• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Be The Example Others Aspire To Be And Need

Be The Example Others Aspire To Be And Need

Be the example. If you spend enough time around me, you’re going to hear me say that from time to time. It’s one of those go to clichés I keep holstered at all times, both for myself and what I ask of the employees and vendors I work with. Set the bar high. Exceed expectations. Don’t allow others or yourself to limit who you are. Own it. Be the example. Dictate the terms of your life. I have no shortage of sayings to pull out of the deck.

The Country Executive - Be The Example

Be The Example In Tough Times

I’ve had a pretty tough run of things of late. 1 October kicks off a new fiscal year in my world. The best way I can describe it is the flood gates of opportunity open for new projects and we need to pursue them immediately for multiple reasons.

In a pandemic world with supply chain disruptions, you don’t want to wait to order supporting hardware. Currently it’s taking months for hardware to arrive and it’s a bit of a problem for project timelines. It is what it is I say, but at a minimum my organization will do our best to mitigate by ordering physical aspects as soon as possible. After that we all are at the mercy of availability. I understand and accept this fact.

For the past couple of months, I have been at odds with two major corporations that provide some of the foundational pieces of what makes our beautiful city work. Being wired as I am I have trouble accepting poor business practices. Internally for the aspects of my world I am responsible for or externally for the vendors I work with. Currently that number is about 230 different companies providing some type of technology service or support of my employer since 2018.

The Country Executive - Lead

Be The Example Professionally

Many of the companies we work with are unbelievably great. We have essentially established friendships with key representatives and I truly believe they are looking out for our best interests and will be there if we need them in a pinch. These are the type of companies and people I will go out of my way to support. At times I will pay a little more for something because of that trust, particularly when timing is paramount.

In my world of local government, we all talk to one another. Those companies that have built the rapport with my organization are the ones we’ll vouch for with peers. It opens doors for them down the road, and I am confident they’ll support my peers as well as they support my employer. This is the business partnership I speak of when meeting new vendors. Do right by one then you’ll do right by all.

How Not To Be The Example

A few of those companies do not seem to understand the impact of a poorly ran business. They put forward representatives that possess poor communication practices, they don’t take ownership of responsibilities, or just seem to lack accountability in general. It drives me banana sandwich. I’ve been dealing with this a lot lately and I don’t understand it. More importantly, I am incapable of accepting it which leads me to some very tough conversations at times.

I assume some of this is tied to having more of a workload than some folks can handle. I am sympathetic to an extent, but I am also quick to say these companies are still hammering our checks. So, if we are paying for their support then it is on them to figure out how to support us best. Proactive communication can solve many of these hardships, but alas therein lies the problem.

Be The Example In Leadership

By nature, I am an easy-going guy. I think. It certainly is not my desire to be a tyrant, or someone that is difficult to work with. That is unless I have to be. If you do wrong by my employer I can and will have my voice heard. For some reason I take it personal which I readily admit is not the most professional thought process.

There’s a part of me that feels like my employer has put their faith in me and I have to do everything in my ability to do right by my organization and the city I support. I am genuinely invested. This is my home too. I am a tax paying citizen of my city. I don’t take kindly to these major corporations providing subpar services to the folks I am responsible for. Hence why I feel kind of exhausted after a few seemingly continuous months of this going on.

The Country Executive - Believe

Be The Example In Life

I cannot help but relate my little cliché to something going on in my personal life. Mrs. Country Exec and I recently celebrated our ten-year wedding anniversary and decided to do a thing. Something I have been wanting access to seemingly forever. We pulled the trigger on a hot tub for our home. Up until recently my career never provided us that level of stability.

I was always looking for advancement. The next opportunity. As stated on this site many times I had a chip on my shoulder as I slowly progressed upward through my twenty-five-year career in technology. For what feels like the first time in my life I don’t feel that way anymore.

Be The Example And Show Gratitude

There have been times when my mindset reverted to how I operated for years, but it eventually passes when I remind myself how hard Mrs. Country Exec and I worked and all the chances we took to get to where we are today. I wanted to come back to small town Texas. To work for an organization doing something positive. For my career to mean something. To have great benefits, work life balance, and professional freedom. To take ownership of my career, and subsequently my life.

I have all that today and more. In my mind if I were to leave, I would just want to replicate what I live today. Doesn’t make sense to leave if all I’m trying to do is replicate my current situation. Long story short I think Mrs. Country Exec and I will be here for a while. I hope so. This place is awesome.

The Country Executive - Be The Example

Be The Example Period

It’s not always easy to do the right thing. In pursuit of installing that hot tub we’ve talked to in my opinion way too many contractors. Decking and concrete mostly. We of course live in the city I work for. There are rules and regulations we must follow to ensure our ten year anniversary hot tub is installed per code.

Many of the vendors wanted nothing to do with following that process. Is it easier to just do something and hope nobody will find out? Yes, of course. Mrs. Country Exec and I live in a very private area. We have plenty of property and barely any neighbors. We love our home. But that’s not the point. To be the example you must do the right thing even when no one is looking.

I told each of the contractors some version of that. Often when we would get push back, I would point out the city vehicle in my driveway and tell them that’s not how I roll. It’s going to cost me a little more to do this project the right way and I am 100% good with that because when you do the right thing you have very little to worry about afterwards.

This is a very accurate statement both professionally and personally. Follow established processes and guidelines and you should have no fear if something doesn’t work out as intended.

Be The Example Conclusion

Doing the right thing is not always the easiest path forward. I believe doing the right thing and being the example quite often is the more difficult option. This coincides with my belief that you get out of something what you put into it. If you want that big promotion then you need to invest in what is necessary to achieve it. In a nutshell I think that explains life. If you want something then go get it. Success breeds success. It starts with you. Be the example! Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

The Country Executive