Archives for August 2011

Planning, planning, planning!

In the game of baseball, a left handed pitcher is called a “southpaw.”  This nickname is not a random designation, but the result of significant planning.  Stadium architects go to great lengths to lay out a new major league baseball stadium.  Ever wonder why in straight away center-field you will usually find grass or solid dark colors?  That area is planned by the architect; it is specifically done so that the batter will not lose the baseball in a light colored background.

Furthermore, the league has gone even further with the typical establishment of home plate at the west end of the ball park.  Obviously, then 2nd base is at the east end, guaranteeing that a batter would not have to face into the westerly sky and a bright sunset.  So…if home plate is the west end, second base at the east end, then first base must be at the south end of most fields.  A left handed pitcher, when standing on the pitching mound has his pitching arm to the first base side of the infield.  Therefore, a left-handed pitcher is often referred to as a “southpaw.”

Now, here is where it really becomes interesting.  Before one ounce of dirt is moved, major league baseball has already planned the direction that home plate will face.  This is done before advertising is ordered, before million dollar corporate sponsors are recruited, and even before the jumbo-tron is decided upon.  Simply put, Major League Baseball has invested a large amount of advance planning even before the ownership group releases the details of a new stadium.

A similar amount of planning is also necessary for success in the building/remodeling industry.  Here at the Larson Family of Companies our 44 year history is rich with tradition, based upon a strong foundation filled with planning.  It is something that we don’t take for granted.  We will meet with you, pre-plan your project, and guide you through the process until the finished product is one that you are proud of.

“The Score Takes Care of Itself”

Even when you have an organization brimming with talent, victory is not always under your control.  There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success.  It all comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing.  When you do that, the score will take care of itself.” (Bill Walsh)

Continually running an engine at high RPM’s can have devasting effects.  The same applies to us as humans.  Trying to keep up with work and family, balance stress, and the checkbook, and still find time for yourself, can be a critically challenging aspect of day to day survival.

Bill Walsh was arguably one of the most successful coaches in NFL history.  In his book, The Score Takes Care of Itself, his profound, practical, and inspiring comments can assist anyone in their day to day battle.

Believe in People:  Push them hard to be their very best.  No one will ever come back later and thank you for expecting too little of them.

Professionalism Matters:  Champions act like champions….before they are champions.

Keep a Short Enemies List:  One enemy can do more damage than the good done by 100 friends.

Protect Your Blind Side:  Fully understand your organization’s strengths, and unseen vulnerabilities.

Sometimes You Can’t Have the Last Word:  Lick your wounds and move on.  A bruised ego will survive.

I spent last Saturday afternoon with some of the employees of the Larson Family of Companies.  We enjoyed a relaxing boat cruise around beautiful Lake Minnetonka.  We all needed that day to recharge, as the RPM’s had been operating at a high level.  As I found a moment to myself on the boat, I reflected a little on the people sharing the afternoon with me.  I am very proud of each of them as model employees.  (Professional, dedicated, committed, faithful crafstmen)  However, I am even more proud of them as individuals.  (Caring, understanding, passionate, generous and responsive.)  I believe in them, and they believe in our organization.  We all can understand Coach Walsh’s philosophy, and because of that understanding, we know that the score really does take care of itself.

Larson Builders