November 26, 2015

President’s Letter – November 2015

JWoelfel_headshot“What is your company doing to promote qualified labor to their customers?” As chairman of the NTCA Technical Committee, that was the first question I posed to the dozens of committee members who represent tile and setting manufacturers, contractors and technical consultants seated around the table at our bi-annual meeting held at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) in Savannah during the last week of October.

You need to know that the responses to that question were fantastic. A lot of our setting and tile manufacturers are starting to put qualified labor in their specifications and are referring qualified labor recommendations to owners and end users. Manufacturers are sending their representatives into the architectural and design communities and are getting the TCNA Handbook’s qualified labor language into specifications as well.

Neuse Tile’s Nyle Wadford and I did a presentation titled, “How Qualified Labor Can Add To Your Bottom Line.” We had a full house and the dialogue with distributors was frank and honest. What pleasantly surprised both of us was that a lot of local tile distributors are vetting the installers that they recommend. The distributors themselves are tired of call backs because of poor installation. Nyle and I put into real numbers the cost to distributors that non-qualified labor was costing them; it is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.

1-pres-1015The networking at this year’s conference was awesome, as decision makers from companies like Dal-Tile, Crossville, MAPEI, LATICRETE, CUSTOM, TEC, MLT, Crest and Schluter and so many more were there to talk face-to-face with tile contractors. TSP gives tile contractors the opportunity to learn about new products, and to discuss and solve any issues they may be having with a particular product.

One of the things I enjoy most about TSP is that I get to talk to fellow tile contractors and learn new things. At Artcraft, we have rarely used tile leveling systems, but after talking to so many contractors that use them on every single job, we are going to see if adding them to our arsenal of tools for large-format tile installations makes sense.

In my opinion, Total Solutions Plus 2015 was the most successful conference we have had to date; the seminars were educational and informative, old friendships were re-established, union and non-union contractors agree that non-qualified labor is the biggest problem in our industry, and finally the conference shows how healthy our industry is and will be for the foreseeable future.

Don’t get me wrong, we have issues that continue to challenge us, but meetings like this help us work together toward total solutions – and that is the biggest plus.


James Woelfel


Editor’s Letter – November 2015

Lesley psf head shotIt’s Friday, October 23, and I am getting ready to fly to Savannah, Ga., in a couple of days for the Total Solutions Plus industry conference.

I’ve been on the wing a lot since the end of September – spending the last weekend of that month in Richmond with the fine folks from MAPEI, who hosted customers and press for the UCI Road World Championships (read the recap on that event in this issue!).

Then I flew to my home state of New Jersey for a slew of reunions – with family, with friends, with beautiful fall foliage, and with my 1975 Pascack Valley High School class from Hillsdale, N.J.!

I returned to Albuquerque on October 19th in time for the outdoor Jimmy Buffett concert (my first!) on the 20th amidst chilly temperatures (six layers of clothes, earflap hat and mittens kept me relatively warm, but it was far from the balmy Margaritaville weather), watching the Mets win the pennant at a sports bar on the 22nd, a graduation ceremony for a family member on the 23rd, and on the 25th I leave for another reunion with industry friends at TSP. Oh yes, and I finished the content for the November issue of Tileletter this week too.

I know I’ve referred to industry conferences in the past as reunions and indeed they are. I look forward to the relatively intimate scale of TSP, which generally offers ample time to visit, network, and chat with old industry friends and make some new ones too – amidst an atmosphere of education, innovation and collaboration. Be prepared for a full report in future issues.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the important stories in this issue of TileLetter. New developments are being advanced in the process of setting standards for thin porcelain tile installation. Be sure to read Bart Bettiga’s article on the most recent strides made by the industry on this subject.

Also read the Tech Talk story on the new NTCA position paper on the sin of spot bonding. As I was researching this article, I was struck by what a horrible practice this is, both in terms of quality and endurance of the installation and the potential for injury and disaster it holds when used on walls, especially external walls. There’s only one recommended method for spot bonding – read the article and the paper to learn what it is and then – as Bob Newhart would say – Just stop it! – when it comes to spot bonding with thin-set mortar.

And since it IS the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, let me take a moment to let you know that I am grateful for each and every TileLetter reader, as well as this dynamic association that seeks to continually better the industry, and gives me a fantastic team of staff and volunteers with whom to work. God bless you, every one, as we come fully into the holiday season.

