36. Practice Human Connection.

Listen for, and pay attention to, the unique things that make people special. Use handwritten notes, personal cards, and timely encounters or phone calls to acknowledge them, and to show your appreciation for them. Show people you care about them as individuals, rather than as transactions.

Elio's Message:


A dream without a plan is just daydreaming. Each of us has 24 hours in a day, but what separates the good from the great is what we do with those 24 hours. Every person has the ability to practice this fundamental every time they interact with anyone. Everyone can make a positive difference in the lives of others – and it all starts with what they do with the 24 hours in their day.

I am a huge Lou Holtz fan. He’s the underdog with a passion for connecting with people. He took 6 different teams to bowl games during his 33-year coaching career. His teams finished in the top 20 rankings 18 times, including a National Title at Notre Dame in 1988. He attributes his success to connecting with people, not to himself or his own talent.

While in Dublin, Ireland for a bowl game, Coach Holtz took the team to an old cemetery built in the 12th century. The cemetery had dilapidated walls and old unkempt gravestones. Coach Holtz wanted his team to connect with their past. While there, one of his players, Alton Maiden, sat down and wrote this poem.

I’ve seen death stare at me with my own eyes in a way many cannot know.
I’ve seen death take others but still left me here below.
I’ve heard many screams of mother’s cries but death refuses to hear.
And in my life, I’ve seen faces fill with many, many tears.

After death has come and gone a tombstone sits for many to see.
But it is no more than a symbol of a person’s memory.
I’ve seen my share of tombstones but never took the time to truly read.
The meaning behind what is there for others to see.

Under the person’s name it read the date of birth DASH and the date the person passed.

But the more I think about tombstone, the important thing is the DASH.
Yes, I see the name of the person but that I might forget.
I also read the date of birth and death but even that might not stick.

But thinking about the individual I can’t help but to remember the DASH, because it represents a person’s life and that will always last.
So, when you begin to charter your life make sure you’re on a positive path.
Because people may forget your birth and death, but they will never forget your DASH.

The moral of the poem is to share your “DASH” with the people you meet, and to get to know theirs. That’s what makes Famous so special. We care about the people we do business with and see every day.

There are too many people at Famous to name that I could use as an example with this fundamental. I will pick the one who most everyone would have to agree is the king of Human Connection… wait for it… Jay Blaushild. Jay can connect with anyone. It could be an owner, salesperson, receptionist, or janitor.

Jay connects with people by simply being interested in the other person. When Jay meets someone, he always wants to know where they went to school, or what they like to do when they’re not at work. He asks simple questions that get people sharing about who they are. Jay makes a mental note, and always takes action. A week after your conversation, guess what shows up at that person’s office? You guessed it. Something related to their special interest, along with a short note, thanking them for their time. It could be a book, article or something else for that person to remember the time they spent with Jay. We’ve all had that experience. How many times has this scenario happened to you? How powerful is that?!  

I’ve heard if you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. For a day, go play golf. For a week, go on vacation. For a year, win the lottery. But, if you want to be happy for a lifetime, make sure people would miss you if you didn’t show up at an event. The people that are missed are the ones that add value to other people’s lives and practiced human connection. The day you realize how you add value to other people’s lives is the day you discover why you’re on this Earth. Practice connecting with others.

Elio Andreatta
Director / HVAC Products