: “When the propellers started curling up in front of my face, I realized I forgot to put the landing gear down!”  Stan crashed landed the plane on its belly, demonstrating that superior performance can end in a flash and a crash! Fortunately, Stan was safe, but his record was tarnished forever.

Sustaining momentum is not an accident and must be managed as intensely as if the team had just failed in achieving their goal. Teams setting new records surely deserve to be recognized, which can motivate them to continue. Sustaining momentum falls upon the leader. Here are some tips:

• Reflect on what brought the team here. What are the lessons learned that led them to this new place and how can you continue?
• Remind the team that it can end in a flash and a crash!
• Personal leadership interaction on the frontlines motivates the team, as it reinforces that the top cares and expects continued excellence.
• Make it personal, where each team member identifies closely with the goal. Relate it to family.
• Follow up on operating audits to ensure discipline to the fundamentals and a healthy tension that keeps them focused.
• Inject fresh energy. Jazz it up! Do something wild and crazy that grabs the attention of the team. Bring Elvis through on a tour or offer up T-shirts or pass out foghorns to blow at the end of the shift.
• Launch a new daily 15 Minute frontline tour as you near the goal, to reinforce Best Practices and habits.

Whether on a record run of perfect customer deliveries, OSHA Free days, Zero Waste, or production, it all comes back to the leader keeping it going. The closer you get to those records, the more you must lead with “renewing energy.” When the team is on the one-yard line, teamwork is intense and the coach remains engaging at an even higher level to keep the focus and adrenaline up.
Be on constant alert, for it can all change in a flash and a crash!

And Pass It On!

Quote of the week from “Wise Man Phil”: “Never let failure get to your heart and never let success get to your head.”

Video of a successful belly landing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg6f1Zv05to

Momentum Ended in a Crash!

Momentum Ended in a Crash!


Posted in Leadership & Management | 2 Comments

Subscribe to receive new blogposts via e-mail