[email protected]

Member Spotlight – October 2015

custom-sponsorRogers Tile & Stone
Whitehouse, Ohio
[email protected]

memberlogo-1015Dave Rogers, owner of Rogers Tile & Stone, has made the flooring trades his life. Since graduating from high school 23 years ago, Rogers has been involved in all kinds of flooring work.

“I started my own business in 1999, and as time went by, my passion for the tile trade grew,” he said. “Tile is now the only service I provide.”

Rogers focuses on quality and integrity for high-end new construction and residential renovation jobs in his one-man shop. “I feel what sets me apart is the quality and honesty of service I provide.”

dave-rogersRogers chose to align himself with NTCA, becoming a member six years ago and serving four of those years on the NTCA Board of Directors and various committees including Training and Education, during which he helped edit the new Trowel and Error video. He’s been on the NTCA Technical Committee for a year, and helped draft the resin-backed stone white paper. He recently participated in the group of industry leaders and experts who met at Crossville to develop standards for large thin porcelain tile.

Ever a student, Rogers joined NTCA to learn more about the tile trade and to get more involved – and clearly he is accomplishing that goal. “I look at myself six years ago and I’m really proud of myself, at how far I have come and how much I have changed,” he said. “I’m much more educated and confident in what I do every day.”

Supportive friendships with likeminded people are a big part of what Rogers values about NTCA. “By getting involved with the NTCA I’ve been able to develop lifelong friendships with people that share the same passion as I do,” Rogers said. He’s also developed friendships by working alongside other NTCA members, as he has by installing temporary floors in the TCNA pavilion with former NTCA president Dan Welch.

A CTEF Certified Tile Installer, Rogers is working towards becoming a CTEF evaluator for that program, helping other skilled installers receive industry-recognized credentialing. He will pursue ACT certification this December in Michigan.

Rogers expects many more years of fulfilling tile setting to come. “The greatest satisfaction I get as a tile contractor is the projects I do,” Rogers said. “I take each and every project to heart and treat it as my own. A lot of times my expectations are higher than the customers’! At the end of the project you have created something beautiful and long lasting,” he concluded.

Residential project with an expert touch

Rogers Tile & Stone installed a range of tile and stone indoors and outdoors at this high-end home with a very detail-oriented client. It involved exterior work on the patio, a kitchen backsplash, towel bench, master bath, interior staircase and archway.


President’s Letter – October 2015

JWoelfel_headshotI have always had the strong belief that every professional tile contractor should join the NTCA.

Recently, as I was reading a Facebook post on Tile Geeks (although I am a social media neophyte, I enjoy this forum immensely), one comment regarding joining our association struck me, in particular. This person posted that they joined the NTCA “for the coupons.” True, the coupons are a value, but I do not believe this is the best reason – nor is it one of the top three reasons to join.

2-woelfelWhat this post tells me is that we, as NTCA contractor members, must do a better job of conveying the most important reasons to join. In fact, in comments to that post, NTCA members Dirk Sullivan, Bradford Denny and Martin Brookes, cited the value of the NTCA Reference Manual, networking and education. And those are my top three reasons for joining and participating in the NTCA, too.

Since I am a third generation tile contractor, my father (Butch Woelfel) and I have had this conversation as well. I asked him why his dad (John Otto Woelfel) joined the Southern Tile Contractors Association (the precursor to the NTCA) some 60 years ago. Dad told me my grandfather joined the association to keep up with the evolution of the tile industry. He then told me that he became active in the NTCA (Dad is a former president and chairman) to learn more about the tile industry because even as an installer, he could see how products, methods and standards were changing. Dad chuckled and said he figured that if he hung around with smart people, some of that knowledge would rub off on him. He explained that forming friendships with people like Bob Young, Bob Wright, Doyle Dickerson and Bob Roberson were not only personally rewarding, but it made him smarter and made his company better. I believe it did.

1-woelfelMy dad then said something interesting. He said, “All tile contractors have tile-related problems, but keeping up with the latest technologies and methods helps you have fewer problems.” When I ask today’s NTCA leaders – like chairman Dan Welch – why he joined, he tells me that, “Joining the NTCA is the best thing I did for my company.” Again, it’s because of the education, networking and NTCA Reference Manual.

