The following article appeared in the Bristol Press on April 13, 2005 and was written by Bob Montgomery
Bristol – In a program designed so student/athletes from local high schools can add a few tips toward building a career in business, Craig Yarde made a simple pitch to getting started.”There are four key points,” Yarde said. “Leveling the playing field, opening the books, sharing the profit and wowing the customer.”
Yarde, who grew up in Forestville, has made headlines on the national level by utilizing his “Management From The heart” approach which has turned his Yarde Metals into a global company.
Yarde’s down-to-earth style and commitment to excellence underscores his success in the business world.
Yarde’s story may inspire graduating seniors who may some day turn a business idea into a career and that’s one of the ideas behind the Leadership Council breakfasts scheduled by the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame.
Tuesday’s program involved student/athletes leaders selected by their peers, teachers and coaches from Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and St. Paul Catholic High Schools and a short workshop after listening to Yarde’s business concepts.
By leveling the playing field, Yarde said, everyone is treated with respect, dignity, equality and compassion.
By opening the books, Yarde said, management can show employees a company’s balance sheets and teach workers to learn how to understand and follow them.
sharing the profit, Yarde, Yarde said, is just that. If the company profits five percent in a year, for example, each of the employees gets that percent of his pay as a bonus.
“Wowing the customer pertains to the employee as the customer,” said Yarde. “I tell the customers that if I take care of the employees, they will take care of you.”
Yarde referred to those on his staff as associates. In one of two video’s shown, Yarde gave a four-minute tour of Yarde Metals in Southington.
Among the scenes was a coffee station and the open area for the business offices. There are no cubicles. There’s an indoor golf putting green and driving range, three naps rooms, a unisex bathroom and an exercise room with full-time trainer. Outdoors, there’s a basketball court, bocci court, horseshoe pit and a kennel so associates can bring their dog to work.
“There’s no special parking, no special executive cafeteria, everyone eats in the same one, said Yarde. “We all use the same front door and we all share the parking lot. Sometimes when I leave late, I have to walk to the end of the parking lot. We’re all equal.”
In closing, Yarde listed three points – TPD or “think, plan, the do” – he stands by and calls his Basic Skills 101.
In addition, there’s fiscal commitment.
“Money makes money,” said Yarde. “You need assets to start a business if that’s what you choose to do. The more you save, the more independent you can be.”
“To enhance your chances, Yarde said managers and workers must develop good communications skill. “Learn to listen and force yourself to speak in front of others,” he said.
Yarde also provided the students with homework. He told them to list five individuals who they look to as mentors and spend time with them. This would be the first group to help them become successful.
“Nobody does it on their own,” said Yarde.
Following his talk, each table of Leader Council members, accompanied by a Hall of Fame director as advisor, talked about how they could bring Yarde’s message back to school with them to better their sports teams.
John Fasolo, the BSHOF director at table No. 3, sat with Derek Slipke and Stacy Fournier of Bristol Central, Kevin Rivers and Doug Beaudoin of Bristol Eastern and Sam Morgan and Kiersten Healey of St. Paul.
Some ideas collected from the group ranged from treating everyone equal no matter their skill level, doing things outside of the company to promote camaraderie and communicate with teammates and share information.
In addition to BSHOF President Dave Mills who chaired the event, Bristol Eastern girls volleyball coach Gail Ericson spoke about getting volunteers for the upcoming Special Olympics and Amy Kaiser, an account executive with the Red Cross, talked about a Blood Drive to be held at Bristol Eastern in June.