Don’t let the suit and tie you may see me in fool you. I don’t like it! In my blue-collar past, I also didn’t like many of the things I often had to wear: safety glasses, hard hats, safety vests, hair nets, aprons, and ear plugs to name a few. Regardless of what you do, there’s always a price to pay. Today, I often wear a suit, tie, and dress shoes in order to spread my blue-collar message across all industries from the top to the bottom.
The price you will or won’t pay determines the life you will or won’t live. Don’t let the price of something keep you from having it. Pay the price. If you want to change your results, you must first intentionally change your mind. If you want to change your team’s results, you must first intentionally help them change their minds.
I worked in the blue-collar manufacturing workforce for 24 years, from 1988-2012. The first 10 years were spent as a front-line, entry level machine operator working 2nd shift, 3rd shift, 7 days a week, 10-16+ hours a day in hot, dirty, and often dangerous environments. That’s what blue-collar people do. We make things happen. It’s who we are. We’re different, and we’re proud of it.
After years of trying to make ends meet and trying to get ahead, I decided to start college in 1995 while working 7 days a week as a single parent. I finally graduated with my 4 year business degree in 2002. From 1995-2008, I worked my way up through many engineering type positions while programming CNC equipment, creating various types of CAD drawings, and setting up new manufacturing equipment and cells before moving into cost estimation engineering. I eventually worked my into upper management, responsible for plant-wide process improvement, before resigning in 2008 to start my own Lean Manufacturing and Leadership Development consulting firm.
From 2005-2012, I developed a passion for leadership while leading Blue-Collar Leaders and their teams through 11,000+ hours of process improvement, organizational change, and cultural transformation. Visit the Blue-Collar Kaizen page to see some of the actual results from some of the teams I led. They were amazing people doing amazing things!
In 2012, as a result of my own amazing journey of personal and professional growth, I shifted my focus to speaking and writing about leadership while helping others at all levels across all industries become high impact leaders. Some of my clients include: Koch Industries, Chick-fil-A, Auburn University, Brose, Pall Corporation, Cobb County Government, EXIT Realty, and many more. Learn more about all of my leadership development programs and keynote topics at TopStoryLeadership.com.
However, if there’s anything I could do all day every day, it would be to grow and develop Blue-Collar Workers, especially those on the front line who make it happen day in and day out. They have so much untapped potential but are most often overlooked and underdeveloped.
If you want to unleash your potential or your blue-collar team’s potential, I want to help. I want to help you lead yourself well. I want to help you lead your team well. I want to help you leverage change. I want to help you gain buy-in. I want to help you improve morale. I want to help you engage your team. I want to help you retain and attract top talent.
I want to help you unleash not only your potential, but also your team’s potential.
Make it happen or someone else will. It might as well be YOU!