HBR: How to Make Networking at Conferences Feel Less Icky

The LBMExpo is this week. What new discoveries might you make while attending the conference? Will you build new relationships? Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Francesca Gino.

How to Make Networking at Conferences Feel Less Icky

Whether you like attending them or not, conferences offer great opportunities for networking. At conferences, you can extend your network by meeting new people, including potential employers or employees, and you can catch up with and get updates from those you already know.

In fact, networking has become a key factor for professional advancement and career success. Whether you’re an extrovert who fits naturally into any situation or someone who has a hard time chatting with new people, networking is a necessary skill if you’re looking to get ahead. But while a lucky few clearly have a natural talent for developing business relationships and reaping the resources that come with them, most people find networking uncomfortable, stressful, and even manipulative. I have studied why people have these feelings and have some suggestions for how to overcome them.

In research I conducted with Tiziana Casciaro (of the Rotman School of Management) and Maryam Kouchaki (of Kellogg), we examined how people react to the prospect of personal networking in pursuit of emotional support or friendship and instrumental networking in pursuit of professional goals.

In one experiment, we asked 306 adults to remember a time when they networked. One group was asked to recall a scenario in which their goal was to form one-sided professional contacts — that is, instrumental networking. People in the other were asked to remember an attempt to form a more natural, personal connection with people in their industry — that is, personal networking.

Next, the participants did a word-completion task in which they were given word fragments such W _ _ H, S H _ _ E R, and S _ _ P. These puzzles could be filled in with words related to cleanliness like wash, shower, or soap. But they could just as easily fit words unrelated to cleanliness such as wish, shaker, and step. The participants who’d been asked to recall the situation where they’d engaged in instrumental networking were about twice as likely as those who engaged in personal networking to fill those puzzles in with cleansing-related words.

We concluded that instrumental networking, but not personal networking, makes people feel not only anxious or inauthentic but also physically dirty. The metaphorical link between feeling morally and physically pure, or clean, is a powerful one. In previous research, my colleagues and I found that feeling morally tainted increases our desire for cleanliness and find ways to be helpful to others in order to reduce such strong feelings.

Because professional relationships formed primarily for the purpose of getting ahead tend to be more one-sided and selfish than other relationships, a transaction in which reciprocity is a secondary concern feels a little immoral. Why is this a problem? Because your performance will suffer if you don’t engage in networking. In another study, we asked 165 lawyers from five offices across North America how frequently they networked and how they felt while they did it. The lawyers who did more professional networking performed better (in terms of billable hours) than those who didn’t. Interestingly, the more powerful the individual was at his firm, the less likely he or she was to report feeling dirty about networking.

In another study, we asked students to think of someone they’d like to know better. One group was told to think of a person they’d like to know better socially; the other group was told to think of a person in a professional context. Those in the “social” group were told to send a message to the person through Facebook; those in the “professional” group were told to send a message to the person through LinkedIn. After sending their message, the participants indicated how they were feeling. Once again, the people in the professional networking group reported feeling physically dirtier than those in the personal group.

Given the benefits of networking, how can we get around the uncomfortable feelings it triggers? The answer is to reframe the way you think about what you’re doing. Networking rooted in a motivation to benefit others and an authentic desire to grow diminishes feelings of moral impurity, we’ve found. With that in mind, here are four recommendations:

Think about what you can give, not just what you can get. When you network to extract benefits without considering what your counterpart’s interests, needs, and desires are and how you can meet them, you make yourself vulnerable to the insidious psychological burden of inauthenticity and moral impurity.

Think broadly about what people value. As you focus on what other people value, you probably tend to think very narrowly about their obvious interests (e.g., earning more, having a higher position) and much less about what is unique about that person and how that relates to what you might be able to provide him or her that others can’t. You must consider much more broadly and creatively the resources that can potentially flow through a relationship and appreciate the entire range of what the other person may value at any given point in time.

Build relationships based on substantive shared interests, and do your homework. Much too often, people confuse networking with simple extraction of value from others. But networking must be mutually stimulating and valuable to be sustainable. Networking driven by substantive, shared interests and based on thorough research into others can be highly effective and won’t spark negative feelings.

Think of networking as an act of discovery and learning. Approaching networking as an opportunity rather than a necessary evil can also be an effective strategy. It can lead you to view networking with excitement and curiosity. If you are open to learning from people around you, you will begin to view networking as a gift, and one that is totally clean.

