Podcast: The Wheelhouse, Recovery For Industrial Workers

Lanier Young, executive director, and Whitney Strickland, chairman, of The Wheelhouse, discuss the benefits and purpose of The Wheelhouse.

The Wheelhouse partners with donors and volunteers to provide a supportive environment and recovery tools where men can free themselves from the grip of alcohol and drug addiction to return to society as functional, useful and responsible members.

SINCE 1952, The Wheelhouse has taken in men who need one more chance…men who have nowhere else to go…men who have no hope. What started as simply one man, a recovered alcoholic, helping another alcoholic, has expanded into a life-changing model that has seen hundreds of men recover from the disease of alcoholism. This model is focused on building authentic relationships that help bring relational, physical, and spiritual healing and restoration to those served.

For more information please visit: www.thewheelhouse.org.

How To ‘Turnaround’ Your Business: Step 7

Step Seven: Humility

In step six , I identified character defects such as one’s bad or destructive habits.

We learned these habits can not only be bad for us and our business, but also for those around us. By identifying bad or harmful habits, we learned they can keep us from having real success.

Listing defects — actually naming them — does psychological magic. It helps remove roadblocks and allows us to be ready to let destructive habits go. This requires help from our faith and trusted mentors. At the end of step six, we ask for all of these defects to be removed by utilizing a higher power.

Step seven is all about humility. By successfully completing steps one through six, a degree of humility has already been introduced. Actually, it is the basis of the entire 12-step process. Asking for help and utilizing a higher power while exploring and defining one’s defects are all acts of humility. One must be humble in order to maintain an even keel and remain committed to the process. One cannot be truly happy without some level of humility. “Humility” is a confusing word, and its meaning is often misunderstood. It is not synonymous with the word “humiliation.”

Humiliation means losing one’s dignity and self-respect, while humility means having a “modest opinion of one’s own importance.” Humility is the opposite of arrogance, assumption and personal pride. The arrogant know-it-all who thinks only of himself or herself is not a healthy business leader. On the other hand, humiliation can lead to humility. Inappropriate behavior and actions that you are ashamed of can lead to humility. Humility can serve us well, while egotistical thinking can get us in trouble.

Unfortunately, our society often encourages arrogance and celebrates those egocentric people who acquire vast wealth, power, popularity and material goods. Those same people who idolize the ones they’ve “anointed” are often the first to express glee when the very people they’ve told us to admire fall from grace, and their personal failings are uncovered. Once a person’s weaknesses are exposed, admirers admonish or demonize that person and move on to anoint another.

I’ll never forget when a friend of mine held a meeting to sell a real estate deal. Upon his return from the meeting, he described his presentation, stating he was really “on the mark” as the group of potential investors listened intently to his every word. He then said, “I was so good that I started to believe my own bullsh*t.”

Building up a false image of one’s self can lead to a number of psychological and relationship problems. Being real with yourself is key; it requires being humble and knowing you are a unique creation of nature, but not superior to other creations of your type and species.

We must always ask ourselves questions like, “When I’m starting my new business, do I really need a new, expensive company car? Is that practicing humility and fiscal responsibility? Do we need the office in the high-rent district, or will a nice facility in a modest location do just as well?” Locating to a high-rent district may be good for your ego, but it also tells customers that they are paying for the high rent when they buy from you.

“Do I listen to my employees’ ideas without completely dismissing them? Do I really know it all? How well do I know this business, and how can my employees contribute to its success?”

It is critical to hear out employees’ ideas and discuss reasons action could or could not be taken on those ideas. It’s just as important to listen to our customers and suppliers. It requires practicing humility, as do most thoughts and actions you will take during a business day or on the weekends with family.

Humility is not just a step to be taken and then forgotten. Rather, it is a lifelong process. Humility needs to be practiced on a daily basis. Today, I promise to take my own advice. Like many, I am still working on “that humility thing.”

Also published in BIC magazine.

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How To ‘Turnaround’ Your Business: Step 6

Step Six: Remove Character Defects

In my article on step five, I advised how to take a moral inventory of yourself and your business. That moral inventory was actually an exercise designed to lead us to the realization that our troubles are partly of our own making, thus removing the “blame game” from others or outside forces. It demonstrated that we are complicit in creating our own problems. That is something we all need to admit before going forward and turning our businesses around. Step five also asked us to share what we learned with a mentor, and that always requires a leap of faith. We must use our faith again in step six.

Step six requires us to let go of the moral failings and character defects we uncovered in step five. These character defects are huge handicaps to our lives and businesses. The list of defects may be long, or the list may boil down to one glaring item that disrupts our success in everything we do.

