One of my personal highlights from last week's Cabinet Makers Association biannual Chicago meeting was hearing Inova CEO Guy Bucey talk about the bathroom his shop employees use.
Bucey leads murphy bed specialist Inova and is a former marine and Wood Industry 40 Under 40 winner. He started working at Inova as an assembler in 2011 and quickly rose to the top spot.
Bucey was the keynote speaker at the event. Around a hundred cabinetmakers listened to him speak on his style of leadership. The theme of his speech was leadership over everything. He urged managers and employers to "stay in their lane", trust their employees to perform, and to never get in the way of continuous improvement.
At the end of his speech and Powerpoint presentation, Bucey showed us a picture of his spotless shop bathroom on a huge screen in the auditorium.
"Bathroom care is key," he said. "Company culture is key, and your bathroom is its most accurate showcase. It shows the amount of respect coworkers have for one another."
"If you bathroom doesn't look like this (pointing to his), the culture at your company is a problem."
Bucey's other advice was not to value multitasking. Focus is superior.
"Multitasking isn't cool," he said. "I cringe when I see it on resumes."
Bucey and his nearly 100 employees meet 30 minutes every single day to talk improvement. "Never compromise continues improvement," he said. "If a truck is waiting, I let them wait. It's too important."
He said if mistakes are being made on the floor, your process is probably the problem - not your workers. Always be evaluating your processes.
An audience member countered: But then how do you know when it's right to fire someone?
Bucey said it may be hard, but if other employees are being affected negatively, or if the worker in question is lowering shop morale, then firing should be considered. But he stressed to always look in the mirror first.
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