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What Henry Ford Knew That Many CEOs Have Forgotten

Henry FordWe all know a lot about Henry Ford. But the two of us didn’t know much about Herbert Casson until recently. Now we have a growing fascination.

Casson began his career as a minister and ended it as an author. He was a Methodist turned socialist turned capitalist. He was one of the people featured in the book, 50 Key Figures in Management.

A capitalist with a better way to get rich

It was what he said about Henry Ford that caught our attention. Here are a few excerpts, written as a contemporary of Ford’s:

“Judging by results, Henry Ford is the most successful manufacturer in the world. He pays the highest wages. He makes the highest profits. He sells the cheapest goods.

Henry Ford is a complete answer to the silly Marxian theory that a capitalist can only make money by robbing his employees or the public.

Henry Ford robs nobody. He is not an exploiter of the proletariat.

He is a multi-millionaire, and every penny of his money is clean.

His enormous profits are only a part of what he saves the public; and he pays his workers far more than they could make if they were on their own.

Henry Ford is a capitalist, and he shows all capitalists a better way of getting rich.

Scoffing at Ford

After telling the story of Ford’s fascinating journey from farmer to entrepreneur, Casson continued:

“We may scoff at him if we like—if we are foolish enough; but it seems to me that he is the one who has the joke on the rest of us.

Henry Ford knows how. He has solved his business problems. He has shown us the one right way to handle men and produce goods and make profits without making enemies.

It would be better for all of us if we STUDIED Ford more and scoffed at him less. The more I find out about him the more I am impressed with his ability and his sense.

What the world needs is more Henry Fords; that is the truth, whether we like it or not.

If we had 1,000 Fords, we would have high wages, high profits, low prices and no labor troubles. We would have peace and prosperity.”

Ford and his employees

He goes on to discuss how Ford treated his employees:

Take, for instance, Ford’s methods as an EMPLOYER. In this respect he is most peculiar. He has followed a most unusual course, and he has made a great success of it.

The fact is, that Henry Ford seems to regard himself as a LABOR LEADER rather than an employer.

He gives his men MORE than they ask.

He gives them better working conditions than they had ever thought of.

He watches over them and protects them.

He has made his men the best-paid and most contented workers the world has ever seen.

He was one of the few leaders to hire convicts and people with disabilities. He treated all of his employees like people. Casson concludes:

“He has stopped the war between the workers and the management. He has established peace and goodwill.

He has shown every other employer what can be done.”

Entrepreneurial CEOs today can learn a lot from Ford. You can have it all. It just takes some ingenuity which begins with a mutual trust between you and your people. To paraphrase Ford, your people might become good customers, too…if you treat them well.

Source: Tips on Leadership or the Life Stories of Twenty Five Leaders

This book was written by Casson in 1929 and republished in 2003. We found it riveting so we highly recommend it to you.

Image in this post from sciencecontrol.com

70,000 dollars feeds 5,000 families

How $70,000 Delivered 5,000 Families from Drought and Hunger

70,000 dollars feeds 5,000 families

Bloggers from all over the world wide web are discussing poverty today in the hopes that conversation for a cause will lead to a cure. We’ll share how $70,000 had an impact on drought and hunger.

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marylynnWe chose to participate because we believe in the cause and we believe in the power of people working together with a purpose.

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georgeWe remembered an inspiring Wall Street Journal article [pdf] written by Roger Thurow. It highlights how seemingly small things can make a bigg difference in the developing world. We love success stories and this one is awesome!

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$70,000 feeds 5,000 families

A group of farmers in Ohio raised $70,000 and sent it to another group of farmers in Kenya. The project is part of the Foods Resource Bank, an organization that fights hunger by connecting churches here with groups in need around the world.

The Ohio farmers decided to send money, rather than food, so the farmers in Kenya could decide how to use it best. They spent the money to build a number of small dams and retention ponds to catch water in the rainy season so they would have water year-round. With that water, five thousand families have been delivered from hunger.

Everybody wins

Here’s an example of the impact made by just one project. The farmers in Ohio sent $3,000 to the farmers in Kenya, who hired an engineer. With the plan in hand, the Kenyan farmers built the dam with their own labor and materials.

