Hello, this is Corey. Hey, before we get into today's episode, I want to share something with you. I've been very fortunate and blessed to see an uptick in my coaching business over these last few months, and it's because leaders need help. So if you're one of those leaders that has found yourself, kind of in a rut, the working from home is difficult, your priorities have been changed and even questioning your purpose and kind of what are you going after. You are not alone. I put together a webinar called the power of priorities and purpose. You can find it at my website, Corey M carlson.com. And there, there will be a tab on the left. Is this for you? Click on that, watch the webinar. It's about 20 minutes long. You'll learn the five capitals framework, which will help you with prioritization. You'll also learn a process to put together and think through a vision for your life. And so I wanted you to check that out as a kind of a blessing and a go forward to see if it helps get you moving. And if you want further information, then we can talk about a coaching program, but you will find absolute value in this webinar. So I encourage you to go check it out. Thank you very much and onto today's episode.
Welcome to the win at home first podcast. I'm your host, Corey Carlson. This podcast is where we talk about how successful business leaders win, not only at work, but also at home. On this podcast, we will go behind the scenes with great leaders to hear stories of how they win. Thank you for listening and on to today's episode.
(01:32): It’s Corey, you're going to enjoy this episode with Jason. He is a CEO of a public company of 11,000 boys, and he really knocks down some paradigms. And I know a lot of us will have, you know, myself included of being a large public company. How does faith play into it? And in fact, he leads with faith. Faith is a part of their culture, even have a leadership coach and chaplain on staff and is helping with it. So they're really pushing forward with it. Let's talk about the family and the idea of having a three 60 review and how that could be telling if you're winning at home, we're not talking about servant leadership and the importance of that as well. That neat moment in his career when you're through quiet time, that is time to invest in the culture. So great episode learned a lot, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
(02:22): Thank you very much. Hello. This is Corey Carlson. You're listening to the winter home first podcast today with Jason Lippard and he is just a neat guy to, to learn from and grow from. Cause he's done some things I've never done, such as run a public company. He is CEO of a LCI industries and 11,000 people as employees that are underneath him. Plus he's married has four kids, so he has a lot going on and I was excited to have him on the podcast to learn how in the world are you getting all these things done? So, Jason, thank you for being on the podcast today. Thanks for having me Corey well, to get started. What is a key trait that you believe a leader needs to have in order to win?
(03:07): Yeah, I mean, there's, there's lots of them, but I think, you know, servant leadership is huge. You know, we've, we spent a lot of time in our company developing, you know, our core values and our leadership values. So the leadership values we have at work tend to tend to be the same ones I use at home. You know, you gotta be humble and coachable. You got to be a servant leader. You gotta be an effective communicator. And, but you know, you know, faith is a huge deal from me. I mean, that's what ultimately keeps me grounded and in a, in a solid foundation that allows me to be effective both at work and at home, but you know, it work at home. You gotta, you know, you got to serve the people you're around. That's the most effective way in my opinion to get things done. So if I had to, if I had to lean on one thing outside of faith, it'd be servant leadership and that's great. Not always easy to do at home.
(03:57): No, that's not. And so how do you serve at home when the standpoint you have a very demanding job as we've talked about you know 11,000 employees and in the hottest industry right now, I mean the RV industry is pretty incredible and you guys get to ride that wave right now, for sure. So you are very busy at work, but also have a demanding family. And so how are you able to serve your spouse and your kids during this time,
(04:24): Man? So, you know, a couple of my family members have really bad asthma and allergies and they're, you know, nervous about all this stuff. So, you know, there's been added stress, there's, you know, extended family. So I, you know, again, I, I lean on the servant leadership side. I enjoy my kids, you know, I've taken them from toddler to teenage years and trying to, you know, you know, you've got this window to, to coach them and get them ready for the real world. So I'm, I'm real intentional at home about, about coaching and teaching the same leadership values, you know, I pay attention to every day so that when they get out in the real world, they've got that kind of, you know, again, outside of faith, they've got that as a kind of a North star in terms of, you know, how to live their life and, and serving the people around them.
(05:11): And how do you teach that to your kids? Because sometimes I can over swing and take my, put my coaching hat on and be like, all right, kids, here we go. How do you do it in a way that as you found to be most well received?
(05:25): Well, so I think, you know, just leading by example every day and being consistent so that they, they always have that to fall back on, I think is really important. You know, we repeat, you know, the leadership and core values all the time. So that's, you know, that's important. You know, repetition, I think is the biggest thing that you can do is, you know, you know, you might tell a kid a thousand times, and then a thousand times it starts sinking in and they start asking questions. But if you don't repeat it on a regular basis and don't pound it in as a young kid, it's, it's, it's hard for them to grab onto it. So, but you know, I think the leadership by example piece is, you know, they're watching every move and you know, none of us are perfect. It's really hard to be on your game all the time.
