Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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December 11, 2017


Sit still at your own peril
I was watching TV and saw an ad for a cell phone that you can use to surf the ESPN television channels.
Amazing.
How much of our world is changing right before our eyes? It would seem a great deal. It would also seem that many of the things we take for granted are changing as well.
Apparently we have phones now we can watch TV on, as well as listen to music.
Records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and DVDs are either extinct or are changing dramatically.
We have cars that can parallel park themselves.
In Crawfordsville, we have a local electric utility that is branching out and offering television and Internet access through fiber optic connections.
Money is changing as things go more electronic. You can buy pre-paid credit cards, mall shopping cards, electronic business cards and greeting cards that sing to you.
What does this have to do with business?
Everything.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Part one: The Zombie
What a great month October is. Fall is in the air (or at least it was supposed to be . . . maybe there IS something to this global warming thing after all?). College football is in full swing (although as a die-hard Notre Dame fan . . . well, enough said). The leaves are changing (and I'm color blind).
OK, maybe October isn't that great of a month.
But October has one good thing going for it, Halloween. As my wife and daughters would quickly tell anyone, I'm still a kid at heart and Halloween is a great holiday for kids.
It's also gives us an opportunity to take a look at work through a set of spooky glasses. Specifically, let's talk about how some bosses can be just like a character from a classic B scary movie. So for the next four weeks leading up to Sammy Terry's favorite holiday, let's drive a stake through the heart of some well-deserving supervisors!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Part two: The Witch
We're rolling through the spooky month of October and working our way toward Halloween by looking at some of the scariest types of bosses there are.
Last week, we talked about The Zombie and discussed ways to survive that experience. This week, we delve a bit further into the sinister world of supervisors and examine (Vincent Price organ music here) . . . The Witch.
It's hard to find too many people who have worked for The Witch . . . and survived to tell the tale. The Witch tends to capture poor unsuspecting workers with her false looks and fake charms (remember Snow White!). Sometimes The Witch can make herself look very attractive and can mask her true terror. Because inside and out, The Witch is all about one thing - herself.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Part three: The Ghost
Halloween is rapidly approaching.
Hearts are beating a little faster. The full moon is playing hide and seek behind ominous clouds. Somewhere in the distance, a howl is heard.
We're using the holiday to talk a little bit about those sinister supervisors and how they can scare the career out of you. And while we work hard at staying on the path of light and goodness, we're carefully examining the many shifty shapes those evil-doers can take. So far, we've gone through The Zombie and The Witch. This week, we take another step into the macabre and check out (organ music inserted here!) . . . The Ghost.
On the good side, you can usually see right through The Ghost. Their intentions, while scary, aren't that hard to figure out. On the other hand, nothing ever sticks to The Ghost so anytime something goes wrong the blame usually flies right through them. For the unsuspecting worker who isn't paying attention, the blame can end up hitting them square in the lower region.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Part four: The Vampire
Halloween is finally here and we're also at the end of the winding path through the deep, dark woods filled with sinister supervisors.
We've spent this month sitting around the proverbial campfire telling horrifying stories about those bosses whose very presence chills the blood and brings a curdling scream to our lips. We've survived The Zombie, The Witch and The Ghost. But that survival only brings us to the scariest and most dangerous of all, (it's time for that organ music once again) . . . The Vampire!
The Vampire literally sucks the life and the career right out of everyone around, staff and supervisors alike.
The Vampire, not surprisingly, avoids direct sunlight. They mostly work in the shadows and at night. In fact, many people can't even find where The Vampire stays most of the time.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Hunting for mushrooms?
If you are a Hoosier, then you know all about mushroom hunting. If you are not, just know that this is not anything like submarine races.
Mushroom hunting is an annual rite of spring. Hoosiers (and I guess I'd have to admit that there are some other states involved in this as well) take to the outdoors and flock to the woods in hopes of finding a sackful of mouth-watering morsels (or morels).
Now, if you've never been mushroom hunting, there's advice aplenty on where to go, what to look for, all sorts of tricks of the trade. In fact, when you get right down to it, it's a lot like looking for and finding new employees.
No, no, no. It's not what you're thinking about dark places that smell bad.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Listen to those who have come before
How do you learn?
Three's an old saying that experience comes from getting the test first and the lesson later.
Of course there are countless ways to learn. That's good because learning is something that should be an ongoing process throughout your entire career, and even your life.
One of my personal favorite methods of learning is to seek wisdom from others.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jim Smith, the former head of HC Industries in Crawfordsville.
Jim's father started the business in 1929 and Jim came along in 1951. They built the company into a huge success and, from the sounds of it, had a little fun along the way.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Seek wisdom: Part of the job
We visited last week with Jim Smith. Jim, the former head of HC Industries, was kind enough to sit down with me and allow me to pick his brain about business.
From my perspective, it was a very one-sided deal. He put up with my questions and pestering for a couple of hours and I was treated to the wit, charm and wisdom of a very successful businessman.
Seeking wisdom from others should be a part of most managers' job descriptions. If you go to work, put in your eight hours and then go home, maybe that's not the right thing for you. But if you are hoping to be the next Donald Trump, or at least looking for a promotion or three, then you must realize that this isn't just an eight-hour job.

Friday, March 07, 2014

E-mail a tool that goes both ways
Here are two statements of fact that I would argue are true and accurate.
1. E-mail is the best method of communication.
2. E-mail is the worst method of communication.
How in the name of Charles Dickens can that be, you ask?
Regarding the first statement, e-mail gives you the ability to be specific, to spell things out in writing, to confirm a detail . . .
On the second statement, an e-mail fails miserably in getting across nuances, or sentiment. It's cold, hard electronic type and is amazingly easy to misinterpret.
I can't think of many tools that have come along in the past 10 or 20 years that are so easy to use or misuse as e-mail.

Friday, March 07, 2014


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