 

HBR: How One Fast-Food Chain Keeps Its Turnover Rates Absurdly Low

In this blog post Bill Taylor explains why Pal’s Sudden Service has a low turnover. They hire for attitude and train for skill. New employees get 120 hours of training before they work on their own. This one is my favorite: employees are given pop quizzes on the specific job they perform. Does your company spend time training, teaching, and coaching? What are your thoughts on pop quizzes from your employer? Is your personal growth keeping up with your company’s pace of growth? Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Bill Taylor.

How One Fast-Food Chain Keeps Its Turnover Rates Absurdly Low

Many of us who are hungry for the latest dispatches from the war for talent look to to Silicon Valley. We want to know Google’s secret to hiring the best people or Mark Zuckerberg’s one tip for hiring employees. But in a world where most companies don’t operate on the frontiers of digital transformation, and most employees aren’t tech geeks or app developers, our appetite for unconventional talent strategies should probably extend to more conventional parts of the economy. Like, say, an amazing fast-food chain called Pal’s Sudden Service.

At first blush, there’s nothing all that amazing about Pal’s. It has 26 locations in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, all within an 80-mile radius of its home base in Kingsport, Tennessee. It sells burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, shakes—standard fast-food fare, although the taste and quality have a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Dig deeper, though, and you see that nothing about Pal’s is standard for its business, or any business. The most obvious difference is its fanatical devotion to speed and accuracy. Pal’s does not offer sit-down service inside its restaurants. Instead, customers pull up to a window, place their orders face-to-face with an employee, pull around to the other side of the facility, take their bag and drive off. All this happens at a lightning pace—an average of 18 seconds at the drive-up window, an average of 12 seconds at the handout window to receive the order. That’s four times faster than the second-fastest quick-serve restaurant in the country

But Pal’s is not just absurdly fast. It is also staggeringly accurate. You can imagine the opportunities for error as cars filled with bickering families or frazzled salespeople zip through in under 20 seconds. Yet Pal’s makes a mistake only once in every 3,600 orders. That’s ten times better the average fast-food joint, a level of excellence that creates unprecedented levels of customer loyalty, as well as loud acclaim from management experts. Indeed, back in 2001, Pal’s became the first restaurant company of any kind to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award—an award that’s gone, over the years, to the likes of Cadillac, FedEx, and Ritz-Carlton.

Ultimately, what’s truly intriguing about Pal’s, what allows this small company to cast such a large shadow, is the level of intelligence and intensity with which it approaches the human side of its business—how it hires, trains, and links its identity in the marketplace to its approach in the workplace. “If you watch professional athletes, everything they do looks so smooth and fluid,” says CEO Thomas Crosby. “But eventually you realize how much work went into that performance, all the training, all the skill-building, all the hours. It’s the same for us.”

So what can the rest of us learn from Pal’s? First, the best companies hire for attitude and train for skill. Pal’s 26 locations employ roughly 1,020 workers, 90 percent of whom are part-time, 40 percent of whom are between the ages of 16 and 18. It has developed and fine-tuned a screening system to evaluate candidates from this notoriously hard-to-manage demographic—a 60-point psychometric survey, based on the attitudes and attributes of Pal’s star performers, that does an uncanny job of predicting who is most likely to succeed. Among the agree/disagree statements: “For the most part, I am happy with myself.” “I think it is best to trust people you have just met.” “Raising your voice may be one way to get someone to accept your point of view.” Pal’s understands that character counts for as much as credentials, that who you are is as important as what you know.

Second, even great people need constant opportunities for improvement. Once Pal’s selects its candidates, it immerses them in massive amounts of training and retraining, certification and recertification. New employees get 120 hours of training before they are allowed to work on their own, and must be certified in each of the specific jobs they do. Then, every day on every shift in every restaurant, a computer randomly generates the names of two to four employees to be recertified in one of their jobs—pop quizzes, if you will. They take a quick test, see whether they pass, and if they fail, get retrained for that job before they can do it again. (The average employee gets 2 or 3 pop quizzes per month.)

“People go out of calibration just like machines go out of calibration,” CEO Crosby explains. “So we are always training, always teaching, always coaching. If you want people to succeed, you have to be willing to teach them.”

