The blurb on the back cover of one of my favourite business books—Start With Why—reads, “…in business it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters why you do it. Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers and Martin Luther King have one thing in common…”
The author, Simon Sinek, starts the book by explaining how the Wright brothers beat a maths professor from Harvard who was backed by a whopping grant, into the skies because their passion, enthusiasm, commitment and, most importantly, their ability to inspire those around them was greater. Sinek goes on to explain how they, Jobs and Luther King all “started with why”.
I’m not out to emulate such greatness and I certainly have no aspirations to change the world, but I challenge the staff at Straightpoint to embrace our own mission statement with the same passion that inspired others to make a difference.
Why? Because we want to make the lifting industry a safer place.
I also agree with Sinek that it is important to build a team of staff to show up because they believe in a company ethos (what he would call the WHY) not the pay cheque they receive for doing so. He says, “…pulling together a team of like-minded people and giving them a cause to pursue ensures a greater sense of teamwork and camaraderie.”
This has certainly been true of Straightpoint. We have grown exponentially as a business in recent years and are very particular about the personnel we introduce who will inspire further growth and do a little bit more each day to make the lifting industry a safer place.
At the turn of last month (September) I visited our North American headquarters in Camarillo, California where John Molidor, the general manager of Straightpoint Inc., has recently welcomed Tressie LaBass, customer and sales support administrator, who I introduced you to in my previous blog. Johnnny Gonzalez and Aaron Orsak (the latter is based in Houston) are also part of the U.S. team.
We allude to the vision and values of our company during recruitment processes but it is most rewarding to present our official mission statement to new recruits so they can add their signature to those of existing staff and commit to helping each other realise our individual and collective goals. It’s not a set of rules or guidelines. It’s more than that. To some extent we make sure new recruits Start With Why.
I’ll take a moment to doff my cap to Gary Mullins, of Action Coach, who provided a valuable perspective from outside our company when we set our mission statement. I am hugely appreciative of the guidance and encouragement Gary has given the team and I to achieve our business goals in recent years.
Above the centrepiece of the statement—Making the lifting industry a safer place—is our goal: To maintain our global position as the number one supplier of load cells to the lifting, rigging and load measurement industries. Below it, we remind ourselves that we accomplish this through world-class customer service and innovative, forward-thinking products.
This text is surrounded by buzz words that are important to us, such as Teamwork, Professionalism and Dedication. Beyond that, we reference the practical components that continue to ensure our growth, like Marketing, Design, Sales and Manufacture.
Tressie, like all new recruits, understands that she is expected to adhere to these visions and values, but not be restricted by them. I know something that John and Aaron particularly enjoy about working for Straightpoint is that the business is flexible and dynamic enough to implement their product and strategy ideas.
Consider how much greater the rewards are by conforming to such a team ethic as opposed to having an isolated team of individuals who only come up with ideas because they think it’s their job to do so, knowing they probably won’t penetrate layers of bureaucracy and achieve sign off at board level.
Aaron presented a fantastic product idea during our meetings in Camarillo and he knows it will be followed up with our engineering team with a view to introducing the concept to market early next year. Congratulations, Aaron, on helping to make the lifting industry a safer place.
What would your company’s mission statement be if you Started With Why?
At the time of writing it is the Fall Equinox, which means day and night are of equal length today but, more importantly, Q4 is almost upon us (as it will be by the time many of you read this). The codes referenced above were prevalent throughout our Q4 and 2016 planning meetings, both in Camarillo and at Hampshire headquarters in the UK.
A conundrum always presents itself at this time of year when we’re target-setting: are products and engineering or marketing more important to executing a growth strategy? The answer is probably both (a mix between light and shade, perhaps) but it’s something we discussed at some length as we prepare to put THREE new products to market—the Running Line Dynamometer (the TIMH range); the Towcell, for towing applications; and ATEX, IECEx versions of our most popular product, the Radiolink Plus wireless load cell.
I’ve referenced before our intent to provide more product literature in local languages and we decided during my recent trip to the states to translate our web pages into Spanish. Tressie and Johnny were able to complete the translation in house which was a huge advantage. Thank you, Tressie and Johnny, for helping to make the lifting industry a safer place.
We’ve recently circulated a press release about John Molidor conducting load cell training at our Mexico-based partner Cargo Lift. Thank you, John, for helping to make the lifting industry a safer place.
Ricardo Barroso, director at Cargo Lift, notes an increase in interest in force measurement technologies from his region. Ricardo and his team have the full support of our sales and engineering teams as we explore this land of mutual opportunity together. Engaging the local market with online material in their own language can only help; we’ve seen our partners RUD Lifting Japan Co. Ltd. do the same with printed literature.
On my way back to the UK, I stopped at Boston, where I visited our strategic partner Steve Torres, CEO at Group Four Transducers Inc. We team up on a lot of projects together and I also consider Steve to be a very good friend. It was great to catch up in a fabulous part of New England to discuss our families, strategy and the state of the market.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate the opportunity to engage with visitors to findadistributor.com.
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