(06:07): And you know, I don't struggle at work with, you know, frustration because, you know, people are, you know, they're mature adults and a lot of them are coming to come into the business to win. And they're passionate about the job and the business, but at home, you know, they're, they're, they're just trying to figure life out and kids don't always do the right thing. So it's, it, it challenges me. And again, I just fall back to, Hey, look, you know, just act like you want them, like, you want them to act when they grow up and hopefully, you know, make sense.
(06:38): Yeah. Sometimes leading kids is a lot like leading employees. You're talking about repetition, it's consistently casting the vision. This is what we're going after. This is why in the same thing in the house. That's right. I'll talk a lot about it. You know, it's easy to know if you're winning at work. I mean, there's KPIs key performance indicators. There is a, here's the scorecard. And if you do well, then Hey, we're going to performance review and then we'll give you a better title, some more money, and you continue just to decline. But at home it's different. There is not a scorecard, there are not KPIs. So how do you know if you are in fact winning at home? Like, what does some of that look like in your life to say, Oh right. I gotta recalibrate.
(07:17): So part of it, it's my own behavior. You know, I have to temper myself, you know, the, the less I get frustrated and maybe upset at things that happen that the kids do, or, you know conversations direction. We're trying to take the kids with my spouse. You know, I kind of gave some of that on, on how I see myself coming out of all those types of things. But, you know, a lot of us say, you know, what other people say? You know, what are the, what are the, what are the kids' teachers say? What are the kids? You know parents of their friends say, you know, I liked that, you know, that three 60 review type, you know, I got my opinion, my wife's got hers, you know, the kids have their own and the, you know, the, their peers and teachers and other people that deal with them have their so kinda, you know, you can kind of get a, a good, good feel or flavor if you put it all together and, you know, you, you, you spot, you sparked the, a thought and it's like, yeah, that'd be really cool to just put some KPIs at home.
(08:10): I figure what that figure, what, what those are. And, you know, you get, you, you take a little bit from the grades and the schooling, you take a little bit from the feedback and you look at how they interact with, you know, their peers, either in a social environment or sports or whatever they're in. And then you kind of, you know, you figure out what can be improved and, you know, come up with kind of just in your mind, a little, little action plan for them and just each kids as you know, extremely different. So, you know, that kind of thing.
(08:37): Yeah. And your wife and kids are gonna kill me if this is a source of the new dashboard up on the the family room wall. I'm serious. I'm serious. That's a good idea. Yeah. I'll I want to see what you put up, what would be that, you know, kind of a metric to do it, how would you do the faith piece for kids? The faith piece? It's like,
(08:56): You know, you know, the thing I, I, you know, and I, you know, I struggle with is, you know, that regular, you know, that regular cadence of, you know, how are you developing your relationship with God? You know, are you, are you, you know, into the word, are you listening to a faith-based podcast? Are you out there serving, you know, the community in some way, shape or form, what kinds of things are you doing? It's a, it's the action. And, you know, that's the, that's the struggle because they've got a hundred thousand other things that they got their mind on, and that's probably last, and it probably is for most kids, but it's getting them over that hump so that they're, you know, that they're at least carving some time. I've had a conversation with one of my kids last night about it. And it's just, you know, they're always trying to tell me how busy they are. And it's just like, eh, we don't, we don't need that much time. We just need to carve a little bit of time out and get intentional. And so it's kind of teaching them about that intentionality and, and really making time in their schedule and creating time in that time in their schedule. And knowing that you don't need to sit down for two hours and do something, but it's just moved the needle a little bit. Yeah.
(09:59): And that relative, I love when different people say, how busy are it for one of your kids until you that they are too busy for quiet time when you're running a multi-billion dollar organization. And I was just thinking today, I was on a phone call with a guy who doesn't have any kids. It's like, I'm just so busy. I don't have any time. And in your mind, you're like, we all have time. Just how do we prioritize?
(10:21): That's right. That's right. You know, when we, when we, you know, really took a, a serious step toward improving culture and doing all the cool things we're doing around culture and leadership today, that was the first thing I did is I said, if I'm going to really dedicate some serious time to culture, I'm doing a thousand things. Nobody's, nobody's accusing each other in the company about not being busy enough, we all, but we all fill our days with all sorts of stuff. So it's just, you know, take the 80 20 of it and find the stuff that's bottom of the barrel, that stuff that if you didn't, if you stopped doing nobody would really know and then take that time and, you know, put it at the top of your list and put it back toward people and, and leadership and culture and move the needle there.
