For those of you that lived or grew up in the southwestern United States you may recall Eddie Chiles. Eddie was in the oilfield services business in Texas and one time owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball team. He founded the Western Company of North America in 1939 with 2 truck and 3 employees. Over the next 5 decades the Western Company grew to over 5,000 employees and had revenues in excess of $500M.
Eddie was not shy and certainly not one to keep his thoughts to himself, and he didn’t grow a company to the size of his by ignoring issues. Eddie strongly encouraged his employees and customers to be vocal when something was broken or if there were better ways to conduct business. He realized early in his career that if he hired smart employees and empowered them to make decisions his chances of being successful were increased. Eddie was famous for his radio commentary on a variety of business and political issues, and his trademark sign-on was the phrase, “I’m Eddie Chiles, and I’m mad as hell.” His commentaries usually centered on situations where it was obvious that something was wrong or broken yet no one had any sense of urgency in trying to correct the situation. Through these conservative radio commentaries, Chiles became a folk hero in the southwest section of the nation.
Eddie was definitely a charismatic character but the real point of the story is that everyday we are faced with issues and problems in our business and professional lives. We can choose to take the right path and find ways to solve problems and issues or opt for the easy way out by ignoring them or telling ourselves “not my job”.
And if the issue is with another person or department and it affects your life or job, be like Eddie and be mad as hell, but nicely of course!