The Odd Couple

The success I’ve had in the mattress industry over the years has, in large part, come as a result of my collaboration with top-notch individuals. We all have good ideas, work well on our own and accomplish some of our goals, but if you’re ever going to do anything really great, you have to surround yourself with talented people.

At Serta, I had people like Bill West, John Rachid, Alan Eisenberg, Jeff VanTuyle, Ed Lilly, Susan Ebaugh, and Connie Greco, to name but a few. But my right hand was Roxanne Franklin, who was incredible. Together, we had a blast and kicked some butt along the way. After my first few years at Leggett and Platt, I was able to hire John Walsh and he, like Roxanne, was my go-to person.

The reason John was such a huge help to me at Leggett is that we’re good at different things. We even referred to ourselves as “The Odd Couple.” I flew high at 30,000 foot, thinking of opportunities and creative ways to tackle them. John had his share of creative ideas, but his real strength was driving

 The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

hard, managing projects until they were complete and making sure no stone was left unturned (much like Roxanne did, back in the day.) The bottom line is that they both had to manage my chaotic approach and clean up my messes—but it worked.

Which leads me to this point: Don’t be one of those morons who think they know everything about everything. We all know at least one of those right?

Discover what you’re not that good at and always look for people to help you compensate where you are weaker. If you align yourself with people whose strengths lie where yours don’t, you can accomplish so much more than if you were to try it on your own. Do you have a work partner? Is there someone to balance you out and excel where you are not as strong? There’s absolutely nothing wrong in saying you aren’t good at something—as long as you’re committed to resolving the problem.

I’ve been reflecting on my time at Leggett and know that working people like John Walsh made my life easier and much more fun—and allowed me and my colleagues to achieve a much higher level of success. Later on, we found Mark Kinsley, and things got even better as we all found a groove together and things just worked.

 In my last blog post, I mentioned that if you find the right people to work with, anything is possible. There is no doubt in my mind that it is true in my life and will always be the case as I move forward.

What about you? Have you found a good balance of people? Is it better with them on the bus?

8 Years in the Rearview Mirror

Since I announced my resignation from Leggett & Platt, things have passed by as a blur. I want to thank Furniture Today, Sleep Savvy, Bed Times, Furniture World, and Home Furnishings Business for writing about my departure. As for Sleep Geek, Mattress rear view mirror 300x199 8 Years in the Rearview MirrorIndustry Executives on LinkedIn, and the Dos Marcos podcast, you guys are obligated to talk about it because the properties still report to me…at least for now, so no love for you (joking). I also want to thank everybody who has called, left me voice mails, texted, contacted me on LinkedIn, or sent an e-mail. I have saved every single one of them for a day when I am going to need some encouragement, which I am sure will be in the not-too-distant future.

Whenever people transition from one thing to the next, I think it is natural that there is some reflection on where you have been to offset the anticipation of what is to come. Allow me to think out loud on both subjects. Continue reading

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5 Signs an Outsider Won’t Make It in the Mattress Industry

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “That person is coming from outside the industry and we all know how well that turns out.” There seems to be a strong bias that when it comes to managing business at a high level in the mattress industry, you are likely to fail if you are not an insider. new guy 300x198 5 Signs an Outsider Won’t Make It in the Mattress Industry

Why is that? It might be because there is a long line of consultants and investors that has drifted in and out of the mattress industry with little to show for it. Bounding in with a lot of hubris, ready to show these little mattress people how the big dogs do it. What causes failure for these outsiders?

You know the newbie is a short-timer when: Continue reading

Leaving Leggett

Gail Sheehy is an American author and journalist and was quoted as saying, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

That pretty much sums up where I am with this decision to leave Leggett & Platt.

When I came to L&P eight years ago, I did it because the people I knew here were great, I liked the company, and I saw a lot of opportunity to enhance its position in the industry. If I were to look back and grade us on how we were once perceived to where we are today, I think we have done pretty well on improving some things. I’m not basing that on my own opinion, but instead on the feedback from our customers and, just as importantly, our own people.

 Leaving Leggett

Leggett & Platt Bedding Group

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Why Should You Care About Personal Brand?

You wake up every day, hopefully take a shower, and then head into your closet to select your uniform. Do you select pants that are two inches too short? NO, unless of course you are dressing up as a Sleep Geek for Halloween. Do you pick a shirt with a large coffee stain on the front? Do you put on shoes that are dirty and unpolished?personal brand 300x150 Why Should You Care About Personal Brand?

Why do you take such great care when getting dressed? Because you want to project a certain image to those around you. Everything you wear, the car you drive, the friends you keep, the house you live in and even the church you go to – or don’t go to – says a lot about who you are. They make up your personal brand. Continue reading