Lessons from moms and MuppetsWritten by Michael Drew Shaw | | firstname.lastname@example.org
During a recent Limelight America show, I talked with retired UT Professor Perry Johnson, who is finishing a new book about winners and losers. He e-mailed me after the show:
“I’ve given many speeches, been on TV, but was never interviewed by phone. I was curious about what in the world I had said! Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to hear a recording of everything we said at the end of each day?”
- Coming attraction: Perhaps better known to millions as the “Mayflower Madam,” Sydney Biddle Barrows is a unique American success story. She started her business career as a retail executive at Abraham & Straus, at the time the jewel in the crown of Federated Department Stores. She then moved onto May Company Corporate and became the divisional merchandise manager at a nationwide buying office. Barrows is probably the most unlikely authority on sales you’ll ever meet. For all of you who are thinking, “but my business is different,” and that you couldn’t possibly learn anything from a former madam, be sure to listen to Limelight America on April 3. You’re going to hear just how much your business and the world’s oldest profession have in common.
- Our regular radio and online features include mini-biographies about American business pioneers. Here’s one worth sharing. Jim Henson started his brilliant, 34-year career in 1954 on a morning TV show in Washington, D.C., when he was still in high school. The show needed a part-time puppeteer, so Henson fashioned a hand puppet out of an old, green coat and two pingpong balls. It turned out to be the forerunner of the now famous Sesame Street characters. Henson once said, “Nobody creates a fad. It just happens. People love going along with the idea of a beautiful pig.” At the heart of his success was the warmth and consideration the Muppets showed for each other. A wonderful example for children and adults alike in the often crude and cynical age we live.
- Our current economy inspired NBC “Nightly News” to do a series on helping each other, things like people paying the toll for the car behind them. But what about those who are considerate even when there’s no crisis? In the early 70s, Michael Herbert and Larry Adelsperger started PT Services Rehabilitation with five employees and a focus on rural northern and central Ohio. They did well and opened offices in Defiance, Tiffin and other small towns where the relationship among these entrepreneurs and their growing number of employees evolved into one big family. They sold their successful venture in 1998 to a much larger company. But that’s not the end of the story. Over time the health care industry underwent major changes that began to impact how PT Services functioned on a day-to- day basis. Concerned that industry demands and evolution would limit the kind of one-on-one philosophy that was the heart of the company they founded, they bought it back and have never regretted it. Nobody forced Herbert and Adelsperger out of retirement and there wasn’t a crisis inspiring them. They just did it because it was the right thing to do. Amen.
Listen to Limelight America on Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 5-6 pm and online at www.limelightamerica.com. E-mail Michael at email@example.com.