Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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December 11, 2017

3/7/2014 5:04:00 PM
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.
Learning from others can be an important part of the "next" eight hours you are probably putting in.
During our conversation, Jim talked about some of the things that made him and his company successful. Understand, he never said he was a success. But then again, successful people usually don't. They don't have to. Their results always speak for themselves.
One thing that Jim mentioned was how he used to share information with his employees. Not just rambling info, but real, live numbers and critical data.
"A couple times a year I put together this little dog and pony show over a 24-hour period so I could hit all the shifts," he explained. "I'd just try to communicate what was going on with our company. I felt that unless they knew what was going on, it would be hard for them to help us achieve our goals."
Boy, sadly that doesn't happen too much these days.
He also told a story about a little strip mall he and his wife visited in Monterey, Calif. He said they were in there early and only two stores were open. On one side of the hall sat an artist and on the other was a small bookstore with paperback novels and such.
"It was a real Grapes of Wrath story," he explained. "This guy and his wife ran the stores and they had just up and moved here from out in Oklahoma or Kansas or somewhere. I asked them if that wasn't a pretty traumatic thing to do? You know what he told me? He said the trauma was less than the pain of continuing on where they were."
Wisdom and success comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I certainly appreciated one local success story taking time to share some wisdom with me.






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