Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation

Culture Is Contagious

I recently returned from facilitating my second annual Leadership Boot Camp at Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (CFSC) in Nashville, Tennessee. CFSC is the financial arm of Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 50 company, a technology leader and the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas and diesel engines, and industrial gas turbines.

Living in Michigan, it’s always nice to be able to head south to a warmer, snow-less climate during the icy month of February … except this year. I arrived on the same day the Music City received their first snowfall of the year — all day long! At least it made me feel at home as I always do when I share time with the good folks at Caterpillar Financial.

During my four-day stay, I was again constantly reminded how pleasurable and also unique it is to be able to work in a very positive environment … generated, of course, by a rich, enduring culture. I must assume that the majority of those who work there might take this privilege for granted. I say that only because everyone in the building acts as though this unconventional environment is a natural thing experienced by all organizations everywhere. Little do they know.

On the surface, this business doesn’t look any different than any other. They boast an exquisite 11-story, 312,000-square foot building as the world headquarters for Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. This eye-catching structure is situated across the street from Vanderbilt University and just a few blocks away from Nashville’s treasured Music Row.

At the entrance, a paved-stone circle drive surrounds a red granite-clad fountain pool containing a fountain sculpted by a California artist. The backdrop for this fountain is the revolving building entrance door with a canopy in the shape of a bulldozer scoop, which recalls Caterpillar’s origins as a heavy equipment manufacturer.

Entering the decorative two-story granite-clad lobby, you find a fully restored 1930 Caterpillar tractor prominently displayed in a place of honor. Stand under a state-of-the-art technically transparent umbrella apparatus, and you can hear the history of the tractor as well as the organization.

The building includes an on-site, fully staffed, state-of-the-art fitness center with locker rooms and an aerobics room. The 7-story concrete-frame underground parking garage can accommodate 1,200 cars. The fantastic all-purpose dining room offers employees just about anything they might want for breakfast and lunch daily, and a gift shop offers a nice variety of Caterpillar souvenirs and trade-marked merchandise.

Their training facility offers an environment for just about any type of training you might envision, and I’m almost certain their experienced technical support staff hides outside every room entrance waiting to address your every need. However, two years running I’ve had no need to call on them for assistance. Regardless, they check in regularly to see if all is well.

By the way, at a time when most organizations feel totally justified in reducing their training schedules for a myriad of reasons … every classroom, large and small, was filled with attendees from all over the world. My program was graced with employees from Australia, Japan, Germany, the U.K., China and, of course, many states within the U.S. The opportunity to network was easily as valuable as any program content. Those classrooms were filled with enthusiastic, focused employees because CFSC views employee development not as a cost but as a critical investment. Evidence of that view can be found in their ROL (Return on Learning) practices. Again, evidence of a unique culture.

It was quite obvious to me, whether they noticed it or not, that everyone enjoyed being there. Everyone wore a smile as they greeted each other in the cafeteria, in elevators, every level of the parking garage, in hallways and classrooms — everywhere. During my recent stay, I had 14 people from last year’s program stop by my training room to say “hi” and wish me well.

From what I’ve been told, what I’ve witnessed and what I’ve researched about CFSC, it’s quite obvious that they have a sincere and dedicated focus on “excellence.” They speak often of their “never-ending journey to excellence.” It was decided early on that excellence was going to define company culture and be its guiding principle.

Their business model integrates excellence into its vision, mission, critical success factors, and Values in Action. That’s as it should be — but seldom is in so many organizations.

Caterpillar Financial maintains a constant focus on process improvement. Tools such as 6 Sigma, a highly disciplined, data-based methodology, helps them prioritize and manage projects, design products, and improve processes. Ninety-seven percent of employees are trained in 6 Sigma procedures for designing new processes!

Specially trained employees called Black Belts, experts in the 6 Sigma process and team facilitation; Green Belts, subject matter experts; and Yellow Belts, trained in basics of 6 Sigma, comprise teams of employees that implement these procedures.

Since 1993, CFSC also has been using the Baldrige performance excellence criteria as the overall framework to assess the organization and guide improvement efforts.

Investment in employee recognition programs, such as Eye-on-Quality Awards and CAT Bucks — which allow employees to instantly recognize other employees — increases annually.

They also recognize employees with incentive pay, which is paid quarterly and directly aligned with company goals. This, of course, certainly goes a long way in helping them meet their strategic goal of attracting and retaining skilled employees.

The overall Employee Satisfaction Index has risen consistently and employee retention is following that trend as well. Ninety three percent of employees participate in the Caterpillar Healthy Balance program, which earned a national C. Everett Koop Award for Wellness Promotion and the Wellness Councils of America “Well-Workplace Award.”

The majority of what I’ve shared above is known and spoken in most of today’s competitive organizations across industries. There’s little or nothing new here. The difference I discovered, appreciated and greatly respected is that it’s not only spoken at Caterpillar Financial … it’s supported, practiced, and continually growing in this unique culture!

It’s a rare pleasure and privilege to witness this vibrant culture placing smiles on the faces of so many employees. However, don’t let me mislead you. They have their problems and challenges as so many other organizations do. We discussed several of them during our Leadership Boot Camp program. The difference I found lies in the fact that they view these speed bumps and barriers as opportunities and treat them as such. That makes the difference.

The crowning touch to my most recent visit was a very pleasant surprise indeed. At the close of the program, I was approached by a Black Belt participant who presented me with a “CAT Buck” for what he explained was his appreciation of my performance during the Leadership Boot Camp. I’m proud to say that I have since laminated and framed that special token, and it is currently hanging in a very honored spot on the wall of my office!

