The Key to Giant Success with Doug Wing

4 min read

Family businesses have a unique dynamic that can lead to both success and challenges. Doug Wing, former VP of Sales at Little Giant, shares insights into his experience working in a family business and the lessons he learned along the way.

One of the key advantages of a family business is the opportunity for hands-on learning and a deep understanding of the company’s operations. Doug Wing and his brother started at the very bottom, sweeping the shop and cleaning bathrooms. This experience allowed them to learn every aspect of the business, including manufacturing. As they moved into sales, their knowledge of how the products were built gave them a unique advantage when interacting with customers. This hands-on experience not only helped them explain the products better but also fostered an appreciation for the hard work of their employees.

Doug’s father was able to balance these various roles by prioritizing people. He genuinely cared about his employees and made an effort to know each one of them by name. This level of personal connection created a strong bond and loyalty among the employees. Additionally, Doug’s father’s involvement in the community and church showed his commitment to making a positive impact beyond the business realm. By prioritizing people and community, Doug Wing’s father was able to find a balance between work and personal life.

Father’s love inspires hard work

The episode reveals the powerful impact that a father’s love can have on the success and work ethic of employees in a family business. The speaker, Doug Wing, discusses his father, Hal Wing, who founded the Little Giant company. He emphasizes how his father’s genuine care and love for his employees motivated them to work harder and strive for success.

Doug Wing describes how his father took an interest in every employee and knew something about each one of them. This personal connection and genuine care created a strong bond between Hal Wing and his employees. The employees knew that their father loved and cared for them, which made them work even harder to avoid disappointing him. This love and care created a sense of loyalty and dedication among the employees.

Innovation and listening to customers

Little Giant reinvested the money they earned from their successful sales into the company, focusing on innovation and the development of new products. This investment allowed them to continue growing and expanding their business. They established a 24/7 production schedule and three shifts to keep up with the demand for their products.

As the business landscape changed, Little Giant adapted their marketing strategies to include video marketing and online selling. This flexibility proved invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic when trade shows and in-person meetings were no longer possible. Little Giant utilized their newly built studio, called Little Giant Live, to conduct meetings and connect with customers through platforms like Zoom.

Building trust through personal connections

The episode highlights the significance of building trust through personal connections in business. Little Giant, a company known for its innovative ladder products, has experienced success by prioritizing relationships with its customers and employees. The founder of Little Giant, who is the focus of the podcast, shares anecdotes and examples that demonstrate the impact of personal connections on the company’s growth and success.

In addition to listening to customers, Little Giant also prioritized relationships with its employees. The founder recalls how his father, the previous CEO of the company, created a culture of care and support within the organization. Employees were valued and appreciated, which fostered loyalty and dedication. Little gestures like signing birthday cards for every employee and giving them their birthday off with pay demonstrated the company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being. This sense of being valued and cared for motivated employees to go above and beyond for the company.

Giving back is important

One of the key themes discussed in the podcast is the importance of giving back to the community. Doug Wing shares how his parents instilled in him the value of helping others and making a positive impact in the world. He recounts stories of his father going out of his way to help people in need, such as putting a new roof on a stranger’s house. These acts of kindness not only made a difference in the lives of those who received help but also served as a powerful example for Doug and his siblings.

The episode highlights Doug’s involvement with the Honoring Heroes Foundation, which organizes a motorcycle ride to raise funds for various causes. This event not only brings people together for a fun and memorable experience but also serves as a platform to support and honor heroes in the community. Doug shares how local chapters and law enforcement agencies come together to ensure the success of the ride, blocking off intersections and providing a safe environment for participants.

Integrity and hard work pay off

Integrity and hard work are two key qualities that can greatly impact an individual’s success and the positive impact they have on others. This is exemplified in the podcast through the experiences and values of Doug, the guest speaker.

Furthermore, Doug’s father taught him the importance of hard work and honesty. He believed in doing the right thing and being a good person, which included not lying, stealing, or being lazy. These simple yet powerful principles guided Doug’s upbringing and influenced his own work ethic and values. Despite initially resenting his father for making him do monotonous jobs, Doug eventually realized the value of hard work and the life lessons it taught him.

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