When I think back on the things I was part of that give me a sense of satisfaction, I realize none of them were “easy.”
For instance, the economy’s collapse in 2008-2009 introduced the most challenging period in our company’s history.
For us to survive, every person had to buy in. We cut costs. Cut benefits. Had to look at every penny we spent.
We learned to adapt to the challenge. Work hard every day. Make progress. Our sense of “team” developed as we realized we were honing our skills and strengths as we strained against the circumstances.
I had more than one banker tell me we should not have survived. The drop in revenue. The debt we were handling. The lack of available cash to cover arising issues created new challenges. But one by one, we knocked them off.
As the economy rebounded, we embraced the competencies we had developed. The “fire” period helped us become a force to contend with when the headwinds became tailwinds.
We have a management call every Friday. We share developments among the markets and how we are responding. Every week features hardships. Every week features victories.
This week: Sunbelt has met our customers’ stocking requirements at a 99% level, rebounding from a tough year. Dempsey has set plant records for daily and weekly production. Selma is approaching 600 days without an OSHA reportable injury. Next week there will be others just like this.
Here’s the day: Those kinds of accomplishments cause pride to well up in our chests. They didn’t happen without dedication, team commitment, and hard work.
“Happening to the world” means we respond to challenges and hardship by leaning in and teaming up.