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.

You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit Trying

Here’s a brief thought for the day: 

“You haven’t failed until you quit trying.”

Some folks are more easily frustrated than others.  When something doesn’t come easily, they quit trying.  

When something involves a long time to learn or to master, they quit trying.

When something is done “good enough,” they quit trying.

As we take on “lean” projects in our plants, we are trying to take the bad and make them good. 

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Posted in: Improvement, Lean

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Purposefully or Inadvertently?

Did you see where Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Clinton and Secretary of State Clinton, has taken on the assignment of being a newscaster on NBC?

I was reading an article and was struck by her story of what motivated her to move into such a career. She said her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, had challenged her shortly before her death. She told Chelsea, who until that point had dodged any public profile,

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Posted in: Leadership, Motivation

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Happy New Year!

In another few hours, 2011 will be done. 

I want to thank each of you for the effort you put forth toward strengthening our enterprise.  There is not one of our many teams who has not made progress this year. 

I am excited about what 2012 can mean for us.  As we continue our path on improving our processes and practices through “lean” thinking, we have the chance to continue to build momentum. 

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Posted in: Lean, Teamwork

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Tips on Giving Feedback

I found a management tip by Harvard Business Review on “giving feedback” that I would like to share with you.

Here are the guidelines:

Be specific. Feedback needs to be actionable. Use concrete examples to back up your conclusions. Avoid generalized character attacks. Instead, describe the behavior.

(My thought: We usually classify the people around us simply. Good, bad. For us, against us. Friend, enemy.

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Posted in: Communication, Teamwork

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Merry Christmas

I’ve been saying “Merry Christmas” with purpose this year.

My faith is rooted in the birthday of Jesus. I determined this year to not default to a cursory Merry Christmas, a seasonal substitute for “have a good day” as I move on. Instead, I’ve been striving for a bit more connection. This year, when I tell someone Merry Christmas, I want them to feel like they’ve been engaged.

First, I’ve been looking at them when I say it.

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Posted in: Communication, Gratitude

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Growth Comes from Being in a “Low” Place

I was listening to a sermon this morning. Pastor Matt Hudson of Journey Church in Mocksville had a guest speaker, Mary Hendrix, with him.

Mary had learned twelve weeks earlier that she had a brain tumor. She was describing how her faith was sustaining her.

The whole message was chock-full of wisdom. If you would like to listen, go to http://www.thejourney.info/. Remember it’s a sermon, so don’t be surprised about the biblical and God references.

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Posted in: Motivation

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Scrutinize the Reports You Receive

Here’s a lean exercise for you.

Many of us get reports via email or by paper on our desk.

Do you look at them? Why or why not?

I was in a meeting recently where I made reference to a report I was looking at regularly.

Immediately, someone told me, “That report doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Quickly, we discussed how the report could be improved to tell the whole story.

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Posted in: Communication, Improvement, Lean

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Speak Up with an Idea or Solution

I was visiting with a colleague today who was telling me about some consulting work that he had been doing. He had come across a firm who studies how ideas are developed and used within an organization. One thing he shared I have found to be true. The best ideas have nothing to do with the role or position in the group. When we encounter a problem or an opportunity in the organization, we have a vast array of experience that can help get to the best solution.

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Posted in: Communication, Improvement, Leadership

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Reminders on Effective Leadership

I read recently that one trait effective leaders have is the ability to readily admit shortcomings. It occurs to me that I am pretty good at telling folks what they ought to do. I don’t often write about how I screw up. Even though, when I screw up, it is in plain sight.So, here are a few:

  1. I talk when I should be listening. In meetings, I find I like the sound of my own voice.
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Posted in: Communication, Improvement, Leadership

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The Intangibles That Set Tim Tebow Apart

I am a Tim Tebow fan.

As a Florida Gator fan, I watched him win national championships (I like winning) while expressing himself humbly (I admire humility), providing unparalleled leadership (leadership is necessary for teams to succeed) and demonstrating extraordinary perseverance (overcoming adversity is part of life).

I got to admit I was a “doubter” when it came to him being a success as an NFL quarterback. I believed in all the intangibles.

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Posted in: Improvement, Leadership, Motivation, Teamwork

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