–Al E. Bavry, President Emeritus, Kimal Lumber
It’s a serious business, isn’t it?
We’re in a very complicated, high stress, high energy industry. And in Kimal’s case (as with a lot of you out there), we are a “Full-Service” building materials dealer. That means many moving parts, and it’s not easy to keep your eye on all those “parts” and make sure they fit! Add to that, we also act as a bank…every month we “loan” a seven-figure amount to contractors when we put “on account” a lot of money behind those trusses, doors, windows, hardware etc. that they purchase. And the assumption, of course, is 30-45 days later, the “loan” is paid. So, the point again…It’s one very tough business to be in. Those of us that do it have gotten pretty good at it…
So… Recently at Kimal we were having a meeting, and quite honestly we see some headwinds ahead of us that may be much stronger than what we saw in 2019. (I will mention some of that in another newsletter.) During the meeting I noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of smiling going on…A reminder again of how difficult this gig we’re in actually is! Then one of our more “loosely wired” members cracked a joke about (OK, I’ll tell the whole story) another member’s colonoscopy. And it turned into some wise cracks going on back and forth with a few getting humorously picked on. The whole group were laughing out loud and the atmosphere instantly changed from somber to electric. The magic that happened was the rather icy, serious air got much warmer…And our thought process on the issue at hand got a little clearer…Translated, some of that serious tension went away. We were thinking sharper, saw our path on the issue with a little more vision, and ultimately came up with a proposed course and plan of action moving forward. That burst of humor brought in a breath of fresh air and helped us all.
No, I’m not suggesting the next time you are trying to solve a difficult problem, whatever, that you just start cracking jokes…But humor is one of those “tools” in our tool belt that we often forget about.
The more I think about the subject of humor, I realize that when we get a little light-hearted and even humorous, it can really get the creative juices going…Much more so than the “Gloomy Gus” facade where folks tend to get (and stay) “wrapped too tight!”.
There are some very basic tenants of being successful, like learning how to “LISTEN’…Really well…or clarity of your Vision, and of course many others. If you don’t do it already, you might add appropriate humor to your tool belt…Good luck and continued good selling.