As I sit here icing my foot in a hotel room in Lake Placid, NY, awaiting Sunday’s Ironman race, I think of what’s truly “meaningful.” This morning, I had the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. See the the 1980 Olympic Ice arena where the greatest sporting event of all time occured. As many on the Parts Town team know, I am obsessed with the story of the 1980 US Hockey team that won the gold and later became the topic of the movie “Miracle”, which I have seen at least 50 times (including on the plane to Albany last night).
What made the US team’s accomplishment so meaningful? To me, it’s that they accomplished something together that will be remembered forever. Something considered not only unlikely, but impossible. They worked so hard, towards a common goal, and had the passion and courage to achieve it. They had a leader, coach Herb Brooks, who was willing to dare to take on the “impossible” and willing to make the tough decisions required to achieve a “miracle.” The 1980 US hockey team has meaning in that they did what no one else thought they could do, did it as a team, and their story lives on to inspire others.
From the outside looking in, Parts Town is a simple business. We sell OEM restaurant parts to those that need them.
When Herb Brooks addressed his team prior to facing the USSR, he told them that they were “born to be hockey players…” There is a strong likelihood that no one on the Parts Town grew up saying, “someday, I’m going to sell restaurant parts!.” I know I didn’t. So how do we derive meaning from what we do? To me, the meaning comes from doing something better than anyone else. From daring to be different and having the willingness to create lasting change. From taking care of our manufacturer and customer partners so well that they openly rave about us. From translating happy customers into happy team members by creating exciting jobs, enabling a fun and challenging culture, and giving back to our people through employee relations activities and profit sharing bonuses. And, importantly, from giving back to the community through generous acts of giving.
So, when I look at Parts Town, it’s really not about the parts at all. It’s about the goals we set and we how work together to achieve them. The “meaning” comes from a team of people working together to achieve something challenging, something extraordinary, something memorable. Something that creates a lasting impact on peoples lives. This is how we create our “Miracle.”
By the way, the way my foot feels right now, it will be a Miracle if I finish this race. Have a great weekend and do something special!