Joining the NTCA provides tile installers access to the changes in technology and standards that affect their livelihood. Membership provides networking opportunities to discuss challenges and solutions face-to-face with other contractors, manufacturers and distributors. A commitment to involvement through participation in educational events and/or committees, means you are at the table when decisions are made. As our new Ring of Honor recipient John Cox says, “you will get out of this association what you put into it.”

When you attend events like Total Solutions Plus, Coverings, Surfaces (TISE West) and NTCA workshops, meet installers who view their work as a profession – and perhaps join a committee – I think you’ll find the coupons will become a value-added proposition or the “add-on” to the fundamental value NTCA membership offers.


James Woelfel

Editor’s Letter – October 2015

Lesley psf head shotUnless you have been living under a rock, you’ve been besieged lately by a torrent of political news — even more intense than usual since we are gearing up for the presidential election. The GOP have already held two televised debates, and the Democrats are working on generating enthusiasm through personal appearances and addresses. No matter which side you are on, one thing is for sure – there is a lot of NOISE going on about the conditions we are dealing with and how we’d like to see it change, evolve or grow.

Sometimes, amidst the volley of opinions on Facebook or television or the editorial section of the newspaper, I stop and wonder just how much power and influence average citizens actually have. Are we just treading water with our outrage and outspokenness? We have the power to gather and protest and voice opinions – and most importantly to VOTE – but without a fat bankroll with which to feed the lobbyists, sometimes it feels like our opinions fall on deaf ears. We just want to have a voice.

Well, good news – NTCA gives you that voice. No, it doesn’t give you a voice in Washington, but it gives you a voice in the progress and direction of something that affects you every day – your livelihood as a tile setter or a member of the industry. NTCA is powered by people just like you – and your participation is more than welcomed, it’s encouraged. When you are involved as a member of the NTCA, you have direct influence through participation on committees – including the NTCA Technical Committee — board membership, or directorship at state or regional levels.

NTCA isn’t called “The Voice of the Contractor” for nothing. You aren’t a nameless, faceless entity. You count. You are KNOWN. And you have access to decision makers, experts and leaders who are working alongside you to actually make the industry better. If only Congress took some lessons from the tile industry and the harmonious working and cooperation of associations like the NTCA, TCAA, CTDA and TCNA, we would all be in better shape.

When I watch the rhetoric that is inherent to the political process, it can be disheartening. There seems to be so many layers that actually stand in the way of someone making a direct impact on policy and conditions that affect their immediate world, their livelihood and their families. I encourage you, in this pre-election year, to take advantage of the influence you have as a NTCA member and get involved. And if you aren’t a member, step up and join the groundswell of interested and engaged industry leaders that shape your future.

A special note for those of you with a NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop coming to your area – from now through the end of the year, join for $500 at a workshop and get the rest of the year’s membership as well as 2016 membership included, with Partnering for Success vouchers for 2015 and 2016 to boot.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Step up and cast a vote for a prosperous future by joining NTCA today.

God bless,
[email protected]

NTCA introduces new Member Rewards program


NTCA introduces a new benefit for members only! The program, known as Member Rewards, offers a range of discounts from restaurants, movie tickets, general admission to national attractions, hotels, cell phone services, popular retail stores, select automobile dealers, florists, cable services, airfare, apparel purchases and more.

These fantastic benefits can only be accessed through the member portal at

A sampling of benefits include:

  • Discounted gift card bundles at popular restaurants in your community like Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Chili’s, Maggiano’s, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, On the Border Mexican Grill and Red Lobster
  • 15% off monthly services from Sprint; 10% off monthly services from T-Mobile
  • 15% off oil changes, tires, maintenance and repair at your local Firestone
  • Up to 35% off movie tickets at AMC, Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and more
  • Discount off general admission pricing at over 150 national attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags and Sea World
  • Savings of up to $25 at Sam’s Club, free products from Costco and up to 10% off on
  • Member discounts at over 63,000 hotels within the Abenity Travel Center, like Marriott, Hilton, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn
  • Up to $500 off new and pre-owned cars from over 10,000 participating dealers like Nissan, Acura, Toyota and Ford
  • 20% off flowers from over 9,000 participating florists like
  • $25 gift certificates for $10 or less from over 18,000 participating restaurants at
  • Savings of up to $60 on annual memberships at more than 300 Bally Fitness locations
  • Up to $75 off cable services plus free upgrades for Dish Network and DirecTV
  • 15% – 25% off men’s and women’s apparel purchases at Macy’s, Jos. A. Bank, Brooks Brothers and Pacsun
  • Corporate discounts on laptops, monitors and consumer electronics from makers like Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP
  • 5% off airfare and hotel reservations from Southwest Vacations

Enter through the members only portal on and click on Member Rewards for complete information and to sign up. Membership in this program is only $19.99 per year, with the potential to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on everyday purchases.

