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.




WOULD YOU ELECT TO KEEP ON GOING OR QUIT?

“At some point in every game, somebody’s going to give in and I don’t ever want it to be us.  We want to be the last team standing.” – Roy Williams, University of North Carolina basketball coach

 

There are many of life’s events that are defined by whether you quit. 

 

Think about it.  There are habits we try to create.  Programs of study we try to complete.

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IF YOU DID NOT KNOW DAN JENKINS, A SPORTSWRITING GREAT, LOOK HIM UP…

Can I take a moment of privilege here?

You guys compliment me from time to time on writing these notes.  I learned to appreciate writing by reading.  My mom taught English and put books in my hands at an early age.  Very quickly, if I had a book, I wasn’t any trouble to anyone.

Sports Illustrated, the magazine, was one of my favorite reads.  It was quality journalism and storytelling all wrapped into one publication. 

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EFFECTIVE LISTENING…

I think “listening well” is an essential leadership skill.

We train leaders on what effective listening looks like, tactics which result in good listening and the importance of taking time to listen.

But, our CFO Casey Fletcher passes me a Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth Bernstein this week; the article suggests that good listening often begins with “good talking”.

It’s a novel to take on listening.  Citing the guidance of counselor Traci Ruble,

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DO YOU ADD VALUE TO YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT?

I was visiting with a business friend recently.  He shared an insight.

He had managed an operation.  He said that many people came through his operation as service providers, some he got to know and others he didn’t.

“There was one thing that differentiated them.  Only one.  They added value to my life.”

There are people in your life you are glad to see coming.

They offer encouraging words.

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BUILDING ENERGY IN OUR DAILY ROUTINES WILL PRIORITIZE GROWTH IN SO MANY WAYS…

Where do you derive “energy”?

Here’s the concept I read about in Dr. Henry Cloud’s book – Integrity.

He says that the 2nd Law of physics deals with “entropy”.   It says that when a system is left to its own resources, it will cease to grow.  If a system isn’t growing, it will begin to die.  It will break down over time.

Have you ever walked into an old shed and observed the tools left behind? 

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SO MUCH IS BUILT AROUND TRUST…

According to speaker Garrison Wynn, “we build trust with compassion and competence.”

We demonstrate compassion with respect.  We listen.  We help.  We care.  Treat folks as a number, caring goes out the window.  Trust erodes.

We demonstrate competence by doing our job, on teams, at work, with our families and we each have our jobs.

As we think about competence, we each have been in situations at work, on teams and at home where trust was eroded because someone wasn’t doing their job.

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A LEADER MUST LISTEN WELL…

“A leader that won’t listen to others will eventually be surrounded by people that have nothing to say.” – Andy Stanley

What’s the climate like at work?

I believe that communication ought to be constant, transparent and courageous.  The stage for those three things to happen is set by a leader who listens well.

The best teams communicate constantly.  Encouragement flows.  Teaching and sharing are a mainstay.  Total, constant communication means everyone takes their turn and fills the communication gaps.

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IS YOUR DAILY EFFORT 100%

“I can live with just about anything, but not lack of effort.  If you want to play in the game, you must give me 100%”.  – Roy Williams, University of North Carolina basketball coach.

Effort is a funny thing.  It’s personal.  While we can notice when someone’s effort seems under par, the level of your effort is governed by you.

You’re the only one who knows if there is more to give. 

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WHEN ADDRESSING A PROBLEM, DO YOU SPEAK FROM THE HEART?

Have you developed the skill of “courageous communication”?

I don’t know if you noticed, but the times where there aren’t some problems to address are rare.  When problems exist, you have a choice.  Will I address it or tolerate it?

In the end, the condition of the team/family/relationship where you are involved will be based on what is tolerated and what gets addressed.  My experience is that we are all prone to tolerate as compared to confronting problems. 

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ARE YOU A TEAMMATE THAT CREATES A CONNECTION?

David Neeleman founded the airline Jet Blue.  It’s known as an innovative, low cost, customer service-based airline.

When he started the company, Neeleman felt like they would need “nice” people to develop the culture he sought.  A “go to” question that was used in interviews was: “At work or in life, can you describe a time when you left your area to help someone else?”

He said that they were surprised at how often that candidates could not come up with an answer to that question.

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