Yogi Berra and the Glass Industry  
Business lessons From A Baseball Champ  
b y P a u l B i e b e r  
ogi Berra knew both sides of  
life. He grew up poor in St.  
Louis and he became one of  
the top baseball players in the history  
of the game. Yogi played in 14 World  
Something new has come up in the glass  
industry. Whether it was basic low-E 20 years  
Series with the Yankees and earned ago, or today’s energy-saving switchable glass,  
ten rings. He also earned a ring  
you have to make a decision. Do I move my  
company in this direction or not?  
during his stint with the Mets, giving  
him a total of 11 championships. No  
one has more.  
Does this qualify him to give us  
business advice? Sure does. Let’s look  
at some of his historic quotes.  
Doing nothing is the worst thing  
Let your team know about most  
you can do. Looking at the crossroads, of the plans. Involve them in these  
but not really seeing the crossroads decision points to keep their morale  
will leave you far behind in the annual up and you’ll find, in just about every  
BaseBall is 90 percent mental,  
and the other half is physical.”  
game of who succeeds and doesn’t.  
case, your employees will add their ex-  
pertise and help you form these plans.  
It also helps to speak with a friend  
who can tell you the pluses and mi-  
nuses of your plan. If you have a board  
So what if your customers speak of directors, meet with them quarterly  
To run a successful glass shop,  
whether as an owner or a foreman, you “it was impossiBle to get a  
have to think first about what you’re conversation going; everyBody  
doing, teach those around you what was talking too much.”  
they are supposed to do and finally, go  
do it. Be a teacher above all. Don’t ex- with your competitors, expect it. Make to review it.  
pect your crews to know exactly what sure your service is top notch and your  
to do. This assumption will drive you pricing is fair. Invite your customer “it aint over till its over.”  
out of business faster than a Nolan to your shop so he can see how you  
Push your employees to finish a  
Ryan fast ball.  
do what you do. He will ask questions job; 99 percent doesn’t cut it. The  
about other products you carry,and the same goes for you. Finish today’s work  
beat goes on. Let your actions surpass today. No do-overs and no “I’ll finish  
if you come to a fork  
in the road, take it.”  
the other guy’s words.  
tomorrow,” because then tomorrow  
becomes overwhelming.  
Something new has come up in the  
glass industry. Whether it was basic “if you dont know where  
low-E 20 years ago, or today’s ener- you are going, you might  
gy-saving switchable glass, you have to wind up someplace else.”  
And with these thoughts, this article  
is over. See you at the ballpark. n  
make a decision. Do I move my com-  
Set a short- and a long-term  
pany in this direction or not? Think plan for yourself and your busi-  
your answers through carefully. Those ness. A short plan covers this  
that didn’t bother with low-E are gone. week and the next and should  
Since you are reading this, you took the be updated almost daily. Your  
P a u l B i e b e r has 39  
years’ experience in the glass  
industry, with C.R. Laurence and  
correct fork.  
long-term plan should be  
as executive vice president of  
Go to trade shows, attend semi- looked at in the first week of  
nars, learn by watching some com- each quarter. Make decisions on  
petitors who always seem to come personnel changes or growth,  
out on top and, of course, thoroughly machinery to repair, replace or  
Floral Glass in New York. He  
is now the principal of Bieber  
Consulting Group LLC and can be reached  
at Read his blog on  
Tuesdays at  
read USGlass.  
to buy for more capacity.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | February 2017  

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