I’m scheduled to return to Nashville in August of this year for another Leadership Boot Camp, and I’m certainly looking forward to sharing that environment, working within that powerful culture and especially seeing those enthusiastic smiles!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Howard Schultz

A friend recently asked when I was going to add another article to our series of “Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders and Businesses.” He shares these articles with the students in the high school class he teaches.

When I informed him that I was currently writing an article on Howard Schultz, he asked me two questions. The first was “Who is Howard Schultz?” The second question was “Why Howard Schultz?” I found both interesting and had to admit that many people might very well ask the same questions. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to begin this article by answering those questions.

Why Howard Schultz?

Once you know who this man is and what he has accomplished in a relatively short period of time, I would think you’d automatically want to know more about him, how he did what he did, and what he may be capable of in the future.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Starbucks, but how much do you really know about them?

  • Starbucks is a dominant multinational coffeehouse chain based here in the U.S.
  • Named after the first mate in the novel Moby-Dick, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world!
  • Boasting 7,521 company-owned and 5,647 licensed stores in 41 countries, worldwide locations total 13,168.
  • Industry experts predict a future of 50,000 stores, trumping even McDonalds. Think about that for a moment.
  • Last year they registered revenues of $7.786 BILLION!
  • They are currently opening coffee shops at the rate of 3½ a day worldwide and that figure is expected to increase soon!
  • They currently employ over 147,436 employees!
  • They are currently hiring 250 people a day!
  • Their subsidiaries include Starbucks Coffee Company, Tazo Tea Co., Seattle’s Best Coffee, Torrefazione Italia, Hear Music, and Ethos Water.
  • Starbucks brand ice cream and coffee are also sold in grocery stores, and they have ventured beyond refreshments into books, music, and film.
  • Here’s the most amazing fact. At a time when this country is facing financially challenging times, this company bases its success on the fact that they are selling a product that averages $12.88 a gallon while consumers are complaining about $3.00 a gallon gasoline!! More power to them.

Hopefully, I’ve answered the question of “Why Howard Schultz?” This man is the Wizard behind the Coffee Curtain.

Now let’s tackle “Who is Howard Schultz?”

He’s an American businessman and entrepreneur most widely known as the Chairman and Chief Global Strategist of Starbucks and former owner of the Seattle Supersonics.

Howard was born in 1952 and grew up in a subsidized public housing project in Brooklyn, New York as the eldest of three children. A football scholarship to faraway Northern Michigan University was his ticket out of the projects, and he became the first in his family to earn a degree.

After graduating, Howard worked at a variety of jobs for six years before becoming the manager of U.S. operations for Hammarplast, a Swedish maker of stylish kitchen equipment and housewares.

In 1981, he traveled from New York to Seattle to check out a popular coffee bean store called Starbucks that had been buying many of the Hammarplast drip coffeemakers he was selling. He immediately fell in love with not only that great smell but with the care the Starbucks owners put into choosing and roasting the beans. He was also very impressed with the owners’ dedication to educating the public about the wonders of coffee connoisseurship.

He walked away from that visit saying, “God, what a great company, what a great city. I’d love to be a part of that!” The rest is history. What a fantastic story! What serendipity! What inspiration! This is a perfect example of why we chose to share these stories!

Determined as he was to become part of this organization, it took Howard a year to convince Starbucks owners to hire him. As their Director of Marketing, he traveled to Italy in 1982 where he had still another epiphany. He couldn’t help but notice that coffee bars appeared on almost every block. After investigating this phenomenon, Howard discovered that there were over 200,000 coffee houses in Italy, and they did much more than serve espresso. They served as meeting places or public squares … they were a critical piece of the Italian culture.

Inspired by what he had witnessed, he hurried back to the U.S., resolved to create a similar experience. Shocking long story short. Starbucks leadership said they simply weren’t interested in getting into the restaurant business. Schultz responded by quitting to start his own company, ll Giornale. It was a small, friendly café which soon became a popular gathering place for Seattle sophisticates. As it grew more popular, Schultz planned to expand his chain. That’s when he heard a rumor that the Starbucks leadership team had decided to focus on Peet’s Coffee & Tea. In 1987, he bought out the Starbucks partners for $3.8 million and hasn’t looked back since.

Taking great pride in his knack for “Thinking Outside the Cup,” Schultz developed a series of practices that were unprecedented in retail. He insisted that all employees working at least 20 hours a week get comprehensive health coverage, including coverage for unmarried spouses. Then he introduced an employee stock-option plan. These moves boosted employee loyalty and led to extremely low employee turnover, even though salaries were fairly low. To this day, leaders in every industry claim these benefits simply aren’t feasible.

Quick reminder:

  • 13,168 stores!
  • 3½ new stores daily!
  • 147,436 employees!
  • 250 new employees per day!
  • Revenues of almost $8 billion!

Starbucks has managed to blossom without national advertising.

Last year, Forbes Magazine ranked Schultz as the 354th richest person in the U.S., with a net worth of $1.1 billion!

Despite their tremendous success, they have less than 6% market share of coffee consumption. They are in the infant stages of growth in this business! Maybe more leaders should be “Thinking Outside the Cup.”

Asked the secret of his success, Schultz shared his four major principles:

  • Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you.
  • Compromise anything but your core values.
  • Seek to renew yourself even when you are hitting home runs.
  • Everything matters!

To discover more about the man, the company, and the industry, check out the following books:

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Two Men and a Truck®

I recently experienced a rather rare opportunity seldom afforded to anyone. Over the many years I’ve been in this business, I must admit that there are several leaders I have admired greatly as a result of my research on their career and/or their organizations. I recently had the privilege to chat over breakfast with one of those leaders, Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder and Chair of Two Men and a Truck®.