(11:03): Yeah. The post that I learned of you at first was on LinkedIn. You put a post on helping our employees grow, and it talked about all of these personal holistic things. Like some of the topics were debt related goals. How many people in the Lippert family, God, through debt related goals, marriage goals, education, family improvement, goals, healthy mindset, weight loss, and there's a few more, and it was just as cool dashboard to show how everyone is grown. And I, when I saw that, I just, I loved it. I think I made a comment and then you quickly you know, commented back. And I was like, all right, well, have a conversation back and forth. And here we are today, but no, and I think that's neat how you live that out at Liberty. So that was pretty neat. And have you seen that be uptick culture?
(11:54): Oh yeah. You know, I, ultimately, I look at people have a choice, whether they stay here or go and there's other opportunities, you know, they they're going to choose to stay or leave. And, you know, if they choose to come in this building every day or some other facility that we've got, that's their choice. And ultimately, hopefully it's because, you know, they love their job or they love the, the, the leader, their leader, they love the culture. They love the company that was something about coming to work everyday. Something, you know, gets their heart on fire about coming to LCI every day. So we have seen it and we look at our attrition. I mean, our attrition has come down from, you know, 120%, which is pretty average for our, our area here. And, and this end of the world in Northern Indiana where we've got 30 facilities to down to 25% last year is where we finished. And this year with COVID, it's, it's pretty close to that, but, you know, it's calmed down every year and that's a result of that. More people choosing to stay as opposed to more people choosing to leave like we had before we even attempted to a culture and leadership journey.
(12:56): Very interesting. I just, I thought that was so neat to do any important and like yeah, the family piece of holistic, I mean, it's that idea that that's how you're kind of leading and even seeing some of your posts out there are very family oriented, which I, you know, like seeing, especially as a public company and to be able to yeah.
(13:15): Yeah. I think, and that's, I think that's part of the problem with our society as we've, you know, we've got these borders of how we think we need to act in business and you know, the great thing about business and, you know, even, you know, every business is entrepreneurial. You can be innovative in any business and it's just, where do you set the boundaries? So if you, if you eliminate the boundaries and let people think creatively and kind of guide what works, I mean, that's how the whole personal development part of our business developed. I mean, we started with, Hey, look, we've got this, you know, we, we want to get intentional about culture. So what's, what's the first step. Well, we don't have core values. We don't have, you know, any values that we're holding people accountable to. So let's, let's figure out as a, as a company, what those need to be and what, how those are best serve us over the long-term and our people in the community and our customers that led to, Hey, look, you know, we need better leadership here.
(14:03): You know, one of the complaints of all of our team members back when our attrition was 120%, that they didn't, you know, they didn't like the, the leadership, you know, the leadership wasn't treating them fairly, or their leadership were, were behaving badly in some cases. And, you know, people get held to different standards. So we hired you know, we said, Hey, look, the general managers, the plant managers, the executives in the company, we can't hold, you know, a setback back then seven or 8,000 people and coach them and develop their leader, teach them what leadership is all about, and then hold them accountable. We needed some, you know, some leadership coaches. So we got intentional hired some leadership coaches and put 10 or so in the business to work with all the different facilities. And so the general managers and the plant managers didn't have to be the ones to teach what leadership needed to look like on top of their already busy day in their jobs.
(14:48): And then, you know, what we found out, interestingly, after we started teaching leadership and sitting down and having one-on-ones and three on ones and five on ones, in different parts of the manufacturing parts of our businesses, you know, we found out that, you know, people couldn't perform at work because of personal crisis or a personal issue. And, you know, we w you know, w we traditionally tell people to leave your personal baggage at the door and get your work done and get it get out. And that just doesn't work. People can't separate from their personal life at work. And so we said, Hey, look, let's get some personal development coaches. Some people that have, you know the gift of sitting down and working with people and helping guide them through maybe whatever personal issues or crisis they're having. And these coaches ultimately, you know, realize that there's all these other things, creating issues that, you know, hold them back from, you know, peak performance. So we help them fix those issues, or just get down the trailer, maybe point them in the right direction. And all of a sudden, you know, we got a higher performing team member, and by the way, that person, after they go through some coaching sessions like that say, you know what, no company has ever, you know, done this for me and my five or 10 or 20 years in the workforce. So I'm never leaving here. And then we've got, you know, we've got long-term retention.
