Look Mom! I’m a Motivational Speaker.

May 2, 2022

I mention the fact that I have had this job for 27 years frequently. Sometimes it seems like forever….and sometimes it feels like I am just getting started. Now is one of those magical “just getting started” times.

I feel like I am just getting started because I have simply changed the way I think about work. This is the motivational speaker thing you get from me today. I changed the way I think.

Actually, QSC changed the way I think. QSC did it. QSC sent me a document that changed everything. And now you get to hear about it.

I have loved this job pretty much every minute. I really have. I love it so much that I protect it. I cherish it and do everything I can to keep it safe. That is how I have worked for the last 27 years. I know some of the stuff I say and do might appear to be bold or daring, but it is always calculated. It is calculated to protect my company from termination. I do what it takes to stay around. I do what I do to not get fired.

Here is my sports analogy. I have been playing not to lose. I have been in the prevent defense. I am trying to preserve a lead. For 27 years.

Then 2 weeks ago, it all changed.

You see, QSC sent me a document that said, “John, we have confidence in you and your team”.  The details of this are between QSC and me, but I will tell you that the next day, I woke up and decided it was time to play to WIN. I now am going to play to win. And if I throw an interception, get caught in a double-steal (sports analogies), it is part of the game. To win, I need to take risks. I am done playing not to lose.

So, what will I do differently now that I am less worried about getting canned? First off, dump the superficial work. I still want to build friendships and relationships, but during work times, if I am not talking about something that is right-now important to you, you are not going to hear from me. I am not going to beg to bring the factory guy into your office. I am not going to do a lunch and learn to check a box in CRM. You and I are doing this to make money and I am going to be hellbent on making that happen. We are still pals, and we can pal around after work ( 3:30-ish).

Our response time is going to get really, really short. If we are not driving around for no good reason, we can be at the ready to dig through your drawings and spit out a BOM. We are going to show up at the site on short notice because we are not handing out bagels and brochures. We are going to be at the ready when you need us the most. We are going to be at the ready and up to speed. We will study and get super smart because we are not counting boxes in a warehouse or taking selfies of ourselves at Red Robin with a customer.

We are going to focus on YOU. You are our prom-date. You are reading this newsletter because you and I are a dang team. We don’t need more prom dates.  I got mine…and you look pretty dang awesome. We are going to focus on those that are focused on us. We have a great group of customers that serve our regions like gangbusters.

This all seems pretty simple, but when you are working to not get fired, you do dumb things the boss asks you to do.  If you innovate, you do it in secret.  You sneak innovation into your work so as not to upset anyone or make anyone insecure.    You do superficial “work” like making a lot of social media posts about nothing, or CC’ing everyone in the company to show how much you do.

I am done with that.   YOU are done with that.  Today, we play to win.  And you and I are going to win a lot.

Thanks, QSC.  You make awesome stuff.   You also make awesome people.