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 Industry 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.
- I learned that doing things counter to a company’s culture is incredibly hard. Make sure you respect the culture first through a deep understanding, and then see if you can shift things a little at a time. If you are lucky, you can turn the ship. Keep pushing.
- I learned you can make anything sexy if you work hard enough at finding the right angle. I really don’t think there is anything being sold today that can’t be romanced to make it more interesting. Dig deeper.
- I learned in today’s world we are all media companies, not just manufacturers. There are so many places available to engage people in a conversation about our products and services, and the people that understand how to work in those circles will have a big advantage over those that don’t. Grow always.
- I learned that EVERYBODY is your customer. Your boss, your staff, people buying stuff from you, and especially the guy renting you a car. Be a good supplier, but more importantly, be a good customer. Serve more.
- I know there is still a general lack of creativity and innovation in the mattress industry and that following is more common than leading.
- I know the consumer experience is not what it should be – from the minute they enter the market to the moment they leave.
- I know that for whatever reason, we are okay allowing confusion and complexity to rule the day.
- I know we sell a lifestyle product like a commodity.
- I know that private equity controls much of who we are and what we do.
- I know there are many unmet needs for someone to address if they have the brain, passion, and will to take them on.
- I know that the right combination of people can do just about anything.
The next step is going to be exciting for me and I hope you follow along as I try to figure it out. From time to time, I am going to screw up but hopefully I will do it cheaply and ring up more successes than failures along the way. For anyone that reads this blog, I want you to know what it means to me to have people out there that are interested enough to spend time reading every week as I share my passion on what I think is an incredible industry. You are beyond appreciated.
On a separate note, I want to thank Mark Kinsley and Paul M. Johnson, my editors for Q’s Views. I will miss their contribution to this blog and know it won’t be the same without their ideas and support.
Check back next week as I do an in-depth analysis on the various threads that are available to sew a bed shut. I’m kidding, but do check back!