Search This Blog

De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Leadership Is Like A String

By Rich Kozlovich

I thought I would share a few thoughts with everyone regarding my impressions of the latest NPMA Legislative Day. This was, for all intents and purposes a very successful event for NPMA, although there wasn't any direct pest control issue you could get your teeth into such as Colony Collapse Disorder, or water permit issues.  I think that made this year's event that much more impressive - since those issues lend a certain amount of emotion generating activity. It seems to me this demonstrates a high level of dedication by our industry to our industry nationally.

It also seems to me the big issue was overtime pay for salaried employees, and in truth, that resonated with me.  Let's be fair - do we really think all companies are really being "fair" to their salaried employees? I don't! Why? Because employers are people, and people will always be people, and there's no "Book of Fair". What's fair? Who decides? Actually everyone decides! Because everyone has their own definition of what's fair - and in so many cases I've found what's deemed to be fair depends on whose ox is being gored. Fair can't be codified without being "unfair" to someone. Fair has no universal definition unless it's so broad it has no meaning.  Fair has no modalities or parameters.  That means fair has no real logical foundation.   Fair often times ends up being nothing more than an emotion reaction!  I know...I know.... that's not fair!

However, I don't like the government deciding that issue.  The government is even less qualified to decide whether anything is fair or not than the rest of us.   I don't like minimum wage laws. I don't like people who've never had a job, never started a business, never had to write payroll checks, never borrowed money to keep the business afloat, never had their house on the line, and never went without a payday in order to pay their employees telling me or anyone else "what's fair". The market place fixes that - and admittedly - at times in unpleasant ways, but market place fixes don't require another expensive and incompetent layer of bureaucracy leaching capital from the system.   That wouldn't be fair!

I went to the NPMA Public Policy Committee meeting which I found to be very impressive. We have a group of young staff people (at my age they all seem like young people) who I think are smart, very well informed and totally dedicated working in this arena.  Most importantly - they "think" - they listen - and they do all of that really well. They also get along with each other, and work well together. And the reason I know that is I talked to Bob Rosenberg about this and he noted they're all team players. They're no fiefdoms among them. They're all about the mission, willing to jump in to help where help is needed and willing to accept it when required. And that attitude is obvious. I'm fond of saying - "It's not about me, it's about the mission". I think they exemplify that attitude.  With them - "It's all about the mission!"

A crucible is a vessel heated to extreme temperatures in order to refine substances. NPMA's refinement has required a number of crucibles over these many years eventually leading us to what we have now. 
"Wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding."
We now have a new CEO, Dominique Stumpf,  and this is an important point - we have the staff remaining in place that were put in place by Bob Rosenberg and the Board of Directors.  The last two years have been constructive for the NPMA, and I think successfully.  I think we have good staff, and I include those involved in all the nuts and bolts background stuff that make things work. With all that in place, it was wisdom to have chosen a CEO who has no desire to eliminate that staff and start over again, and it speaks well of Dominique, and it speaks well of her relationship with the rest of the staff. 

My personal commendation to the staff, the CEO, Bob Rosenberg, the Board of Directors and the committee members who worked on this. 

However, for this growth to continue it's important everyone remember their roles. Staff is hired help, and I don't say that with one iota of disrespect, but as a point of definition.  It's important for the members to provide leadership.  The staff will follow.  In any partnership - and that's how the leaders at NPMA view this - everyone must understand their role and act accordingly. It's all about definition. Definition leads to clarity.  Clarity leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to good decision making. We've had a lot of that lately, I'm happy to see it, and I hope it continues.

So why is leadership like a string?  If you grab a hold of a string and pull, it follows along very nicely.  If you get behind it and push, it just folds up on you.  It works that way with people also.

Best wishes to us all!

No comments:

Post a Comment