After a while, success stories begin to blend into a familiar blur. Although informative and rewarding, they often share many of the same customary elements we’ve heard time and time again.

This narrative is different. It has the makings of a “made-for-television fictional sit-com.” For over 25 years now, I have followed, with great interest, the growth of an organization that began with extremely humble beginnings right in my own back yard. I was recently asked to present a keynote at the annual meeting of this most unusual organization.

Two Men and a Truck® started in the early 1980s as a way for two brothers to make extra money while they were in high school. Brothers Brig and Jon Sorber
started helping people move people in the Lansing, Michigan, area using an old pick-up truck.

They had their mom, Mary Ellen Sheets, develop a logo to put in a weekly community newspaper. That same stick-men logo still appears on every truck, sign and advertisement. Obviously, the brothers did a great job, and word of their services traveled quickly. After her sons left for college, Mary Ellen kept receiving calls for their services, so in 1985 she decided to make things official by purchasing an old 14-foot moving truck for $350 and hired two movers.

That $350 is the only capital Sheets has ever invested in the company. Today, the company has grown to more than 1,300 trucks operating out of 201 locations in 31 states, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and South Africa! They’ve completed well over two million moves and boast a phenomenal 94% customer referral rate! Last year alone, they completed 352,292 moves systemwide.

Today, Two Men and a Truck® is the nation’s largest franchised local moving company. Their customers benefit from having thoroughly trained, uniformed movers who are insured and bonded to handle any home and business moving tasks.

The home office has changed quite a bit as well. The operation has moved from the dining room table of Sheets’s home to a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters, boasting solar power and a recently installed windmill, which will soon generate 30% of their power. Local schools will get the chance to plug in to Two Men and a Truck’s software to study wind current.

I recently toured this beautiful facility and was astounded at what I saw. Giant solar panels and an enormous windmill turbine can be seen as you enter the parking lot. The landscaping includes a lawn that could easily rival any golf course in the area. Entering the building, you approach a reception area surrounded by hallways lined with awards, recognition plaques and pictures as far as you can see from the lobby.

Before a new franchisee can open a location, he or she must come to Lansing, Michigan, and be trained for three weeks by the home office staff through Stick Men University®. Within this exquisite building is a fully furnished two-story home equipped with everything you might find in a typical moving situation. During what is called “house training,” students are taught how to maneuver, wrap, pack and load items like a grand piano, a china cabinet filled with breakables, glass tables, a washer and dryer, and a big-screen television. There’s also a bulky bedroom set and a home office. Trainees are expected to be able to recognize any possible obstacles, and empty the house as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I was then shown a truck bed (built to scale) in the training facility. Trainees must be able to fully pack the back of the truck with the items from the home. The sides of the bed are clear so trainers can make sure each item is stacked properly.

In a near-by classroom, fully equipped with the latest technology, franchisees are taught how to market their new business by the marketing department. They are taught about the computer systems in place by the technical staff, and they learn how to hire, manage and lead by the operations department. Stick Men University® trainers also host regional management training courses throughout the year and a two-day frontline staff conference in Lansing.

There are many other tools available to franchisees including detailed monthly reports, newsletters, Intranet, annual meetings, a resource library, a toll-free support line, a tradeshow booth, an in-house shop with a complete line of Two Men and a Truck® logoed clothing and professional marketing materials and a system-wide purchasing system.

While the well-known logo has remained the same over the years, the fleet has obviously been updated. That old pick-up truck logged many miles and has been transformed into a modern fleet of fully equipped vehicles serving clients across the country.

After extensive growth, Sheets asked her daughter, Melanie Bergeron, to assume the role of company president. Two Men and a Truck®’s long track record of aggressive growth continues under Bergeron’s progressive leadership and keen business strategies. Bergeron is now Chief Executive Officer, and her accomplishments have been showcased on the cover of Franchising World magazine and in numerous other publications, including Franchise Times.

Brig and Jon Sorber returned to their Lansing roots in the mid-1990s to team up with their mom and older sister. Brig Sorber is the president, and Jon Sorber serves as executive vice president and franchisee for the Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan, locations. Both also serve on the Board of Directors.

During our short breakfast chat prior to the annual meeting, Sheets spoke proudly of her organization, staff, franchisees, and continued growth. It was quite obvious why she has been so successful. Over the years, she has been honored with many national and international awards—far too many to be listed here. Prior to my keynote address, Sheets spoke briefly to those who had gathered for the two-day annual event. She articulated the importance of teamwork, training, customer service, quality and pride. There was absolutely no doubt that she spoke from her heart and her audience appreciated her message. She was certainly a tough act to follow.

Upon completion of my keynote presentation, I was presented with a beautiful Collector’s Edition replica of an official Two Men and a Truck® moving van, which is currently occupying a position of honor in my office trophy case.

Everything about this organization reflects success. From The Grandma Rule® and mission statement to their core purpose and core values, expectations and purpose are indeed obvious. Mary Ellen Sheets is a very humble leader who has obviously established “leadership” as a family tradition!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Lee Iacocca

If someone were to ask me what Lee Iacocca was best known for, I’m afraid I would find it quite difficult to decide on a single answer. Today, he’s an 82-year-old philanthropist and author who’s as active, feisty, and driven as he’s ever been — if not more so.