Not yet a member and want to join? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or phone 601-939-2071.

Total Solutions Plus 2015


Collaboration and integration result when industry associations gather for annual conference

By Bart Bettiga

0915-TSP1In my opinion, the quote by Damon Lindelof above is the essence of the significant and positive impact that Total Solutions Plus affords its attendees each and every year.

Total Solutions Plus is an industry conference, managed and promoted by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, National Tile Contractors Association, Tile Contractors Associa-tion of America, and the Tile Council of North America. Sponsored by the leading trade associations in the tile industry, this educational and business networking event features over 600 tile industry professionals, with expertise in manufacturing, installation, distribution, sales, consulting, marketing, etc., all coming together under one roof to do business together and to learn from each other.

This year, it will take place October 24th-27th in the historic town of Savannah, Ga. To find out more, including lodging, registration, sponsorship and program info, visit

0915-TSP2Total Solutions Plus is first and foremost a leadership conference. It is a tabletop networking event (75+ manufacturers and distributors will participate in Savannah), as well as a unique blend of both professional and industry conference programming. For most attendees, the ability to interact and visit with the leaders of the four associations and their associate partners is invaluable, to say the least.

But Total Solutions has become so much more than just an industry conference. It has transitioned into a vehicle for many companies to strategically plan and position themselves for both the present and the future. With an attractive fall schedule that takes place after Cersaie (The mega tile show in Bologna, Italy, every September), and before Surfaces (January 21-23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada) and Coverings (next year in Chicago, April 14-17, 2016), Total Solutions Plus offers many opportunities for companies to test the waters of new products, technology, business ideas and more with owners and decision-makers in both distribution and contracting. This has become an important component of the show.

Here are a few examples of the show’s value that have occurred the past couple of years at Total Solutions Plus:

A distributor working on a national account met with the manufacturer and two large contractors to develop a tight specification that incorporated pricing, delivery and installation on a multi-million dollar project.

An installation materials manufacturer utilized the event to host many of its top distributors and contractors in a conference launch and vacation getaway.

A tile manufacturer met with a focus group of tile contractors to gain their perspective on product technology and introductions, including their marketing approach to doing business in the U.S.

The associations that promote Total Solutions Plus also capitalize on the beneficial timing of the conference to hold annual meetings. Gathering in one place allows leaders of four associations to interact with each other, which reduces fragmentation and increases integration of our association goals and objectives. One example of this is clearly the promotion of the trade – in particular certification and quality installation. Total Solutions Plus is the perfect platform for this information to be presented, and this message then spreads throughout the country as attendees go back to their respective markets to share the news with their suppliers and customers.

This year in Savannah we aim to continue positioning the tile industry for market growth. Topics of primary importance in 2015 include thin porcelain tile product and installation standards development, apprenticeship programs to attract installers to our trade, certification, and continuing education programs on the internet, to name a few. We look forward to sharing the results of these efforts with you in future articles in TileLetter. Better yet, hop a plane or pile into your car and drive to Savannah to experience our event for yourself!

Member Spotlight – Grazzini Brothers & Co. – Sept 2015




Grazzini Brothers & Company is a nationwide specialty contractor specializing in installation of commercial tile, terrazzo, marble, granite, carpet, vinyl and industrial flooring. It was established in 1923 by brothers Frank and August Grazzini, who began a partnership to install concrete walks. Trained in terrazzo installation in Italy, they added this service to their growing business, which spread throughout the Midwest. In the late ’30s and early ’40s, the brothers’ business expanded to include tile work, and their completion of veterans hospitals in Grand Island and Omaha, Neb., helped solidify the company’s reputation as a quality-driven company.

greg_grazziniOver the years, Grazzini Brothers completed many innovative projects including nine city blocks of the vehicular roadway of the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and the roof of the Seattle Space Needle. The company also added industrial flooring to its list of services in the ’60s, and stone fabrication over the next two decades. This helped to fuel growth outside the bounds of the Midwest, such as the company’s first international project, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., in Tel Aviv, Israel, and other international projects in Scotland and Nova Scotia.

