Our colleague Jimmy Wilson of Robertsdale sent me a podcast featuring Bert Thornton, retired President and COO of Waffle House.
Thornton recounted some of his business knowledge in a book called Find an Old Gorilla. The thought is that if you are in a jungle and need to get out, the “old gorilla” will be the best one to get you out since he has survived the longest and knows the best paths through.
Amongst the wise thoughts shared was this: Success in business depends primarily on two things – hard work and loving the people you’re working with.
Hard work speaks for itself. If you’re not a hard worker, nothing good really happens. Your reputation with your team suffers. Your value to the team is diminished. You’re not trusted to take on more work and responsibility. It’s a failure cycle
Loving the people you work with is a whole other story. In my view, it’s an overlooked and underestimated strategy.
In this sense, love isn’t an emotion, it’s action.
It’s believing that people want to do a good job.
It’s putting trust in the gap.
It’s committing to being helpful and resourceful for the people on your team.
It’s committing to teach and mentor those who need it, as well as being mentored and taught by those who can help you.
If you can look around and not appreciate those people on your team, you’re in the wrong place. You need to redeploy. You won’t be successful in the long term.
Work hard. Love others. It’s simple to understand. A challenge to accomplish.