By April 10, 2024 No Comments

As we spoke about in our last newsletter, I look back at the origins of my book Tighten The Lug Nuts and the process I went through to document my experiences, lessons learned, and stories of an over 40-year career. The process began, as it always does with me, with the question, “What would good look like?” This leads to my next question, “What am I trying to accomplish, and if I succeed, what value would it have?”

If nothing else, I am consistent with my approach. I take out my notebook and begin to write a series of questions I would like answered in the final product of my book. In our final newsletter in this 4-part series, we will discuss the final questions in my notebook on my Tighten The Lug Nuts writing journey.

• WHAT’S ONE THING I WANT ANYONE LOOKING TO BE A BETTER LEADER TO KNOW? It is never about you as the leader; it is always about your people.


The Hershey Story: Hershey is an iconic brand founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Hershey Company story is a great American story, and my version is a great American story with a twist. It has a special place for me. My version added the belief that if you are going to build a solid business relationship with your customers, it can only happen when your customers start trusting you and they value your advice. This only happens when your view is centered on the customer rather than yourself or your company. You add a customer’s view to the story line. I would often say that as a leader and a person you have an “aha” moment that will last with you forever and becomes that significant moment that creates a change in you.

The Hershey story was a significant “aha” moment for me. When I was a child, as a family, we had the opportunity to visit the Hershey Chocolate Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was amazing to see all that chocolate up close, my taste buds ablaze. All I could think of was the chocolate and how cool it was to see it made. In those days, you toured the factory. You saw the chocolate being made as if the factory was under glass. You saw the workers as they went about their responsibilities with immense pride and joy as if only they were in the factory. What also left an impression on me after all these years was touring the factory and seeing the chocolate being made by hardworking local people from beginning to end.

Years later, as I was touring my own operation, I realized the confidence the Hershey organization must have had in their people as literally thousands of people walked through their factory each day while they made their famous chocolate bars. I stopped and wondered:

– Can a customer walk through my operation unannounced and still be impressed with my organization?

– I asked myself, “Do I run a Hershey factory?

– Can my customers walk through my operations anytime, and would they be proud of what they saw?

From that day forward, I challenged himself and my staff to inspire those in their care to be as confident in their people and operations as Hershey is in theirs. If they could do so, their customers would enjoy the same experience in one of their facilities—confident and excited to see their products are in our hands.


As a leader, regardless of your area of responsibility, you have your own “Hershey factory.” You need to make sure your customers are equally proud of what they see in your facilities, people, and solutions. From that significant event forward, I combined that vision and the empowerment of my people, who felt valued in everything they did. I wanted growth by having the right processes, such as those that ensure safety; the appropriate use of assets like fleet and facilities; specific operational excellence measures; and a committed team of talented people who believed that they were the best, brightest, most informed, and best educated in the industry. For me, these are the key ingredients needed to meet and exceed customers’ needs and expectations and truly demonstrate the strength of our brand.

It was my view; you think like a customer because you feel like a valued individual. My people needed to be a catalyst for change; to understand, accept, and live the company’s vision and mission; and to emulate the company values in all they do. My reasoning was that innovation and creativity created opportunity, but a winning team that is committed to building an unbeatable brand is what created demand and growth.

As a valued individual, excellence becomes more than competence; you are now striving for the highest possible results because you know that your work matters. You engage with customers and work with each other, knowing that the work you do is a self-portrait. You are more motivated by doing the “right thing” rather than “things right.” Valued individuals understand that working together works for Hershey factories everywhere. Value those on your team who work tirelessly to create “aha” moments for your brand.

Effective leaders create a culture of excellence that manifests itself in the daily actions of their associates and defines your brand. They are your “value added.” Building a business relationship is the same as building a personal relationship. The quality of the relationship is directly proportional to your efforts to build. When you feel like a valued individual, you are more likely to put in the time and effort to build these relationships. Creating a strong culture is critical to a company’s long-term success and growth. It should be the desire of the senior leadership team to create the best, brightest, most informed, and best-educated people in the industry.

Thank you for taking this journey down memory lane with me. Writing Tighten The Lug Nuts was an honor and privilege to share with you, and I hope the book brings you great value in your professional and personal life. We are leaders at one time or another, and we are recognized as leaders because we leave things a little better than we found them.

Take Your Leadership Skills to the Next Level with Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership. https://tightenthelugnuts.com/


Let’s work together. I am a practitioner as well as an educator and motivator, and an experienced senior leader and CEO with over 45 years of boots-on-the-ground experience. I led one of the largest rebranding initiatives in franchising history – The UPS Store, revolutionizing the $9 billion
retail shipping and business services market.

I believe that none of us can achieve success without some help along the way. For each of us, there is a person, a mentor, who we are grateful towards and who can help us get to where we aspire to be. Sharing stories and experiences as a speaker is a way of recognizing the value of these experiences and giving back to the next generation of leaders. It also is a way of demonstrating in words and deed the value I am placing in mentorship. As for me, I have been fortunate to have worked with and mentored by some incredibly special people, and none more incredible than Coach John Wooden.

I have broad experiences to share that can help others as they grow and take on new challenges. During my time as president of UPS Supply Chain Solutions, I integrated over 20 acquisitions that became UPS Supply Chain Solutions. I steered UPS’s entry into the health care industry and created the mantra, “It’s a patient, not a package. ®” With the ability to see a clear vision of the changing business landscape, the passion to develop strategies, tactics, and metrics to drive desired results, and the passion to develop the Best, The Brightest, Most Informed, and Best People in the industries they serve.

Please give me a call today at 610-322-0720 or email at

[email protected]


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Check out Rocky’s leadership library podcast.


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: Leadership Expectations, Values and Character

For more information visit our website https://www.3sixtymanagementservices.com/. My book,
Tighten The Lug Nuts, will also serve as a workbook for these important topics and discussions.

Read my latest Forbes article:

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Visit our web site, https://3sixtymanagementservices.com, as well as my
book, Tighten The Lug Nuts, for additional information.

Contact me at:
[email protected].

Our Sales Training Workshop Includes Classroom Training and Actual
On Road Training as we spend a day with each sales professional.

Looking to become a better leader or get noticed at your job? Buy Rocky’s best selling book:

Looking for quick morning leadership advice in under 5 minutes? Check out Rocky’s leadership library podcast.

Have a leadership question for Rocky? EMAIL ROCKY TODAY

For more information or to book Rocky at your next event, visit our website at https://3sixtymanagementservices.com

Our Sales Training Workshop Includes Classroom Training and Actual
On Road Training as we spend a day with each sales professional.

Remember, People don’t quit on their jobs, they quit on their bosses.

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