There’s no “I” in team, beer, basketball or ESOP.

Gordy is the bus driver for the Waukee girls’ varsity basketball team. For the seven years that Megan and Sarah, my daughters, were part of the program Gordy drove them to all of the away games. He also attended the home games and many of the after game celebrations. He treated the girls to pizza parties (he also wears a great cap).

He was there for victories and defeats. He served as cheerleader and counselor. Gordy is as much a part of the team as any player or coach.

Bus drivers in Iowa have to pass periodic physical exams. This year they found something that led to Gordy having a procedure and a brief hospital stay. Sheri, the assistant coach, texted the girls at 8:00 Friday night and at 8:30 Saturday morning they met at the high school to head downtown. Imagine Gordy’s surprise when well over a dozen current players, alumni, and coaches visited him to let him know his Waukee basketball family was thinking of him.

Anyone who makes comments such as “kids these days” or “this generation” has never had the privilege of meeting these young women. They understand the concept of servant leadership both on and off the court. They value everyone on the team, whether a starting player, someone that comes in off the bench, a coach, or the bus driver. They understand the power of TEAM.

TEAM – together everyone achieves more.

Employee owned companies understand this as well. Employees are also owners and are in it together. Michael Miller from New Belgium Brewery highlights this in this four minute video.

Waukee basketball gets it. New Belgium Brewing gets it. Gordy gets it. Is it time for your company to do the same?

Gordy is doing well. In a couple of weeks he can retake his physical and the entire Waukee basketball community is hoping to see him behind the wheel starting in November.

In addition to blogging here, I also tweet regularly about topics of interest to ESOPs. Click to follow me on Twitter –  @jlripperger.

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Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA 50392
The subject matter in this communication is provided with the understanding that The Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements.
Michael Miller and New Belgium Brewery are not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial Group.
t140729044i – 7/2014