(16:03): That's neat. I know they're there they're cared for. And that's neat. I did a keynote actually just this week with Cincinnati bell and they have 5,000 employees. And so it was for their leadership team. And, but it was a virtual keynote, which those, those have just been an interesting ride during ride 20. And I opened it up this time with asking, you know, what are the top three challenges you have now kind of rank them where the personal professional and then sum them up. Is it three to zero or two to one personal professional and the first to hit. And I said, then put that in the chat, the first two went, it was personal and professionals like, Oh, this is a 50 50 I, and then it was like a delay. And then all of a sudden, boom, they all came all personal.
(16:48): I think there may have been one more professional. So it was all personal. And then I just sit in the irony of this. It's 1:00 PM Eastern, and we aren't doing this talk, but yet everyone is thinking personal. And that's the reality. And so for you guys at LCI to, to go after that, invest in the leadership coaches to help them holistically, to actually have some metrics and scorecard that we talked about earlier to help them holistically as neat. I love how you're doing that. Thanks. So as a leader and when the ups and downs take place for your business, how are you? Re-Establishing whether it's your not, not, not, not necessarily your fate, but your mindset and what does that look like? Like, can you take a look at 2020, where for you guys LCI that like the stock price was low and Q2 when quarantine happens, like what's going to happen now, all of a sudden, you know, and it's been a nice climb to where we are at today. So how do you not the end, the world's coming to an end feeling as the CEO to getting prideful
(17:50): Up top when it's going well, how are you really kind of recalibrate through your quiet time, your solid two? What does that look like?
(17:57): I think, you know, again, the, the strength of your relationship with God matters immensely in times like this, because, you know, if your faith isn't strong, you're going to get shook up pretty good by something like this. So, you know, for me, it's, it's you know, it was a little scary, but, you know, just another day and, you know, you, you know, at the end of the day that you know, we don't have control anyway, he does. And you know, what what's gonna happen is ultimately, you know, the direction he's taken us. And we got to, you know, I think strengthened leadership on, on my team's end. So, you know, we've all been together for a long time. That's helped. I mean, if you were a company that was changing out leadership and Q1, man, I, I, I can't imagine new people trying to get together and solve these types of problems, but you know, some of them, I think the average tenure on my 21 person, executive team is, you know, close to 17, 18 years.
(18:50): So we've, you know, we've been together for a while. We've got real strong leaders, and again, we've been on a culture journey for, you know, close to since 2012. So we've been taking steps intentionally to care for our people more. I mean, we, we had, you know, out of our 11,000 team members, I mean, we had all of our eight or 900 manufacturing frontline leaders in the business leading the front lines at the manufacturing facilities, we had our management teams, we had our executives. I mean, everybody was making phone calls every week and making sure every single 11 of 11,000 had a conversation a week. So there was no question about, Hey, look, it's, we're in a dark period right now. We're not coming to work. You know, we're just kind of sitting, waiting for what the next move is. And, you know, so community communication was huge.
(19:38): And in times of crisis like this, certainly my team's been through Oh eight Oh nine. We've been through, you know, Oh one and we've been through some tough times together. So, you know, I think at the end of the day, we all knew we had each other's back and we're all gonna work hard for one another. And we're not gonna, we're gonna serve each other in the process. So the fact that we worked on culture so much, and we're grounded in that and we're serving each other. I think that that just helped us get through the last six months as, as tough as that was. I mean, it feels like it's been five years since an a March.
(20:11): Thank you very much for listening to today's episode. I hope you are enjoying it so far before we go back to the rest of this episode. I want to share with you my book when at home first, some of you have read it. So thank you very much for others of you. You have not. And I encourage, if you're looking for a resource to help you with these times of your work is now in your home and your home is now in your work and what this looks like. This book is being helpful to many leaders like you whores magazine said it was one of seven books. Everyone on your team should read in the book is broken up into four sections to help you versus about you understand who you are. The second is marriage in ideas and tips to help with your marriage. Third is parenting and the last is work. So these four different sections to help you recalibrate during this time and to help move forward. So if you are needing additional resource, I encourage you to check out my book went home first. It is available on Amazon, as well as audible and so on to the rest of the episode. Thank you very much.
(21:19): What is your daily routine look like for you? And
(21:22): I start every morning with about 10 minutes of prayer. I mean, my feet hit the floor, put some drops in my eyes and I'm, I'm praying. So, and that's that doesn't change. I mean, that's been, that's been my routine for quite a while. Then I, when I I've got about 15 or 20 minutes usually of I mean, I just, can't Rick Warren daily hope, you know, his, his podcast is, I mean, his wisdom is so great. I mean, he's, he's, he's the best at, you know, interpreting, you know, what God has to say and do it in a lesson that's really interesting to listen to your eyes, learn from it. I'm always taking notes. So it's about, you know, 15, 20 minutes of that. And then I, I don't, you know, then I start my day and I'm grounded in that, you know, before my day even starts, I'm not thinking about a thousand other things and it just helps, you know, by the end of the day, sometimes I'm a little unwell, but that just means it's time to go back and, you know, listen to 10 more minutes or 15 more minutes or, or re read the word.
