The Only Thing Permanent Is Change
Greetings, CoolSys Nation! The older I get, the faster time flies. Here we are at Memorial Day weekend already. I can hear Captain Kirk calling out, “Warp speed ahead, Scotty.” That’s how my life feels these days: It seems like every time I blink, six months have gone by.
There is a lot of change going on in the Coffey household right now. As I write this, it’s 4:32 a.m. on May 20. Today, I close on the sale of my house in California. After almost exactly 20 years to the day living on the “left coast,” I’m headed back to Texas at 10 a.m. for the next chapter of my life. And that brings me to my topic for the month …
In another month, I will turn 57 years old. I remember as a kid thinking an adult at that age was OLD AS DIRT. In my lifetime, I have seen a lot of change. When I started driving a truck and pulling service calls shortly after getting out of the Army in 1986, life was a whole lot different. There were no cell phones, desktop computers, voicemail or email.
We did have pagers that went beep beep beep, and any good service tech knew where every payphone in their region was located. In addition to gas cards, we used to carry phone cards so we could type a thousand numbers into a keypad to make calls without needing to have loose change in our pockets.
Here is the thing: Change is happening around us every single day. When it enhances our lives, we accept it without even thinking twice and quickly assimilate it into our daily routines. For instance, I remember when bag phones first came out. I felt so special because I no longer had to pull over at night during a Michigan winter to make a call to dispatch from a frozen payphone. Today, my eight-year-old has her first cell phone, and she has already spent about five years mastering the iPad, computer and Zoom. That cell phone of hers has more computing power than the space shuttles or the Apollo rockets!
Moving From ‘Me’ to ‘We’
Things at CoolSys are changing constantly too. We are evolving and learning. Along the way, there are sure to be bumps in the road and plenty of mistakes. We are an imperfect company led by an imperfect — but highly skilled and well-intentioned — leadership team.
As our business empire continues to grow, more and more companies will be joining our ranks. I recently addressed all the entrepreneur founders in Dallas at a meeting. (It was a real-life, in-person meeting!) As I looked around the room, I saw a bunch of really successful people, half of whom never went to college. They were no strangers to driving trucks, climbing ladders, walking jobsites, getting their hands dirty. They have all built successful companies, they all care about their employees and they all want the best future for their collective families.
My message to them was simple: It’s no longer about ME; it’s now about WE. We are no longer 20 separate companies; we are One CoolSys. Sure, CoolSys owns the 20 companies, but I am not a dictator. I am a facilitator, and WE are going to figure out the journey to One CoolSys together.
I went on to remind the group that wherever we go as a company, however we operate and whatever we do will be decided by everyone sitting in that meeting. We all have a voice. If we don’t like the direction we are headed, the folks sitting in that room can participate in reshaping our future. Sure, we have shareholders, and yes, I have a board of directors, but those people don’t decide how CoolSys evolves. They don’t work here every day – we do, and so do you!
Finding Your Place in the Land of Opportunity
CoolSys is a company that seeks to be something special. That requires us to do things differently. Buckle up your chinstraps, ladies and gentlemen – this ride we are on is going to include lots of change.
My passion for you, our employees, remains the same. I want to create a place where you can spend your entire career. In order for you to accomplish that, we need to do four things: Pay a fair wage, offer an excellent benefits package, provide a good retirement plan and, most important, create opportunity for you to work, prosper and grow.
God bless the 30-year vets still driving a truck. You are the journeymen who teach the next generation our trade. God bless the people seeking to advance, to become a part of management, who aspire to be CEO one day. This is America — you can aspire to be anything you want to be. Just ask one of those 20 former owners and founders.
Here’s wishing all y’all a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. (I’m turning my Texan back on after 20 years in the off position.)