Looking at the Past to See the Future

This last Monday was Columbus Day in the United States; this got me thinking about what Christopher Columbus was thinking before he took his infamous journey 522 years ago.  He and his crew were taking a journey into the relatively unknown, all on the premise of commerce.  They rallied and headed into the sunset with hopes of success, the rest is history.

Companies must be willing to do the same thing, theoretically.  Companies take calculated risks all of the time in the hopes that it will help them grow both in physical size and financial status.  If done correctly, these risks pay off huge.  One case in point is what we have done with our Stellar® Mechanic’s Crane line of products.  Stellar Industries took a risk by stepping into an established market with innovative products with industry first features, at a reasonable cost.  Now, fifteen years after the introduction of this line, we are still the leading innovators.  We recently ventured into uncharted territory within this market and introduced the Stellar® CDTplus™ and E-link control systems.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should venture over to the website and see what they’re all about.  This new technology once again has the competition scrambling to catch up with our state-of-the-art technology and features.

So be willing to take calculated risks, rally your crew and capitalize on positive results.  You can become legendary, and maybe even discover a whole new world out there.

Reflecting, Reveling, and Rewarding

As I sit here contemplating what to Blog about this week, various things run through my head as I reflect on the week that has gone by.

Remembering: First and foremost, is the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack. That day will be emblazoned forever on the hearts and minds of so many people directly and indirectly effected by it. It seemed like just yesterday that we were sitting in our offices with the radio on trying to wrap our heads around what was happening. Each of us moving about the office building trying to gather information from each other and figure out what was going on.

So I want to take this moment to reflect on all that has happened since that tragic day, to remember those who lost their life, or lost someone important to them. To honor all those that responded to help with the tragedy – and to all who have sacrificed in any way because of that terrible day. May we all continue to use that day to remember the people and the things that are important to us, to breathe a little deeper, smile a little more, and not sweat the small stuff – because really, when it’s put in perspective, it’s all small stuff.

Reveling: Also this week I had the opportunity to travel to Canada to visit one of our loyal tire service customers during their managers meeting, and present to them our recently completed tire service truck training video. The video was well received and praised for its professionalism, which makes me proud of the team I have in place that has a hand in helping Stellar create such great materials to support our products. I also got to mingle first hand with the people that use our products – and that was a real treat. To hear how the customer not only uses our tire service trucks, but to experience first hand the interaction they have with us, from sales, support, customer service, delivery and beyond really was a heart-warming experience. They had nothing but good things to say about us, and it was fun to revel in all the good things they had to say. Stellar has a great group of people working under its roof (or should I say roofs), and each of us, as employee owners, should be very proud of the work we do and the products we produce and support. Our quality workmanship, and our outstanding personality as an organization is recognized and praised.

Rewarding: And my final thought for the week is to publicly celebrate a recent company achievement. Over the last several years, Stellar and all its companies have put great efforts into being safety mindful in all we do. From proper ergonomics sitting at your desk, to stretching several times a day, wearing proper PPE, and being mindful of the jobs we do and our surroundings at all times, no matter what our position is within the company. This week we all were rewarded financially for our efforts. Our worker compensation claims were less than what we budgeted, and therefore, were returned to us as a safety bonus. What a nice little incentive to remind us all to stay at the top of our game. Be watching the local media for news coverage about this bonus so you can learn more about one of the awesome benefits to working here.

Reading back over the three different topics I touched on today makes me wonder if there is something within each paragraph that can tie them all together. One thing that seems to jump out at me is just the simple fact that I work at a pretty cool place. I have amazing and talented co-workers who not only do amazing work and work well together – but who are also like a second family to me. Amazing people making amazing products – this week I was reminded of that.

Do You Have a Plan?

Do you have a plan?

These past couple of days our management team has been on a strategic planning retreat. They are discussing goals and plans for Stellar Industries, Inc. for the next 5, 10, 20 years and probably beyond. I would guess some of the top priorities are to define where we want to be at each of these milestones. How are we going to proceed to adjust to the current growth we are experiencing and the growth we are expecting to see over the next several years? What do we add, what do we eliminate? How do we get better? And I’m sure many other topics are on their list as well.
This got me thinking. What are my individual long-term goals? Have I really sat down and put together my own personal strategic plan? Where do I want to be with my life in 5, 10 and 20 years and how to I successfully get there? Have I ever taken the time to clarify my values? Or what about creating my own personal Mission Statement? These are such great questions. But they are HARD questions! In a person’s personal life there are many aspects to consider, just as in a business. Financial, health, family, marriage, friends, social, career, spiritual, mental, educational, emotional, recreational. So where do I start?

I think a good place to start would be making some lists. A list of things I need and want in my life – sort of a bucket list, but even more detailed with needs, not just wants. Then make a list of my strengths and talents. I need a list of my hopes, dreams and aspirations. From these lists I can start to form a list of specific goals and priorities, and then from there, form an outline as to how I can achieve these goals.

Getting that plan in place is just the first step though. Now comes the hard part. Follow-through. Execution. Living the plan.   I need to schedule time on my calendar to frequently review the plan, which will help keep me focused and on track. However, lest I forget, life also doesn’t always go according to plan, so I must keep in mind that this is a working document, and it may need to be adjusted as life happens to me.  Adjust, modify, and refocus. I must remember to remain realistic, and to let the plan reflect who I am and who I want to be. This is MY plan. This is my path to success and happiness. Now how about you…. Do you have a Plan?