Many business professionals are reluctant to share useful information with others in their industry. They don’t want to give away anything to the competition. But they miss out on the opportunity to partner and mentor where it most needed – with less experienced colleagues and new people entering the industry. Practicing these two activities in your daily life can replace a “competitor” attitude with a “co-petitor” view where everybody benefits in your industry.
Learn and Have Fun Together
One way Steve Labbe, owner of Paradigm Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning practices his co-petitor attitude is by combining learning with having fun. Recently, he was on a call with WKXL talk show host Chris Ryan while travelling on the road with his team for a training day.
Chris commented, “So what’s this about you travelling to the Foxwoods resort for training? Are you trying to learn and have some fun at the same time?”
Steve quipped, “You bet. It’s all about the experience. A while ago I took part in a training program down in NYC. The company took us to the top of building where we had a great view of Manhattan. That was awesome. I will never forget it.”
Steve noted that sometimes some of these events are put on by manufacturers of equipment. It is a big part of the industry throughout the year. “What’s significant”, Steve adds, “is the comradery with our team and other people in the industry. You are training at the same time, and there are a lot of benefits for the individual attending these things for personal training. The Paradigm philosophy when we are working is to not only learn but also enjoy working with each other.”
Chris added, “When you talk about your business with family, it may not make sense to them. But when talking with coworkers and people in your business at these events, you are meeting new people with similar personalities and interests.” No matter your industry, you can connect and relate with people in the industry.
“The idea is that you try to meet the equipment reps, so that later, when you are in the field helping customers, you can talk directly with them when there is an issue.” Steve adds, “I want co-petitors, but I also want people who are competitive. We are all in this together to be the best we can be for our customers.”
Share Major Advancements
Chris asks, “Do these training and industry events also provide information about major advancements in the field?”
Steve comments, “Sure they do. Such as the significant changes in heat pumps so equipment has both heating and cooling in the same unit. Another is ZoomLock® flame-free refrigerant fittings that are specially designed to work without brazing. They automatically make your job simpler and faster when joining copper tubes. They eliminate the need to solder. And since no flame is required, we do not need to set up a fire watch.” (A fire-watch is required when the emergency notification system cannot alert building occupants of hazards or the need to evacuate.)
Steve adds, “These changes have made the job easier. But still, there is the pride – of making things good. We are trying to teach this to apprentices in the trade. The idea is to combine ease with pride. Be aware of the pride in our industry. You don’t want your work to look like a bunch of spaghetti. Make it work and look nice as well.”
Work with Competitors as Partners
Chris says, “Rather than tear down opponents, why not build up your competition and everybody in the industry? It’s going to help everyone.”
Steve says, “You know that resonates with me. It’s all about being partners. I was recently networking with Joyce Heating and Cooling. This is a young guy with a new business. It’s important for me to mentor people. And it’s not about you having all the business in Pembroke or Concord, or Manchester. It is about helping these other businesses succeed. Doing that helps everybody in the industry.”
“That’s interesting,” comments Chris. “You know, many business people have trepidation about crossing over and making other businesses better. But why not help others? Mentoring is important. If you have something you can share, doesn’t that make sense? What’s their end game? If you have been successful, I don’t understand that mentality. Is it greed?”
Steve adds, “They are in a ‘fear’ mentality. You have to come from a place of mindfulness of abundance. You have to trust. Fear of competition doesn’t have trust in it. Consider the fabric of your own life. You can’t know about everything. So, lead with your heart. It’s not all about the money. It’s about treating everybody as if they are your own family.”
On this particular day traveling to Foxwoods, Steve was practicing one of many mantras, “Don’t just work with your co-workers, share some fun times together.”
If you want to share some fun times with Steve and his team, give us a call.