Good ideas can be really great. In fact, progress would never be made without ideas. But for every good idea implemented, there are graveyards of ideas that never came to fruition, because in many cases those ideas are just a lot of talk. However, there are certain individuals that have such a burning desire to not only think about new and innovative ideas and what they want to accomplish, that they actually put their ideas into action and do so with a sense of urgency.
I believe these results oriented people have many common traits. They have high standards for themselves, their team and organization they represent. They have personal pride for achieving their goals. However, if you peel away the onion and get to the core of what makes these people tick, this fundamental, “Work With a Sense of Urgency” would rise toward the top. Many individuals spend so much time trying to perfect an idea before they implement it, that it never gets off the ground. But others that have a sense of urgency, like so many associates at Famous are focused on taking the initiative so that they move the ball forward each and every day. A good example of this important trait would be our national account team. We had an idea eight years ago, and we could have talked about it for eight years, but instead, under Dave Lynch’s guidance, and in the spirit of what he refers to as “taking one olive out of the jar at a time”, he has helped lead the team toward progress and accomplishments. From that initial idea, we built a strong team that, over time, has grown into a small business unit within our organization, and that is fully operational and integrated with our key partner suppliers and our core business as well. There have been a ton of tweaks (process improvements) and tremendous changes (logistics) in how we have developed our “secret sauce” in order to build this growing entity. In addition, we have had the support of so many associates within our core business, from IT, Operations, Supply Chain, Accounting, to HR, and others who have contributed to our success as well. These people and project teams have had one common traitŠ a sense of urgency to help National Accounts run their business most efficiently and effectively.
The key to our winning formula was not the idea. It was the execution of the idea by talented individuals who first built chemistry and comradery with one another and who responded with urgency to customer requirements and worked through the inevitable roadblocks and headwinds that were present along our journey. In order to overcome many great challenges, it was having this sense of urgency to fix issues and develop processes that helped create our growth.
In addition to our incredible National Accounts Team, many other Famous associates have a great sense of urgency. Some are Mark Maple, Ryan Owens, Ken Blankenship, Jim Hohman, Denny Reinbolt, Jerome Harris, Dave Figuly and Dale Kosco. In addition, Jon Leibhart and all of the FLS Routers (logistics professionals) around the company work with a heightened sense of urgency in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Although they are under pressure to create the manifest for our customers’ deliveries, their sense of urgency allows them to meet these timelines. This is an important skillset that improves our productivity, satisfies our customers, and creates energy and enthusiasm that is contagious.
In closing, ideas are important and we need them as we continue to innovate, but without a sense of urgency to actually get things done, our efforts would be fruitless. On the contrary, because of everyone’s efforts to work with a sense of urgency, we have been able to build a fruitful business, not only in National Accounts but in our core distribution business as well. I’m confident we will continue to get even stronger in the years and decades to come, as we all work with a sense of urgency every moment of the day. Again, thank you for your efforts, and I know our customers thank you as well.