An old friend of mine would say, “Leadership gets results.” I always found that phrase too hard and cold. So, I did not use it, but I did not forget it. I leveraged it, and as my experience grew, I saw increasing evidence of its truth, albeit I moderated the phrase to “Great leadership creates great results.”
This is the theme of this article, and I have written with the end in mind; of how good it can be and the kind of great results that great leadership can create.
I am the founder of HindlePower, a company with 22 years in the making. Our results are both great and, I believe, achievable by any organization. Yet to get there, we’ve always followed the path less traveled.
We enjoyed double-digit annual revenue growth for fifteen consecutive years, progressing from being a small supplier to the acknowledged industry leader. Our gainsharing paid out the maximum 20% additional wages for years, and our accountants routinely told us that financially, we were in a league of our own. Yet, we never focused on achieving profits,
never believed that bigger was better, never asked our sales team to grow.
Our quality is known to be the best in our industry. For several years, we believed so much in our ability to build quality into the product that we eliminated our final inspection. During those years, our quality was outstanding, building a reputation worth millions. Yet, it was the result of enriching and growing our people rather than statistical process control. Unlike the rest of our industry, we fix products for free, for their lifetime!
The attendance of our hourly staff – roughly 65 people – year after year is between 96 and 99%. Yet we use no time clocks, and one of our core principles is “family comes first.” Our employees go home at their discretion to take care of family matters, returning to make up their 40 hours.
Our staff retention is very close to 100%. Our philosophy attracts good people, and it is very rare for anyone to quit.
Innovation, new ideas, and growth come from everyone. Everyone in our company is a professional and is treated as such. If they do not have a degree when they are hired, they can earn one from our HindlePower University. When I asked one of our recent graduates where he put his diploma, he responded, “Above my mantel in my living room.” He was 68 years old at the time. Our people feel a sense of empowerment, belonging, and are engaged.
No doubt, these results are the product of a happy workplace. We live our life but one time. Is it not better to do so in an environment built on mutual trust and respect for all? We have no locks and no cages. There are no locked doors. We have great camaraderie, are motivated, laugh, and smile a lot.
I believe business success should be judged not only in dollars. It’s also the well-being and quality of life of our employees – and even after our retirees have left us, they hold a place of honor and, consequently, routinely stop in for lunch and are always available to help us.
It’s here that I believe leadership really connects with results because when business leaders genuinely and wholeheartedly put their people first, then the result will be a great culture. And a great culture leads to great results. A study suggested that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.1 –
and I agree with all my heart.
The more HindlePower has focused on our people, our working environment, and our culture, the stronger our bottom line has become – and we’ve become such advocates of this approach that we have devoted time to analyzing the component elements. I am now sure that my old friend was right. Great leadership does create great results, and I believe we have achieved ours by tapping into the limitless potential of American workers. That’s where we found the magic!
Having graduated from Lehigh University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, William A. (Bill) Hindle has amassed 42 years of leadership experience and business achievement, most notably as President of HindlePower.
In 2014, at the request of the State of Pennsylvania, he composed and taught a 40-hour program for CEOs. He talks at various functions each year and is renowned as an engaging, world-class speaker
Bill will soon be releasing a new book – Business Culture: How to Create your Masterpiece’ – and leading a unique Leadership Development Experience in Provence, France (www.thehindle.com)
He can be reached at email@example.com.