Teamwork

Well, my son’s first season of tee ball is coming to an end and I must admit that I am kind of bummed. What are we going to do with our Tuesday and Thursday evenings now that there aren’t any more practices? What about Saturdays or Sundays now that the game schedule is complete? Oh that’s right, he is a very busy 5 year old so I am quite sure he will have our time more than occupied.

T-Ball

Last night he wanted to get in some extra batting practice so he would be able to “hit that sucker out of here” at their last game. (who knows where he gets this stuff? hmmm?) While we were “practicing” (he was batting while I was running all over the place to retrieve the ball), we began talking about how much he has learned and what he liked most about playing. His answer – he likes running the bases the best. (I thought for sure it would be batting).

I asked what he was going to miss the most and he said his teammates because he likes how everyone helps and backs each other up. I guess this would qualify as that “proud dad moment” because it wasn’t about winning or losing for him, it wasn’t about hitting or throwing the ball the farthest or running the bases the fastest, he actually learned what I was hoping he would all along – the value of teamwork! He understood that in order for his team to be successful, he had to learn to trust and rely on his teammates to get the job done.

I just recently joined the team here at EXAIR and the thing that has stood out from day one is the focus on teamwork within the company. Being the “new guy” is always intimidating but the support and assistance I have received from everyone has been a refreshing experience. From the warehouse/shop personnel, to order entry/customer service, marketing, engineering up to management, everyone is willing to help each other.

 

This teamwork carries over to you – our customer. At EXAIR, we ALL understand to be successful we have to work together toward one common goal, satisfying our customer’s needs.

Visit our website to view our extensive product offering or contact an application engineer with your compressed air application.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
JustinNicholl@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Image from rama_miguel. Creative Commons

The Patrol Method Still Works

Something doesn’t feel quite right about this past weekend. A few hundred Boy Scouts gathered along the bank of the East Fork of the Little Miami River from Friday to Sunday for our District’s Spring Camp-O-Ree…and it didn’t rain once. It totally went the wisdom of great American author, philosopher, and truth-teller Dave Barry:

Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent.

The beautiful weather, though, was just the icing on the cake of a glorious weekend. We set up a series of team-building/problem-solving exercises for the Scouts to perform. One of these was known as “The Hot Chocolate River” which consists of:

(2) lengths of rope, staked to the ground about 15 feet apart…these are the “banks” of the river.
(5) 2-foot wooden squares…these are the “marshmallows” that the team uses to cross the river.

Here’s the deal: each 8-Scout Patrol attempts to reach the opposite bank by placing the marshmallows in the river. At least one Scout has to be in physical contact with each marshmallow in the river, or the unattended marshmallow is removed from play, and they’re left to cross the river with just four marshmallows. Or three, when they find another way to leave one unattended. And some of them did, with alarming quickness. One Patrol (the one my youngest son belongs to) successfully crossed the river in 1:14 (min:sec). The next fastest was 1:44. Another Patrol lost three marshmallows almost immediately, but were able to get all eight members across in under seven minutes, using only two marshmallows. A couple of Patrols “timed out,” being left with only one or two marshmallows after ten minutes, with members still on the starting bank.

One thing I noticed…from the quickest (did I mention that was my son’s Patrol?) to the slowest, was that their success (or lack thereof) was tied to their teamwork and communication (or lack thereof.) These are key components of “The Patrol Method,” which I wrote about once. Well, twice.

That was a couple of years ago, and the Application Engineering team at EXAIR STILL practices The Patrol Method. It’s indispensable, whether we’re looking for a solution to a challenging application, training a new member of the team, or just getting everyone one the same page…no sense in just one of us learning something if we can ALL learn, right?

How are teamwork and communication contributing to your team’s success?  Something to think about.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

This is a Multi-man, One-man Show

For those of you who haven’t heard (and for those who have), Homer Bailey of our hometown Cincinnati Reds pitched his second career no hitter July 2nd.  I received some flak from the guys on EXAIR‘s softball team for skipping practice last Tuesday to go watch a Reds game.  Well, seeing a no hitter live is a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m sorry to miss practice but I would do it again.

It is a great thing to go to a sporting event and feel a group of 27,000 people cheering for the same outcome.  The energy in the building increased with the third out in every inning.  By the end of sixth inning and every subsequent inning, we were out of our seat to applaud Homer into the dugout.  There is a superstition in baseball that no one should mention that a no hitter is still going on. As the game wore on, more and more people acknowledged that Homer had a chance to throw his second no hitter.  I winced each time the baseball gods were challenged, “Hey, the Giants don’t have a hit”, “Dude, do you think Homer could do it again”, “Didn’t this guy pitch a no hitter last year.”  I don’t believe in jinxes, superstitions, or voodoo dolls, but at a baseball game all you can do is cheer for your team, have a great time, and wear your hat inside out in the bottom of the ninth when the Reds are down a run.

