Too often businesses, large and small, have structure themselves to be goal oriented. Milestones, statistics and the bottom line are pursued like quarry pelts to be displayed on the belts of CEOs. Business leaders cannot be faulted for such approaches because, for the most part, we all are products of a post-twentieth century Western (American) culture that sees society in terms of winners and losers. Worth is too often ascribed to birth order, gender, race, region, class and any other characteristics that can be assigned a category. This book is an amalgamation of every lesson and every distinction I have learned and have applied to my intentions as a CEO. I recognize that each employee, vendor and customer have embarked on their own journeys and our collective steps become the journey of Bama Companies, Inc.
Paula gives an overview of the book:
As a product of this culture, for years I put on a “happy
face” and denied the feelings and instincts that are more than
what is labeled as “woman’s intuition.” Over the years I began
to trust that inner voice, which at times was so quiet I had to
strain to hear it, or was so loud I wished there was a volume
control to silence it. It is from this voice that I came to understand
that each aspect of our lives, from learning to ride a
bicycle to graduating from college, from parenting a child to
running a business, is not about crossing an imaginary goal line
or speeding towards a checkered flag; it is about the journey we
take collectively and individually.
Journey is about integrity and stamina and risk and choice.
Journey is a continuous process where every hour of every day
you are putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward.
Journey is intention.
Intention is your personal mission statement. More than a
wish list or a bucket list, your intention is choice based, moving
you from agony and despair to freedom and joy, from drudgery
to accomplishment. Each step is taken with purpose towards
what is possible rather than as a reaction to threat and fear.
Becoming CEO of Bama Companies, Inc. in 1985 was a
shock and created a lot of fear for me personally. However, one
of my greatest blessings from this role has been the opportunity
to become friends with many of my coworkers. At our organization,
we seek to know who you are and not give you a number.
Numbers are not people! Because my parents before me always
befriended their customers and their teammates, Bama has
always been a “family” to me. I have had the privilege of
working with some of the world’s finest people. This experience
has allowed me to recognize that none of us travel alone. Others
are around to accompany us on our journey, and what we learn
from our fellow travelers helps shape our intentions.
Those fellow travelers are our “life tutors”; they help us
learn and grow. They are not fair weather friends, but are truly
with us for the good times and the bad. Each one offers up
messages, gifts and lessons at different times and at different
places along the way. I have discovered that their teachings are
always a perfect lesson to what I am experiencing at any given
moment. Every person in our lives is put there for a reason, and
I have learned from others throughout my life that nothing
happens by accident.
I took over the Bama Companies in early 1985. I inherited the company from my father, who's mother, Alabama "Bama" Marshall, started the company in 1937. Today Bama provides quality baked goods to some of America's largest fast food chains.
I received my...