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 ain’t over till it’s 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
Something new has come up in the
glass industry. Whether it was basic “if you don’t 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog on
Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.
to buy for more capacity.
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | February 2017