It’s newsletter time again. This month has flown by so quickly it seems too soon for another newsletter.
The Passing of a Great Man – Gary Venable Jr. - By Patt Bowles
You may not have known Gary, but you have seen a bit of him living in several of us around you: Ray, Dan Hiett, Ron Kruse, and me (Patt Bowles). As Ray has shared in one of his recent letters, we encountered Gary when he was still in his 20’s. Even then, we could see profound integrity and wisdom in this young man. Gary’s keen intellect, encyclopedic memory, easy going attitude, and most of all his deep goodness and compassion for others led him to become President of All Systems in Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually one of the founding members of the SD6. He freely shared his knowledge, his resources, and his time with anyone who could benefit, and he took great joy in doing so.
In the very early morning hours of August 25th, Gary was able to leave behind the pain from his 10 month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a mere 47 years old, but what an impact those years have had on multitudes of people and will continue to have for generations to come. When you hear words of kindness, are shown a little extra patience, witness an unusually gracious act, or are on the receiving end of a huge smile and sense of acceptance from any one of us, I think Gary may have had a hand in that.
Through the years, Gary (as have we all) attended scores of business conferences, trade shows, and Rauland events. Whenever I found myself at one of these same functions, it became very natural for Gary and I to find time to visit about our families and our faith. I became “Miss Patt” to him, and we would joke when I would refer to Gary as “the son I never had”. He was the kind of person you would be beyond proud to call your relative.
These words from Gary’s Pastor:
“Gary did not decide how he was going to die; He decided how he was going to LIVE.”
- From Ray Bailey
The company is doing well. We did pick up more work this week so we can keep everything as normal for a while. We have a lot of activity going in sales and it feels like there will be a lot more activity over the next few months which will set us up nicely for the year end. It’s exciting to see the new activity and to see the enthusiasm from the sales staff. This year has been a very strange year and has been challenging in a lot of ways. We are still working on the scaling-up program and have had really good success with our meetings and planning to date. There is no doubt that we are a better company today than we were a year ago. The Coronavirus has really been a disruption to our plans and it has made us plan and re-plan for the future to make sure we are developing the right changes and ensuring we are going in the right direction as a company. The Rising Star program is coming together and we are about to introduce the program along with the path an employee can take when they enter a position in the field and allows them to fully and successfully develop their expertise within that role and move up the ladder through training and personal effort. In addition, we have goals company-wide we are setting for all within the company, so we all have something to aim for and calculate our success. We’re still working on identifying processes and review each process for its applicability in today’s environment and how it flows with Q360. We have a lot of changes internally and they are aimed for our improvement. It has been a strange year, but we have had a lot of success with our process updates and look forward to seeing the economy open up so we can execute all we have worked to implement. Stay tuned…
In the June and July newsletters I have reviewed several books that I have read in 2020. I’m trying to keep up the reading pace so I can make my goal of 30 books this year. I know a number of you are also doing well having also read a number of books. I love the challenge! Please let me know who you are (if you don’t mind getting the Shout-out) and your favorite few books read this year. If you could write a short book review of the highlights of the book also, I would love to share that review with others. I would enjoy sharing those through the weekly email.
Kevin Henderson read the book Lucky 666, a story about a Boeing B-17 in World War II and a number of us read it after his recommendation. Dan Hiett read the book Dare to Lead and recommends it as a leadership book for the staff moving into leadership roles. I have read part of this book and I agree, it is a very well-written book. It is very down to earth and easy to understand. I didn’t write down who recommended that I read Playing to Win, (if it’s you, tell me) but this is another very good book. I’d be very proud for someone to step up and volunteer to write reviews on all of these books. As I said, my goal this year is to read 30 books and I’m in a good position to read that many. I have read 22 books so far this year and I am in the middle or three different books right now. I stopped in the middle of The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. The “Hard Things…” book is a good read but when I saw and talked to Ron who was reading “Lucky 666” and Kevin also raved about it, I stopped to read it. Ron had Kevin’s copy and I’m not sure who is reading Kevin’s copy at the moment, but Patt is currently reading my copy.
I am reading Mastering the Complex Sale and Exceptional Selling: How the Best Connect and Win in High Stakes Sales, both by Jeff Thull currently. These are very well aligned with the type products and solutions we sell. So far, the practices explained in these books are similar to our current practices, but it talks about some fine details that may be beneficial to Lone Star and the sales teams. I look forward to finishing these books and the others I have going and completing my challenge to finish 30 books.
Finally, as I have mentioned a few times, we have all of the books I and others have read to date available for anyone that would like to read them. These are currently in the lunchroom in Grand Prairie but if anyone in any office would like to read them, let me or anyone in Grand Prairie know and we will ship it to you. We will build a collection of these books in all offices over time. For now, most are located in Grand Prairie.
-Ray Bailey, President