Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stepping Up

So it is with anybody that has a hobby or a project, that the one thing that will always bring you to a standstill, is the lack of hard earned cash. And we are at a true blue standstill.

Until Jeff's ship comes in, we only have some cosmetic work that we can do on the Allstate project. The motor needs to be sent off to Seattle for it's makeover, and the funds aren't available for that. Same with the painter man that will have his dusty hand out. It's all about the bucks right now.

Jeff has been trying to sell off a motorhome to fund this project and pay off some debts, but camping and travelling isn't a big fad this time of year, so nobody wants to buy an RV. He's had a few nibbles, but can't seem to get anyone hooked. I feel kind of bad for him because I know that he really wants to be up and running on this old Vespa. Maybe the IRS will be kind to him this year.

We are beginning to ramp up our efforts at work to prepare for our move to our store's new location in the next couple of months. This will be a pretty big deal, as we will continue to do business as usual as we make the transition. Imagine moving your company down the road a few miles and still trying to maintain your daily flow of activities. This should be fun.

The building that we are in now is in the beginning stages of an exterior facelift, so we have a crew tearing things apart, and machinery running all day making lots of racket and basically making things ugly to the eye.

On the inside of the store, we've been pushing the effort to start consolidating inventory, and trying to free up space on the sales floor. I spoke at a meeting last week that six months ago, I had said that the two months prior to the move, we would need to begin this moving process, and I wanted everyone at 100 percent throughout this time, and through the transition. I raised some eyebrows because my overall message wasn't what some wanted to hear. One person wanted to hear "good things, with a positive message". I was told that it was "wrong" to have a negative message. I said that "On the contrary, I am positive that if you took it personally, that you got the message that you needed to hear". I finally let the harder side of my personality out, and it felt good.

Leadership can be a tricky thing, and I basically chose to throw out a challenge to see who was willing to step up to the pace that I need to keep to get this job done. Our general manager had told me in an after-hours talk that he wanted someone to "step up" and that I understood what needed to be done. So I'll run with it.

Anyway, I'll jump off my soapbox now. I just see that there will be a shift in my regular routine coming up, and there will be some limitations to my daily activities. Work will take a front burner position, and I just hope that during this time that I can settle into a routine that will allow me a chance to ride as much as possible. We'll have to see.

But it's an exciting time, and I'm up for the challenge, and with Spring peeking around the corner, and the gloom of Winter slowly moving away, the true riding season is almost at our doorstep, and this is my favorite season of the year.

Have fun,


Blogger Biker Betty said...

Sorry to hear the Allstate project is on hold at the moment. When I clicked here I expected to read all about the fun and male bonding going on while fixing it. Tim Allen's Home Improvement come to mind when thinking about your project, lol. Good luck with it.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

As far as the male bonding goes, J.B., Dreamcrusher and I work together, and you would be in stitches watching what goes on between us.

When we are together, it's like a three man comedy show with each one of us shooting one-liners, and the others playing straight man. We pull this stuff off every day.

The Allstate project is a carry over of these antics. I should put it on video. "How NOT to fix your Vespa".

Have fun,

6:20 PM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

A true leader steps up to the plate and swings for the fences, hoping that the rest of his team will share in his entusiasm whether he hits a HR of goes down swinging. I've worked with what i consider the best Lt. on our FD, for the last 14 motnhs. My favorite line by him is: "Just do your F#*#ing job! People who complain usually spend more time trying to get out of work than it would actually take to do the job. Kudos to you for taking the proverbial bull by the horns!
Remember, be a leader, not a boss, no one ever played"Follow the Boss"
I've definetly become a better employee because of my LT's leadership.
BTW look at my latest Blog.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous irondad said...

Interesting you should relate the thing about leadership and trying to get things done efficiently. I'd like to share a little story from Orlando. It's not about motorcycles but it goes along with your post.

We stayed at the Shingle Creek Resort that was built and is owned by Harris Rosen. This one was the third of his so-called crown jewels. After lunch on Friday Harris spoke to our bunch. When the hotel was being built Mr. Rosen called the contractor and subs into a meeting. He told them that he just wasn't seeing any passion in their work. Things were taking too long to get done and the workmanship wasn't reflecting any pride.

The subs told him that he was lucky they were even there. They had so much work that there was hardly time to do his building. Harris told them that if they really felt that way maybe they shouldn't come back. And they didn't. Which Harris said was interesting.

His own crews finished the work which included framing, drywall, painting, trim, flooring, etc. His crews all shared his passion. The hotel opened four and a half months early.

May your crew find the passion you'll be so abundantly displaying to them~!


8:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

My Dad always said "Dig or don't eat". Now I say the same thing.

I don't need to be popular, I need to get something done. I can no longer wait for the wallflowers to get off the bench. So the bench goes out the door. If you still want to sit on the bench, you have to go out the door with it.

I should make up a tee-shirt with your LT's quote on it. That would shake things up.

This is a perfect example of where I'm going, and what my point is.
I will share this example with my GM tomorrow.

Passion is a word that I think about in relation to my work, but only few that I work with understand it. Part of being a leader is getting the majority to understand it, and how it relates to success.

That will be my hill to climb.

Have fun,

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill I'm glad I read this post.
I manage several departments at a commercial printing company here in Alabama.

I've recently changed jobs (after being at my previous company for more than 18 years where I ended up as the VP of Production). I've discovered that one of my departments is filled with whiners. I've been taking a fairly tough approach with them lately which is something they haven't had to deal with before I came on board. I have a great work ethic and feel that I make a excellent example...."do as I do" kind of person. If you're a hard worker with a good attitude I'm your best friend at work, if not.....well...
Your blog was just the shot in the arm I needed right now.

Thanks bud :)

7:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

I glad that you stopped by. Likewise, you lifted me as well.

It's not fun taking the hardline, but if it gets results, it'll be worth it. I have a responsibility to my position, and don't want to fail because the caboose wants to lead the train.

I looked at your profile and found that we share a lot in common. We might have been cut from the same cloth.

And...on another note, are the Southern Riders related in any way to the Southern Cruiser Riding Club?

Have fun,

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nope, the Southern Riders isn't part of the Southern Cruisers. Although we do have a member who is also a Southern Cruiser member.

We're just a group of knumbskulls who like to post on our favorite subject....two wheelers!

Come join the fun. You would fit in like a hand in a glove :)

6:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Thanks for the invite! I'll swing by and have a look.

Have fun,

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking for some parts for my '61 Allstate Compact.

Can you help?

12:51 PM  

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