Which speaks to a third lesson: Leaders who are serious about hiring also have to be serious about teaching. Pal’s has assembled a Master Reading List for all the leaders in the company, 21 books that range from timeless classics by Machiavelli (The Prince) and Max DePree (Leadership Is an Art), to highly technical tomes on quality and lean management. Every other Monday, Crosby invites five managers from different locations to discuss one of the books on the Master List.

Meanwhile, every day, he identifies at least one subject he will teach to one person in the company. Actually, that’s a requirement for all leaders at Pal’s, who are expected to spend 10 percent of their time on teaching, and to identify a target subject and a target student every day. “All leaders are teachers, whether they realize it or not,” Crosby says. “So we have formalized a teaching culture. We teach and coach every day.”

The end result of Pal’s commitment to hiring smart and teaching continuously is that employees show the same sense of loyalty as its customers. Turnover is absurdly low. In 33 years of operation, only seven general managers (the people who run individual locations) have left the company voluntarily. Seven! Annual turnover among assistant managers is 1.4 percent, vanishingly low for a field where people jump from company to company and often exit the industry altogether. Even among front-line employees, turnover is just one-third the industry average.

“People ask me, ‘What if you spend all this time and money on training and someone leaves?’” Crosby says. “I ask them, ‘What if we don’t spend the time and money, and they stay?’”

That may be the most important lesson of all.

HBR: How More Accessible Information Is Forcing B2B Sales to Adapt

How technology and social media are changing the way customer buys? How are you changing to meet these new purchasing habits? Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Andris A. Zoltners, Sally E. Lorimer, PK Sinha.

How More Accessible Information Is Forcing B2B Sales to Adapt

Over the past 20 years, information technology and digital channels have changed the way consumers shop for products ranging from cars to homes to electronics. Those forces are dramatically changing the way B2B companies and their customers approach buying and selling, too.

Business buyers are more connected and informed than ever before. Sellers must respond. For buyers and sellers alike, this creates complexity, anxiety, and opportunity all at the same time.

From the buyer’s perspective, information technology and digital channels provide access to information and enable self-sufficiency. When a buyer wants to learn about virtually any product or service, an internet search yields thousands (if not millions) of results, including online articles, videos, white papers, blogs, and social media posts. In addition to supplier websites that showcase specific solutions, there are likely to be online sources (ranging from the self-serving to the unbiased) to help buyers learn and compare solution alternatives. Buyers can also use self-service digital channels for new or repeat purchases and for training and support. Using information technology and digital channels, buyers can take over many steps of buying that salespeople once cherished as their source of value.

Buyers are at different levels of self-sufficiency: any single buyer can be at one level for some purchases and at a different level for others. Sometimes buyers prefer to eliminate the salesperson completely. According to one corporate technology buyer: “Our supplier’s customized self-service purchasing portal makes it easy to place reorders, track shipping, and return products hassle-free.” Other times buyers seek help from salespeople. The same corporate buyer relies on salespeople when evaluating new technologies: “It’s more efficient to work with a few trusted salespeople, compared to spending hours on my own sifting through all the information and misinformation that’s out there.”

Because of the diversity of buyer self-sufficiency, the traditional methods sellers use to customize their selling approach for customers are no longer enough. Considering factors such as customer potential and needs is still relevant. But today, customer knowledge/self-sufficiency is a growing driver of how customers want to buy. At one end of the spectrum are the “super-expert” customers, skilled in gathering information from many sources and self-sufficient in using that information to make purchase decisions. At the other end of the spectrum are the “information-seeking” customers, who want help with examining and evaluating the plethora of information. Many customers are in between these two extremes, or are at different points at different times or for different purchases.

Smart sellers match their selling approach to the customer’s level of buying knowledge and self-sufficiency. For example, when leaders at Dow Corning observed in the early 2000s that some customers wanted an easier, more affordable way to buy standard silicone products, they created Xiameter, a brand that includes thousands of less-differentiated products sold exclusively through a low-cost, no-frills, self-service online sales channel. Customers who desired a higher-touch approach could still purchase products under the Dow Corning brand name, which also includes specialty silicones backed by research and technical services.

As sellers need a more customized approach to reaching customers, they have a big arsenal of data and technology at their disposal. Systems (e.g., CRM), tools (e.g., data management, analytics), infrastructures (e.g., mobile, cloud), and information (e.g., big data) give sellers knowledge about buyers and enable sales force members to make smarter decisions. And sellers who once connected with customers primarily through personal selling can now use an array of digital communication channels to supplement or supplant face-to-face sales efforts.