(22:21): Do you find yourself recalibrating through the day is if you get off track a little bit, you're like, all right, hold up. I got to sneak off for five minutes here and pray, or
(22:29): Yeah, I do. And it's it's, it's so helpful. It just, you know, it just brings you back to, you know, you get caught up and, you know, especially in a business like ours, we're in a year like this, where you've got COVID, you've got the, you know, the industries we serve running wild it's easy to get sidetracked. And you know, you had the election, you had a hundred, a hundred thousand things going on and it's easy to get distracted. So I think it's healthy to, you know, to be able to stop yourself and be self-aware enough to you know, say, look just, and that's sometimes all you need is five or 10 minutes, that's it. And you're just like, geez, what was it? Where was I headed?
(23:04): Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And we talked a little bit, we were just dumb about the stock price a little bit. I know it's on my bad day. So my Q2 was also bad because I lost all my speaking engagements. I felt my prayer time just get a little longer bird time, got a lot longer. And then when they, you know, in my Q4 also happened to be very strong. And then if I'm not careful, it will be less quiet time because it's like, Oh, I don't need God as much. I've got to figure it out. And it, I think part of that discipline is, is know if just because we're in the Valley doesn't mean we need to spend more time, a little more at the peak because w w we need them really both those times.
(23:44): Yeah. Part of my routine after the podcast, the last thing I do is we've kinda got a, I think there's 450 on a we kind of have a, we don't kind of, we have a, a company chaplain and he's, you know, he's got a, he's a leadership coach, but he also kind of wears the chaplaincy hat. And he did that for a European hockey team and the, in the pro leagues over there, he was a chaplain over there. So he's got a lot of experience, but we've amassed about close to 500 people in the company that are on this. You know, he takes a, a core value or a leadership value and, and might take something that somebody in the leadership culture world has said, it's, you know, important to tie into that. And then he takes a Bible verse and, you know, ties the three together. And that's, you know, that's, that's how a lot of, I think a lot of people start their morning here because he hits that at know 5:30 AM, usually every morning. And, you know, people are reading and responding and praying for each other. And it's, it's pretty cool
(24:39): Right now. What is, what are you learning or hearing from God? Anything in particular that's really standing out.
(24:46): I'm I'm I'm a one foot in front of the other guy. I mean, I, I do, I mean, I, I look forward, but you know, there's my, my, my plans are I just a little piece of what his plan is? So I think, you know, th th the things that are on my 80 20 lists right now, or continue to find good godly men and women that want to contribute and bring them to the business, I find that our business always gets better when we find people that are centered in faith and they come to the business to help. We've attracted a lot of people that way, just, you know, people see it, there's a lot of people in this company that are grounded in faith, and whether it's through social media or through other things, there's there's a lot of other people that find out about it.
(25:29): So we kind of you know, and like you said, early on in the interview that there's not a lot of companies out there doing it. They feel like they can't, they feel like, Hey, if I do this, you know, HR or somebody else might say something, so I'm just not going to say anything. And, you know, that's what I constantly keep hearing. Guys just keep living faith out at work, make sure people that want to do that have a place to come to. And maybe we might along the way inspire some other companies to realize that, Hey, Hey, they've been doing this for a long time and you know, nobody's getting fired and nobody's in a, nobody's leaving the company still doing well. It's a, I think it's just a, you know, a common misconception that people have. And if we can just move the needle a little bit and, you know, give some inspiration that some other individuals or companies to try and move the needle there as well. I think it's, I think it's win. So just things like that. Yeah.
(26:18): I'll be working with business owners of, of smaller companies, a vision and values. And it's, we can't put God in there. We can't put faith in there. We can't put anything kingdom related and to it. And it's amazing how the, the, the enemy, the devil has got a hold of that in so many people, a fear of don't do it. There's a lawsuit around the corner, if you do it.
(26:40): That's right. That's right. Well, we actually had baptism on a company property. The first one I've ever been made aware of, but again, guy was brought to faith, faith at work, and he wanted to eat, you know, one of our leadership coaches kind of led them along the way, and then, you know, and they decided to do it. Right. So we did it, we did it outside in the parking lot. And one of the plants,
(27:02): Where were you nervous? Like, Oh, where's legal counsel. We got, we gotta figure this out.
