Joe Adkison

Joe Adkison HeadshotPassion, Excellence, Achievement, Knowledge

Following are the remarks of Joe Adkison, incoming IADD President, upon receipt of the 2007 IADD PEAK Award at the IADD Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

At the 2006 Annual meeting in Switzerland last year, I listened to our PEAK recipient, Rick Putch, as he pondered what each of the words created by PEAK meant to him.

I, too, have pondered what these words mean to me.

I hope that who I am is who I am whether it is my actions in business and in this industry or just who I am in my whole life.

Please go through this exercise with me and you may come to some amazing thoughts (as I did) and self awareness about who each of you are as well.

What this means to me is, we tend to participate in things that interest us, that excite us. We crave these things.

The word Passion tends to explain a few levels up from like or even love. He likes his work, he loves his work are kind compliments. He has passion for his work embodies a set of exercises aligned to learning, planning, improving, mentoring, digging in, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

I do believe that everyone in this room has Passion. Don’t you guys do all of those things? I say, “of course you do, or you would not be here tonight.”

How do you relate to your customers, co-workers, and your family? Do they all know that you have passion? You don’t even have to ask. They will know by your actions.

I have come to discover that this passion was given to me by all of you guys. Compliments and great feedback telling you to keep up the good work will carry you through the day the week and miles all over the world.

We are already hard at work for our 2009 Odyssey. I mentioned to our Odyssey Planning Task Force that we do it not for money but for the feelings that we get in our hearts. Knowing how that feels, I can tell you that it is something that money just can’t buy. Clint says “Don’t you just love it; don’t you wish you had more of it?”

Passion is a gift that you guys have given me to spread around a little, so that is just what I intend to do.

How would you attain Excellence without having Passion?

Excellence is not guaranteed, but we would find it hard to gain excellence without passion.

I will never forget, nor will my daughter let me forget this: I remember looking at her report card from high school. She was on the honor roll and taking honors classes. I opened the card, All “A’s” and one “B.” Fantastic, right?

What did I have to say? Well honey, just keep trying and maybe you can bring that “B” up to an “A.” OUCH! My wife Dee reminds me, “You can’t un-ring a bell.” We are all human beings, we make mistakes. Try to learn from your mistakes.

Sometimes you need to take a deep breath ... [pause] ... and think about what you’re going to say.

What is Excellence? How do you define it? Try to remember all of life’s lessons and strive for excellence.

We choose to track noncompliance orders in our company in order to learn from our mistakes. Yes, as badly as I hate to admit it, we had a noncompliance order once. I think that it was many, MANY years ago. Did you know that once that event occurs, you are never going to attain 100% compliance again? If you track 1,000, 10,000 or even a million occurrences, you will never get it back to 100%.

How can we attain excellence? Start all over tomorrow and strive for excellence for that day.

Do we allow a dual standard in our personal life and require 100% excellence in our industry? We are the humans in the “no human is perfect” saying. Where do you guys stand on this?

Ahh, here might be our redeeming angle. If you do your very best—and you do it so often that people can’t remember your failures. Would some of you say, yes, that is excellence? Achieving our goals is our prime objective when most of us wake up in the morning. It is probably the most often thing done every day in our industry. How many of us strive to achieve our goals? How many of us strive to help our customer every day?

If we help them and we continue to do a win/win business, then we have created Achievement. All of you guys are achievers.

WOW can you see the power in this PEAK award?

How wonderful it is for me to be involved with anything that ends in the word Knowledge. I am so blessed to be able to talk to people in our industry who possess true knowledge. It is not likely you would hear someone in our industry say, “I had a problem and no one in the IADD could help me.” Our networking means that we know somebody that knows somebody that knows about this. We are the definitive resource in the industry.

Our Odyssey in Milwaukee allowed me a platform to use PASSION to help create programs and work with the EXCELLENCE of our industry showcasing state of the art ideas, products, processes and equipment. The ACHIEVEMENT of our record-setting event was a venue that allowed curious attendees the opportunity walk the halls seeking solutions and to gain valuable KNOWLEDGE.

I would like to thank my sweet wife Dee for supporting me. She refreshes me daily. I also have to thank my Business partner Dick Appleton and our family at ADKO in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Thank you for the nomination, the process and thanks to the Awards Committee.

How many of you feel that much of what you do everyday is what you do for all of your life? Although a Peak sounds like getting to the top of the mountain and it’s all downhill from there, I’m reminded of my father’s advice: When you reach a goal, you need to immediately create a new goal and set your plans for reaching that new goal.

Leading our Association to its next level is my new goal. I am honored, blessed, and humbled by your faith in me. In accepting this award, I accept it by sharing it with all of you. It would not have been possible for me to earn this award without each of you. I am here because of you and I am here for you. We have only just begun our climb to the next PEAK.

Call me if I can help you.

Thank You.