Catalytic Torklift Jen


By Torklift Jen

Winning teams have players who make things happen. These are the get-it-done people in a successful organization.  There are even some who take it a step further and are agents for change, creativity, and motivation.  Torklift International is made up of these kinds of people.

As a student of Torklift, one of the assignments we are challenged with is team building with modules in teamwork and leadership skills.

A resource for all employees is John Maxwell’s 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork – Embrace Them and Empower Your Team.  The author is well known in the area of motivational speaking, leadership training, and building corporate success.  He uses his personal experience and stories of people and events to explain his points.  It’s like getting into the head of my mentor’s mentors.

One point of particular focus is named the Law of the Catalyst.

Like the important component of a vehicle’s exhaust system, a catalytic converter takes the toxic emissions from a vehicle and turns it into a clean, efficient, well running and controlled machine.  We don’t make them, but our plant is full of catalysts in another form.

Maxwell uses Michael Jordan as a great example of a team catalyst.  Perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, he was extraordinarily talented on the court and also possessed the ability to bring intensity to the game.  Even after retiring, he continued to stir players by joining in and fueling the competition with good natured “trash talking” and consistently elevating them and pushing everyone on to the next level.polaroid2

Catalysts are the positive influencers.  Everybody has a bad day, faced a daunting challenge, or just been a little off their game.   I’ve recently come to work with this season’s nasty cold, spewing my own toxic emissions and looking to produce under the weather results.  These people are marked by always being ready to step up and get in the game, they are intuitive, good communicators, passionate, talented, creative, responsible, generous and influencing.

An organization with empowered catalysts is always striving and full of momentum.  Ready or not, Torklift International is up for another big year and in this case action will speak louder than words, so it’s back to work for Torklift Jen.

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Diamonds and Torklift Jen

polaroid28There is a lot more to Torklift than acres of diamond plate aluminum and steel.


This was never more apparent to me than at our recent annual meeting.  We were treated to our assembly this year in what was once held in a small break room to now filling a grand events center ballroom.  The amazing growth in the company this year included an over 30% growth in the workforce.


Our department heads shared their pearls of wisdom and stories from their own inspirations, mentors, and passed on successes based on hard work and dedication.


One inspiring story we were reminded of was one we all know.  It is heard on the Earl Nightingale leadership training series in which every new Torklift employees participates.


This true story is based on an African farmer who is enticed by riches and lured away from his own land in search of the diamonds that were being found all across the continent.  He was so excited and distracted by what was out there that he sold his farm and searched endlessly for the riches he never found.  Meanwhile, the new owner of the farm picked up an unusual looking large rock from the land and placed it on his mantle as a curiosity.  A visitor to the man’s home later saw the rock and was absolutely amazed.  It was one of the biggest diamonds ever found and the farmer replied, “ Heck, the whole farm is covered with them.”


Opportunity does not just come along, it is there all the time- we just need to see it, develop, and believe in it.


With that message taken to heart, current events were also woven into messages about how we play the game here and, of course, included references to our own Seattle Seahawks.  Jazzed by the upcoming Superbowl XLVIII prospects and our simultaneous tremendous year, we were inspired to dream beyond where any single one of us came from and work as a team to boost each other up to see over challenges and achieve the victories we can celebrate for our families, our community and our company.


Looking at this upcoming year, we are focused on solution based goals and will continue to strive for excellence in serving our customers and building the best products in the industry one inspired piece at a time.


Yes, our acres are full of diamond plate and steel, but the precious resources are the people of Torklift.





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