Transparent: Even At A Cost


Hey team, so here we are again for Monday Message. And as you can see from the scene behind me, it is fall. Fall is in full bloom, well, full dying, and the nice thing about that is we get to winter. Snow sledding, mountain camping up in the snow, snowmen, Christmas, all the fun things. And then we got spring, and we’ll be back to summer again. Ooh-rah!

Alright, so let’s talk about Monday Message. Today, I want to talk about transparency, being transparent and I want to tell you a little story. This happened years and years ago, we’re talking like 2004. This is pre-Greg. Greg is our longest team member that’s worked here. He’s going on like 14 years, I believe, maybe 15, something like that. Anyway, this is like a long time ago, this is almost 18 years ago. And, it was 18 years ago, wow.

Anyway, I had a gentleman working for me, and at that time, 2004-ish, 2003, 2004, we had one, two, three, maybe four accounts. We had maybe eight people working for us at the time, maybe 10, and half of them worked at this one location. I had a 24/7 Distribution Center up in Washington, and I had an officer, we were checking trailers in and out as they were leaving the facility and documenting it all. And this is pre-SRT also, but we, this particular officer, he left a lock, a hasp open and unsecured, and he left the key inside the lock. And, you know, it probably fell off the truck, it probably was on the highway somewhere.

But this particular company, they were not super happy about it. So they wanted to rekey to ensure the safety and integrity of their system. They wanted to rekey every single lock, we’re talking hundreds of trailers. They had to rekey and buy new locks for everything. It cost me over $1,200, some dollars because we were on the hook for 50% of that. They made us pay half. So it was over $2,500 dollars is what it cost, but they made us pay half. And that was significant, especially then. I was working full-time here, and Karen was working full-time someplace else. The company was going along, and when this happened, we weren’t 100% sure who did it at the moment. We were trying to figure that out.

So, I asked the staff, and I had one officer who stepped forward, and they said, “It was me.” He was transparent, he was honest, he was open about it. I really liked this officer. I had a lot of respect for him, not only in this but in a lot of things. He was a friend of my friend who came and worked here, but security just wasn’t his thing. He had made a couple of other little mistakes, and he was using them as learning lessons. But this was super huge, and in the end, because of this, I had to let him go.

And the thing about transparency is even if it costs you, you should always still be transparent. The thing I appreciated about this young man is that he understood. He was still grateful, and he moved on. I believe he did use this as a learning lesson for mistakes and stuff, and he stepped forward and moved on with his life, and he did quite well. But it was really important during that time to recognize that security isn’t right for every single person, and sometimes the thing that’s best for the team—I say this to our leadership class from time to time—my job is to serve the team, and sometimes serving the team best also involves letting people not be on the team.

And so, it was a tough thing because you know it’s easy to let somebody go. It’s easy to fire somebody that you’re mad at. And It’s easy to fire somebody that you don’t like. It’s easy to fire somebody that really screwed up. And that is a bonehead that you just don’t appreciate. And even while this person made a mistake that cost me a significant amount of money, I liked him. I had a lot of respect for him. I thought he was a really great young man who had a promising future, just probably not in security. And it was a tough thing to do. I’d never fired somebody at that time in my life. I’d never fired somebody that I really, really liked. And then I had a lot of care for. It was a tough thing to do.

I’ve done it a few times since then, and I’ve come to realize that, again, sometimes the best way to serve people is to not, even if they don’t see it at that moment. And I’ve had this happen a few times too, where I’ve let somebody go, they’ve been very upset with me, and they went away. But they’ve come back to me, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes years later, and said that that was a catalyst for their growth.

And that’s another thing about transparency, and this is me being transparent with you too. My job here is to serve you and care for you in the best way that I believe is for the best, not only for you but for the whole team. And I’m looking out for the best for all of us, and sometimes that involves doing some hard stuff.

But this young man, I had a lot of respect for because he was transparent, he opened up, and he came and he said, “This was me. This was totally my fault. I made the mistake. It was my error in judgment. I wasn’t paying attention. I did the wrong thing.” And that transparency, even though it cost him his job, cost me over $1,200 dollars, we both learned some huge lessons there about what we needed to do next. And we moved forward, and we grew, and we got better. That’s the right thing to do.

So, transparency is important. That’s why it’s one of our core values. It’s one of the reasons we say that integrity builds trust. It’s a part of that, transparent, even at a cost. Integrity builds trust, and we use mistakes as learning lessons to springboard from and to grow from. And those are important, important things to remember.

Alright, so until next week, remember to be valuable because nothing less will do, and I will see you guys as we get closer to November. I will see you guys next week. Alright, God bless. Have a beautiful rest of your week. Bye-bye.