Josh Herron is the CEO of a company called Southwind, a management company for eight home service businesses. One company is 1-800 Got Junk. Another is You Move Me. Began with 1-800 Got Junk as a summer college job. Josh’s success in taking other people’s junk is less about the junk and more about people and development.
First entrepreneurial endeavor was to convince some of his college football teammates to join him.
In college for organizational leadership. Engaging people was always important. Parents were in the nonprofit and always brought home junk from conferences. Told Josh and his brother anything they wanted they had to earn. Took his parents swag and went door to door as a seven year old making a sales pitch to buy things they wanted. Learned at young age importance of communicating.
Started with 1-800-Got-Junk in 2007, 2009 opened carpet cleaning company and sold that in 2015. Opened moving company in 2010, sold it to corporate office of 1-800-Got Junk, rebranded into Kansas City company. Opened painting company and more 1-800-Got Junks. Realized had the energy to do more.
Everyone they employed used to be older. Now most are younger. Transparency key in creating career paths. Helps millennials see the path, help them understand what it will take to achieve the success. Most Millennials like a lot of technology, and to have fun. Built app to engage employees, looks at what’s next, challenges. Use stats to motivate team. Employees earn badges that can redeemed for incentives
Trust a huge part. Create kit by teaching our people. Development is most important. Creating a culture that makes them feel a part of it. Big win is creating an environment for people to be successful. Not just sitting on the bench. Coaching, teaching, all accountable to the results every day.
First two out of town businesses they opened were in Des Moines and Omaha. High expectations but didn’t prepare leaders well. Began to try to understand how to develop leaders, how to build culture so they could grow. Spent enormous amount of time the last three years hammering out what it takes to be successful in the company. Now seeing employees earn trust and become partners and leaders around country.
Development of their people is most important and best time spent. Hired a number of former college football players. Make great teammates and hard workers.
Most important thing they can do is provide opportunities for future entrepreneurs, with goal of turning people into awesome business leaders.