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40. Keep Things Fun. | Tim’s Message

Tim’s Message:

Most of us spend more than 1/3 of our life at work. Knowing that we are spending that much time at work, doesn’t it make sense that it should be fun? In a recent article “Six Reasons Why Fun In the Office is the Future of Work”, a study showed that if associates had fun at work, it benefits the business and associates in the following ways:

  1. Happy Associates are healthier
  2. Having fun improves communication and collaboration
  3. Fun breeds creativity
  4. Promoting fun attracts an audience
  5. Having fun improves productivity
  6. Having fun encourages advocacy

Having fun at work also creates opportunities to build strong relationships with great people. Someone who exemplifies having fun at work and building strong relationships is Don Short. As many of you know, I am a proud parent of an Ohio State graduate, and my daughter Lauren is now in Veterinarian School there. I enjoy watching and rooting for the Buckeye football team. As Don and I worked together, we learned that we differed in college football loyalty. He likes that Team Up North. We talked our smack and eventually wagered that whoever’s team won, the other would wear that team’s apparel all day. Well, Ohio State won, and I still have the picture of Don in Buckeye gear, being a good sport and making the most of that day. It even made the conference call. Good times!

Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” I have been at Famous now for almost 25 years. I have been challenged, encouraged and supported by many people. The company has set and achieved many goals in my time here. I have been the empowered to help achieve them, allowing me to make a difference. To me, that has been the ultimate fun. It has been a remarkable adventure so far. The Famous culture creates an environment that allows us to be successful and have fun along the way.

 Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life. Have fun.

Thank you,


Tim Sloan

District Sales Manager/Central District

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40. Keep Things Fun. | Gary’s Message

Gary’s Message:

When I picked this fundamental, I picked it because I love having fun at work and at home. I truly enjoy coming to work every day because of the fun we have at Famous Melwood.

Whether it’s Jim Billeter signing a song too loudly and off key, or Chuck Bauer popping out of nowhere to scare someone, we have a great team and a great environment at Melwood.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I got to see how powerful this fundamental truly is.

My son’s varsity football team had just lost a playoff game that would have sent them to the championship. Pretty much every boy was crying, and some were so mad they were yelling at their teammates. In that moment, they had lost what seemed to be the most import thing in their young lives – enjoying the journey with their teammates. As the JV game started soonafter, I looked over on the sidelines and the varsity team had already gotten over it. The same boys who were just upset over losing were now joking, laughing and getting along. You would never know they had just lost the game.

That’s the power of FUN!

Gary Bevan
Quotes/Pittsburgh Plumbing

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40. Keep Things Fun. | Stu’s message

Stu’s message:

“Keep Things Fun!” What a great fundamental! When I started my career in high school I worked for two hardware stores. The first one was miserable. The manager barked orders at his team and wasn’t nice to work for. Everyone hated coming to work but this was the first “real” job I had ever had, so I thought it was normal. I’m thankful to have worked there because I did meet my future wife at that job! But that was about the only good thing to happen while I was there, and I lasted about 8 months. I then had the opportunity to get a job at an amazing 100 year old hardware store that was minutes from home.

WOW, what a difference! The manager and owner were both great guys, and every day was like coming to work for the circus! Everyone there was excellent at what they did. Whether it was mixing paint, finding an odd part, or getting the stock truck put away within hours of receiving it, we had fun doing it. This place ran like clockwork and no one had to bark any orders or yell.

I was fortunate to get such an impression made on me at a young age. From my first experience, I thought that work was supposed to be miserable. Luckily, I quickly realized that was not the case. As I advanced through life and my career I have always made having fun a priority. The Famous culture promotes that as well. Famous is full of associates that Keep Things Fun. If it’s Elio doing magic tricks at a dealer meeting, Tim Kiley taking customers on a factory tour, or Jim Huber just being Jim. We all love what we do and are fortunate to be able to make it fun with great associates and customers like you!

Keep smiling at work and at home!

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40. Keep Things Fun. | Dave’s message

Dave’s message:

This week’s “FUN”damental is my favorite…….HAVE FUN…….I believe all people want to be happy in their lives. I want to share a brief story.

