Our People are Making the Difference

It seems that I’ve been everywhere this month. I’ve been to San Francisco, New York, Nashville, San Juan, Chicago and a few other great places. Nine business trips in October alone and I have to tell you I’ve had a blast. I saw some incredible technology, but more exciting to me was I met a bunch of sharp young people and saw a lot of old friends.

The primary reason this month’s travel was so rewarding for me is the quality of people in our industry. I’ve said it a thousand times – our industry has great people who might move around some, but never seem to leave. I’m thankful for that as it makes what we do fun. Not only nice people, but smart and experienced in their particular niche.

What struck me as remarkable with the folks I spoke with was how grateful everyone was that they had a job, still getting some projects, a few new orders and have re-calibrated to the new normal. We’re starting to laugh again, telling more jokes and instead of layoffs and business failures. People for the most part feel that things are looking up.

This is and always has been a people business. A really great people business, where the most successful companies just seem to employ people with fun-loving personalities. I had the pleasure of being around hundreds of these folks. We may have toughened up a bit over the last couple of years – having to work twice as hard and for half as much, but the rewards are paying off, and we all believe in a very promising future of our industry.

The consensus of owners had a theme of “you take care of them, and they take care of you”. It seemed to be a universal message in my journey. When we do come out of this stagnant economic period I think the business owners will find a new level of loyalty from those who you kept their jobs.

Don’t ever underestimate how important your people are to your company’s success. And the networking we do, it’s crucial to developing new partnerships, building better relations with vendors, telling your story, sharing ideas and so forth. For those of you I saw this month, great to see you smiling again. And thanks for your kind words on my blogs and giving me hundreds of future topic ideas. CW

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