August 10th is just around the corner, a monumental day for my wife Lisa and me, a life changing decision. We took the plunge, signed the papers at the lawyers and incorporated Kim Richardson Transportation Specialist Inc., now better known as KRTS. This August 10th marks 30 years.
So much has changed professionally and personally in those 30 years and I want to share just a few thoughts of what I have learned in business. If it helps only one person, I’m happy.
Let’s start with taking people leaving your company personally. In my early years I would get pissed off, disappointed and frustrated when we lost someone, especially if they were good. You invest tons of time and resources with your people, help them become who they are professionally (and sometimes personally) and they head down the road for what may look like better, greener pastures. Seldom if ever hearing from them again. I learned not to take this personal. As a matter of fact, I have learned to reach around and give myself a pat on the back and let myself know that as their past leader I probably had something to do with their success. People who have worked with us at KRTS have become better in their chosen field because we have helped them along the way.
People in general want to be the best they can be, and people didn’t leave KRTS because they didn’t like the job. We supply a great work environment, treat our people well, compensate them properly, trust them and treat them with dignity and respect. We understand their personal needs when it comes to time off, work life and home life balance. People leave because they were looking for more, in most cases, more money, more opportunities to better themselves and their families. I learned not to take it personally and I encourage you to do the same, it will get you to a better place.
Not taking people leaving personally also taught me to appreciate who surrounds me. Recently I was out with a potential customer and he told me they were having a problem with the culture in their company, he asked me how we have created such a great culture at KRTS. For us our culture revolves around our core value, Our Core Value is People. If you want to create a great company, surround yourself with great people, surround yourself in business with people who have strong morals, ethics, integrity and really care about being the best they can be.
A third thing I learned years ago over a lunch with a mentor, he asked me what the cycle of business was at KRTS. I looked at him clueless and he chuckled and grabbed a paper napkin. He drew a circle on the napkin, put a small line at the top through the circle, one at the bottom and one at each quarter. He gave each line headings, at the top was owners, first quarter was employees, bottom line was customers/industry and the final line on the left quarter of the circle was the business. At the top he wrote The Cycle of Business, then drew an arrow from owners to employees, one from employees to customer/industry and another from employees/customers to the business and one final arrow from the business to the owners to represent the areas flowing in a circle. He then explains the drawing; the owners look after the employees, give them the tools they need, the education and guidance of how your want your business run and educate them on what you want them to do and how to do it. Treat them fairly, with dignity and respect. By doing this they will be satisfied, and they will take that knowledge and satisfaction to the customer and industry and move the arrow. The customer and industry will be satisfied with the treatment and service they receive from your team, in most cases bringing you more business and moving the arrow to the business heading and looking after your business keeping you profitable, your people employed and satisfied. The business then looks after the owners moving the final arrow and completing the Circle of Business. If this is not clear give me a call drop me a line and I will be happy to chat about it. In ever business journal I have ever had since that day I draw in the KRTS Cycle of Business so I can refer to it, show potential hires and use it as reminder for myself and my team.
I’m looking forward to August 10th, were having a little party to celebrate with some friends, family and customers who have been there for us along the way. Without a doubt all who have been invited have contributed to our successes, professionally and personally, for that a very sincere THANK YOU!
Have a great summer and travel safe.