As the world celebrated the new millennium, Grazzini Brothers celebrated an increasing national presence that necessitated the establishment of satellite offices and crews in the Dakotas, Iowa and Alaska, allowing the company to conduct work in 12-15 states at a time. The company has a strong presence in Alaska, following a large U.S.A.F. base project in Anchorage. Today, projects in Alaska – including many government projects – are served by an area manager, crew of 20 craft workers and local warehouse.

allen_grazziniBy 2006, Grazzini Brothers established four divisions – tile, terrazzo, stone and soft flooring – becoming a flooring solutions company that offers a full suite of options from terrazzo and tile to wood and carpet.

From the beginning, the founders’ belief in the American dream, coupled with their old-world knowledge of craftsmanship and artistry, formed the foundation of the thriving company. The founders established core values of excellence and customer satisfaction. With every project, no matter its size, the company pledges to provide quality craftsmanship, superior service and steadfast reliability.

Grazzini Brothers & Company joined NTCA five years ago, eager to be associated with an organization that is dedicated to the professional installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. The greatest value in being a member is knowledge, fellowship and education. And that’s critical to today’s leadership, Allen and Gregory Grazzini. Allen is a third-generation family member, and holds the positions of senior project manager in the Tile Division and vice president of Soft Flooring Operations. Fourth generation family member Gregory now acts as president and CEO.

Greg noted, “What makes our business unique is that many of our employees have been with our company for over 20 years. In this ever-changing world, this loyalty is becoming rare. At Grazzini Brothers, we are a family business and we treat our employees like family. We strive to create an environment where our employees feel like they are appreciated for their contributions to the success of our business.” Grazzini Brothers employ 150 people in this business that has spanned five generations.

Reputably trained and certified installers are crucial to installation excellence. Greg applauds the high-caliber apprenticeship schools in the Twin Cities areas, instrumental in the superb training the company offers its workers. The company believes in partnering with the apprenticeship school to train all of its employees on the job and consistently achieve the high standards clients have come to expect. All estimating and project management is done out of the St. Paul office, allowing the company to complete projects to the highest standard, on budget, and on time. Grazzini Brothers & Company has developed strong working relationships that have endured for years all over the country. For a full list of impressive commercial work, along the lines of Target Field, Mall of America, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, visit

Grateful for the support and integration with its community, Grazzini Brothers gives back by participating in many trade and civic organizations such as Associated General Contractors, Minnesota Builders Exchange, Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota, American Cancer Society, MS Bike 150, North Memorial Community Foundation, Operation Glass Slipper, St. Paul K-9 Foundation, TreeHouse, United Way, and Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations.

“We measure our business’ success by client satisfaction, employee satisfaction and community satisfaction while growing the business and being good corporate citizens,” Gregory concluded.

Project Spotlight:
Target Field

0915-grazzini-1The complex elements of this LEED Silver Certified ballpark required resources such as comprehensive design phase management, unparalleled schedule coordination and disruption avoidance, site logistics, and integrated work planning to ensure quality. Virtual design, plans and schedule became a major part of the project’s success. The project entailed 125,375 sq. ft. of ceramic, porcelain and stone tile. Fewer than 200 days were allotted to complete all tile installation in the club levels, concessions, corridors, elevators, lobbies, restrooms, and team locker rooms. Tile was installed via thinset.


President’s Letter – September 2015

JWoelfel_headshotIllegal procedures

The association can’t defend the indefensible

I know all about bad football – I’m a long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan. They do some stupid things. I can’t logically defend them – but I do have an emotional attachment, so I’m loyal.

We have a similar situation with some NTCA members who step into the installation arena and play “bad tile.” They penalize themselves because they don’t know industry standards; our “rule books.”

In the last few weeks NTCA staff has been busy answering questions and trying to help solve issues from contractor members about job site and installation disputes. Problem is, it’s the third quarter and these NTCA teammates are still trying to figure out what to do out on the field. They’ve fumbled and they want NTCA leadership to blow the whistle, pick up the ball and make a call in their favor.

0915-presidentsletterThis is where I need to drop the flag.

