What Success Looks Like: A “Woohoo,” “Yippee” or “Thank You”

Jaclyn Crawford Foresight, What Success Looks Like Leave a Comment

Latham & Watkins’ CHRO takes pride in a little hard-earned team-effort recognition

By Josh Friedlander

Most of us have different roles.  At the same time we are leaders, managers, parents, spouses, siblings, children and team members, as well as friends, consumers and bystanders. Simultaneous success in each of our roles is difficult, if not impossible, because at times success in one of the roles will cause failure in another. Success is about having those we care about and whose opinion we value give us a “woohoo” or “yippee” or a mere “thank you.” Success is a team effort with many contributing so that few can be recognized.

Forefront BlogTo try to increase our success as parents, my wife and I decided to ship one of our cars to our daughter who is going to school 1,800 miles from home. It was a simple concept: Call an auto shipper, have them come and pick up the car, and then it gets delivered. I have watched many hours of “Shipping Wars” on A&E, so I knew how it went. Was I ever wrong. First, finding a respectable shipper who will do what they say for the price they quote you is very difficult. I did not experience what I had seen on television, that is for sure. By the way, the price is not the price until it is paid and quotes are just that—quotes. Second, finding a responsible shipper who will pick up your car when they say they will and deliver it is even harder. Quotes and down payments are easy, pickup and delivery are not.

Well, I found an honest auto-shipping broker (they do exist) based on reviews on a reputable auto transportation website offering balanced facts that educated me as a consumer. My broker Craig had excellent follow-up. He emailed, texted and called. He was not over the top, rather he was responsive.  He was straightforward, told me what he was going to do, and then did it.

When the first driver did not show up, Craig not only worked over a weekend to find a replacement, he called my wife to explain the situation so that she could hear directly from him what was happening.  We communicated when he was in his car, his office, his house and even from the football field where he was coaching a practice. If I had a question or a concern, Craig was there. I felt good until it happened.

The car was supposed to be picked up before my daughter flew to college so that it would be waiting for her after her arrival. Because of the delay, that did not happen. I failed. I was not going to let one setback cause me an issue, so I waited for the second driver, RG, to arrive six days later. The driver’s dispatcher was also his wife—so she was his boss in several different ways!—and was in regular contact with me. He would be here today. This felt right.

RG arrived and loaded the car as only a professional can. I know human resources, but he knew trucking and auto transport. I watched in amazement as he did things I could never do. He knew his equipment, and what went where. He looked, watched, tweaked, pulled and pushed. The car was loaded in a matter of minutes and was all set.

After the transport, I texted my daughter: “JTU [Jeep Transport Update]… He is leaving NY now.” Her response: “YIPPEE!” I smiled.

Success is about working hard to ensure you fulfill your promises, meet expectations and deliver so that those whose opinions matter and who depend on you say “thank you,” “woohoo” or “yippee.” Success is not an individual effort but a team sport. Everyone must contribute and do their part. The “yippee” I received was because Craig, RG, Mrs. RG, and I all delivered on our promises. Each one made it happen, so together we all succeeded.

I thanked Craig with praise and told him, I would write an excellent website review about his service. I thanked RG with a couple of cold sodas, and he was very appreciative. I texted Mrs. RG to say thank you and convey that RG was on his way back to her. For me, my thanks was the “Yippee!” text that I will treasure for a lifetime.



Josh Friedlander is Chief Human Resources Officer at Latham & Watkins. We featured him in issue 4 of the magazine, you can read it here.

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