Consider the impact of information technology and digital channels from the seller’s perspective. Here are examples from several industries.

  • Finding banking customers: “Social media allows us to cost-effectively reach out to more prospects and showcase our services.”
  • Understanding specialty chemicals customers: “Big data and analytics help us improve customer targeting and achieve more cost-effective deployment.”
  • Acquiring advertising customers: “We now have richer demographic information to help us create more powerful sales messages, resulting in more sales.”
  • Serving and growing business logistics customers: “Our salespeople use a business review app to guide quarterly account reviews with major customers. By sharing data about performance and cost savings, these discussions enhance customer value and retention.”

Information technology and digital channels can help sellers become more effective and efficient, but they can also be a source of disharmony and confusion if implemented without thought. Too many sellers have wasted millions of dollars on sales technologies such as CRM systems and data warehouses that never lived up to their potential.

Success for sellers requires many sales force changes beyond information technology and digital solutions. To start, salespeople need new competencies. Customers are no longer interested in meeting with “talking brochures,” so salespeople must do more than share product information. They must adapt to each customer’s level of knowledge and self-sufficiency. They must use email, social media, webinars, video conferencing, and other tools judiciously to maximize their own productivity and make things more efficient for buyers. They must help their companies coordinate customer outreach across multiple communication channels to ensure buyers get a well-orchestrated and consistent message.

For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, gone are the days when the majority of physician education occurred through face-to-face contact between salespeople and physicians. Companies are now tracking individual physician communication preferences and are reaching out with the combination of face-to-face visits and/or digital methods (e.g., websites, email, podcasts, virtual detailing, video conferencing, mobile apps) that best meets each physician’s needs. Salespeople need competencies as orchestrators who can ensure an effective and efficient connection.

Developing new sales force competencies is just a start. Sales leaders must also reengineer their sales forces by implementing changes across the entire range of sales force decisions: roles, size and structure, hiring, training, coaching, incentive compensation, performance management, and sales support systems.

Discovery-Driven Planning

Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work by Whitney Johnson is a book about personal development. We are living in an era of disruption. Are you using disruptive innovation to your competitive advantage? Below is an excerpt from the book.

Disrupt Yourself.jpgDiscovery-Driven Planning

With discovery-driven planning, you begin with the premise that little is known and much is assumed. That is not to say that you don’t have a plan: you do. lt’s just a different kind of plan. Instead of declaring, “These are the results that I expect,” you ask, “What has to prove true for my plan to work?” According to McGrath and MacMillan, this type of plan includes four steps:

  1. Create a reverse income statement. If you are launching a new product, rather than forecasting how much revenue you will generate and what your costs will be and then solving for the profit, you build the income statement in reverse. You decide on your required income, and then solve for how much revenue will deliver those profits, and how much cost can be allowed. With personal disruption, the question you ask is: To achieve my baseline level of happiness, what do I need to accomplish and what am I willing to give up in order to make this happen?
  2. Calculate the cost. With this step, you estimate what the cost will be to produce, sell, and deliver the product or service to a customer. Combined, these are the allowable costs that permit the business model to hold together. As an individual, the question is what kind of time, expertise, money, and buy-in will you need to make your plan operational? Is the personal cost of being on this curve one you can afford and want to incur?
  3. Compile an assumption checklist. This checklist allows you to flag and discuss each assumption as the venture unfolds. For example, what assumptions are you making about how much you will sell and at what price? How many sales calls will you need to make to get a single order? How many salespeople will you need to make that many calls, etc? As an individual, if you decide you want to earn $100,000 a year consulting, and last year you earned $100,000 consulting, then conventional planning works. If you’ve never consulted, then you’d want to think about the assumptions behind your ability to earn that $100,000. How many clients will you need? How many hours per day will you need to bill, and at what price point? Do you enjoy the work, and will it be emotionally satisfying?
  4. Prepare a milestone chart. This chart specifies which assumptions need to be tested and what you are going to learn by each milestone. In discovery- driven planning, learning is the essential unit of progress, so a course correction isn’t equivalent to failure, as it would be in conventional planning. Rather, it’s an opportunity to recalibrate so you can move more effectively up the curve.

