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Fri, Jul 25, 2014

Sharing Thoughts: Nuggets of wisdom sometimes blow in from the blue

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I find it interesting how a person will sometimes pick up little nuggets of wisdom from out of the blue.

Let me give an example. I met Roy Perry, a senior vice president with Dell Computers, soon after the company began an operation in Tennessee. Roy’s office was located near Interstate 40 and Highway 109.

My purpose in meeting with Roy was to solicit business, since I was then with Swanson Developments. While I never earned Dell’s business, I learned something from Roy that continues to help me personally and professionally.

I called him one particular day. He was out of the office, and my call was forwarded to his voice mail. After the tone, Roy’s recorded message went something like this, “Sorry that I missed your call. Please leave me your name and telephone number and I will call you back within eight working hours.”

I must admit my skepticism about his promise to return a call within eight working hours. But, he was a man of his word.

Early the next morning, I received a return call from Roy as he was boarding an airplane. He answered my immediate questions, and then I asked him another one. “Why do you promise to call someone back within eight working hours?”

He explained that it is part of the Dell culture.

Michael Dell has a business philosophy about providing quick service, and about responding to all messages, email or telephone. Michael Dell calls it “the speed of Dell.” Needless to say, I was impressed and asked Roy if he would allow me to use his system.

Obviously, it was public domain and permission was not necessary. But as a courtesy, I asked him just the same. I have used that as my telephone message since then.

Should you call my personal or business telephone number when I’m not available, you’ll get the following message: leave me your name…your telephone number … and I WILL call you back within eight working hours.

Now, let me share my favorite Naomi Judd story.

We had her as the guest speaker one year for the Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting at the James Union Building on the MTSU campus.

It was a memorable event for us; the largest attendance at that time for our annual chamber program with over 500 attending. She signed copies of her book, “Love Can Build A Bridge,” but the thing I remember most is what she shared in one of our conversations.

Before Naomi became a country music star, she was a nurse at what is now Middle Tennessee Medical Center.

She told how she would drive home from Murfreesboro at night and stop at the former Krystal Restaurant at the intersection of Broad Street and Old Fort Parkway. Times were tough back then for the single mother raising two daughters, Wynonna and Ashley. Eating at Krystal was a treat.

When the Judd duo –Naomi and Wynonna – ended their singing partnership, they did a Farewell Tour across the country with the final performance being at Murphy Center.

Naomi said when they left Murphy Center that night, still on their emotional high; they headed home to Williamson County aboard their luxury bus. When passing the Krystal, Wynonna turned to her mother and jokingly said, “Let’s buy that place, we can now afford more than just a burger.”
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Sharing Thoughts
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Ralph Vaughn, Sharing Thoughts, Voices
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