Why We Push Our Employees to Be the Best Version of Themselves

Self Improvement-crop

Success does not always come easy. There are different approaches, varying perspectives on how you can be successful in your career. If you ask others what the key to success is, you may hear a response that involves hard work. You know, “you have to work hard if you want to be successful in this world…” or some variation of that. At DEFENDERS, we believe that is true. With one little modification: We want you to “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

The Salt Bag Story

One of our four passions is self-improvement. Why? We believe that we can only be a better company if we help our team members become the best version of themselves Our Founder, Dave Lindsey, firmly believes in developing leaders and helping team members with personal goals. Here’s a little story he likes to tell, which he calls “The Salt Bag Story.”

Imagine there are two men who both work for a company hauling salt bags. Each day, both men must load over a hundred bags of salt. Let’s call these men Bob and Joe. After the first week on the job, both men are experiencing back pain from the heavy lifting.

On Friday, Bob goes home and nurses his aching back with a couple of beers and pizza. Each day, he repeats the process, dreading returning to work on Monday, knowing that more heavy lifting awaits him. Joe, on the other hand, decides that he needs to make some changes. So, he joins a gym and takes on a personal trainer.

After a few weeks, Bob becomes less able to lift the salt bags. He lacks energy due to his poor diet. His drinking habits are preventing him from sleeping well. Each day, he gets a little slower, and begins to dislike work.

Unlike Bob, Joe does strength-training at the gym, eats a healthy meal, and gets a full night of restful sleep each day. Now that Joe has spent his downtime training and eating well, he is able to lift more than the required amount and is setting records for how many salt bags he can lift each day. He no longer struggles with back pain, but can now lift more than before.

At the end of six weeks, both men are brought in for an evaluation. Bob is irritable and clearly not happy with the job. His back is sore, he is tired, and he has no desire to do anything more than the bare minimum requirement. Joe has shown clear improvement. He completes the evaluation with a smile and is discussing the positive work relationships he has made with the other workers.

Bob continues his cycle and becomes increasingly irritable at work, complaining to others about his sore back and alienating himself. Joe continues to become stronger and even discovers a special belt that allows him to lift even more weight. He comes to work and excitedly spreads the word to his fellow workers. As a result, Joe can lift more weight and so can his fellow workers.

At the end of 10 weeks, Bob decides to leave his job lifting salt bags. Joe has increased productivity up to 40 percent and is promoted to manager.

The moral of the story? When you take the time to invest in yourself, you become a better version of yourself. By extension, you also become a better spouse, parent, and team member. Begin with yourself and you will improve the world around you. At the start of the job, Joe and Bob were in the same position. But, as a result of taking efforts to improve himself, Joe became a better employee. All advancements start with self-improvement.

A real success story

We know. Parables can seem overly optimistic and unattainable. But, we don’t just believe these stories, we live them. Here is an example of how “The Salt Bag Story” happens for real at DEFENDERS.

Let’s look at Heather Smith, a Sales Hero with DEFENDERS. Heather was a team member struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Having difficulty believing she deserved anything better, Heather was filled with resentment and self-pity and had resigned herself to an existence plagued by alcoholism. Fortunately for Heather, her team members stepped in to show her a different way. With the support of her fellow team members. Heather was able to kick her addiction.

“Through the help of many managers, trainer, and co-workers that provided me with encouragement, coaching, and candid conversations, I know today that I not only deserve better, but the best.”

Thanks to the constant encouragement and help of her fellow team members, Heather will see her two-year sobriety date on July 2,, 2017.

“DEFENDERS has instilled the belief that I must work harder on myself than my job, and because I have remained mindful of that principle, my life is drastically different. I have been given the ultimate gift of being the healthiest employee, daughter, companion, and most importantly, the mother I always dreamt of being.”

We appreciate Heather’s service, hard work, and dedication. Stories like Heather’s make us grateful that she dedicated herself to her goals and we are happy to be a part of it.

Working hard on yourself doesn’t just help you. It helps those around you. You can make the world around you a better place with DEFENDERS.