Rules and Ideas that Stand the Test of Time

Friday, August 14, 2015


I thought it would be a neat idea to kind of "break stride" in these articles and mention "One-Liners" and strategies that have stood the test of time. Many were developed "Kimal Specific" and some are what I and others have learned on life's highway… So, here goes:

  • “Verbal Doesn't Get It...Write It Down.” Pretty obvious. When you're passing around vital, specific information, document it well. Very well. Just saying, "I told you such-and-so” doesn't work anymore.
  • “Clean as You Go." Part of our "religion" here at Kimal. We try to never leave a mess to clean it up later. Always deal with messes and clean up now! 
  • “If You Can Do It Now...Do It Now!!” How many times do we look at the next task, project, whatever, and say, "Oh, I can put that off till tomorrow."?
  • “Do the Important, First Things First...The Unimportant, Maybe Never!”
  • And to feed on the above: “Every day, put the difficult, maybe uncomfortable tasks first. Wind up the day doing the easy ones last."
  • “When you come to a fork in the road...Take it!” O.K. that's a Yogi Berra comment. Simple though. When you have two courses ahead of you, don't "dither" forever trying to decide which one is right... Pick one and move on!
  • “Do the Right Thing” .... Not, things right! Simple. Sometimes, you know the customer, Associate may be wrong, but is “dug in”…Remember, perception is everything...Just do what you know in your heart is "the right thing"...and move on.
  • When you face those up to catastrophic situations, consider, "What is the worst case scenario?" Put firmly in your mind what the worst case portends. Leave nothing out. Now, rationally, you know chances are the outcome will wind up being something different (probably not as bad). Now just move on to real world "problem solving" and move ahead.
  • “Park Your Ego at the Door" ... We are dealing with customers, Associates, family, every day. Many "negotiations," dialogs, etc. can get heated...Just work with all of these interactions by taking your "Ego" out of the equation, and most times you'll do fine.
  • The most important Leadership skill you can learn may be the least understood...the "Art" and "Talent" of simply ... Listening! Once you learn to keep your mouth disengaged while someone is talking (they may believe what they're saying is the most important ever), the rewards are tremendous.

I'll stop for now, and end with a little story. About fifty-two years ago, I'd unloaded a whole boxcar of Alaskan Yellow Cedar. This car had a quite a few perfectly clear 2X4, 8 footers. Back then we were using Clear 2X4 Doug Fir for interior door jambs...So I saved a couple of units of these beautiful, clear AYC studs for future use as jambs…But these four or five hundred "disappeared," only for me to find out later they were shipped out as common old 2X4 Spruce studs to a new house being framed in South Gate. Wonder if anyone ever figured out, before they were covered with Rock Lathe? (No, we weren't quite into drywall yet!) What they really had for basic framing was mighty pretty, and bug proof to boot!

Al E. Bavry, CEO, Kimal Lumber & Hardware 8/14/2015

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