7 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS FROM RON PILEGGI
I met Ron Pileggi in 1983 when he hired me as an ad sales rep for the Tri-City weekly paper in Eureka. He struck me as an entrepreneurial visionary with a plan and a mission to change the community in a positive way via business. As owner and the founding architect of the Tri-City weekly newspaper, Ron modeled good business acumen. He showed me and each of us how to conduct business in a process that really valued people first. Here are the seven lessons he taught me and still teaches me today.
- Rule number one– People come first. People, relationships, and friendships are everything in business and in life. As the owner/operator of the Tri City, he modeled real care for employees, clients, vendors, people in his industry and beyond. Client relationships and personal care of others was at the forefront of everything Ron practiced in his business.
- Rule number two –Client relationships are invaluable, as Ron demonstrated in his actions and policies. He said that good leadership is all about being a good servant. He taught that good service sets the stage for good customer loyalty and customer relations. If you serve your clients and take good care of them–they will take care of you as well. Customers vote in dollars and purchasing. People really do buy from people they know, like, and trust. One thing he told us is to go out and make friendships–then people will naturally buy from you.
- Rule number three– Turn off the lights. He often told me if you want to be a manager you must act like a manager and be a great steward of your business. He challenged me to personally take good care of the resources entrusted to me. Things such as time, energy, and other resources were looked at in a new light. This taught me that I need to take ownership of all I do at work.
- Rule number four—Speech is powerful. Ron often stated that the power of your words is everything. When words are spoken with clarity and sincerity, people are really affected by what we say. He stated this in the context of selling but also in real life. When we say what we mean, and mean what we say–we are often unstoppable in business and in life. He taught me about the power of words and I’ve never forgotten this lesson.
- Rule number five—Be involved in your community; participate readily and joyfully. Ron modeled good community involvement in CASA and in Rotary and more. He was always the guy to say “yes” to someone with a good cause. He may not have been involved directly, but he gave freely of his resources. His involvement with the community modeled what we all need to do—to be involved with causes that we resonate with and are most passionate about. Find your cause or your passion, and then plug in your gifts and experiences and resources. You will add to the greater good in your community and beyond.
- Rule number six–Think creatively and out-of-the-box at all times. This means not only with business and selling, but also in the ways that help real live people. Be willing to bend or even break the rules as necessary and as it makes sense to benefit the greater good. “Be entrepreneurial in your problem solving”, he would challenge. He taught how to think creatively with regard to business problem solving and helping customers meet their needs. He often showed us and told us that if we meet others’ needs, they will meet ours as well. If you help enough people get what they need, they will help you do the same.
- Rule number seven–Be generous and celebrate people. His (in) famous Christmas parties displayed a great generosity and were always “over the top” in showing his appreciation for his staff. Ron would gladly put on the most extravagant party–even for an outgoing employee. He didn’t know selfishness. My father, Bob Hammond, called him “a prince of a man” in that he was always very generous with his employees, clients, and his community. We all were the better for that–so was he.
In summary, Ron was human. He had his moments like each of us. The one thing he did was to model a whole business person. He cared for others and was profitable at the same time. He found that balance between profitability and success and taking care of other’s needs; Ron was able to do both in splendid fashion. He left an indelible mark and positive legacy on this community for over 30 years and still does to this day. It is a pleasure and a privilege to know a saint and a friend in the caliber of a Ron Pileggi. If you ever have the opportunity to work for an owner-operator-entrepreneur of this magnitude, you will agree that it is an awesome and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience. Thanks, Ronnie.
“80% of life is showing up.”
I was sitting with my friend at a recent networking meeting. As I was speaking to her, I realized how far she’s come in learning how to network, speak, and connect with people. She had developed her people skills and had really become rather professionally transformed. She had “bloomed” and come in to her own. She came from being a “wallflower” to become a gnarly networker–in a short period of time.
