This is the story of Albert Black and his company, On Target Supplies & Logistics. It is also about miracles where people are transformed...
* Albert Black thinks it’s risky to get personally involved with his employees--but absolutely essential. Do you agree or disagree?
* Black is committed to helping his employees have better lives. How does he serve the people who work at On Target Supplies and Logistics?
* Why is serving employees important?
ALBERT: I think we're crossing the boundaries of where safe leaders go. I'm not a safe leader. I take risk. That's one of the characteristics of an entrepreneur.
HATTIE: What do you mean `safe leader'?
ALBERT: I think a safe leader will say, `I won't get into the personal lives of the people that I employ.' And I do get into the personal lives of the people that I employ. I like to see people with a savings rate that will get them to a level of security that all of us working together should expect to get to. So we encourage people to be a part of On Target's 401(k) plan and to be what we call a 20 percent saver.
The law permits most of our people to save as much as 20 percent, and we match 25 percent. That's too advantageous for people not to be involved in. We encourage it. And then we like to get people involved in something as simple as spending right. So we have a lot of seminars here for our employees on how to spend the money that they're earning, and how to go about earning more money. And then from there, we go into savings. Ninety-five percent of our employees are enrolled in our company 401(k) plan. You don't get 95 percent without a little arm twisting, and so we twist a lot of arms to get people involved.
HATTIE: What happens every Friday morning at 7 o'clock here?
ALBERT: Every Friday morning at 7 o'clock here we have a staff meeting. And in that staff meeting we get a chance to teach, preach, coach, listen and learn from our employees. We get a chance to share the books of the company. The financial statements of the company and go beyond just open book management and actually teaching and receiving feedback on those financials.
HATTIE: And you serve breakfast?
ALBERT: We serve breakfast, we serve you a hot breakfast. We expect you to be here on time so we have that reward here. It's a hot breakfast. We like for people to come in, get comfortable, enjoy a good breakfast and open up their hearts and minds so that we can do that teaching, preaching, coaching and counseling.
ALBERT: There's nothing against the rules in helping people have better lives. I think that that's the difference between corporate leadership and some of the leadership you see in small business. I think that you see a lot more courage in leadership than you do in large corporations.
ALBERT: We also encourage people to continue their education. As a company, we're willing to pay for it. As a CEO or a leader, I'm willing to insist on it. Where--there's no written policy at On Target Supplies and Logistics that you must go to college and achieve a bachelor's degree or you will be fired, but I think everybody around here knows that when Albert's sitting down with you and gives you that old--that old south Dallas smile and insists that you--or suggest that you go to college, I think they get the message.
HATTIE: When you invest in someone's education, is it coming back into On Target Supplies' profits?
ALBERT: I don't remember a situation where we've invested in education that I didn't feel like the company got more than a fair return. You learn that work works. What happens is people are becoming members of the free enterprise system, they're saving, they're investing, they are building trust, they're for the first time in their lives are earning more money than they need to spend.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?