What Success Looks Like: A ‘Wahoo,’ ‘Yippee’ or ‘Thank You’

joshfriedlander Issue 08 - Nov/Dec 2013 Leave a Comment

Gratitude is the ultimate sign of success; Latham & Watkins’ Chief Human Resources Officer explains why earning it is a team effort.

By Josh Friedlander

Most of us have different roles.  At the same time we are leaders, managers, parents, spouses, siblings, children, 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 “whoo hoo” or “yippee” or a mere “thank you”.   Success is a team effort with many contributing so that few can be recognized.

To 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 1800 miles from home.  It was a simple concept, call an auto shipper, have them come and pick up the car and then it gets deliver.  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 was 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, pick-up and delivery are not.

Well I found an honest auto shipping broker (they do exist) based on reviews on a reputable auto transportation website.   While it is not Angie’s List, it had 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 straight-forward, told me what he was going to do and then did it.  When the 1st 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 here 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 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) 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; 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 with 9 cars pulled away, 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 expectation, and deliver so that those whose opinions matter  and who depend on you say “thank you,” “whoo hoo,” 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 (he was very appreciative).  I texted Mrs. RG and said thank you and 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 the CHRO at Lathan & Watkins. He was featured in issue 4 of Forefront Magazine.

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