The Power Of Impact – How To Profoundly Change A Life

What you do now for the youth of this country will have more impact that anything else you have ever done. in your life. How do I know this? I’ve witnessed it first hand and I’m about to open my heart to prove it to you.

Impact

I was in a meeting yesterday with a supplier, I have all my supplier meetings on Thursdays. This supplier noticed an airplane on the wall and asked if I was a pilot. I told him that I had some interest in flying, mostly thanks to my brother and I watching Top Gun 40,000 times, but had never piloted a plane.

He went on to tell a story that opened my eyes to the impact we as adults have on the lives of the youth around us. See, when he and his two bothers where children, his uncle flew for an oil company and owned his own airplane. When he would come to visit the boys, he would call ahead and have the boys meet him at the airport. He would take them all up and let them have turns “flying” through the air.

The truth is, the boys never actually had control of the airplane. There uncle was steering the whole time. But they believed that they were the ones flying. This simple event had such a profound impact on the lives of these three boys. The eldest owns his own plane and flys for fun. The middle boy flies for a local oil and gas company. The youngest is an F-16 pilot for the United States Armed Forces.

This simple adventure in the air had such an impact that it altered the course of the lives of these three young men. I thought back on my past and wondered how I got to where I am today. Who had an impact on me and my life choices? I was reminded of the small moments in life that impacted me in such a way that they lead me to here, the Vice President of a Multi-Million dollar company. It is these simple things that people did, which changed my life forever. This is how you impact the youth around you and change the world forever.

Have Patience – My father-in-law owns a company, MPCK Machining. He also drag races. Not too long ago we were at a race track on a long, very hot, day. He races two cars so he is a very busy man at the track. The day was finally over and he was loading his cars into the trailer to head home. I’m sure he couldn’t wait to get the cars loaded up so he could take a shower and rest. But right there in the middle of it all was my son. He watched his “Pops” intently. It is at this impact moment that my admiration for my father-in-law grew as I watched the weary racer stop what he was doing and give my son the “ride” of his life. Ryan got to climb behind the wheel of a race car, turn knobs, push buttons, flick switches, and for a moment feel like a real racer. To this day he loves to get behind the wheel and act like his “Pops.” Who knows, this small act of patience may have completely altered my son’s life forever.

Have Fun – My Aunt and Uncle both worked at the family stone company. Every time I would go out into the shop my Uncle would stop what he was doing and entertain me. I remember always horsing with him too. I would write bizzar meetings on his calendar and hide all his tools throughout the shop. The same is true for my Aunt who was always running the office. I had friends inside and outside. They always made it fun to go to “work.” This impact moment is why I was always interested in going to offices and shops. They represent fun for me.

Pay Attention – My dad was the “S” in CB&S Stone Company. Every time I came up to work he would stop whatever he was doing and pay attention to me. I’m sure I interrupted him right in the middle of something important a million times, but without fail, he paid attention to me. Just paying attention to the children around you will have more impact than you will ever know. This always made business a comfortable place for me.

Example – My Uncle was the B in CB&S and later founded Texas Cut Stone which he still runs to this day. I practically lived at his house during the summers since his son has always been my best friend. I had the unique privilege to observe from a very close distance what it means to be a leader and businessman. I recently wrote a post titled “Who’s Watching You?” This is a perfect example of how we can have a profound impact on someone without even realizing it some times. I would venture to say that just watching my Uncle go to work and provide the life he has provided for his family, has had the single largest impact on my business career than anything else. The example we set for our youth is a daily impact point and my Uncle never missed an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on me.

Give Opportunity – I come from a long line of Entrepreneurs. One such, is my grandfather. I spent many summer days interrupting important work, drawing on important documents, burning up copier machine bulbs photocopying body-parts, and just causing trouble. But that never stopped my grandfather from giving me the opportunity to come out to Allied Equipment every summer. The opportunity he gave me that made the largest impact was in the summer of 2007. I had no sales experience, but that didn’t stop him from giving me opportunity and putting me on a course that would eventually lead to my success. There are so many youth out there who just need someone to give them the opportunity to make an impact.

As I look back, I would not be where I am today without these people taking the time and putting forth the effort to impact my life. None of them ever had a clue what their simple acts were doing to the little snaggle-toothed boy with the comb-over. Come to find out, they were impacting his life and making him the business man he is today.

Question: How are you making an impact in the lives of those around you?

How to Hire People Who Make You Rich

We have all been sitting on the uncomfortable side of the table being berated by the overweight man with the nonsense questions. This is often the scene when a company is trying to hire people. They let some middle manager, barely fit to lead himself, act as the qualifier. This is also why they probably have above normal turnover.

hire

As I climbed the corporate ladder and our company, Allied Equipment, hired people, I typically had someone else doing the interviewing. They would bring me their reccomendations and I’d choose from there. That was the WRONG way to do it! So I started to hire people myself and got creative to developed a procedure by which all hires are now made at our company.

The procedure has yeilded great hires who make us rich. Employees can be your best asset or your worst nightmare. Selecting the right hire makes all the difference.  Below is the list of things we look for when we hire people. I present them in order.

1. Character – I believe you can train a person to do just about anything. In fact, we set each new hire up with a mentor to teach them the ropes. What we can’t teach them is character. If you’re rude or lazy, I can’t help you.  So look for character.  If they have it, you can mold them into the best employee ever.

2. Chemistry – The candidate must mesh well with the team. Just because someone is really smart, that doesn’t qualify them as a good hire. Ask questions about hobbies and interests to see if they’ll be able to relate to others in their department.

3. Skills – My interviews typically don’t take long. I ask a few questions that only a qualified person would know. For example, what does EBITDA stand for? Anyone in finance should know this.

4. Opportunity to Succeed – Speak with the new potential hire about their life and get to really know them. I like to take them out to lunch. You’ll find them talking about life experiences. Listen for times when they were given opportunity, how did they handle it? You want people with a chip on their shoulder who, when faced with opportunity to succeed, will take advantage.

5. Test Without Them Knowing – I had a potential salesman call me to set up his interview. I told him that I’d call him back, but I had no intentions of doing so.  It was a test.  He emailed me a few days later saying he didn’t want to bother me but wanted to remind me that he was still interested and looked forward to our call. This showed persistence, a good quality in a salesman. Test passed!

6. Desires – Ask about your potential hire’s desires at your company. Where do they see themselves in a few years? What excites them about this job? These answers will tell you what your potential hire is fighting for.   It also tells you what you need to do in order for them to receive intrinsic value.  You need to provide the opportunities for them to achieve their desires.  Any good hire must have a purpose when they come to work.

You can look through endless resumes all day long, but until you ask the right questions, you’ll never really know if you’re doing the right thing when you hire people.  Start with the end in mind.  What makes a good employee?  Then come up with questions and tactics that will reveal to you the right person.

Question:  What bizarre questions have you been asked in an interview?

How to Preserve Margin Time in Your Life

Michael Hyatt released a post this week titled “How To Create More Margin In Your Life.”  Margin is, in essence, the extra time in your day.  This margin is the amount of time beyond what is needed.  An example would be a 1 hour meeting that only needs 45 minutes.  There is 15 minutes of margin.

preserve margin

I learned about this margin not too long ago.  I began keeping a calendar of all my daily activities.  I used a schedule to prioritize the order in which I would achieve these activities.  My assumption was that I had 24 hours in a day and could allot, to the minute, how much time I would need to get things done.  So I filled up my 24 hours.  I quickly found out that some activities took longer, some took less, and others were perfectly timed out.

The result of my experiment was that more often than not I experienced two problems.  The first problem was that there were more activities taking up more than the alotted amount of time, than there were activities that taking up less.  I was thus overloaded.  The second problem was the inevitable interruption.  We never know what will happen in any given day.  We must be flexible.

The idea of Margin is what allows us this flexibility.  But this margin creates a whole new problem.  How do you preserve your margin?  Once you’ve read Michael’s post you’ll understand how to build Margin into your week, but how do you keep it from always being filled?

  1. Flex Time – You’ll see in My Schedule an hour chunk of “Flex Time.”  Think of one of those double busses.  The busses that are basically two busses stuck to each other.  There is a rubber middle section.  This section is the flex.  When everything is runny smooth, this section is available.  But when life takes a hard turn, you need this section to absorb the blow.
  2. Scheduled Rest – I prefer to rest at least once per day and once per week.  My daily rests are very short, 15 minutes here or there.  This is usually a quick nap after lunch.  My weekly rest however is usually longer and includes a hobby. This is just time to enjoy myself and not worr about the day.  These items are actually scheduled and are not negotiable.  Put it on your calendar!
  3. Full Reset – Plan one week off per quarter if you can.  I typically take 3 days plus a weekend.  We get away, turn off the phones and get a full reset.  This is critical for the system.
  4. 50/10 – For every 50 minutes of work, allot 10 minutes of rest.  If an activity is going to take me 45 minutes, I’ll allot 55.  This gives me a small margin for everything I do.  It’s like the space between wires on a coil.  It allows the coil to be flexible.
  5. Decompression – Finally, decompress between large activities.  My schedule actually shows 30 minutes for this.  It’s often 15.  I sit in complete silence and just switch gears for a minute.  I find that the time between work and home is the best time to switch gears.
Having Margin in your daily activities is key to preventing burnout and maintaining an extreamly high level of output.  Try reading Michael’s post and implementing his plan.  While you’re reading take note of the feature image then check out mine.  It’s like the guy jumped up and went to do something besides relax.  I thought it was funny, but I have a weird sense of humor.  After you’ve read his post, check back here and make sure you safeguard your margins.

 

Question:  What do you do when it’s time to switch gears between work and home?