Volume 15: Three Principles for My Business

RoySo far in 2015, my Outside the Box pieces have touched on topics surrounding the idea of work-life balance.

We’ve discussed why that balance is so important, as well as the best ways to both create time when you can and manage what little time we all have.

All of these changes to tilt one’s work-life balance have been fairly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do.

The biggest obstacles on the path to work- life balance are:

This industry demands a lot out of its people.

Next, most companies have a very particular way they want to go about things, which extends from the day to day operation within the plant, to how much free time you get, to, in some cases, what kinds of things you’re doing in your free time.
So how does one leap these hurdles and maintain the proper balance?

For the next series of articles, Outside the Box is going to change gears some to answer this question. Our next sub-series is going to cover professional relationships, and the three principles that I try to use to guide my own relationships, professional and personal.

Those principles, for those of you that are unfamiliar, are:

Open and Honest Communication

Communication is the key to every relationship, personal or professional. Being open and honest is crucial to maintaining healthy, growing, productive business relationships with managers, employees, vendors and clients.

When problems arise, a reasoned, open discussion about them is almost always the correct path, rather than letting them fester until they blow up later.

If your time isn’t being respected by your boss or your crew, have that discussion about how you can manage it better.

Mutual Respect

Respect is a general requirement of civilized society. Treat others with the respect they deserve as civilized adults, and you will generally receive the respect you’re due back.

I don’t just mean treating the people above you in the food chain with respect: I was taught from a young age that you show the janitor with the same respect you show the CEO.

Show the same respect to your crew that you show to your boss, and you’ll be surprised at the results you can get. That’s not to say you can’t be tough on your crew and push them, but doing it respectfully is key, belittling and bullying has no place in 2015 Corporate America.

Everyone wants to feel validated and receive the respect they feel they deserve.

Hard Results

The reality is that the bottom line drives every functioning company. Owners, shareholders and customers all need to be satisfied with the results you’re producing, or you’re going to find yourself with a lot more free time when they escort you out the door.

Some people will take this as a justification to ignore the first two principles. I can’t caution against this strongly enough. Instead, by respecting your people and being open and honest about the goals and any issues that might arise, you can achieve Hard Results.


Over the next few editions of Outside the Box, we’ll explore these principles in more depth.

Every article I’ve sent out to this point, from the first series about Culture that ran in Corrugated Today, to our series on Diversity and Work-Life Balance, and everything I will write in the future, can be traced back to these three principles that guide how I try to run my own business and manage my own personal relationships.

Open and Honest Communication. Mutual Respect. Hard Results.

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