Archive for May, 2013


Entitlement vs. Fear vs. Vision

I recently heard about a book where it was asserted that within an organization, the opposite of entitlement is fear.  In a nutshell, entitlement causes low productivity (true), and on the other end of the spectrum, fear also causes low productivity (also true).  Then it was stated that the middle ground is the best place.

Culture of entitlement on the far left and fear on the far right
The curve represents productivity

The middle ground is what I suppose we would call a healthy fear.  I’m sure what was meant here is a situation where accountability is present and people are well aware of the consequences should they not be as productive as desired.

I hope I’ve described it well so far.  Because I have to say, there is a missing link here that we dare not overlook.  First, it seems to me that the goal is to achieve optimal productivity (in whatever organization you are in).  And then, the deeper goal is to find the proper motivator.

Now, whereas it is true that an amount of fear breeds productivity, is that the best long term motivator?  Fear breeds productivity, but for how long in a free market where one can go find work elsewhere?  Fear breeds productivity, but is it the only thing that does so?

I say no.  In my experience, there is a better motivator, vision.  Consider which option would cause you to give your best.  A dictator who makes it perfectly clear how many widgets you are to produce or you’ll need to find employment elsewhere; or a leader who paints a clear vision of where the organization is going and what your contribution is to that goal?

To me, it’s not even close.  The Bible says, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Pr 29:18)  Funny, the context of that verse is a passage on discipline, exactly what we’re talking about.

So don’t mistake me, I am for healthy accountability.  The Bible also says, “if a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thess 3:10)  Discipline, what is loosely referred to above as fear, without vision does indeed, sound like fear.

Are you a leader where you are?  Provide accountability AND cast a vision.  And if fear is a more powerful motivator than the vision you are casting, perhaps it’s time to question the vision.

Well, this had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the products we sell at Wilson Lumber, but it was on my heart today.  I’ll give it to you free of charge:)  If we can help in any way give us a call (256-852-7411) or see us on the web.


In defense of the wood deck

Often I find myself blogging about composite decking.  And with good reason, there’s a lot of cool stuff out there.  Just a few years ago, if you were going to build a deck, it was just a question of whether you were going to step up to Redwood which was a lot more expensive but lasted longer.

Beautiful redwood deck

Now with Redwood being hard to get (I didn’t even have any pictures, so I got this one online), and so many types of composites, the market is altogether different.

But one thing has remained the same.  The most common deck (at least in Alabama) is made with good old pressure treated pine.


And before you go thinking that it’s only because of price, consider these reasons (in no particular order of importance).

Natural Appearance – Now, composites have come a long way, no doubt.  But I have to say, there is nothing like the look of a well-maintained wood deck.  It’s warm, inviting and comfortable.

Renewable – I could go on and on here but suffice it to say that from and environmental point of view, wood cannot be beat.  With responsible logging (did you know that each year in the United States more wood is grown than harvested?), low cost manufacturing and easy recycling, real wood makes a great choice.

Strength – Sometimes wood decking contains more strength than its composite cousins.  This is not always the case and depending on the application, may not be an advantage.  But keep in mind that strength of product is not a reason to use something else.

Color choices – I’ll bet you didn’t think about this but with a real wood deck, you can stain, paint, seal it whatever color you want.  I know, I know, that’s the problem right?  that you have to maintain it?  Well, that’s true but you know, there really is no such thing as a “no maintenance” product.  Anything needs a good cleaning now and then.

So sure, there’s some maintenance involved, but a little work never hurt anybody.  And with that little work, comes a great looking, comfortable deck that will last for years and years.  For more information, see us on the web.  Or come by the store and see Alan, our deck expert.


deck safety month

You don’t hear about it often, but you do hear about it.  And it can be very bad.  Deck failures.  No, I don’t mean overcooking the hot dogs while on the deck.  I mean collapses, broken boards, etc.


May is Deck Safety Month.  So rather than sit and read my blog, get out there and do some inspecting. First, check out this video from the North American Deck and Railing Association.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check the structure.  Get underneath and look for signs of rot, termites, or even bad warping that might cause surface problems.

If all looks well, go up top and look over the deck planks real close.  You may simply need to screw a couple back in place.  But if you’re used to looking at it everyday, you might want to do a good close inspection.  They could be in worse shape than you think.  Look for excessive cupping, bowing, even possible splinters in your bare feet.

Finally, be sure to look over the railing.  It may be fun to lean on them and feel them bounce you back.  The problem is, one wrong push and you may not bounce back.

There are of course, solutions to all this.  And yes, that’s where we come in.  Come on by the store and see Alan, our decking expert, or visit us on the web.

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