However, to highlight a single chapter in his on-going saga would indeed be a momentous challenge. Think about the choices:

  • He was an American industrialist.
  • He was president of Ford Motor Company.
  • He was instrumental in the development of the Ford Mustang.
  • He was fired from Ford Motor Company.
  • He saved the Chrysler Corp. from bankruptcy via restructuring as chairman.
  • He secured a loan guarantee from the U.S. Congress in 1979 to save the company.
  • Unlike so many other industries, he repaid the entire loan — seven years earlier than expected!
  • He was responsible for Chrysler’s acquisition of AMC in 1987, reducing the Big Four to the Big Three. This move also brought the profitable Jeep division under Chrysler’s corporate umbrella.
  • He was a passionate advocate of U.S. business exports in the 1980s.
  • In 1982, Ronald Reagan appointed Iacocca to head the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, which was created to raise funds for the renovation and preservation of the Statue of Liberty. He continues to serve on the board of the foundation.
  • In 1999, Iacocca was the head of EV Global Motors Co. a company formed to develop and market electric bikes with a top speed of 15 mph and a range of 20 miles between recharging at wall outlets.
  • He is the author and co-author of several best-selling books.
  • He is a strong advocate for better medical treatment of diabetes. In 2000, Iacocca founded Olivio Premium Products, which manufactures the Olivio line of food products made from olive oil. He donates all profits from the company to diabetes research.
  • Iacocca has been an advocate of “Nourish the Children,” an initiative of Nu Skin Enterprises, since its inception in 2002. He is currently its chairman. He takes an active interest in the initiative and helped to donate a generator for the Malawi, Africa, VitaMeal plant.
  • Iacocca led the funding campaign to expand Lehigh University into buildings formerly owned by Bethlehem Steel. Iacocca Hall on the Mountaintop Campus of Lehigh University houses the College of Education, the biology and chemical engineering departments, and The Iacocca Institute, which is focused on global competitiveness.
  • In July 2005, Iacocca returned to the airwaves as Chrysler’s pitchman, along with stars such as Jason Alexander and Snoop Dogg, to promote Chrysler’s “Employee Pricing Plus” program; the ads reprise the “If you can find a better car, buy it” line that was Iacocca’s trademark in the 1980s. In return for his services, Iacocca and DaimlerChrysler agreed that his fees, plus a $1 donation per vehicle sold from July 1 through December 31, 2005, would be donated to the Iacocca Foundation for diabetes research.
  • Most recently, he wrote a book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, in which he challenges both political parties and business leaders everywhere to return our country to the levels of strength, quality, success and integrity it once enjoyed. He minces no words in this particular best seller. Visit our book reviews on our web site for greater insight.

See what I mean? Where would you focus? I hope I have, in some way, encouraged you to do some personal research on your own into this very multifaceted leader who will forever grace the pages of history books everywhere.

Lee Iacocca was born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Italian immigrants who had settled in Pennsylvania’s steel-making belt. After high school, he graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in industrial engineering. He then attended Princeton University on a Wallace Memorial Fellowship.

Beginning a career at Ford Motor Company as an engineer in the early 50s, he quickly proceeded to turn them on their ear. He made tremendous inroads in engineering, sales and design and became president on his 40th birthday in 1964. Ironically, he clashed with Henry Ford II and ultimately was fired in 1978 despite Ford posting a two-billion-dollar profit for the year!

Rather than retiring, which he was certainly in a position to do, he moved across town to the Chrysler Corp. and performed what was considered to be miracle after miracle as he made automotive history. After retiring from Chrysler, you’d think Lee would be ready to settle down and enjoy his much-deserved retirement. Instead, he appears to have considered that retirement as a launching pad for the second half of his life. He’s accomplished more since retiring than most people do in their entire lives.

You’ll want to learn more about this very unique leader and will be inspired to share what you learn with others. We need more leaders like this man, and we need them today!

By the way, when embarking on your research, you can remember how to spell his last name by using the method devised by his Chrysler employees. They devised the mnemonic slogan: I Am Chairman Of Chrysler Corporation America.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Steve & Barry’s

I must admit that when I first heard about a new business named “Steve & Barry’s®” my initial thought was of a pawn shop or a catering service. It sounded as though a couple of buddies combined some loose change in hopes of starting up a local storefront. In fact, that part isn’t far from the truth.

However, what followed has the making of a traditional “Horatio Alger” rags-to-riches classic. My prediction, based on what I’ve witnessed thus far, is that this organization will someday be studied as part of most MBA programs as Wal-Mart, Southwest Airlines and G.E. are today. What these gentlemen have accomplished in a relatively short time is nothing short of phenomenal! Steve & Barry’s® is changing the way that consumers shop for their clothes and changing the way that retailers cater to them. They’re stripping away the gloss and giving consumers something real.

If you’ve never seen or heard of one of their operations, you must make an effort to experience their unique offering. A couple of my grandchildren dragged me into one of their stores in our local mall, and I was overwhelmed and very impressed with what I saw. On the other hand, I gave them a year before they would fold and ride off into the sunset, leaving nary a trace of their previous existence. I made that prediction because I knew there was no way any company could sell that quality of merchandise at those prices and hope to realize anything resembling a decent profit. I’ve since added that particular prediction to my growing list of major miscalculations.

Steve & Barry’s® is an American casual apparel clothing chain with about 200 locations in 33 states and plans to open an additional 70 stores in 2007. Those who shop there typically pay 50% to 90% less for the same quality clothing found at competing department and specialty stores. The majority of their locations are between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet, and offer casual wear for the whole family: a wide selection of jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, polos, cargos, footwear, accessories, and more. They also feature licensed apparel from top American brands, including Marvel Comics, WWE, Hasbro, General Mills’, Hershey’s and Ford, and the largest collection of collegiate licensed apparel in the nation. Most every item in the store is priced around $9.98, although they often run store-wide specials as low as $7.98. Visualize a quality varsity jacket at prices like that!

By providing premium apparel at impossibly low prices, this retail phenomena is single-handedly changing the retail landscape. They’re enthusiastically busting the model. As a result, they’re also significantly impacting entire communities, altering shopping patterns, and impacting local economies. Competitors would be wise not to ignore this rapidly growing customer favorite as they aspire to re-imagine their company daily.

