Power Question – “What is the most important lesson you learned in 2019?”

February 5, 2020

What is the most important lesson you learned in 2019?

Mike Smith – President, Norwest Engineering – “How important it is to listen to employees; to be a better listener, because sometimes things get lost in translation.”

Isabel Picard – PR Manager, Cora Breakfast and Lunch: “It was a question of passion. When our founder, Cora Mussely Tsouflidou speaks to her employees passion is always at the core of her discussions. So, for me passion was the lesson for 2019.”

Leif Zars II – Owner, Gary Pools: “Finding the right people, instilling optimism in them, and nurturing their relationship with the company. The people you employ, how you treat them, the culture you build is a huge part of the business. It’s not much talked about, but it’s been critical for turning around my business – taking it in a 180.”

Dave Hockemeyer – Founder & President, Peridot Inc.: “We had some hiccups along the way and as we come into 2020, I want to remain aggressive because the opportunity is there; the customer base is there. We simply need to get the word out.”

Mike Kelly – Business Development Manager Advanced Composites, Vetorply:  “Never give up and always know there’s a pathway to success for your customers and yourself, if you have an open and innovative mind.”

Ralph Cerullo – VP of Sales & Marketing, Advanced Pavement Group: “Our people are our greatest asset. When we have successes or are facing challenges, that is what we keep at the forefront as we continue to grow.”

Heather Clark – Corporate Director of Sales, Superior Tank Company: “Sometimes you have to step back and listen to a customer and not think you know exactly what they need, and what the is best way to accomplish their goals.”

Mark Reed – President, Memphis Pool Supply: “The importance of communication inside our organization and outside it with our customers. We had some communication failures last year that cost us a lot of money, so we’re constantly looking at how we can improve the communication with our customers and our people.”

De Robertson – CTO, Global Process Automation LLC: “We’re a continuous improvement company. We look at lessons pretty hard and make corrective actions. To pinpoint one thing that we learned in 2019 – it’s all valuable. The lessons learned just pile up. We’re always learning how to do things better to give the best quality to our customers.”

Mark Butler – President of Integrated Project Services: “We made some strides in terms of our customer focus and it paid off. We need to continue to do more to ensure that our team is aligned with our customers’ business goals. What is it that they hired us to do? Once you do that, projects seem to go very quickly and the quality of the product also improves.”

Joshua Rillie – Director/General Manager, Solatube Home: “We have a mission statement: we exist to brighten a customer’s life. We are the service provider. We don’t control so much what the product is; the thing that we control is the customer experience. We’re not totally there yet and it’s probably something that we’ll never be perfect at, but the realization is that there’s more that we can do to provide a transforming experience for our customers.”

Joe La Porta – CEO, Healthcare Linen Services Group: “Once again, it’s the importance of our people. They are really our value proposition in this business. As we continue to recruit and invest in training, and continue to add HR professionals at our plant, we must never forget who is actually getting the work done, every day.”

Craig Kendziera – President, Oak Hotels: “2019 was an interesting year in the sense that up to that point I was the back-office guy who handled the financial end of the business. My partner was the operations guy who travelled, but he retired in the beginning of the year. So, I became the operations person and I had to relinquish some of my responsibilities and day-to-day duties to the people that work for me, here, so that I could go out and do the travelling and do the operations. It was a different aspect that I didn’t do every day and it made me look at the business through a different set of eyes. And I think it helped me as a president and owner of a company in looking at the whole company and trying to make the company better.”

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