(27:06): No, I just, you know, you just got to re you know, you just gotta respect. Everybody's like you said earlier. I mean, if, if other people want to want to do something I'm more open, we're creative and we're going to listen to it. I mean, the best thing we've ever done in our culture is listened to our people. So, you know, whether it's something like that or whether it's just, Hey, I, I, you know, I really feel like my, my leader is making some bad choices and, or behaving badly, and somebody needs to address it where we're listening.
(27:33): Yeah. Oh man. Mezzanine quarantine has changed a lot for all of us. Jason, what's been the greatest thing for quarantine for you guys.
(27:42): You know, I didn't travel a whole lot before. I mean, we've got divisions, you know, scattered all over the country in Europe. And, you know, I was fortunate enough to be able to have developed a team and I've started a lot of those facilities, you know, outside this area. So I know all my, in our customers and know a lot of the people, so I feel connected and I can get on the phone and now, you know, a lot more video, but, you know, it did take some of the international travel out of the picture for me. I did, I, you know, I am spending more time at home and it's been great. I mean, we just build our schedules with a lot of things that, you know, we didn't need to do. And I think it will be good for our families. I think it will be good for our business, you know, and, you know, stop doing some of the things that, and it's not a waste thing.
(28:24): It was just you know, Hey, where's your time more valued? Is it more valued around your family and your coworkers, or is it, you know, more, more valuable when you're, you know, making six trips a year to see a customer when you could do it in two, you know? But for our family, it definitely, it's been a, it's been a help for me. I know my kids have appreciated. I'm a kind of a, Hey, I'm, I'm at work at five, five 30 or so, but I'm home at five. So, you know, I've been pretty consistent over the years, you know, making sure that I'm home at five and, and not coming in at seven and seeing the kids for an hour before they go to bed. So but kids are definitely noticed I've, I've been around more. So that's been really, really great and that kind of stuff.
(29:06): That's great. Do you have boundaries at home for like minimum phone laptop use because I'm sure everyone wants to get ahold of you, whether it's someone for an article or,
(29:16): Yeah, well, I don't bring my laptop home, so I don't ever have to worry about that. It's just a good discipline to have. And then on the phone, I just put it away when I get home. And, you know, maybe when the kids are off to bed, I'll, I'll I'll pick it up and check a couple things, make sure I'm not missing out, but I'm not hearing it ring or, you know, my phone's never buzz for an email or a text. I just, you know, yeah.
(29:37): It's a big deal to turn off notifications for sure. Toronto locations one, and you'll be with, you know, you've had it happen to where you're with a buddy and it's like, what's that noise? Oh, it's my phone. I, you know, the hockey team just scored. It's like, who cares? Who cares if someone's scoring, you know, right now we don't need to know every breaking thing on ESPN or CNN or Fox or whatever I'm like. Yeah. So John notification, so there's so much freedom in that for sure. That's right. Yeah. That's good. What have you found to be the biggest surprise running a public company in a good way? Not COVID related just the big surprise in a good way. Yeah. So, you know, for me,
(30:21): You know, we were, when I, when I came to the business, we were, you know, 80 million, you know, we're kind of, you know, if you, your run rate our last quarter's results, you know, or we're well over 3 billion. So, you know, it, for me, it got tedious, you know, I love growth. I love for our people to express, be able to express and, and, you know, get creative and be entrepreneurial and find new ways to develop new products or new customers and new markets. But it becomes the same thing after a while.
(30:54): Let's do a new strategic deck. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
(30:58): And I've, and I've been at it for 26 years. So I've, I've watched the company grow from 80 to 3 billion and Ben and Emily involved there. But the funnest thing we've done over the years in terms of, you know, developing new initiative is just our culture and leadership journey. And it's, it's been so rewarding because what I've realized is that, you know, at the end of my life and I'm getting, you know, I'm, I'm not 50 yet, but you know, every year you start thinking about, you know, you get one year closer to, you know, when you, when are you going to stop work. And, but when you, when you get to the end of your life, you're not going to be remembering the, Oh, we had this great sales year, or we hit 3 billion, or we grew from 80 to 3 billion and, you know, got all these customers or develop these products.
(31:39): You're going to remember, you know, the people that you impacted and the people that people's life, you transformed in the process just as people, you know, helped transform me, you know, it's it's those things that you're going to remember. So those are the things I pay attention to today. Those are the things I encourage our, our team members to pay attention to. And now I do a frontline leader meeting just as my commitment to, to, to stay close to culture, as, you know, sit with our frontline team members from a different facility once a week, and cast a little bit of vision. And then, you know just have a listening session. We call them listening sessions. And we, we just listen to our people and without fail, there'll be two or three people in each of those sessions that, you know, are relatively new to the company.
