The other day, I was extremely fortunate to catch up with one of my favorite mentors, Jim Balkcom. He poured a lot of advice and insight into my mind, but I have carried two specific lessons from that day with me:
1) One of Jim’s earlier businesses, Techsonic Industries (now Humminbird), used to have a saying called "Loose Tight.” This meant that during the day-to-day of the business, they had lots of fun and managed everyone's tasks very loosely. But, when it came to results, they were extremely tight. You could manage your day loosely, but you better be tight on results or you would not make it.
2) Jim is the kind of guy you want in your fox hole. When he elects to be on a board, regardless of whether or not he is a shareholder, he is going to war with you. He believes that you first take care of a company’s people and their customers, and then the shareholders will indirectly benefit in a big way. But, you better not try to look out for the shareholders first at the expense of the employees or else you will have to answer to Jim.
Thank you, Jim, for always being such a great mentor and inspiration. I will make sure to be "Loose Tight" as we put our people and customers first.