The Executive Committee of Lake just got to spend two very full, very exhausting, but very productive days going over the results of the our first year of having Peter Braeuler of Gazelles International reorganize and reengineer the company.
To say that I was simultaneously surprised, happy, and proud of the results would be a major understatement. We hit all the major goals that we had set in stone back in January. Now that might mean one of two things, since we just blue skied the numbers 10 months ago: One it might be we were incredibly lucky to accidentally hit the numbers or Two, it might be we actually know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for…but wait there might be third answer.
Maybe by chiseling those numbers in stone at the Petroleum Club 10 months ago, could we have set in motion the intent, the unrelenting resolve to make it happen? So that’s pretty cool, we get jacked up and make ourselves hit the number, that’s great but how did we make sure we hit those numbers by the end of the year? I started thinking about it and it occurred to me that something had to change inside of Bruce, Caryn and me (as well as Peter, I imagine).
A Sense of Urgency is what instantly sprang to mind and has stayed in my mind as the only reason. A sense of urgency made those numbers attainable because if we understood that the pinnacle of those final numbers was only going to happen if we looked at each and every event of every day as an important part of the yearly tapestry that we wove. This Sense of Urgency kind of dove tails with one of favorite ‘Dougisms’ “If it is IMPORTANT you will do it…If it is not IMPORTANT, you will not do it…MAKE EVERYTHING IMPORTANT!”.
Cindy Booker, our Head of Human Resources, is going to be tasked with building Lake University. LU is what we at Lake are going to instituting in 2014. There will be curriculum, degree plans, diplomas…we even have a school mascot (picture below). And like all degree plans, there are core courses that everyone must take and what do you think will be the mandatory class that every new employee must take? Living your life with a Sense of Urgency taught by the CEO is something I dearly look forward to teaching. Everyone knows that I am a teacher at heart and working on the curriculum with Cindy and Jennifer Webb will be a treat for me.
I also want to welcome our newest employee, Erin Hill to the Lake Group of Companies. She will be in charge of Web Development, Social Media, and have no small amount of input in the upgrading of computing and software systems. Erin will be the first student of Lake University. One last thing, Erin is my daughter and recently graduated from prestigious Baylor University and completed an internship at the National Press Club of Washington D.C. It takes me back to the first week of June 1966 when my father got me up at 5 A.M. and gave me my first Lake Truck Lines uniform and took me to work to a job I have been at for 47 years.