Wallow or Energize? The Choice is Yours

November 1, 2008

Now is the time for great leaders to rise to the challenges faced by all manufacturers. No need to reiterate here what we’re all facing economically. No need to add to a collective pool of doom and gloom. We all have wallowed plenty in it, but after awhile, wallowing gets old.

Instead, let’s focus our collective energies to claw and gnaw our back to a position of strength. Let’s shoulder up to coworkers, friends and family and discuss opportunities to become winners again. As a coach, I like to tell my ballplayers that attitude and body language mean the world to how you perform on the field. Run (don’t walk) onto the field with your heads up and in support of one another as teammates, and you’ll be prepared for whatever happens in the game, good or bad, win or lose. In contrast, show defeat by dragging your heels onto the field, heads down and filled with negative thoughts, and nothing good will come of it.

I think we in manufacturing must think like winners, and act like winners—heads up, charging onto the field filled with optimism. This is exactly the attitude I and others from PMA witnessed as we attended and worked the FABTECH/AWS Welding Show and METALFORM event in October in Las Vegas. How ironic it seemed that the city that in such a large epitomizes opulence hosted our industry’s convention in such a time of historic economic distress. Yet, almost to a person, attendees and exhibitors alike seemed quite optimistic and energized. I sensed an undertone that seemed to say: Yes, we know what’s happening. Yes, we feel it. But, there is no sense in collectively wallowing. Instead, together we can create an energy and build momentum to allow our industry to persevere and to weather the economic storm.

Walking the show, senior editor Lou Kren and I spied plenty of new technology being introduced to the more than 21,000 attendees. Booths were teeming with inquisitive management and engineering personnel in search of the next great breakthroughs in technology. In the December issue of MetalForming, Lou and I will present many of the new products introduced at the show, and at the IMTS show in September.

Exhibitions such as FABTECH/AWS Welding Show and METALFORM als allow attendees to look at their worlds in a different light, to view new equipment and dream of new s of doing things, and to turn to a coworker and say, “How could we use that technology in our operation?” That, in some significant , is the message conveyed by PMA’s 2009 Chairman ne Boeckman, profiled in this issue (beginning on page 18). Boeckman’s metalforming company, Quick- Stamping, Inc. of Texas, is a short-run stamper that has evolved into metal fabrication by of a healthy stable of fabricating equipment—laser-cutting machines, turret punch presses and press brakes. His theme for his year at the PMA helm cries out for leaders in our industry to break the mold, to seek new ideas and new opportunities, and to overcome roadblocks so that we can march down new paths to prosperity. Because, there are opportunities out there—just talk to those companies that have wedged their into the medical market, the alternative-energy market, the manufacture of energy-efficient lighting and other “green” products, and suppliers to the aircraft and aerospace industries. 

Breaking the mold and crashing through barriers requires energy and momentum. Lead by example, charge out to the field with your head up, and show support for your coworkers—your teammates. 

There is a choice to be made—wallow or energize? I say energize.

Industry-Related Terms: Run, Turret
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Management


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