But how did it all begin? Childhood friends Steven Shore and Barry Prevor
have been business partners since they were teenagers living in suburban New York. They started their business careers by screen-printing T-shirts and selling them for $1 at flea markets across Long Island and New Jersey. In 1985, they opened a modest collegiate apparel store at the University of Pennsylvania. Steve & Barry’s® quickly became a landmark destination, as students found they could purchase the same quality collegiate-licensed clothing sold at the campus bookstore for dramatically lower prices.

The success of the original store at the University of Pennsylvania fueled an expansion to other universities across the country such as Michigan State, the University of Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Purdue. The mall superstore format began to take shape in the late 1990s, upon the opening of its first mall-based location near Detroit, Michigan.

This fantasy fairy tale could easily end here as old friends Steve and Barry gallop off into the sunset on their white steeds to live happily ever after. But wait, it appears that their legend is just beginning. I remember reading about this next chapter in their epic tale in the business section of USA Today. What a concept!

In 2006, Steve & Barry’s® made retail history when the company teamed up with NBA basketball star Stephon Marbury of the New York Knicks to develop an affordable, high-quality, basketball sneaker. Believe it or not, they did it. They sell the sneaker for just $14.98 compared to shoes of comparable quality selling between $100 and $150! When I heard about this development, I assumed the obvious … the shoes must be made of cardboard to sell at that price. Then I saw them featured on a segment of ABC’s “20/20” television news show. They pointed out that Marbury actually wore these very shoes during all of his NBA games. If that weren’t enough, “20/20” commissioned a professor of footwear design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City to test the sneakers. He cut them in half and discovered they are similar in construction and materials as the most expensive basketball sneakers offered by other top brands retailing for over $150! This Starbury Collection of shoes, high-quality jeans, jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, hats and more will certainly put smiles on the faces of many youngsters who, until now, simply couldn’t afford clothing of this quality. Hats off to Stephon, Steve and Barry!

However, things didn’t stop here. Public response to the Marbury project was so monumental that Steve and Barry sought out other similar opportunities to offer their growing horde of loyal fans.

You’ve probably seen the popular television commercials promoting their next line. They’ve partnered with popular TV/movie actress and fashion icon Sara Jessica Parker to create the BITTEN collection designed for women of all ages and sizes. The collection, offering nearly 1,000 apparel and accessories pieces, including jeans, woven and knit shirts, suit separates, wool and cashmere sweaters, dresses, jackets, lingerie, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sleepwear, swimwear, bags, jewelry, belts, footwear, and much more, just recently hit their stores. The name BITTEN reflects Sara Jessica Parker’s initial reaction upon entering a Steve & Barry’s® store. She said she was blown away by the store, the company’s mission statement, their products, prices and employees. She says she was “bitten” by the Steve & Barry’s® bug.

If this organization can create opportunities like this for themselves as well as their customers, why can’t other retailers do the same? My guess is that they can and choose not to. The lure of the profit is far too great. Apparently they have yet to take notice of Steve & Barry’s® tremendous success and continuing growth.

By the way, the story is far from over. In 2005, Steve & Barry’s® purchased over 3.5 million square feet of space in shopping centers throughout the United States, the most of any mall-based chain in the country. The result was 62 brand new supermarket-sized stores, which doubled their outlets. Steve & Barry’s® is planning a series of blockbuster announcements over the next 12 months that will continue to shake the retail landscape. In fact, before the summer ends, former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes will also debut a clothing line, “Dear.” Similar to the BITTEN line, Dear will be a women’s brand that will appeal mostly to younger women.

Keep an eye on this very unique retailer as they will be setting standards for their competitors and raising the expectations of eager and appreciative customers for years to come. You might find it very beneficial to take a closer look at their culture, philosophy, mission, and methods as much of what they do so well can easily be applied to any business focused on customer satisfaction … regardless of your product or service.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Ray Kroc

In researching this piece, I asked a number of people what came to mind when they heard the name Ray Kroc. I was surprised at how many people didn’t have a clue as to who he was. Others said they thought he created the McDonald’s fast-food chain, which, by the way, is incorrect. Why should anyone even be interested in this man who died in 1984 at the age of 82! Some would consider him ancient history.

On the contrary, calendar dates have nothing to do with what you can learn from this unique entrepreneur. He, indeed, has much to offer anyone striving for success.

Kroc did not create McDonald’s, convenience food, or the fast-food restaurant. In fact, like so many other great entrepreneurs, he wasn’t very creative at all. However, he possessed the very unique ability to recognize a successful concept, visualize the potential big picture, and take the necessary steps to implement a game plan to its fullest.

Let’s take a closer look at the man who has impacted millions of people all over the world:

