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
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?