A Note from Chris Toomey, PresidentThere is a quote I enjoy sharing with young people from Oliver Wendell Holmes (an old Bostonian like myself) about following rules. It goes, the young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. Now the reason I appreciate this wisdom is that it is so obviously true. As young people, we all do our best to understand and follow the many rules of society — after all, we have only limited experience of our own from which to form sensible standards and practices. But as we grow older and wiser, we come to learn when and where rules may be modified to best fit real-life circumstances. Some rules, to be clear, should never be violated, such as prohibitions against cheating or unethical behavior in business. But not every situation is so obviously black and white. Which brings me to the Glenair Guiding Principles — notice they are not called Guiding Rules — because if they were, folks would likely be breaking them left, right and 24/7. But as principles, they are simply designed to steer our business behavior in a positive direction rather than dictating every possible turn in every road. The fifteen original principles are illustrated on the Glenair Guiding Principles poster, but these are a few of my personal favourites:
- Protect the reputation of the organisation
- Bow to the customer's convenience
- Pursue each task through to completion
- Be reality oriented
- Build win-win business relationships
Our Guiding Principles have been more powerful in establishing the culture here at Glenair — and keeping us laser-focused on customer service and ease of doing business — than any book of rules could ever be. I just love hearing my colleagues encouraging each other to "find the win-win," or to "bow to the customer's convenience." I believe our Guiding Principles are unique in our industry and that they have saved us from making many of the mistakes that can destroy even a great company. The inverse is also true: following these principles has positively made us a better company with a better culture. Want to know more? Feel free to address the topic with our professional sales and marketing staff in the field, or visit us at one of our many scheduled trade show exhibitions. Glenair is truly a unique organisation. Our conscious choice to favour principles over rules, or really trust over micro-management, is just one of the many differences you will find working as a member of our team. Ask around. We are a unique, privately-held, made-in-the-first-world outfit that truly marches to a different drummer.