(32:21): And, you know there's tears because they're just like, you know, I was getting beat up in this business and manufacturing, it's a little bit different, you know, you get some bad bosses in manufacturing and busting your butt all day, you know, with with a, with a welder or on an assembly table where you're just using your hands and you're, you're, you're physically spent, but then getting beat on mentally by somebody who just wasn't trained how to be a good leader, that's, that's exhausting. And some people do it for decades because they just, they feel that, Hey, this is just the way it works. And I've got to earn a living and got to take care of my family. And so how many people come and just say, this just happened to me a few days ago. And I did one, we had people crying on the phone testifying, the 40, 40 people in some cases, in some of these meetings that, you know, just, you know, I feel like I got a family.
(33:10): I feel like people actually care about me, what they, you know, so many places talk about culture and values, but they do the opposite. And it has the, the opposite effect. People lose trust and they lose confidence and feel hopeless. And to come to a place where you can, you know, your heart can turn on fire and you can get excited about people and, you know, get passionate about the business. This is rare, I think these days, and that's one of the things we're trying to do. And you know, whether it's conversations like you and I are having, or social media, or just conversations we have around the communities that we work in to explain to people, it doesn't have to be the way that it is. And we can improve the society, improve our communities. If we just, you know, take the 40 to 58 hours we have with people and impact them positively. So that, that ripples to families and, you know, the other people that interact within the community, just because they have a positive experience.
(34:04): Yeah. Oh man. Yeah. Yeah. It's so good. And it's neat to hear you talk about as a leader to almost reestablish your, why. I don't know if you have a personal vision. Did you have a personal vision statement, Jason, that you use?
(34:16): I, I have a I have an annual leadership action plan that I change year to year. But if I have, I had to tell you what my, why is, that's how I, that's, how I stayed at, you know, just to impact people positively and transform lives through our, through, through our culture.
(34:32): Hmm. Well, that's neat. And it's just a reminder, cause I've taught Donna actually a business owner this morning on a call and just hitting burnout. I mean, it's been a rough year. I mean, for everybody in, in 2020, as you mentioned earlier, but it's reinforcing the why reinforcing what we're going after. And it seems like when you did that leadership and culture change that revitalized even your own heart for the business and for what you're doing, because then it was like, Hey, we're in, it's not about selling parts for the RV industry. It's Hey, we're also, we're helping people and helping them pay down their debt and stop smoking and lose weight. And it just reinforced your why. So that's neat to see
(35:14): Each of those team members that we help at LCI. I mean, generally they're going out and they're talking to somebody, a friend or a peer or a family member, and it's having impact there. So, you know, the, the ripple is endless. And the cool thing about culture and leadership journey is that it never ends. I mean, it goes on forever. You can always get a step better. There's always another creative thing you can think about to do. And you know, in, in business, it's not always, you know, you might go through cycles and you might go through dibs and, you know, the, the, the, the path looks long at one minute and then it disappears because you're, you have a cycle and, and culture and leadership. I mean, there's always a positive, you know, step up approach. You can take where people can be better tomorrow than they were yesterday. No matter what, as long as they want to make an effort. Yeah.
(36:00): Oh, that's neat. You've been with LCI your whole career. And so, you know, very steady and loyal in that regard. Part of my story was where I just felt, God, say you got to hand over your story for a greater story. Did you have a moment in that in your own life, whether it was leading the company or was your family where you just felt a Jason, you'd better hand over your story there there's, you're doing it wrong. Here we go. Let's lets you know, put me in coach,
(36:27): Right? Yeah, I did. I you know, it was probably 15 years into my career and we, we were experiencing great success with, with just, you know, growth in our top line growth in our bottom line growth in the stock price. So yeah, it was I got to a point 15 years in and, you know, we were making, you know, making plans for the next year and just more growth. And it just seemed like 15 to 20% growth every year. And, you know, I remember sitting in my office in the quiet, you know, just asking God, like, you know, it just, there has to be, you know, growth is cool and it's fun, but after you do it for so long, you know, it just it it's a different kind of fun and excitement, you know, it just becomes more of the expectation.
(37:16): And it just didn't seem like there was much purpose behind that. And that's when, you know, I I, I prayed about it a ton of course have a, about a year. And then I, I had a, a Ted talk hit my computer that was sent to me. And it was it was called truly human leadership by Bob Chatman. And then the actual, and I was an actual, you know, manufacturing company that had actually, you know, taken this meaning of culture that we've been talking about to to a new level. And he's a guy of faith. And it was just that it was what I needed to hear, to have a light bulb go off and say, okay, yeah, there is a greater purpose we can impact, you know just forget the 11,000 people in our company. If you take the 11,000 and you hit the family members, maybe you're up to 30 or 40, but if we can teach other businesses, like Bob taught us.
