A consultant friend of mine says that every company owner must do four things to be successful: Know your unique place and role in your world. Develop a compelling vision of where you want to be. Develop a practical plan for how to get there. Play well with others.
You've heard a variant of the first three before, but everyone I share this with tends to recall No. 4 first.
I was reminded of the list last week as I listened to the 10 members of the Glass Professionals Forum update one other about their companies. This band of glass brothers has met annually, mostly at each other's locations across the country, since 2003. They own retail, commercial, auto and fabrication glass businesses and have helped each other solve a variety of issues, from orienting their business niche and selecting machinery, to showroom design and CEO compensation.
GPF members enjoying some down time, from left around the table: David Uhey, Denver Glass Interiors; Guy Selinske, American Glass & Mirror; Tom Whitaker, Mr. Shower Door; David Fitchett, Carolina Glass & Mirror; Angelo Rivera, Faour Glass Technologies; Robert Brown, Brown's Glass; Chris Mammen, M3 Glass Technologies; Steve Mort, Don's Mobile Glass; Bill Evans, Evans Glass Co.; Newton Little, ACE Glass Co.
The GPFers, as I refer to them, haven't met in 18 months thanks to the down economy. Emerging from two years of recalibrating, they discussed increased optimism, downsizing and cold calling to drum up business: a new experience for many.
What strikes me every time I'm with them is how much they continue to learn from and help one another. They trust the group with the most sensitive information, confident in each other's integrity and discretion. In doing so, they have developed rich friendships that yield camaraderie alongside business growth.
Fortunately for the greater glass community, the GPFers also believe in sharing some of what they discuss to help others like them. Watch for several "Your Profits" articles in upcoming issues of Glass Magazine and new "how to" videos on our Glass Magazine YouTube Channel. First up, how to hand-test a shower door hinge for quality in four easy steps.
Without question, these 10 glass company owners understand No. 4 on the success list—play well with others—and then some.
Nicole Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.