Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Home Depot...A Little Town

The Home Depot is like a little town. My store is made up of about 120 people, plus managers. They are a microcosm of humanity. A vast majority of the "town" come and go, but I've realized that those who stay, really understand the world scene because they have had a multitude of life experiences. They understand people. They know what makes people tick. There is far more to them than the orange apron that they proudly wear.

I love and respect the people behind the orange aprons. They often come from different parts of the country, or outside our great nation. Some are married and others are single. Some have children and others do not. A certain percentage have another job, while others have had wonderful careers and are using their lifetime of skills to assist customers and fellow associates.

My manager's name is Glenda. She is a "thinker" and can make things happen. I have never gone to her with an idea that she did not listen enthusiastically. She makes you feel that you are the most important person in the world at that moment. I've watched her do the same thing with customers, who felt like they needed some TLC from the top. You know the type of personality I'm talking about. Glenda is a customer-centered manager and above all, a leader of people of the highest magnitude. She is an asset to our company and we are fortunate to be around her.

We work in a warehouse environment where merchandising is king. Over the years, the old concept of "stack it to the ceiling" or "grab and go" has gone by the wayside to a certain degree. Today, the public wants attention and individualized information. They want the customer to be the center of attention and they will find that somewhere. The typical "fix it yourself" consumer, the average "Joe", the average homeowner is waiting for us to catch on and create a "customer environment". The whole consumer world is waiting and yet we sit back operating the way we have always operated. The world is leaving us behind, even though everything on the surface looks good. If we don't change, we will die. We may be the Montgomery Ward of the early 21st century and just don't know it yet. One day it will catch up with us.

Now, what does Home Depot have to do with Discipleship and the church? Everything! The church, for decades now, has had the opportunity to minister to people because they just automatically came to church on Sunday. It was the thing to do in America. Yet, the world has changed over the past couple of decades and we have not changed with it. We still seem to do things the way they have been done for years. We don't see a reason to change our methods. We need to stop "stacking what we offer high", or offering "grab and go" Christianity and become seeker-sensitive, or customer centered. We need to plan differently. We need to determine the needs that are out there and design what will meet those needs. What if we don't? Then the "consumer" will go elsewhere, we won't have a chance at meeting their needs, and we may die.

I would take a dozen Glenda's right now and set the world on fire. She sees the big picture. She sees the minute steps that must be taken to get where you are going over the long haul. She sees deeply into people and responds to what she sees. She is in a league of her own at Home Depot. We need some folks who are in a league of their own in our churches.

Thank you Glenda for being a good role model for our young people at The Home Depot and for being a model for me that I can use to motivate people to be more than they ever thought possible.

No comments: