Directing the Facilities Management Department at H-E-B Food/Drugs, the best and biggest retailer in Texas, for 23 years was an honor.
Anyone who works there knows H-E-B is a learning, giving, and extremely productive organization.
Employees are called “Partners,” the perfect Texas term, because we worked together, crossing boundaries and departments to do whatever it takes to perform our jobs. The ultimate goal was to focus on our communities, customers and each other.
Learning and improving was constant. I studied (through schools, seminars, training sessions, conferences, brainstorming workshops, and books) continuously.
At some point in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the project superintendents for H-E-B Construction were required to read assigned books by a newly hired supervisor who wasn’t quite familiar with the hard and demanding work of building stores, retail centers, manufacturing facilities, giant warehouses and other real estate properties.
I was one of those superintendents in the early 1980s and was very familiar with the time constraints, pressures and deadlines.
Most of these superintendents weren’t book readers. They grew up learning how to read blueprints, going through formal and informal apprenticeships, and with tough on the job experiences.
One day a favorite construction supervisor, Garlan Tschirhart, came over next door to our offices. He looked concerned and explained his plight.
“Jack, you know I’m not a bookreader,” he said. “Never have been and we don’t have the time. I try when I’m out traveling and visiting job sites all over the state, but after a 12 hour day, once I get to the hotel at night, I fall asleep after one or two pages.”
I laughed, understanding.
“Man, Garland, do I have a deal for you,” I walked over to a cabinet and pulled out a large file labeled JackNotes.
“What book do you have to read?”
“Well, it’s about leadership, it’s called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,‘” Garland scratched his head. “Hell, I don’t need anymore friends–I have too many as it is–and the only people I need to influence is the job superintendents and they’re all pretty good guys or else they wouldn’t be here.”
I laughed again as I looked through my files.
“Yes, that book is by Dale Carnegie and it’s a classic,” I said. “It’s so good even my teenage children have read it. I was 25 when I was introduced to it and it was very helpful.”
I found the file, entitled “JackNotes: Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends…”
“What’s Jack Notes?”
“It’s my version of condensed notes from books I’ve read, seminars and classes I’ve taken,” I explained. “It makes it easier for future reference. It’s summaries of the key points.”
Garland made a copy and was able to turn in his required book report to his new supervisor (Note: I can’t remember his name anymore. He was only there a short time and moved on to less challenging opportunities).
It wasn’t long until some of the other superintendents were coming over to see if I had JackNotes for books they were assigned. In most cases I did (and will be sharing many of them here on Cleverjourneys.com, so ‘Follow’ me below for more).
Hugh Huckabee, James Mensch, Tommy Groesbeck, Max Martin, Don Hatfield and other Construction Department Partners were some who would come over for copies. I’d occasionally share them in our Facilities Alliance leadership meetings with vice presidents and directors like Ralph Mehringer, Rob Easley, Bill Reynolds, Jim Barrows, Bob Manning, Dave Sanchez, Greg Bowman, and Bill Triplett.
Here’s an example (Part 1) of Dale Carnegie’s classic:
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
Give honest and sincere appreciation
Arouse in the other person an eager want
Six Ways to Make People Like You
Become genuinely interested in other people
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong’
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
Begin in a friendly way
Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
Appeal to the nobler motives
Dramatize your ideas
Throw down a challenge
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment
Begin with praise and honest appreciation
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Let the other person save face
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
Please click follow options below for more JackNotes summaries.
Attitude Books & E-Books Education Experience Leadership Wisdom and Cleverness 1980s 1990s Books Cleverness Determination E-Books Education Facilities Good News Happiness HEB Jack Dennis JackNotes Leadership Perspective San Antonio Seniors Summaries Texas Tips Wisdom
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.