Over the next few chapters we learn a lot about how Hershey grew his business, worked to obtain loyalty from his employees, and gave back.  To sum up some of the most important parts, Hershey wanted his employees to feel valued and apart of the company.  He went on to create his own town the housed, employed, taught, and entertained everyone.  All of his employees lived in the town.  He created schools for the employees children, gave to all three churches, created museums, and made sure they all had great benefits including insurance in case they got sick. He also encouraged them to buy houses instead of renting. 

                This created trust and even ownership in the company.  He had employees that ran the same wrapping machine for 30 years.  They would come in, check out all the parts, oil it down, and make sure it was working properly before the start of their shift.  Putting into your employees as he did can add so much value. People felt appreciated and safe.

Giving back was very important to Hershey and I feel it paid out very well for him.  He was one that didn’t like to deal with the day to day, but to create, he was a dreamer.  One thing about entrepreneurs is they are always thinking and looking ahead.  This was important when he saw a sugar shortage coming.  Instead of stressing out, he bought 1500 acres of sugarcane.  Now he has a supply.  It is so important to be vigilant and look ahead.  We have discussed over the past few classes about surrounding yourself with people that fill in where you lack.  You wear every hat in your company and that can be exhausting.  Hershey proved that passing responsibilities off and making your employees feel valued is important.  He was able to do the part of the business that he enjoyed while trusting the ones he hired to carry on with the business.  His employees worked hard for him because they respected him as a leader.                 

I have said in the past that having a leader you respect is even more important than one realizes.  I have worked for a boss that was not a leader.  The whole team fell apart and left.  The business has struggled and new employees are in and out monthly.  I now work for a boss that is a fearless leader.  She is one of the hardest working individuals I know.  It makes a difference in productivity.  You work harder for someone you respect

4 Comments

  1. Katherine,
    Great post with so many valuable points. I love your point about leaders earning the respect of their employees and creating a bond that won’t exist otherwise. I too have worked for a leader that lacked the respect of his employees which ultimately led to the entire staff moving on as well. I most recently worked for two co-owners who were both amazing leaders and who both taught me a lot. I was their manager and I always wanted to make sure I represented them well with the work that I did. The three of us also had complimenting strength to make a strong team. Your point on trying not to be the one person wearing all of the hats made me reflect on the dynamic that we had going. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Katherine,
    I am really enjoying your blog posts and learning more about Hershey. Several points you brought up resonated with me. The first is not wearing too many hats. I am guilty of trying to to take on everything by myself but have learned that delegating will not only ease my stress but will also empower others. If no one empowered me then I do not think I would be in the position I am now. The other is having a leader who you respect. Similar to you, I have had supervisors who I did not respect their work ethic. Notice, the word supervisor, instead of leader. Their lack of work ethic and lack of pride for the work they did led me to depart from the company.

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  3. Katherine,
    I am going to have to read this book for myself!
    Employees are the backbone of any company. You have to take care of them if you expect them to take care of your business. One person can only run a business for so long. At some point, operations will be too large and the owner will have to let go and delegate work to others. I believe when someone becomes too attached and controlling to delegate work properly and as you said, attempts to wear all the hats, they can become overworked and exhausted leading to high stress levels and short tempers. Sadly, employees often receive the worst end of the stick from this. Like you and Zach, I have worked for a boss that fits this description to a “T” and as an employee, their stress made me stress providing for a terrible work environment.

    Great book and review,
    Courtney Wright

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  4. Kathrine,

    Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to work for a true leader? I speak to my students a lot about finding an organization that they are happy in. Unofrtanly a boss can really ruin a job for an employee, and that is just a shame. I wish the poor leaders would see what they are doing and how some small differences can make such a large impact.

    Great Read,

    Jae

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