 

Inbox to Zero

Inbox to Zero

An email is a form of communication meant to pass information efficiently. However, it often becomes a productivity killer, if not properly managed. Below are ways to manage and reduce your inbox:

Turn Off Notifications / Work Offline

Email notices are often a major big focus drain. Turn off desktop pop-ups or chimes on your phone and computer.  Try Scheduling three fifteen or one thirty minute slot per day to check email.

When processing your email, you have three decisions to make: do it, delegate, or defer it.

Do it: If you can do the action in less than two minutes then do it. For example, reading an information only email, emails that can just be deleted, or those that require only a quick response.

Delegate: If appropriate delegate the task to an employee and move the email to a folder called @waiting_for. This folder can be used to store emails with a task that requires a follow-up.

Defer it: If this action or email requires more than two minutes then move this email to a folder called @action. The task required should be noted separately in order to avoid using this folder as a task list.

 

Unsubscribing to newsletters

If you are not reading an email newsletter, it’s best to unsubscribe since deleting these emails take valuable time. Almost all newsletters have an unsubscribe link. The links are at the bottom of most newsletters. Industry related newsletters that are important for you to read can be put into a folder labeled “Newsletter” or reading. These can be read while waiting for Dr.’s appointment, etc.

CC’s

If you’re the person in the CC’s part of the email, there shouldn’t be an action or response required on your part. The CC’s means for your information only.

To help with ““CC’ing, setup a rule in your email application to color code or move all the email that you’re CC’d on. This way you can reduce or manage your inbox.

Thanks

Unless the recipient requests you acknowledge the receipt, you don’t have to say “thanks” every time. Make that clear to your recipients, so there are proper expectations and no hurt feelings.

 

Email if used efficiently, is probably one of the greatest productivity contributors of the past twenty years. However, it’s important to recognize when emails shouldn’t substitute for a live conversation. Digital communication has accelerated the speed at which people form and broaden relationships, but is also decreasing the rate at which people are willing to resolve issues either professionally or directly in-person. The next time you receive an email from someone trying to resolve an issue ask yourself; is this something that would be better served by conversation? Then have the courage pick up the phone or have a face to face meeting.

 

 

Leadership: Connections And Disconnections

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer is one of the best books I’ve read on leadership. This book is one for your bookshelf. Below is an excerpt from the book.

 

CONNECTIONS AND DISCONNECTIONSLeadership bs.jpg

The problem with leadership is at its core a story of disconnections:

  • the disconnect between what leaders say and what they do;
  • the disconnect between the leadership industry’s prescriptions and the reality of many leaders’ behaviors and traits;
  • the disconnect between the multidimensional nature of leadership performance and the simple, noncontingent answers so many people seek;
  • the disconnect between how the leadership industry is evaluated (happy sheets that tap inspiration and satisfaction) and the actual consequences of leader failures (miserable work-places and career derailments);
  • the disconnect between leader performance and behavior and the consequences those leaders face;
  • the disconnect between what most people seem to want (good news, nice stories, emotional uplift) and what they need (the truth);
  • the disconnect between what would make workplaces better and organizations more effective, and the base rate with which such prescriptions get implemented.

 

And there are even more disconnects-such as the disconnect between the leadership industry and the leaders whom that industry serves, and the disconnect between the people who bear the consequences of leader behavior and the leadership industry’s manifest and many failing.

Framed in this way, the remedy for the many leadership failures seems simple, and it is: to restore the broken connections, the linkages between behavior and its consequences, words and actions, prescriptions and reality.

But this task will not be easy. The disconnections serve many powerful interests, and they serve those interests extremely well. The leadership industry rolls along, profiting from the disconnect between its prescriptions and what gets done, a disconnection that means not only problems remain but also the business opportunities from speaking, writing, blogging, and so forth about those problems. Leaders love the disconnect that leaves them unaccountable for the workplaces they mess up and their poor performance and bad behavior. And worst of all, lots of people are complicit in the disconnect between the reality that exists and what they would prefer to believe and the stories they want to and often pay to hear.

It is possible to restore at least some of these connections, some of the time. One way to begin might be to reconnect with the real world. One of the important but troubling phenomena that occur in organizations of all types is that the higher you rise, the more that people will tell you how smart and right you are, and the less connection you will have to the realities of organizational life. So good leaders seek to keep themselves grounded in the realities of what they are doing and, more important, why they are doing it.