Tile contractors and installers must know our industry’s standards. These ARE the “rules of the game.” Ignorance of them is not a viable excuse when a problem is discovered. In the eyes of a court (if a problem gets that far) tile contractors are deemed experts. You must know tile sizing variances and warpage, substrate tolerances, above-grade installation standards, waterproofing details and much, much more. Knowing these is what separates professional tile contractors from people who “lay tile.”

That’s exactly what proved to be true on a recent inspection I performed. It was an elevator lobby that consisted of 12”x24” porcelain in a 50% offset with wash, or grazed, lighting. The lippage was noticeable when you walked through the lobby doors. The tile contractor that hired me was blaming the tile and the lighting. I asked him if he had done a mock-up, as is mandatory in this situation per ANSI; he said no, he had never heard of ANSI. I then did my best to explain to him that since he did not perform a mock-up he was outside of industry standards. He was not happy. Nothing I said at that point made the situation better in his eyes, and he threw out the famous phrase, “I have been doing this for 25 years and have never had a problem.” Well, today he did have a problem and the contractor eventually made him tear out the entire wall and replace it.

Don’t get me wrong – the NTCA is not a neutral zone. The association is there to guide you in preventing problems and helping you do things right. Industry standards are evolving with modern technologies and changes in the way tile and setting products are made – it’s your responsibility to gear up and that includes knowledge.

Members of the NTCA Technical Committee – Nyle Wadford and Mike Gillette – are currently developing a white paper on how to construct a mock-up to show wash/graze lighting. It’s useful information, along with the TCNA Handbook, ANSI Guidelines, and the NTCA Reference Manual, that would have helped on that lobby install.

None of these resources can be helpful if you are halfway through the job or nearly completed, and you have not been following industry standards when you realize you have a problem. Don’t perform like my beloved Bucs. We’re handing you the ball – run with it!

James Woelfel
NTCA President

Editor’s Letter – September 2015

Lesley psf head shot“What kind of effort is asked of us? We need a strong, unmistakable message of steadfast commitment to a goal we’re convinced is worth achieving. Unless we get that, we’ll all default to the comfortable, routine, conventional way of going about our business and watch the clock until the rehearsal is over.”
– Roger Nierenberg

Last year at Total Solutions Plus, corporate business consultant, Sandy Smith, presented a talk on Creating a Culture of High Employee Engagement. He cited a Gallup study that revealed that 70% of all employees are disengaged, which results in burning out the other 30% of workers who are carrying the load.

Smith played a fascinating video from veteran symphony conductor Roger Nierenberg, which demonstrated Nierenberg’s Music Paradigm. In the video, CEOs got to listen to a performance of professional musicians from within different sections of their local symphonic orchestra to experience the difference of a range of conducting styles.

For instance, when conductors provided mixed messages to the musicians and embedded CEOs in a Music Paradigm performance, expectations were built to great results, but then the leadership and direction was weak and wan. Leaders who don’t walk the talk were found to inhibit others and emotionally “hang people out to dry,” Nierenberg said. “If [workers] only see the words, but not confirming action, it puts them into a quandary,” he observed.

Next, the CEOs experienced what it was like when the conductor “over leads” through micromanaging and not allowing professionals to do what they have been brought into the organization to do. Participants explained this leadership style “choked” and “demoralized” them, and demonstrated a lack of trust.

The liberating leader, in contrast, gave clear instruction, put trust in his “artists” and let them do what they know how to do. It’s not necessary to “babysit” professionals, the video revealed, but to give clear directions and good training, and allow your people to do the job for which they were hired.

The CEOs also got to hear what the performance sounded like from the podium when the different leadership styles were employed – running the gamut from discordant to powerful.

It was a fascinating illustration of how leadership style impacts the harmony and rhythm of an organization. Through clear, consistent direction and strong behavior modeling, leaders are able to guide the professionals under their watch to their best.

0915-editorisletterTo learn more about The Music Paradigm, visit or read Nierenberg’s book, Maestro: A Surprising Story about Leading by Listening.

Did this column intrigue you? Then be sure to attend Total Solutions Plus, held next month in Savannah, for more motivational messages and ideas you can put into practice to elevate your business to its highest and best. Need more convincing? Check out Bart Bettiga’s story about Total Solutions Plus on page 86 of this issue. See you in Savannah.

God bless,
[email protected]