Friday, April 10, 2009

Time to Pick the Stems

When I toured wine country, I toured Paul Hobbs Winery. Paul is a well-known wine consultant who is regarded as one of the "big guys" in the business. His vineyards are in California as well as Argentina.

His marketing director, Claire LuCroq, told me how fortunate my timing was, because it was "crush." Crush, I learned, was harvest time. Think of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show or U2 coming to town - a big deal, lots of excitement.

A wine operation is part high-tech and part low-tech. After touring the "techy" part of the operation, Claire brought me over to the conveyor belt where the workers pulled the stems off thousands of grapes, one stem at a time. Very meticulous work.

She then introduced me to each person at the conveyor belt by name. I complimented her on how she could remember the names of so many people. She said it was easy.

These people were also the customer service rep, the admin director, the office manager, the sales rep, etc. When the manpower was needed, everyone pitched in, no matter how tedious the job.

Claire told me, "Paul makes it very clear that if you want to work in this business, you have to roll up your sleeves and pitch in. If you don't like to do that, you shouldn't be here."

Smart in many ways: 1) Paul made it clear what is expected upfront and 2) Only people that love the business and want to pitch in will join that company. Kind of simplifies things, doesn't it?

Barry LaBov, CEO
LaBov and Beyond

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