I just returned from Alexandria, Virginia, where I presided over my last meeting as the Chairman of the Better Sleep Council (BSC). I must admit that I am happy to be getting some of my time back but there is no doubt I have benefited a great deal from being a part of this organization. So what are my takeaways?
- When you get like-minded people together in a room, you can do some really great stuff. Our council was made up of suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, men, women, sales people, marketing people, presidents, owners, you name it. We had diverse backgrounds and in many cases we competed with one another in the marketplace. None of that mattered though because we all love the industry and want to see it advance. FIND THE COMMON GROUND with people and you can move your agenda in a big way.
- Politics is bullshit. Seriously. If you want to challenge something because you have a conflict with the opposing party in something unrelated, take the high road, get your ego out of the way, and do what is right instead of what is politically right. Also, to use one of my favorite quotes, LEADERS LEAD. Every decision you make is not going to be popular, so don’t try to play to everyone. Just make good decisions because you can always defend those.
- Serving your industry is a great thing that you will personally benefit from. Get involved if you love what you do and want to see things improve. Even if you don’t love what you do, if you get involved you might see something inside you change. Give something back and I can almost guarantee that good will come from it.
- Relationships are such an important part of good business. I sincerely enjoyed my time on the BSC because of the group I worked with. I have met some really great people that I will hopefully be connected to as long as I am in the industry. They have each given me something important and I appreciate every one of them.
I will stay on the BSC as Chairman Emeritus and serve new Chairman Pete Bills and Vice Chairman Mark Hobson. These guys are great and I am sure they will take us even further.
I want to thank Ryan Trainer, the President of ISPA, for his hard work and leadership in our industry. Also to Karin Mahoney and Mary Helen Uusimaki for what they do to keep the Better Sleep Council moving – you really are doing some wonderful things. Finally, my thanks to Leggett & Platt for allowing me to take time away from my day job to do this, and for financially supporting the BSC via membership in ISPA.
Are you ready to serve? Have you been involved with ISPA in the past and if so, what has your experience been?