I wish someone would have given me this book nearly 30 years ago when I started my career on the front lines. It would have changed my life then. It can change your life now.
better: moral authority (influence).Separate yourself from the crowd quickly by learning how to master the traits High Impact leaders value most. You will learn how to get noticed for the right reasons and how to get promoted for the right reasons. You will learn how to become recognized as a front line leader worth following, and you don’t need formal authority (position) because you will develop something
Note: The following is an excerpt (Chapter 1/Introduction) from my newest book, Blue-Collar-Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines. Order now by clicking here.
I’M ONE OF YOU
WHO WE ARE MATTERS
“A few start at the top, but most of us start at the bottom.” ~ Mack Story
Merriam-Webster’s simple definition of blue-collar: requiring physical work; relating to or having jobs that require physical work.
I’m proud of the many years I spent on the front lines as part of the blue-collar workforce in various manufacturing plants. Those years, and the many outstanding people I worked alongside, shaped me and prepared me to be uniquely positioned to help you today. For that, I’m forever grateful. But, I’ll never be satisfied.
If you’ll learn and apply what I’ll be sharing with you on these pages, you won’t have to settle any longer. Like me, you should always be grateful but never be satisfied. You can become a lot more. It’s a choice I hope you will make.
You have unlimited potential within you and can move far beyond your current circumstances. I want to help you increase your influence. When you increase your influence, you’ll have more options no matter where you work or what work you do.
Those on the front lines have been overlooked for far too long. I’ve written this book for you. If you invest your time in reading it completely, you will benefit tremendously as a result.
When you decide to accept responsibility for your future, you will be able to define your future.
My intent is to motivate and inspire you to climb to the next level and beyond. I want to help you go faster and farther by sharing what I didn’t begin to learn until nearly 20 years after my first day on the front lines. I wish someone had given me this very book in 1988. Things would have been better for me. And, they would have been better much sooner.
I hope as you make your way through this book you begin to see things, including yourself, in a much different way. I hope you feel encouraged, empowered, and engaged to make a bigger difference in your own life and those around you. I believe you can do things you’ve never even imagined doing.
I want to take you back to my days on the front lines for a moment. I’m sure you will be able to relate in some way. You may not work in the manufacturing plants like I did. But, if you’re a blue-collar worker, I know you work hard and long, no matter what type of work you may be doing: electrical, plumbing, construction, farming, mining, manufacturing, oil & gas industry, carpentry, service work, welding, assembly, etc.
There are many of us. We are everywhere.
The blue-collar workforce built this country, and they can and must save this country.
I worked long, hard hours, in hot, cold, dirty, and sometimes, unsafe environments while being bossed by others who thought they were far above me because they had a position of authority and power or simply because they had a college degree. Most often, I only respected the position and not the person. They had to earn my respect.
They didn’t listen to me. They didn’t have to. They didn’t want to. However, if I wanted to continue to get paid I had to do what they said, when they said it, and how they said it.
I didn’t realize I had a choice. But, I did. You do too. This entire book is going to help you realize you have a lot of choices and a lot of untapped potential.
I’ll never forget my first day on the front lines in 1988 at the age of 18.
It was the first time I had been in a manufacturing plant of any kind in my life. I was quickly taken from the front office and handed off to someone in front of a very, large, loud, and oily machine, a machine like nothing I had ever seen before. I had been in the plant for about 10 minutes at that time.
It was official. I was a blue-collar factory worker. I would stand in front of many machines for many years in many different plants before that would change.
I was shown how to load the machine, start the machine, unload the machine, inspect the parts, and repeat. Then, I was on my own. I was at work doing exactly what I was told to do.
When I got home from work, all of my clothes, even my underwear, were soaked with oil. It was that way for the next two weeks until someone finally told me I could purchase a plastic apron in one of the break rooms, for less than a dollar, that would help keep me dry.
This is how my blue-collar career started.
For the next 10 years on the second and third shifts, I often worked seven days a week, 10 to 16 hours a day for months at a time to make ends meet. When overtime was available, I was always quick to volunteer. I didn’t want to. I needed to.
I was greedy because I needed to be greedy. Life was tough. I could never get ahead regardless of how many hours or days a week I worked. I’m sure not much has changed today for many who are still making it happen day in and day out on the front lines of the blue-collar world.
There wasn’t much respect for us then, and there’s not much respect for many on the front lines today. I know the potential that lies within you. It was also within me, but I didn’t know it. I want to help you realize it sooner rather than later.
Everything changed for me in 1995 because one person believed in me and shared that belief with me.
It will be my privilege if I can be that person for you.
I want you to know: I respect you.
I want you to know: Who you are matters.
I want you to know: I believe in you.