“If you’re going to win, win graceful.

If you’re going to love, love faithful.

If you’re going to learn, learn by teaching.

If you’re going to fall, fall reaching.”

I scribbled the refrain from this country song in my Bible almost 30 years ago. At the time, I was working on a “plant turn around” and the song inspired an employee incentive program that turned the operation around.

The idea was this: Wherever or however performing, there is probably more that can be accomplished if we try. We asked the team to consider making a team goal/individual goal that they regarded to be a “reach.” If we agreed it was a “reach,” we agreed on an appropriate incentive and the game was on.

The results were amazing. A plant that had been underperforming began to achieve better results than ever before. The energy in the plant was high. Everyone enjoyed their work more. A plant that was in trouble was saved.

I’m struck by the values expressed in the song.

Be a winner, but act as if you’ve won before.

Love others, but do it faithfully and consistently.

Learn, continually learn, but learning sticks best when you share knowledge with others.

I love this scribbled verse because it reminds me of when I was first experiencing the power of leadership and culture in plants like ours.

We’ve come a long way. We did it by reaching beyond our present situation to learn and grow.

Be reaching out there. You’ll be glad you took on that mindset.

About The Author

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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