  • Ray was born in 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois. Ironically, decades later, he would return to this neighborhood to establish the famous McDonald’s Hamburger University, the worldwide management training center, in nearby Oak Brook.
  • At the age of 15, this brash young man lied about his age to join the Red Cross as an ambulance driver, working with another future entrepreneur, Walt Disney. Upon completion of his training in Connecticut, he never left for Europe because the war ended. He then moved on to become a piano player before realizing there was little chance for a career tickling the ivories. In 1922, he became a salesman for the Lily Tulip Cup Co. by day as he continued to play piano at night for a local radio station.
  • In the course of selling paper cups, he encountered Earl Prince, who had invented a five-spindle multimixer milkshake machine and was buying Lily cups by the truckload. Fascinated by the speed and efficiency of the machine, Kroc obtained exclusive marketing rights from Prince. Determined to succeed, he crisscrossed the country peddling the mixer for the next 17 years.
  • Kroc discovered a remarkable restaurant in San Bernardino, California, owned by two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, who had ordered eight mixers and had them churning away all day. Most of his customers used only one multimixer. Kroc saw the restaurant in 1954 and was entranced by the effectiveness of the operation. He had never seen anything like it. They were fast, efficient, cheap and extremely popular as customers lined up consistently for 15-cent hamburgers, 19-cent cheeseburgers, 20-cent milkshakes, 10-cent sodas and 10-cent fries.
  • While the brothers were content with their successful business, Kroc visualized the establishment of the golden arches all over the country. In another display of salesmanship, Ray Kroc convinced the brothers to make him their exclusive agent. In 1954, Ray Kroc opened his own McDonald’s drive-in in Des Plaines, Illinois. He officially established the McDonald’s Corporation. The rapid growth later proved to be much too ambitious for the brothers so Ray bought the brothers out in 1961 for $2.7 million — a fortune for the brothers but a mere pittance of what Kroc would amass decades later as the golden arches dotted the world’s surface! As he noted later about the purchase, “I was 52 years old. I had diabetes and incipient arthritis. I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns, but I was convinced that the best was ahead of me.” Obviously, he was right. Ray Kroc was the first businessman to apply the principles of mass production on a large scale in a service industry.
  • By 1963, more than 1 billion hamburgers had been sold, a statistic that was displayed on a neon sign in front of each restaurant. That same year, the 500th McDonald’s restaurant opened and the famous clown, Ronald McDonald, made his debut. He soon became known to children throughout the country, and kids were critical in determining where the family ate. According to John Mariani in his remarkable book America Eats Out, “Within six years of airing his first national TV ad in 1965, the Ronald McDonald clown character was familiar to 96% of American children, far more than knew the name of the President of the United States.”
  • In 1974, Ray Kroc became a hero for reasons completely unrelated to business. He purchased the San Diego Padres baseball team and prevented them from moving to Washington, D.C.
  • Today McDonald’s is serving 47 million people a day through the efforts of 1.5 million employees in 31,000 locations in 119 countries on 6 continents! Can you imagine that kind of growth from one single location similar to the one pictured here?
  • Ray Kroc passed away from a heart ailment in January 1984, at the age of 82, just ten months before McDonald’s sold hamburger number 50 billion. Later that same year, The San Diego Padres went to the World Series.
  • Kroc was included in the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential builders and titans of industry. For more information, read Grinding It Out:The Making of McDonald’s.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – ACIPCO

American Cast Iron Pipe Company

Some will struggle with their attempt to pronounce the name (Ah-SIP-Co). Others may admit that they’ve never even heard of this organization. However, all of us have benefited from the products and services provided by the largest individual iron pipe casting plant in the world, nestled among the Appalachian foothills of Birmingham, Alabama.

ACIPCO produces 1,500 tons of products annually, including ductile iron castings, steel pipes and tubes, fittings, fire hydrants and valves for the waterworks industry as well as electric-resistance steel pipe for oil and natural gas pipelines. Their diversified product line also includes spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters up to 144 inches (Can you imagine walking through a 12-foot pipe?), fire pumps, centrifugally cast steel tubes, static castings and fabricated assemblies.

It may not sound exciting to the average person but try to imagine getting through a typical day of your life if we had no way to transport natural gas, oil or water.

Boasting seven production facilities across the nation and in Brazil, ACIPCO’s Birmingham headquarters has grown into the largest individual iron pipe casting plant in the world. It’s located on a 2,100 acre site that runs the length of 52 football fields and has nearly 60 acres under roof. It has to be seen to be believed!

I’ve had the rare opportunity to visit this facility to provide two keynote presentations to a very enthused, interactive staff of seasoned professionals. Prior to the presentations, I received a guided tour … conducted, I might add, by two very enthusiastic and obviously proud employees who knew the 100+ year history of every inch of the compound. I broke bread with staff members in the company cafeteria and found it intriguing to observe white-collar and blue-collar colleagues sharing conversation, laughter, camaraderie and nourishment as though they were home with their family. In fact, the majority of the employees I met considered ACIPCO to be their “home” and their fellow employees as “family.”

Culture, tradition, environment … call it what you will. It’s rare. It’s refreshing. It’s difficult to understand in this day and age of cynicism, unrest and distrust. However, knowing the history of this unique organization not only restores your faith in mankind but explains why you feel you’re entering Alice’s Wonderland as you pass through the front gate.

Consider the following:

