Thank you to the Blue-Collar workforce!

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.Blue Collar Leadership Cover picture

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 better: moral authority (influence).

Note: The following is an excerpt (Chapter 2) from my newest book, Blue-Collar-Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines. Order now by clicking here. I’ll be posting the first 5 of 30 chapters as a short series.

Click here to start with Chapter 1

 Chapter: 2




“The dictionary defines belief as trust, faith, and confidence. However, that definition is selfish and requires judgement. I think we need to change the we way we believe in people. We need to redefine the way we believe in people. We should redefine belief as encouragement, empowerment, and engagement. This definition is selfless and doesn’t require judgement.” ~ Joshua Encarnacion

You may be wondering, “How can Mack believe in me? He doesn’t even know me.” Well, my intent on these pages is to express my belief in you in the way Joshua defined belief in the quote above, as selfless and without judgment. I like to refer to this type of belief as “unconditional” belief which is similar to unconditional love.

When we believe in someone or love someone unconditionally, it simply means we believe in them or love them because they are people, not because they behave or act in a certain way. I do believe you can make your life better. Believing in someone unconditionally is a choice. It’s a choice that builds trust and strengthens relationships.

Since I don’t know you, I can’t trust you, have faith in you, or have confidence in you based on what I know about you. That would be based on conditions or “conditional” belief. However, I can easily have unconditional belief in you. But, when we work with others and depend on others to get the job done, it’s too easy to become selfish, judgmental, and base our belief in them on specific conditions being met first.

I want to share a real example from my life where a stranger unconditionally believed in me. It not only changed my direction, but it also changed my life. I share this story in more detail in my first book, Defining Influence.

It was 1995. I was 25 years old. It was around 2am. I was wearing old, dirty jeans, an old t-shirt, greasy steel-toed boots, safety glasses, earplugs, and an old, dirty blue jean apron hung around my neck. As usual, I was at work in the middle of the night when most people were home sleeping soundly with their families.

I operated a large drill press and a CNC lathe machining holes in steel parts. It was a dirty, boring job, but it paid the bills. I was in the middle of what would become a three month streak of working 12 plus hours a day for seven days a week without a day off. Long hours and weekend work were a normal part of my life on the front lines.

On that particular night, there was a corporate industrial engineer from our headquarters observing me. He was there to do a time observation study. I was surprised because he could have done what he had to do on the day shift.

He informed me the Plant Manager (PM) had asked him to work with me because I consistently recorded high production. As I worked, the engineer observed me. After we got to know each other a little, he told me the PM believed I had the potential to be more than “just a machine operator” if I would apply myself and get some additional education.

The stranger had no idea I barely graduated high school.

Throughout the night, he expressed his belief in me and continued to do his best to get me to see my potential. He had no idea. I wasn’t interested in going to college. Not me!

I didn’t plan to ever go. I knew who I was and what I wanted. I didn’t need anyone, especially a stranger, telling me what I needed to do to advance in the company. What did he know about me? He knew I had potential. He knew it. I didn’t.

I had never seen him before and never saw him again. He has no idea how his words impacted me. He inspired me to become intentional about changing my life.

I thought it was just another night in the grind on the front lines. But, something happened. I started thinking differently. He had planted a seed of possibility inside of me. I hope I can plant that seed in you.

I began to ask myself many questions:

  • What if I went to college?
  • What would change?
  • Should I do it?
  • Could I do it?
  • How could I do it?
  • When could I do it?

I took action and enrolled in the local community college the very next semester. I decided to officially rescript my life simply because a stranger had believed in me unconditionally.

“We already live with many scripts that have been handed to us, the process of writing our own script is actually more a process of ‘rescripting,’ … As we recognize the ineffective scripts within us, we can proactively begin to rescript ourselves.” ~ Dr. Stephen R. Covey

I started college, as a single parent, while working long hours and weekends to make ends meet. I didn’t enjoy high school, so volunteering for more schooling was a big sacrifice.

It took me nearly five years to get my first two year degree, but I did it. I was paying the price to change my circumstances. I did have potential. I did not have to keep doing the same thing for my entire career. When I began to change my thoughts, my life began to change. I was slowly moving away from being a reactive person and was becoming a more responsible person.

If you want things to change, you must change the way you think. And no, you don’t have to go to college to live better.

“The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.”
~ Walter P. Chrysler