Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace writes a daily note to the company’s 1,000+ manufacturing employees with the goal of keeping teammates informed, connected, engaged and motivated. These notes contain ideas and observations to help teammates address the challenges they face in the workplace and serve as a forum for establishing the company’s culture and values. A selection of these notes is shared here.

Learn more about PalletOne, the nation’s largest new pallet manufacturer.

Making a Good Process Better

A “lean” parable:

I go to airports a lot.

Some folks like to get to the airport early. I don’t.

My goal is to get there as early as necessary. No sooner. I think it’s “lean” not to spend extra time in airports.

I’ve gotten my routine down. It works well for me. I got a good place to park. I dress the right way not to trigger alarms.

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Posted in: Improvement, Lean

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Four Characteristics of a Good Coworker

A woman named Ashley Hoffman recently suggested four traits that would cause you to be “loved” on the job.

Generosity. Would your colleagues describe you as generous? Are you free with words of encouragement? Do you readily help someone who is struggling in some fashion? Are you quick with a smile or laugh? Will you go out of your way? Are your teammates glad to see you coming? That’s what generosity in the workplace looks like to me.

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Posted in: Teamwork

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Leaders Should Know When to Follow

Tom Izzo is the coach of the Michigan State Spartans basketball team. He has led the Spartans to 6 of the last 13 Final Fours in the NCAA tournament. He is a future Hall of Famer when it comes to basketball.

This weekend the Spartans upset third ranked Ohio State in a Big 10 matchup. In the post game interview, Izzo described “listening to his team” as one of the keys to victory.

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Posted in: Communication, Leadership, Teamwork

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Understanding and Adjusting to Those We Encounter

Lyle Lovett is a country performer. I would call him a singer but it’s the poetry of his songs that sets him apart.

I was reading an account of an interview. He said this:

“I got into a significant scrape with a bull of mine. My leg was broken. Really, it’s a miracle I can walk. That bull was just doing what he does naturally. I learned to keep my guard up and allow him to be himself.

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Posted in: Communication, Leadership

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Pressure is Something You Feel When You’re Unprepared

I was impressed with the manner and the substance through which Eli Manning led his team to a Super Bowl victory on Sunday.

Eli just plays. His interviews are bland. He credits his teammates, his owners, everyone else. In a game where quarterbacks are valued for swagger, he is low on the swagger index.

His teammates say you can’t faze him. Whether winning or losing, he just plays the next play.

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Posted in: Leadership, Motivation

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Patriots Coaches Teach Players to Win

In honor of our colleagues in Livermore Falls, Maine who are eaten up with all things New England, I will be rooting for the Patriots in the Super Bowl Sunday.

Bill Belichick is the coach of the Patriots. He is on television a lot this week as the game is upon us. Belichick is among the most successful coaches in NFL history. He is not a flashy coach with a lot of PR pizzazz.

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Posted in: Leadership

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How Engaged Are You?

How engaged are you at work?

A recent Gallup Poll said that 27% of the employees in this country are actively disengaged. Ken Blanchard, a leading management consultant, describes being actively disengaged as “quitting and staying.” In other words, the actively disengaged do only the minimum necessary to keep their job.

Blanchard says that everyone in the organization can contribute to fight active disengagement.

The higher up you are on the organizational chart,

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Posted in: Leadership, Motivation, Teamwork

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Appreciation for What Our Teams Do

The new season of the TV show Undercover Boss has started on CBS. It’s on following 60 Minutes on Sunday nights.

You probably know the drill. A boss puts on a disguise and goes to work doing jobs in the company he or she doesn’t usually do. It makes for a good show because the CEO proves to be inept and most of the show demonstrates that ineptness.

What surprises me is that they are surprised that they can’t keep up.

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Posted in: Gratitude, Motivation

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Expressing Appreciation for Your Teammates

According to researchers, one of the most important factors to having a fully engaged work force is based upon the degree an employee feels understood and appreciated.

The study goes further to say that the reason most people don’t express appreciation more is that it can feel “fake.” 

It made me think of baseball. I played baseball as a kid, mostly first base and some as a pitcher. One of the things you get taught as a ball player is to “chatter.” 

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Posted in: Communication

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The Benefits of a Checklist

Do you use checklists?

I must admit that I don’t. I have written to you about the power of the checklist. But, I don’t have them incorporated in my life. I read a book that reminded me of their power and it has me reconsidering how I approach it.

The book is called Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia.

Sounds sort of exotic but it isn’t really.

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Posted in: Improvement, Lean

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