Let’s explore about how folks like you and I can become great networkers, speakers, marketers, and communicators. How do people go from good to great—often in short order? I have seen many people come into “bloom” and come to connect to their own experiences, gifts, and skills in their midlife. Many folks actually come into their “professional prime” rather late in midlife. Their talents were always there—just latent and waiting for the right conditions. It’s amazing to see others come into their own as they exercise their gifts, experiences, and talents to communicate freely with others. They basically find their “voice” and a new ability to joyfully participate in (professional and business) life. They bloom.
An example of this is my friend, referenced earlier, who was rather shy. Her background was not in business and she had very little business acumen. With application and time and work– she became a very proficient networker, speaker, and communicator. She had really “bloomed”. She applied herself and went out into the world and made herself learn to deal with, relate to, and even love people and become a proficient speaker, marketer, and “gnarly networker”. She is now rather fearless when it comes to groups, meetings, and even direct selling.
This “blooming” is much like akin to a flower; in their infancy they are small buds. Flowers, like folks, when they’re given their correct growing conditions, they bloom—often magnificently. When the rosebud is small and insignificant it has very little beauty and no scent. They’re actually thorny and not much fun to deal with. When it’s given the opportunity to develop, a rose in full bloom is the pinnacle of God’s creation. They’re lovely, smell great, and beautify any landscape or room. In like manner, when people encounter a midlife “bloom” –they often beautify the world with their gifts and “fragrance.” They may even smell and look better!
We actually have the ability to set the stage for our own professional and personal growth. We can set it up to bloom professionally and more brilliantly. With fertilization, light, correct nutrients and with the right location– a flower– or a person– can be magnificent in short order. Kind of like my friend–she put herself in a position to grow personally and saw the results rather quickly. In the same way, you and I can set the stage for growth. Know what you want. Show up. Be present. Help others. Serve. Be kind…
A lot of blooming is being exposed-being in the light. Being out there and exposed to the elements and to the nutrients needed to develop our “inner bloom.” We can actually grow quickly and more profoundly if we do it with intentionality. What is it take to be intentional? It takes a goal and focus and execution. It takes time management– it takes work and effort. Much of it is simply showing up and being relational. Zig Ziglar says it well—“You must circulate to percolate.”
Much of life is figuring out what it means to come into our own. How do you develop those in to your gifts and other skill sets that lie dormant in your life? Part of the answer lies in your DESIRE to grow and to expand and learn. Come out of your comfort zone. If you’re willing, then sometimes the execution of the necessary effort becomes rather easy. It’s often at that point that we can grow and come into our own and become of use to others.
This notion of being of use to others is the primary motivation. How can you and I be of use to our family, our community, and our world? The answer is coming to your own and finding the next level of “best”, going from good to great and then “blooming.” Be willing to pay the price and do what’s necessary and let nothing hold you back from becoming all you can be. Come into your own today. We have been waiting for you a long time. Be like that flower that comes out of the bud phase of their life into full fruition. This fruition gives life, color, smell, and sensory benefit all that experience it. Be that open flower today. Go out and set the stage then bloom in all your brilliance and glory!
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
“There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
“Every time a football player goes to play his trade he’s got to play from the ground up — from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.
“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization — an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win — to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.
“It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there — to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules — but to win.
“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.
“I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious.”
- V. Lombardi
1913 – 1970
There is such a thing called “Buy in” in life and business and child rearing.
Give your child the opportunity to have some “buy in” in your everyday living at home.
There is a lot Junior can help with and join in with you in daily choices around the house.
Let her choose dads tie in the AM…or maybe just the dress shirt or pants.
It can be her area of responsibility to keep dad looking sharp!
There are 1000′s of ideas to choose from–Be creative!
One thing my son and I do is shave together—He has no blade!
This is a great example of enjoining in a common and bonding “guy” activity.
Begin to look for these opportunities and grab them today.
Remember–You don’t HAVE to but you GET to.
You can shift your paradigm as needed!
You are the parent and the initiator and the one who is able and accountable for a relationship with your child.
