On My Mind: The Difference Maker

I have visited a lot of finishing shops during the last five years.

I have visited a lot of finishing shops during the last five years. It affords me the opportunity to meet the people that read the magazine. And, I always learn about finishing, whether it is the application of new technology or a new twist on the use of old technology. It's certainly the best part of my job.

After making these visits, I try to relay to you what makes a particular shop successful. Those success factors could be any number of things: a reputation for quality work, a sound strategy and plan for growth, skilled employees, efficient and innovative equipment, high-quality coatings, etc.

But, there is one thing that separates the truly great shops from the good ones, and that thing is hard to convey in an article. That thing is something you pick up on when you walk the plant, talk with management and/or the owner and watch the employees do their job. What is that thing?


Virtually every successful company I can think of has a passionate leader. The owner or manager's passion is hard to describe in words, but we all know it when we see it. In these great shops, that passion is passed from the owner to all the employees at the company, even to its customers and suppliers.

Passion for your work is infectious and gets customers excited about your company and what you can do for them.
Passion keeps what you're doing fresh. It allows you to take a new look at old ideas and create new products and processes that will benefit you and your customers.

Passion can help you overcome obstacles and difficult circumstances that hold others back.

Fortunately, for those of us at PF and the finishing industry, many shops I visit have someone very passionate about finishing running the show. That gives me great confidence that our industry will overcome any and all difficulties we're facing right now or will face in the future. Passion truly is a difference maker.