For many years I had the pleasure of living next to the last (1979) World Series Pittsburgh Pirates Manager, Chuck Tanner. Chuck was known as the eternal optimist and “Mr. Positive”. First he was a professional baseball player (playing with Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn and many others) and then had several managerial jobs in baseball before coming to the Pirates. Chuck always had fun every day. This in no way means that Chuck did not work hard and make tough decisions.  As one of the best managers in baseball, Chuck considered himself very lucky to coach his hometown team of the Pittsburgh Pirates (he also coached the Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox). He worked with some of the best ballplayers of that era (Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and Richie Allen just to mention a few). I am sure these superstars weren’t the easiest to coach and guide. One evening, several years after he retired as a manager, I stopped to talk with Chuck in his yard. One thing that struck me was the always positive conversations I would have with him. That night Chuck said something that I will never forget. “Lynch, I have been the luckiest guy in the world to play a game that I loved and work with some of the nicest people in the game of baseball. Why wouldn’t I have fun every day? Chuck has been gone for several years but I often think of his comment and how it relates to my (everyone’s) day to day activities. “WHY SHOULDN’T WE HAVE FUN EVERY DAY”?

Isn’t it so much better to work alongside someone that is upbeat and happy?

I know we have a lot of people within the Famous organization that practice the “HAVE FUN” fundamental every day. And it is contagious!!…… Next time someone says “Good Morning” to you with a gentle smile, I hope you think of what Chuck Tanner told me………….“WHY SHOULDN’T I HAVE FUN EVERY DAY”?

Thanks for reading and make it a great day!

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40. Keep Things Fun. | Marc’s message

Marc’s message:

I read once that children smile on average 400 times per day, but adults only 15. That really struck me because those are the same people, only older. What is it about life that gets in the way of exploration, curiosity, laughter, and having fun? It could be the responsibilities of adulthood like mortgages, rent, raising kids, and health or family situations. These issues may cause anxiety and stress and are real world examples which can be stumbling blocks to uninhibited fun and laughter … if we allow that to happen.

I’ve heard that laughter is actually healthy. People who laugh more and enjoy life are happier and live longer. I can see how that would be true.

Think about the people you surround yourself with 24 / 7, whether it’s at work with your peers, at home with your family, or during your personal time with friends and in your community. Are they positive or negative people and experiences? I would bet that we all smile and laugh a lot more with our positive interactions.

When I reflect on why I feel good, happy and content, one of the main reasons is that I get to smile a lot (whether it’s inside or out) and laugh often because of the people I am so lucky to be surrounded by each day. I get to smile and laugh at home with Sherri, Brian, Kevin and our dog Malibu. I get to smile and laugh when I’m out with my extended family and an incredible close circle of friends in our community. And lastly, but not least, I get to smile and laugh with our associates at work and in business groups that I see on a regular basis, including customers and suppliers.

I’ve always prescribed to the notion that our most valuable asset is our time. We choose where to spend it and how. So for hypothetical reasons, let’s say my career lasts 40 years. And let’s say for example I spent (just at work) an extra 60 minutes per week laughing. This could include listening to funny stories and getting on tangents and laughing in meetings. If you do the math, that is (12 minutes per day x 5 days = 60 minutes per week x 52 weeks x 40 years = 2,080 hours) or ONE FULL WORKING YEAR OUT OF MY CAREER. Now some people (CEO’s, etc.) would say that’s a waste of time and not productive. I completely disagree. I think it’s not only a good (and fun) use of time, but that’s what life is all about.

As an example, when you hear the laughter coming out of our boardroom during our weekly management meetings, we aren’t wasting time. We are building comradery, trust, teamwork, enthusiasm and friendship. And guess what? It energizes us so we have an extra hop in our step when we leave the room and it actually enhances our workday. The end result is that we get more done because it creates passion and energy. It’s a result of our laughter and fun, not in spite of it.

So in closing, let’s continue to smile, have fun and enjoy each other and our blessings. I appreciate our Famous Family and the genuine smiles you bring to everyone.

And I truly appreciate my immediate family, very dear friends (who are truly like family) and others I get to be with, as your positive energy and fun creates amazing feelings and for that I am grateful!

It’s hard to believe that we have already focused on 40 fundamentals since the beginning of the year. As you may recall, next week we start back at the beginning with Fundamental #1, “Do the Right Thing, Always” and with this renewed emphasis, our Executive Leadership Team will share in the responsibility to communicate their weekly message with all of you. Therefore, next Sunday you will receive the message from Kevin Blaushild, the following week from John Palermo, and after that from others as well. In addition, my original message will be below theirs, and you will still be able to click and read the archives to see all that we have produced. Thank you again for being so engaged in the behaviors that make our culture Famous. Your actions make us fundamentally different and we appreciate your being such an integral part of living our 40 Fundamentals the FAMOUS Way.

Keep smiling!

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