  • They’ve located their headquarters in the city nicknamed “The Pittsburgh of the South” because Birmingham’s major industries are centered around iron and steel production.
  • ACIPCO was founded in 1905 and has long been recognized as an innovative manufacturer.
  • Fortune magazine has recognized ACIPCO as one of “The 100 Best Companies to Work For” the past eight consecutive years.
  • Temperatures in a pipe casting shop can reach 130 degrees. ACIPCO has installed individual air conditioners for its employees in parts of its Birmingham plant.
  • ACIPCO is renowned for offering its employees an “outstanding” pension plan, on-site training programs, tuition reimbursement, and a state-of-the-art wellness center for employees, their families, and retirees.
  • Workers at ACIPCO have one very good reason to stay. Collectively they own the plant and share in its profits — even after they retire. Founder John Eagan was a firm believer in running a business based upon the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Upon his death, Eagan created a trust that made employees beneficiaries. Last year, employees enjoyed bonuses of more than $29 million. Eagan’s philosophy and legacy have reigned for 102 years and continue to be the cornerstone for the company’s prosperity. As this organization celebrates 102 years of success, it is quite evident that the more than 3,000 employees not only believe but support and practice this philosophy.
  • One of ACIPCO’s most unique characteristics is their on-site health care facility, which provides primary care to 10,000 people — not only their employees but also all retirees. Having personally toured the facility, I can attest to the fact that it rivals anything you’ll find in any major city in the country. I also found it very interesting that they actually reward their employees for maintaining good health in areas such as proper weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  • ACIPCO is proud to boast the title of producing the first 16-foot-length pipe in the world as well as being the first to provide cement lining of water pipe and pioneering the development of centrifugal pipe casting.
  • Add to that these other perks: wages that are 10 percent higher than the industry average; the employee suggestion system, which pays workers for good tips that result in increased efficiency of operations; and a continuing education program.
  • The company has also implemented a Threat Response Team to prevent the workplace violence that threatens many industries.
  • This summer the company is spending $70 million to add 61,000 square feet of space to house a state-of-the-art, electrically fired, pollution-friendly furnace that will be one of only two in the world. This venture could create 35 more jobs in the area.
  • They created an employee-at-large position, which was added to represent employees to management, and a continuous improvement program made up of current and retired employees.
  • A few years ago, ACIPCO established Eagan College, an expanded employee training program and the Eagan Center for Wellness with an employee participation rate that exceeds 80 percent.
  • While the industry is challenged with a turnover rate ranging from 80% to 100%, ACIPCO has a turnover rate of LESS THAN A HALF PERCENT PER YEAR!
  • In my pre-appearance research on this very unorthodox organization, I included conversations with Birmingham locals at the airport, in the taxi, at several restaurants, and in a major shopping mall. I began to believe that everyone I talked to had been coached before our conversation. It’s very evident that the city of Birmingham respects, supports, and appreciates ACIPCO’s presence.
  • I heard only one compliant, but I heard it several times. People wanting to go to work at ACIPCO must expect a long wait for a job opening. One gentlemen told me that everyone monitors the retiree announcements as well as the obituary page of the local papers because that’s the only way there’s going to be an opening at ACIPCO. I have a feeling that’s a complaint ACIPCO can live with!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – United Technologies Corporation


United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is one of those many organizations in the U.S. that impacts our lives every single day in a variety of ways while the majority of us who benefit from their products and services have never heard of them.

It’s certainly not that they’re in hiding. Not by a long shot. They have a beautiful corporate headquarters located in historic Hartford, Connecticut. They conduct business virtually everywhere in the world, boasting 4,000-plus locations doing business in approximately 180 countries in 30 different languages. They employ approximately 215,000 employees and are recognized as the 47th largest employer in the world on the 2006 Global 500 list, in Fortune.)

Boasting revenues of $47.8 billion last year, UTC is a diversified, American, multinational conglomerate generating more than 50% of their revenues outside the United States with 60% of their employees working abroad.

While you may not recognize the corporate name, you may very well be familiar with many of their products and services. Their business units include:

Carrier heating and air conditioning systems
Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace and industrial systems
Otis elevators and escalators
Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines
Sikorsky helicopters
UTC Fire & Security protection services
UTC Power
United Technologies Research Center

20th largest U.S. manufacturer (2006 list, Industry Week)
43rd largest U.S. corporation (2006 list, Fortune)
55th largest publicly held manufacturer in the world (2006 list, Industry Week)
126th largest corporation in the world (2006 Global 500 list, Fortune)
Named “Most Admired” aerospace and defense company (2001-2006 lists, Fortune)

The core group of United Technologies companies was founded in 1929 as United Aircraft & Transport Corp. by the merger of Boeing, Chance Vought, Hamilton Standard, Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft. As a result of the Air Mail Act of 1934, United Aircraft and Transport broke up into three independent companies: Boeing, United Aircraft, and United Airlines. United Aircraft changed its name to United Technologies in 1975. Otis Elevator was acquired in 1976, Carrier Refrigeration in 1979, and Sundstrand in 1999. UTC entered the fire and security business in 2001 by purchasing Chubb Security. In 2005, United Technologies acquired Boeing’s Rocketdyne division, which was merged into the Pratt & Whitney business unit.

The next time you’re riding an escalator, relaxing in air conditioning, or enjoying your airplane flight, you’ll know just who was responsible for your comfort and safety.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Meg Whitman

Everyone knows the most recent headlines about our country’s greatest leaders. In this feature, we’d like to shed some light on the lesser-known facts about these folks in hopes of giving you a little greater insight as to what makes them tick.

Meg Whitman

I’ve been following the career of this charismatic leader for quite some time now. If you’re looking for a role model for your children or grandchildren, look no further. Share the details of her past and simply focus your attention to your newspaper, magazine, television or the internet to see what she’s mastering at the moment. Her bio reads like a fairy tale, and just when you think her career has peaked, she takes it to another level. Today’s average business leader, if there is such a thing, would be pleased as punch to boast of just one of her previous accomplishments. Wait until you see the entire list and you’ll see what I mean.

Why all the success? What drives this woman to unparalleled success at a time when your daily newscast reveals another leader thrown to the curb or even on his/her way to prison? Listen to her employees, associates, and competitors, and it quickly becomes blatantly obvious. Education, experience, worth ethic, focus, integrity, unlimited passion, creativity, keen judgment, listening skills, the ability to earn respect, a pioneer mindset, a respect and belief in customer feedback and the expertise to create, encourage and support community. The list goes on, but I’m sure you see why she continues to excel in everything she undertakes.

Margaret C. “Meg” Whitman has been the President and CEO of the online marketplace we know as eBay since 1998. Whitman joined eBay when the company had 29 employees and operated solely in the United States; eBay is now a global organization with over 11,600 employees.

She led the company from a few customers to nearly 50 million … revenue jumped from a few dollars to nearly $6 billion.

