I grew up in the little leagues of the chemical business. For more than 50 years I ran a petrochemical custom processing to serve larger companies. The business is cyclical and eats away money. In other words, if you didn’t earn money or find funds quickly, more than likely you fell behind. In my business, as with many businesses, I’ve learned some valuable lessons in my industry that I believe bears repeating.
Counterattack- It’s imperative to take into account that you need to find your niche in business and to not back away from what stands in your way. A lot of the time, as with my business, less is better. We cannot be all things to all people. So find what it is you excel at and punch back when opposition tests you.
Assign a Point Person- Point people in your company are the spark plugs. Allow them to propose ideas. This requires someone not only skillful, but trustworthy and a project planner. Find someone who can set priorities and take the initiative to make sure action and follow through come second nature. In other words, hire leaders.
Make your Employees Family- We’ve operated under the assumption that “people chemistry is more important than process chemistry.” I consider it a complement when visitors have approached me to say we are more like a family than a business. Critical to success in my opinion is the ability to practice stewardship across the board. Combine health, economic and environmental stewardship opportunities.
No Prima Donnas Please- Our family has been a team. We operate as such and while you should celebrate individual success, it’s teamwork that moves the needle.
Showcase Success- As mentioned before, employees with a humble attitude and team first approach are preferred, especially in my experience. However, we have done awards to encourage participation and slightly to motivate. Offering benefits are appreciated and incentive keeps a spirited workplace–a Texas type of spirt.
For more of my experiences and philosophies on business, I encourage you to grab a copy of my book, “The Texas Spirit” available here.