When Rudy Crew was in the process of being forced from his position as chancellor of New York City’s schools by that other Rudy, Rudy Giuliani — who, no surprise, has also written a book on leadership — Crew decided he needed to reconnect with the essential reality of why he was doing what he was doing, a reality embodied in the one million children in New York’s schools, many of whom could not read at grade level. These children looked like a young version of himself and represented the reason Rudy Crew went into education in the first place. So Crew decided to go to a school.

As Crew told the story to a class I taught, he went into a classroom, maybe it was second or third grade, and there was an African American child working on a math problem. He was not having a lot of success, as after he did the problem, the eraser would come out and the kid would rub out the answer and start over. Crew came up to the boy and asked him what he was doing and how it was going. The child replied that he was doing math and having trouble doing it. “Keep at it, you’ll get it,” said Crew.

As Crew and those accompanying him were preparing to leave that classroom a while later, the child came up to Crew and asked, “Mister, who are you?” Crew replied that he was the chancellor, the person in charge of all of the city’s schools. “Wow,” said the boy, “you’re the man.” And then, in the way
that only small children can, with complete openness and lack of malice, the kid asked Crew, “Are you any good at your job?” “Some days I think I am,” Crew replied, “and some days I’m not so sure.” The pupil looked up at Crew, smiled, and said, “Well, just keep at it. You’ll get it.”

I am not sure what will make a difference in the leadership crises that cost leaders their careers and provide too many employees with enervating work environments. But I am quite sure what will not work: more of the same inspiring sentiments based neither in the social science research about human behavior nor in the facts about the state of play in the leadership industry. In the end, people can handle the truth, and the sooner they confront those truths, the better off everyone will be. And until then, everyone, not just leaders, but everyone, will have to keep working away, until we get it.

 

Four Things I Want You to Remember Me By

Is your value system the same in your business life as your social life? Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Clif Reichard.

Four Things I Want You to Remember Me By

Everyone knows a business needs profits, customers, and ethics. What not everyone knows is which of those should come first, second, and third. A lot of companies fail because they get the sequence wrong.

The most common mistake is to put profits first. That opens the door for bad things to happen. Numbers become all-important, and almost any behavior is justified in the name of profit. Cheating sets in.

Instead, a company’s priority should be to protect and enhance its reputation through ethical behavior. Within the confines of that behavior, its next most important goal should be to attract and keep customers. Third is figuring out how to make money.

Ethics, customers, profit. Don’t forget that.

That sequence tops my list of four business verities as I get ready to retire at the age of 81 from Ball Corporation in a few weeks. None of the verities is earth-shaking, but they’re distilled from practices that have helped my company survive for 130 years while competitors bit the dust.

Verity number two is that when it comes to selling customers, all of us can create a credibility in here that no one of us can establish out there. Most companies go about attracting and keeping customers by beefing up the sales force and encouraging salespeople to make the company sound better than it really is. But that is BS. The way to ethically attract and keep customers is for the company to be incredibly good at what it does so that no one needs to put lipstick on the pig.

At Ball, our sales policy has been that we are a manufacturing-driven company — right into the arms of our customers. Our plants are in total tune with our customers. In our charter plants, plant managers have taken over all maintenance-selling duties, leaving salespeople to create new business full time. This manufacturing-driven sales policy has been unique in our industry and was one of the reasons why American, Continental, and National Can eventually had to go out of business.

Verity number three is that employees do best when they are led, not managed. When employees are asked for their advice, rather than being told what to do, they bring their best efforts, talents, and abilities to the table. True, employees sometimes need to have direction, but they don’t respond well to being over-managed. It has long been a tenet of Ball that the combined knowledge and experience of the team is superior to the singular knowledge and experience of the manager.

Verity number four is that to be fully engaged, people need to know where the company is going. Everyone needs to be aligned around a goal that makes sense. In Ball’s case, the ultimate goal set by the founding five brothers is to change people’s lives for the better. So what makes our world go round? The process starts with management taking such good care of us, the employees, that we feel so good about the company and ourselves that with the help of our suppliers, we take such good care of our customers that they want to buy all we can make, giving us full-capacity utilization, which gives our investors such an outstanding return on their investment that our shareholder value keeps going up. In this process, all our stakeholders get rich, allowing all of us to enrich the communities where we live and work, thereby helping change everyone’s life for the better.

Looking back over the years, it has been important to be able to employ the same value system in my business life that I chose to employ in my social life. Out of this has grown a love for all that this company represents and a pride in being able to help change so many peoples’ lives for the better.