It is all up to you–Carpe’ Diem today!
Be that dad or mom you want to be and you will leave a positive legacy and a life of significance.
- Mary Kay Ash
What will they say at your memorial? What would you want them to say?
THAT will be your legacy and it will be too late to start working on your life of significance at your memorial. You can begin TODAY to work toward a “Business and life legacy” and really make a positive difference!
How do you leave a legacy of positive business leadership? Who doesn’t want to leave a positive legacy? Leadership and legacy means being PROACTIVE…Take the lead and be the instigator!
Think about your personal leadership… See life as a chance to identify your purpose, position, passion, and posture and then begin to live as though your life makes a real difference—because it does! Living a life aware of leaving a business legacy can help you be more intentional and show your quality.
I worked for Ron Pileggi for 20 years at the local Tri City Weekly and he exemplified a business leader who left an awesome business and life legacy. Ron always made life about RELATIONSHIPS. He modeled how to really care about and serve others with his staff, customers, community and in his industry.
Staff- Ron modeled “servant-leadership” in that he really helped his staff wherever possible. He showed a boss who was involved on a personal level and really loved his staff by showing it in his actions.
Customers—Ron went the extra mile to really serve and meet needs of his customers. He even would give it away if it meant helping a fellow businessperson get back on their marketing feet.
Community-Ron was an example of a guy trying to make a positive difference in our community. Whether it was serving in Rotary, helping various non-profits, or just showing up at events, Ron was present and a servant of all.
Industry—As an industry pioneer and leader, Ron shared expertise in the Free Paper Industry of America freely. Not only was his publication multiple award winning over years, he gladly shared his trade success secrets with fellow entrepreneurs.
Ron left an amazing legacy across the board—Staff, Customers, Community and Industry. He intentionally modeled ‘servant-leadership” in the roles he served.
Here are 5 Easy “Knows” to a Great Life and Business Legacy:
1. Know Legacy–Understand and Know what a Legacy is–Begin to study what a legacy is and how we are all leaving behind something” in our lives we will be remembered for. Study the lives of those who you know have made a positive difference in their world.
2. Know Thyself–Begin to look at your life and what you are leaving behind and what you are now known for. What is it that people remember about you and your life? Be honest! Ask safe people who will give it to you straight and without apology. It is about what others know about you vs. how you perceive yourself. You may be really surprised …
3. Know Thy Legacy–Pick and focus on one aspect of your life that yields positive results and influences others in a significant way–Find your message, media, and platform and go to work leaving behind something meaningful to others. Live your life of significance with intention.
4. Know Thy Audience–Who listens when you talk? Who picks up when you “throw down”? Who are your peeps and those who love you? These are the ones ripe for receiving your legacy message.
5. Know Thy Media–Begin to find and understand your most comfortable platform and medium for delivering your legacy message. This can be written, spoken, crafted, or lived out loud in some way. Most folks begin with some writing or speaking—the written and spoken word has tons of possibility when leaving your life of significance. Blogging, public speaking, or writing your book all have potential for great legacy tools. All legacy begins with being a good communicator—be one!
It is time for us to get busy and become more intentional about leaving behind a life of business legacy and living with and on purpose. Each of us has a limited number of days on Earth (Grandpa Tom says, “No one gets out of here alive!”) and we need to be purposeful in how we live. Know legacy, yourself, your own legacy, your platform and your audience and you will begin to make a positive difference and leave an awesome legacy!
Life and business will have more meaning and so will you! Start living your legacy today—we’ll be glad you did.
1. All change involves loss, feelings of sadness and frustration. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you respond to the situation. You should face the change and deal with it directly, and not ignore the situation.
2. Change can give you a feeling of self-doubt. You can talk yourself into a sense of failure or being afraid. Counteract this feeling with positive self-talk. Take stock of your strengths and what you have going for you. Think of people you can talk to who can give you suggestions for the situation you’re dealing with now.