Now their village has water – for themselves, for their cattle, and for growing crops. The women of the village used to walk about ten miles to get water. Now their time is being used much more productively.

With the water problem solved, the village switched its focus to better roads. These roads are the link to nearby markets where the farmers can sell their surplus produce. But they had deep ruts which made them nearly impassable.

It used to take two hours to get to the market by bike, which is the main form of transportation there. Bikes cost $6 to rent. With the improved roads, it only takes a half-an-hour now to get into town and bike rents have fallen to $3.

Talk about win / win! The farmers are paying 50% less to rent a bike. But the person who rents the bikes is making 100% more, because the bikes get returned so quickly. Everybody wins!

Farmer increases income over 400%

The article also highlights one Kenyan farmer. With the water nearby thanks to the dam, he was able to dig his own water retention pond, which he uses to irrigate his crops. His income has grown from less than $100 a year to $500 per year!

That’s an increase of over 400%!

Now he’s plowing his extra profits back into his business. He bought a generator and mechanical pump to double his cultivated land. He also planted 400 mango trees.

Entrepreneurship at its finest!

How it started

All of these wonderful things started with the vision of one man – the pastor in the village. Originally, he reached out for food from the large international agencies. But he feared that his people would become dependent.

So he formed a development group that created a list of needs – water was number one on the list. He sent that list to a number of organizations, including the Foods Resource Bank. They got the farmers in Ohio involved.

Takeaways

We found this story so inspiring because it shows that a small amount of money with a large amount of focus can accomplish bigg things.

We liked how farmers here supported farmers there. We can all use our passion, knowledge, and skills to help people like us in other parts of the world.

It also shows the resourcefulness of people. Get resources to people on the scene. They will find a way to overcome their biggest obstacles with their ingenuity and industriousness. The accomplishments can be phenomenal!

You, too, can make a difference. Donate money or make microloans to people in need with good ideas. Reach out to organizations that have the infrastructure in place to help people in need.

It only takes one person.
Each of us can make a bigg difference in helping other people around the world be a bigg success.

Next time, we’ll talk with a man who left a high-paying job with a prestigious law firm to do his own thing. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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how $70,000 saved 5,000 families|Blog Action Day 2008

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If You Want to Increase Your Profit, Don’t Put Your Customers First

Some professors at Harvard developed a concept over ten years ago called  The Service Profit Chain. This concept is designed to increase your profits year after year.


The Service – Profit Chain

Employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers lead to revenue growth. Revenue growth leads to profit growth.

Reinvest a portion of those profits into things that will make your employees even more satisfied, and the chain never breaks.

So your profit keeps going up year after year!

Employee satisfaction
It starts with satisfying your employees. Many business owners focus on satisfying their customers first, but that’s putting the cart before the horse!

If you don’t have satisfied employees, you won’t be able to satisfy your customers. Work from the inside out, because your product or service is built around those who create or deliver it.

So if you want to increase your profits, find out what will make your employees happy!

Happy employees stick around
It’s expensive to find and train new people. New people cost you money until they get through the learning curve. They cost you money because your established employees have to help train them, so they aren’t as productive as they would be if they weren’t faced with that burden.

They know what they’re doing. They know your customers personally – their likes and dislikes. They have relationships with your customers, and most people do business with people they like.

Your employees are golden! So seek first to satisfy your employees.

3 things satisfied customers do
Satisfied customers buy more, they buy more often, and they tell others.

Look at those three again – isn’t that a great way to increase sales?

You don’t have to spend a boat-load of money chasing new customers. You focus on making your employees happy so they make your customers happy.

If you do that, your sales will grow. If you just keep your costs under control, your profits will grow. Reinvest a portion of those profits to find even more ways to satisfy your employees, and your profits will grow year-after-year.

Our bigg quote today is a paraphrase of a Walt Disney quote:

“If I treat my employees the way I want my employees to treat my customers,
I’ll never have to worry about how my employees treat my customers.”

Take care of your employees and watch your business turn into a magic kingdom!

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do if you made a commitment you no longer feel you can honor. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

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(Image by duchessa)

*We are Amazon affiliates. If you purchase the book we linked to in this article, we’ll receive a small portion of the sale.