In addition to managing eBay, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of Procter & Gamble and Dream Works Animation. According to Forbes magazine, Whitman is currently worth an estimated $1.3 billion. She is one of only seven women to have been repeatedly ranked among the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine.

Now let’s take a look at her incomparable track record. Buckle your seatbelt … here we go.

She attended Princeton University as an undergraduate with every intention of securing a career in medicine. However, she became an economics major after a summer job selling advertising for a campus publication … obviously a major turning point. She went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Whitman began her working career at Procter & Gamble from 1979 to 1981. It was at Procter & Gamble that she built her experience in brand management. She then spent eight years working for Bain & Company, a leading global business and strategy consulting firm, eventually becoming a vice president.

From 1989 to 1992, Whitman worked at the Walt Disney Company, where she served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Disney Consumer Products Division.

From 1992 to 1995, she served as President of the Stride Rite Corporation’s Children’s Division where she was responsible for the launch of the highly successful Munchkin baby shoe line and the repositioning of the Stride Rite brand and retail stores. She has also held the positions of executive vice president for the Keds Division and corporate vice president of strategic planning.

From 1995 to 1997, Whitman was President and CEO of FTD (Florists Transworld Delivery), the world’s largest floral products company. While at FTD, she oversaw its transition from a florist-owned association to a for-profit, privately owned company.

She then left to become the general manager of Hasbro Inc.’s Preschool Division, responsible for global management and marketing of two of the world’s best-known children’s brands, Playskool and Mr. Potato Head. During her tenure, Meg oversaw the reorganization of the Preschool Division and its resulting return to profitability.

As you can plainly see, as the corporate prodigy made her way through a series of posts at blue-chip companies, she certainly left her mark in a most positive way.

In 2005, she was interviewed by Disney’s board of directors to succeed Michael Eisner as CEO, but dropped out a week later, prompting the board to give the job to Robert Iger.

She then joined eBay and has been growing the organization at a fever pitch. I have a strange feeling she is far from slowing down.

Whitman is a multi-billionaire and one of the richest female CEOs in the world.

Whitman donated a significant sum of money to her alma mater, Princeton University, said to have totaled more than $30 million, which has allowed the construction of the university’s sixth residential college, Whitman College, opening this year.

She is married to Griffith R. Harsh IV, a neurosurgeon.

It might be interesting to keep your eye on this dynamic leader in the future. I’m certain her career and continuous success is far from finished.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Procter and Gamble

Day after day we see, hear, and use the names of leading businesses in many industries as though they were family members. In a way, I guess they really are. We use their products and services daily and have done so most of our lives … so much so that we often take them for granted and don’t realize how little we really know about them. We drive their cars, eat their food, wear their clothes, fly their airlines, stay in their hotels, rent their cars, watch their movies, and the list goes on and on. What would we do without them? Yet we know so little about them. We hope to change that with this particular feature. We’ll delve into those unknown but interesting facts about many well-known companies.


  • Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Procter & Gamble community consists of over 135,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide.
  • What began as a small, family-operated soap and candle company now provides products and services of superior quality and value to consumers in over 180 countries.
  • William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, immigrants from England and Ireland respectively, might never have even met one another if they hadn’t married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.
  • Since both their industries used similar resources, the “Panic of 1837” caused intense competition between the two and, as a result, it led to discord within the family. Alexander Norris, their father-in-law, decided to call a meeting where he convinced his new sons-in-law to become business partners. As a result of the suggestion, a new enterprise was born in October of 1837: Procter & Gamble.
  • The company prospered during the nineteenth century. In 1859, their head count reached 80 and their sales reached one million dollars.
  • In the 1880s Procter & Gamble began to market a new product, an inexpensive soap that floated in water. The company called the soap IVORY. It seemed to be an instant favorite for consumers and seemed to kick off an aggressive development and marketing program that placed P & G in a leadership role for decades to come.
  • In April 2006 the company’s operations were categorized into three “Business Units” with each unit divided into “Business Segments”:
    • P & G Beauty & Health Unit (Beauty Care segment — Health Care segment)
    • P & G Household Care Unit (Pet health, snacks, and coffee segment — Baby Care and Family Care segment — Fabric Care and Home Care segment)
    • Gillette Unit (Duracell & Braun segment — Blades & Razors segment)
  • While hundreds of millions of consumers world-wide are very familiar with the many P & G brands, those same patrons may not be aware that their favorite brand belongs to the P & G family of growing products.
  • The following 21 brands have reached the level of MORE than a billion dollars in sales annually!
    (Always – Bounty – Braun – Charmin – Crest – Dawn – Downy – Duracell – Folgers – Gillette – Gillette Mach 3 – Head & Shoulders – IAMS – Olay – Oral-B – Pampers – Pantene – Pringles – Tide – Wella – Fab)
  • Procter & Gamble produces close to one hundred other very well-known products you see on your grocery shelves every day. That list would include popular staples such as Bold – Bonus – Bounce – Camay – Cascade – Charmin – Cheer – Clairol – Comet – Cover Girl – Dash – Dreft – Dryel – Febreze – Fixodent – Gaub – Gleem – Ivory – Joy – Loving Care – Luvs – Max Factor – Metamucil – Mirage – Miss Clairol – Mr. Clean – New Wave – Nice’n Easy – Noxema – NyQuil – DayQuil – Old Spice – Pepto-Bismol – Prilosec OC – Puffs – Safeguard – Scope – Secret – Sure – Swiffer – Tampex – Tempo – Thermacare – Vicks – Vidal Sassoon – Wash & Go – Whisper and Yes to name a few.

Their ability to meet the needs of today’s consumer world wide seems to be as strong as ever. God Bless Fathers-in-Law.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.