Letter from the President – 1st Quarter 2022

Culture Should be Seen, Not just heard.

When I was a child, it was a common thing to hear adults say, “children are to be seen and not heard.”  My parents along with many parents of that generation didn’t have the “privilege” of hearing the latest in how to build your children’s self-esteem.  Actually, the expression comes from an old English proverb, dating from the 15th century. In the original form it was specifically young women who were expected to keep quiet. This opinion is recorded in the 15th century collection of homilies written by an Augustinian clergyman named John Mirk.  When I read this, I was immediately taken back in time to when my 6 daughters were all still at home; asking them to keep quiet usually just cranked up their giggle box.  I think about all the things I learned from listening to my children speak.  Hearing from their heart, their dreams, and their aspirations.

So, what’s that got to do with Threaded Fasteners?  Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to our leaders from our Distribution locations.  We talked about servant leadership, and we looked at the acronym S.E.R.V.E.

  • S=See the things others don’t see, so you can do the things others won’t do
  • E=Engage with your team. Culture is not created from the Castle, you must engage
  • R=Responsible. If we are going to serve on another, we have a responsibility to each other
  • V=Vision. This is where we’re going, and this is how we’ll get there
  • E=Educate. Be committed to continuous education.  What are you reading?

I’d like to focus in on the Engagement piece of this exercise.  As our company grows, one of the critical parts of our success is to continue to promote Who we are.  When you look at our culture poster, there are several layers of definition.  Who we are, What we do and Why we do it.  The Threaded Fasteners story can never be separated from who we are, and the culture that’s been created through each of your stories.

Back to the “seen and not heard” saying, I’d like to tweak this old English proverb.  Culture should be “seen and not JUST heard.”  We can never talk ourselves into a great culture.  Culture is created by action, and those acts should be as visible as the nuts and bolts being manufactured, packed, and prepared for shipment.  We can’t just “talk” a good game.  If we are going to be authentic and honest, those character qualities should be in plain view.

So, the question I pose for myself, is our culture being demonstrated in my actions?  Am I creating value in and for the people I serve?

I am proud to be a part of this great team,

Billy D.

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