(38:09): And I eventually reached out to him and said, okay, tell me, I want to learn, tell me, I want to learn what you learned in 10 years. And one just tell me what, what we need to do I need to do. And that, and that's all we did. And, you know, the, the purpose came, Hey, look, let's impact people's lives for the better we have me. Church has people for an hour, a week. We have them for 40 or 50. We can, you know, we can do a ton if we're intentional about it, but we, you know, we've got to get a lot of people on mission. You know, a lot of people with that purpose, cause it can't just be one person. And we have to get really intentional about the people we bring in and, and the resources that we're going to allocate to make sure that, that, that happens and that people don't have an interaction and walk away and say, well, you know, they talk, they talk about it, but they don't really do it. Yeah.
(38:52): That's a great story. A phrase that I've heard this year in quiet time and really just been sticking a lot with it is that I control the input and God controls the impact. So I love, I, you're talking about a, let's invest in these 11,000 and then encourages 11,000 to go on best. And we'll just see where it goes and what in the world happens and, and let God guide you the rest. But you know, our job is to show up each day, serve our employees, serve our families, and then you see the ripple effect it has.
(39:22): Yeah. And we you know, we started in 2018 we launched a leadership Academy that was specifically designated and running to it because we had so many people after six years on the, on mission with culture and leadership, we had people around us, customer suppliers, other peers in the community here in Northern Indiana reaching out saying, what are you guys doing? Because people are starting to talk about it. We had a bad reputation, you know, as you can imagine when your turnover's 120%, but after, you know, we, we, we really turned the corner and people started leaving companies that people thought were really good to, to come to our place where one would traditionally, they heard was not a great company to work. We just work hard and run over our people. They started asking a lot of questions that people said, Hey, we, you know, can you help us?
(40:07): Can you just sit down? We were having so many conversations. We just started Academy planting. One of our leadership coaches there and said, Hey, look, let's just help businesses. And that's really the that's really gonna be the, the, the impact is if we can teach other businesses that are going to teach their team members and they might teach other businesses. I mean, so, you know, the coolest thing is when you know, I've had a few customers that we've taken through this process of, Hey, look, let's just figure out where you're at. Just like, you know, in your faith journey, you know, you gotta figure out where you're at before, you know what the next step is. Leadership and culture is the same thing where he at, we figure it out and then we work with them on, on what the next obvious steps are.
(40:43): And we help them take a few steps and then we kind of just let them go. And then we're here for support if they need us. But the coolest thing that's happened, you know, as customers will send me their own core values cards that they give to all their team members that happen as a result of us, you know, getting involved from a leadership and culture standpoint and helping them, helping them along the journey. So I just think in the back of my mind, that's having impact, you know, it's going to impact, you know, people's lives, you know, for 40 hours a week. And if that does some good, then you know, we've done our job.
(41:13): Oh, that's neat. Well, I think just after maybe this podcast interview, there may be some people reaching out, looking for more help. So
(41:21): Well, I'm easy to find on LinkedIn. And I mean, anybody that reaches out and ask for help, I connect them with, you know, resources on our end that can at least get them going. And you know, we're not out to make a profit on it. We just want to help more companies just get the light bulbs going off because that's really, it's really an easy journey to take because, you know, wow, God wired us as to help and serve others. So we can just figure out how to do that inside the four walls at work we can, you know, we can all have more impact. Yeah. Well, I I've seen your certain heart. Even through that LinkedIn feed gentlemen asked to if he could submit his resume and you're like, send me, mine, send me the resume and I'll get to the right people. So I think it, yeah, it's just neat. People used to make fun of me because I did that. Yeah. We've had so many good people come on board and nobody says anything anymore because they're like, Hey, even if it worked one time, it's, it's, it's worth all the extra work. So that's the marketing, that's the HR strategies, your LinkedIn account.
(42:20): Good. Right. So I assume this probably a Jason, the best way for people to get ahold of you or address it. Is that correct? Yeah. Linkedin. Yeah. That's right. All right. Well, thank you so much for the time today. I do this a lot longer and love to talk with you and just, it's neat to see what you're doing and just, yeah. Keep it up. You're impacting many, so thank you. Hey, thanks. And you know, love your heart too, and appreciate your, your story and what you shared and what you're doing with this. I mean, if, like I said, if two people get something out of it, then we both won today, so Jocko's good. Awesome. Well, thank you very much. Appreciate it greatly. Yeah. See you later. We'll be in touch.
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