Dr. Alan Zimmerman, of Bonita Springs, Fla.-based Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, shared his three secrets (purpose, passion and process) for getting what you want out of life and work to Embassy members at the buying group’s annual shareholders meeting in Chicago in late August.

Zimmerman listed three key components in the purpose category:

1. Know what you really want.

If you don’t know, the only other alternative is to settle for less; and that will burn you out or cause you to lose your spirit.

2. Live by what you value.

“On their deathbed, no one ever said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office,’” Zimmerman noted.

3 Walk your talk.

Invest your time, money and energy in what you value or lose your self-respect as well as credibility with others.

Zimmerman stressed avoiding what he calls “mind binders” that destroy passion. “Your behavior is largely determined by the words you use. You think in words and you tend to be governed by the words with which you talk to yourself,” he said. “Once a person plants these binders into their mind, they become fact and negatively impact performance.” Zimmerman noted there are hundreds of binders, including “I can’t sell,” “I can’t remember people’s names,” and “I have too much work to do.”

“Your attitude will defeat you quicker than anything else,” Zimmerman told the group.

The final secret dealt with process and Zimmerman listed what he calls five critical partner needs when dealing with employees, customers and colleagues:

  1. Make them feel welcome;
  2. Make them feel comfortable;
  3. Make them feel understood;
  4. Make them feel important; and
  5. Make them feel appreciated.

Prior to Zimmerman’s keynote, Embassy held its annual member profile sessions. Dan Patrick, president and CEO of Anaheim, Calif.-based Todd Pipe & Supply, talked about the company’s history from when it was started by Karl McMillen to when it was sold to Hughes Supply (2004) to when it reopened again under the Todd name in 2010. The current Todd Pipe started with one branch and 18 employees in 2010 and has since grown to six strategically placed locations (branches are typically 30 miles apart and close to freeway ramps) in Southern California with 190 employees.

“Our logo is blue because we are a blue-collar company,” Patrick said.

Plumbers Supply’s Jay Werst followed with a rundown of the fourth-generation Louisville, Ky.-based company. Werst provided an in-depth overview of the company’s strategic plan that elicited numerous questions from the membership. Plumbers has 13 locations in Kentucky and Indiana.

“We build trusting relationships with our customers and suppliers,” Werst said. “That allows us to deliver the expertise and products they value.”

ASAExecutive Vice President Mike Adelizzi also brought Embassy members up to speed on the latest goings-on at the national organization. On the first day, members heard vendor presentations from Anvil International’s Tom Fish and Aquatic IndustriesMartin Joines. The opening day concluded with a well-received networking reception and dinner (sponsored by Anvil and Aquatic) at the Chicago Art Institute.

Embassy’s 2016 shareholders meeting celebrates the group’s 25th anniversary Aug. 17-20 back at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Do you follow the five critical partner needs? Tell us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.


 This article was originally titled “The secrets to success” in the September 2015 print edition of Supply House Times.