What I’m trying to say is I know it doesn’t make a difference for a guy in the upper deck to point out that the Giants don’t have any hits, but it is all we can do to help this pitcher so superstition lacking comments to yourself!  Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest.

Seriously though, there are two reasons I wanted to write about the no hitter for EXAIR’s blog.  The first reason is that a guy pitching a no hitter is just one of those rare sporting events that made me want watch sports.  ESPN doesn’t have to build it up or make it more than at is.  People have been playing major league baseball for well over 100 years and a no hitter has only happened 280 times, so it is something to get excited about.

The second reason to write about this event is that the no hitter is primarily remembered as an individual achievement, but in reality the entire baseball team needs to play exceedingly well in order for a no hitter to happen.  There were two great examples of teamwork leading to a great individual achievement during the game.  The first was Joey Votto’s play at first to turn a hit into a fielder’s choice.

In the above play (click on the image for a video), it is Homer Bailey’s responsibility to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side of the infield.  He makes a very good pitch to one of the best hitters in the game, but doesn’t cover first base as quickly as he should.  Joey Votto realizes that it will be a close race to first, and sees that the runner on second is heading to third.  He guns down the runner at third, which saves the pitcher from possibly blowing his own no hitter with bad defense, and gets the lead runner out from an earlier walk (a Fielder’s Choice isn’t a hit).  This is the kind of play that will never be documented in the stat sheet, but inspires confidence in Homer that his team is looking out for him.  If you have confidence in the people around you to do their jobs, this allows you to have great achievement at yours.

The second example of great teamwork was off the field, but I think it was much more important.  My wife and I went to see the game with her coworkers and their families.  One father had his son, who lives out of state, at the game.  The father was overwhelmed by his son (and son’s friend) and trying to socialize with his coworkers that he lost track of the game and tried to leave in the eighth inning.  Now I don’t have kids, so I don’t really understand not realizing that there is a no hitter in progress, but I could see how this could happen.  When he tried to leave the game, the entire section of coworkers vehemently pleaded with him to stay for six more outs.  Any sympathy we had for a tired father and his even more tired son, faded. The poor father was taken aback and had no idea what was going on because our superstition prevented us from mentioning anything about a no-hitter.  It was the end of the eighth inning.  This is not the time to mess with the baseball gods and say anything about the no hitter.  We politely but forcefully pointed him back to his seat and asked him to stay for six more outs.  By the end of the game, the father had figured it out and we took a great picture of the two of them after the game was over.

All of this is a long way of saying that sometimes in life you might not cover first base or you might not know every stat in a baseball game, when you worried about taking care of your son, but if you look out for your teammates, one day they might do the same thing for you.  Every great event has a group of people behind it.  So if you are trying to save your company money by reducing the amount compressed air you use.  Give Joey P, Rusty Bowman, No Leak Evans, Raker rhymes with Baker, Captain Kirk, Brian not Philo Farnsworth or I a call and we will help you out.  The team at EXAIR has more experience in compressed air products than Reds players have playing baseball, and we can make that play, when you really need it.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
davewoerner@exair.com

Efforts And Hard Work Coming To Fruition

This past weekend I got to check one of the many projects off my “Honey-Do” list from my wife.  I finally got the plants we had started from seeds several months ago into the ground in the backyard in a freshly made garden.  After running errands for most of the day on Saturday and Sunday, picking up supplies for other projects, I had some time to start outlining this garden.

20130526_211133

I thought it was going to be a small garden, maybe 4′ x 4′.   It turned out to be a 6′ x 12′ garden that could stand to be a little bigger.  I did have the help of a 10″ wide tiller that lost the muffler before the first stripe was done.   It was by no means an easy task but I finally got the entire area tilled and laid out the plants with the help of my father, my wife planted them.

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Now we have to ensure the weeds are kept, the plants are watered, and the animals are kept out.  With any luck, we will get to see the hard work turn into something the whole family can enjoy, mainly vegetables.

Here at EXAIR we are constantly working hard  to develop new products and processes to help you, our customer, save time, effort, money, and most importantly compressed air.  If we didn’t put in the hard work to get our messages out and make sure that every product performs how we say it will then we wouldn’t be here.   The company would dry up like a garden that is untended.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF