It’s been fun this anniversary year looking back at what happened 40 years ago when Dad started KHT. Inventions, patents, new products, sports milestones, technology, politics, singers, music, culture – so much to reflect on.
And while reading Dec 11, ’75 history this morning, something caught my eye – a simple sports trade. In 1975, when Kowalski Heat Treating was launched, the New York Yankees traded a successful player named George “Doc” Medich to the Pirates, and in return got Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis and Ken Brett. At the time, the sports writers had their criticisms and opinions. And to complete his 1975 lineup, George Steinbrenner caused more chaos in adding a player/coach named Billy Martin to manage the team. All of them went on, of course, to have great careers, and reach unseen milestones. And the rest, is well – history.
This got me thinking – what “trades” would I make?
Trade my position – no. Trade my passion for heat treating – no Trade time spent with Dad learning the ropes – no. Trade my awesome plant location overlooking the north coast – never. Trade my family support – nope. Trade my hard working staff or suppliers – hardly. And most important, trade away any of my customers – sorry, but that’s just not gonna happen.
Why no trades … because I’ve been blessed – to have great customers, great suppliers and vendors, great staff, great support – all backed by a great family work ethic – an honest approach to business, hard work, treating people right and sound business decisions, all started by my Dad so many years ago.
So while trades may work for the Yankees (and God knows their success – 27 World Championships all started by the acquisition of a guy named “Ruth”), I’ll stick with MY TEAM – my customers, my vendors, and my guys and gals out back, working hard everyday to manage your high tolerance production runs and solving your most challenging PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs.
For fun, take a minute this coming week, and go thank “your team” for what they do – you might be surprised hiding on the squad is your “Babe” just ready to break out and change your company’s history.