The Eastern Way - It's who we are and what we do!

The Eastern Way is the best strategic plan we could ever have. This is our plan of how to go to market. 

The Eastern Way is who we are and what we do. 

In Patrick Lencioni's best-seller, The Advantage, he makes a compelling case that the "health" of your organization works like a multiplier. In other words, for any given level of strategy, or quality of product or service, you'll go many times further if you have a high performing culture and only a fraction as far if you have a dysfunctional group of people. 

What we do is important, who we are and how we do it is critical. The following 28 fundamentals are how we plan to fulfill our purpose of having a positive impact on the lives of others. 

1. Give Back

Participate in opportunities to give back by contributing your time, effort, and resources to assist others. Express gratitude for what you have been given and make a positive impact on others by paying it forward and giving back.

2. Make Quality Personal

Take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. This includes making sure your personal appearance, your vehicle, your workspace, your warehouse, and your office are always neat, clean, and orderly. Everything you touch leaves your signature...signed in bold ink. 

3. Care Deeply

Be kind, caring, and compassionate. Interact with others in a way that honors their self-worth and respects their value as unique individuals. Put their needs ahead of your own. Walk in their shoes and learn to think from their perspective. 

4. Check Your Ego at the Door

It's not about you. Don't let your own ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what's best for the team. Worrying about who gets credit or taking things personally is counterproductive. Be willing to step into another role or help a coworker when that's what is required for success. We win and lose as a team.

5. Do the Right Thing, Always!

Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one is looking. Always tell the truth, no matter what! If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.

6. Work on Yourself

Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge and increase your skills, seizing the opportunity to grow and advance. Be teachable and resourceful about learning and sharing best practices. Keep in mind the only person you can change is yourself. 

7. Listen Generously

Listening is more than simply "not speaking." Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Be careful not to interrupt or finish someone's sentence; listen to understand.

8. Speak Straight

Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it's necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said, but in a gentle way. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected. 

9. Lead by Example

Don't hold others to a higher standard than you hold for yourself. The best way to influence others is through your own example. Take responsibility to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others. Be the change you want to see. 

10. Show Meaningful Appreciation

Acknowledge when we "catch" people doing things right. Regularly extend meaningful appreciation - in all directions throughout our organization. People like to work where they are appreciated. 

11. Assume Positive Intent

Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt. 

12. Anticipate Change

While our values do not change, technology and processes will. Getting outside of our comfort zone allows us to discover unique and innovative opportunities for competitive advantage. Be excited by the possibilities that change and growth bring. 

13. Honor Commitments

There's no better way to earn people's trust than to be true to your word. Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. Allow extra time for surprises and delays, and don't let these become excuses. Start on time, end on time.

14. Seek Clarity

Don't make assumptions. Always seek to understand. If it doesn't make sense to you, ask thoughtful questions and listen to the answers. Avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates. 

15. Make Wise Choices

Take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and take time to rest. Support and encourage each other in making wise choices. Wellness works!

16. Work Smart

Be obsessive about organization and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Pay attention to the details and have all the tools necessary before starting your work. Be thoughtful about your schedule - have a game plan for your calls, your tasks, and your workday. Know the priorities and work on them first. 

17. Be Proactive

Look for and solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and addressing them in advance. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues helps us to take better care of our customers and be better managers of our resources. 

18. Practice Blameless Problem-Solving

Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Take 100% responsibility and make zero excuses. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don't make the same mistake twice. Get smarts with every mistake. 

19. Be a Fanatic about Response Time

Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it's in person, on the phone, by email, or internal communication. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we're "on it," as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues. Upon completion, communicate "it's done." Rapid response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out from the crowd. 

20. Collaborate

Share information and work together. Learn to ask yourself, "Who else needs to know this?" Be available for your teammates. Collaborate internally and with our customers and manufacturers/supplier partners to find better solutions. Collaboration generates better ideas than working alone. 

21. Be Relentless about Improvement

Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don't be satisfied with the status quo. "Because we've always done it that way" is not a reason. Guard against complacency. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. 

22. Think Safe. Work Safe.

Remember Safety is No Accident! Know and practice the safety procedures for your job and watch out for the safety of your teammates as well. Never take shortcuts that compromise your safety or that of others. 

23. Take Care of the Customer

Make serving the customer your primary focus. Remember, customers have a CHOICE with whom to do business. With every experience, go the extra mile. Create customer loyalty by exceeding expectations. 

24. Communicate Personally

As often as possible, and especially when delivering difficult or complex messages, it's better to speak to someone personally rather than communicate through email or text. Intent can be misinterpreted in writing. Go! If you can't go, then call. If you can't call, then write. 

25. Be Process-Oriented

Great companies are built on a foundation of highly effective, repeatable processes. Create and develop processes for every aspect of your work and then turn those processes into habits to achieve consistent results. 

26. Deliver Results

We reward and celebrate results. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can't be done. Follow-up on everything and take responsibility to ensure that tasks get completed. Set high goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results. 

27. Be Positive

You have the power to choose your attitude. It has been said, "Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond." Your attitude is contagious. Spread positive energy. A positive attitude is powerful. 

28. Keep Things Fun

While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don't take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Smile and laugh every day.