3. Change creates stress. Find positive ways of dealing with the stress. It may be helpful to talk to someone about your anger and frustrations. Give yourself some time and space to relax, away from your stress, which may help you see things differently or even positively.
4. Review the last few changes in which you have have dealt with. Identify what has helped you deal with them, as well as what didn’t work for you. This can give you an idea of which coping methods help you, and which don’t.
5. Keep your sense of humor, which is one of the best stress fighters there is. Laughter is good therapy and actually makes people healthier. You can’t laugh and worry at the same time, so choose laughter. Accept your feelings and focus on moving forward.
6. Fill the time left by the change with new and interesting pursuits. Take a class you always wanted to, write those letters you been putting off, start a new project, or join a new group.
7. Communicate with family and friends. Changes are usually accompanied by conflicting emotions. Talking to others about your situation may relieve the tension and make you feel better. It also allows you to get another person’s perspective and help others to understand what they’re going through.
8. Focus on the rewards the change may bring, such as more personal time or new friendships. Anticipate setbacks and view them as a normal part of the change process, rather than as a failure.
9. Depression may be a response to change but is rarely permanent. You may not even feel you have the energy to deal and cope with the change. Don’t be afraid to get professional help by calling on friends or professionals who can help you face your change with less anxiety and more confidence and peace of mind.
Successful parents are clear and spot on with what they’re trying to accomplish in training their children. Discipline and focus must balance grace and mercy. There must be a balance between grace and discipline in managing a family in raising great kids.
Great parents are intentional parents. They know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Parenting also comes with the mandate to be flexible. Flexibility coupled with humor, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and the ability to keep it light will help parents get through many a dark time.
Training our kids through leading them by example and serving them is also a key component in that our values are usually caught not taught. This modeling of our values and walking our talk is key in setting an example for our kids to follow.
As we live our values as parents, our kids are taught and catch what we are instructing by the message of our lives and example. The key is for parents to be totally focused on this key role, whilst understanding none of us are perfect— thus we need grace both on others and for ourselves as parents.
Solutions for the Over-achieving Parent• Enjoy the moment. Stop and really concentrate on the small joys of life.• Be here now. Really focus on others and what they are communicating• Practice thankfulness for what it is now. Mentally and verbally give thanks for all you enjoy• Buy a Koi pond and go “watch the fish”. At least go outside and breathe, stretch and notice nature in its various forms.• Take breaks, stop and smell the flowers, intentionally enjoy life. Take a walk daily at work or home to break up the routine• Accept that less is more. What are we REALLY lacking in any moment?• Learn to push, then stop and wait for the results and be patient. Really know when you have done enough, then stop and give thanks. It will be there tomorrow.• Bring your best contribution to all relationships. Really make relationships your #1 priority in life. • Surrender to the moment, circumstance, or situation. Practice really letting go of any situation you have no control over. Rest. Pray. Release.• Take quiet breaks and rest. Walk. Go outside. Go Inside. Close the door. Time out.• Forgive with intentionality. Really release it and forget it. Move on…• Let it go. Stop your mind from negatively replaying what you cannot control.• Move along. Look to the next thing. Get over yourself.• Operate from the concept of a universe of abundance. There is more than enough for everyone.• Relax at work. Take a daily walk.• Breathe deep. Fill your lungs with air so that your stomach expands. Do this each hour.• Totally trust God and pray. Learn to reach out to God in personal prayer and really speak with Him. Tell Him how you feel. He can take it. • Take vacations. Schedule in advance, save the resources, plan with gusto, and just do it.• Stop the “self-beatings”. As you have the inevitable setbacks of life, simply resolve in advance to not add to the disappointment by adding self- deprecation of any type. Make it a point to stop negative self- talk. • Monitor and question moods and attitudes. Practice self-control and be aware of your personal emotional cycles and weaknesses and adjust your perspective from there. Know yourself and adjust accordingly.• Surrender and accept what is. It is what it is…and it can be better if you are willing.