I know that some of our Lehman’s audience may not see many connections from my blog posts and how it can make your life better, but these first few blog posts only help to set the stage on some things that I want to speak about that can help others. I want to share what I have learned to hopefully help you. That is the reason for starting to write on Lehman’s blog. Today I get to spotlight my Grandpa Howard, and if you read my previous blogs I have referenced, hopefully it will give you a taste of the culture we have at HRM (the family of businesses that include Hartville Hardware, Marketplace and Kitchen, as well as Lehman’s) today.
Grandpa truly lived by the Golden Rule that is found in Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” and out of that verse is where part of our Founding Philosophy of Business comes from. Grandpa passed away in May of 2001 and just before his passing the youth group from a local Ukrainian church asked him to come visit, so they could pray with him. At the time, we employed several of the church members in our businesses so they wanted to bless him. One question they asked him was what attributed to his success. Grandpa had my Uncle Howard write down three things that answered their question…little did we know that his advice to this youth group would later lead to our Founding Philosophy of Business (see below).
Because Grandpa passed away so young, I didn’t get to see him a lot working in the business, so I relied on what I heard from community members or family over the years. I know Grandpa instilled a dedicated work ethic that still is evident in our culture. In fact, one of our “How We Behave” statements is “We do whatever it takes.” I think the “why” for Grandpa goes back to how we treat other people, Grandpa didn’t work hard to get the glory, but instead to serve others. He worked hard because he knew our customers, suppliers, and employees, who we call team members, needed it. Grandpa was also a very generous man and it showed as evident of the number of people that I remember attending his funeral services.
More than being generous financially, Grandpa was generous with his time and talents. I remember one business owner coming up to me and saying, “You know your Grandpa was always generous with his money, but more importantly no matter how busy he was if I stopped by his office or called him on the phone, he always made time for me and helped with anything I needed.” To me, that is what it is all about and what scripture says in Matthew 7:12. Grandpa put God first by putting others first and his legacy is an example to me to reflect if I am doing the same thing. Grandpa, thank you for giving me a great example to follow.
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