I have met many people with serious character defects during my 30 years in the downstream refining business — and I was one of them. I have since corrected some of my own defects, and I am still working on others. One of my most serious flaws was my ego. I thought I was better than others, that I could do their jobs better and was a hotshot at my job as well. How many people want to work with someone like that? This can be a huge negative in trying to pull a team together, and it can cause underlying resentment that undermines the effectiveness of the entire group. I was only fooling myself.

Ego and self-righteousness are destructive attitudes. They represent self-interests and are the opposite of self-confidence. They are also often accompanied by anger. How many chairs have you seen thrown across a trailer during a turnaround maintenance meeting? I’ve seen plenty. Intimidating others through anger is not the best way to get a cooperative response. Being overly ambitious is another flaw. Think about it: Isn’t being overly ambitious really a veiled form of greed?

Letting go of character flaws is not easy, and you may be tempted to say, “I can’t or won’t give this up. It’s who I am, and I will not change.” But an unwillingness to recognize our flaws and work on changing them stifles our thoughts and actions, and they will become roadblocks to success. Even though we may think we are going forward, in reality, we are not. The roadblocks (our flaws) will rear their ugly heads again and again.

It is helpful to ask a higher power to assist us, and that is a daily, sometimes hourly, task. But if you do so continually and recognize the instant you are becoming angry, egotistic and self-righteous, then you are on the road to freeing yourself of these demons.

While taking this step, one of my goals was to treat every person in my life exactly the same. I have not been able to achieve this goal. But the goal is not about achieving perfection. No human is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for perfection. Our goal is to remove roadblocks so we can work around our imperfections and achieve the ultimate goal, which is success.

Success comes in many forms. A successful business also comes in many forms. The one thing all businesses have in common is that they are made up of people who are motivated in one way or another to provide a product or service to others. These are products or services people want or need. A healthy business needs people with healthy attitudes. A healthy business needs a leader who is healthy as well. If we, as business leaders, are constantly striving to overcome pride, envy, greed and other defects in our personal and professional lives, then roadblocks will disappear, and the road to success will lie ahead. It is a road that will have occasional detours and a speed bump or two, but the results will be well worth the effort for us, our families and employees, and the customers we serve. You will be prepared to accept opportunity when it arises. While perfection remains elusive, success is very achievable.

Also published in BIC magazine.

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Tower Force Times – Vol 21 – Introducing ‘Tex’ The Tower Rat


Tex The Tower Rat

 

Meet ‘Tex’ The Tower Rat! 

For decades the skilled professionals that have performed work on process columns and vessels in refining and petrochemical facilities have been referred to as ‘Tower Rats’ or ‘Tray Rats’, The reason for this is the small areas in between the trays require someone small and flexible to fit in them. ‘Tex’ will be our representation of these professionals and our new mascot. We will be using ‘Tex’ in our advertising and safety messages. Maybe he will show up at your jobsite!

 


New Tower Internals

 

Complete New Rings And Internals? No Problem! 

The Tower Field Services at Tower Force just completed a new internals project for a repeat customer. These types of projects are commonplace for us. Whether you need all new trays or a complete redesign we can handle it.

Email sales@towerforce.com for a quote.

 

 


Tower Force - Sept Birthdays

Happy September Birthday to our Employees!

Jaziel Leija, Elias Gomez Jr., Carlos Zavala, Leo Espinoza, Angel Hernandez, Arturo Garza, Apolonio DeLeon, Santos Garza, Alfredo Martinez, Juan Verastegui Jr., Rodolfo Bear, Daniel Fajardo, Carlos Ramirez, Oscar Garcia, Joe Coronado, Eduardo Escobedo, Francisco Paz, Oscar Rojas Velasquez, Efrain Cuellar Jr., David Guzman, Brandon Montoya, Romero Vasquez, Antonio Briseno, Arturo Arredondo Jr., Patrick Taylor, Hugo Rubio, Julian Medina, Roberto Villareal, Benito Barrera, Juan Perez, Hugo Cervantes, Rustin Bruce, John Patton, Jorge Cano, Arnold Villareal, Rolando Lugo Jr., Jorge Cabrera, Abel Becerra Jr., Enrique Villareal III, Jorge Gonzalez, Alberto Pena, Jose Perez, Manual Reyes, George Schauer Jr., Joseph Norman, Pedro Medrano, Lorenzo Gomez, Hilario Taduran, Julio Perez, Jaime Adame, Jose Duenez Jr., and Marshal Maddoux!

If you see them on a jobsite please wish them a Happy Birthday!


Call or email today to see how we can help with your next shutdown/turnaround/regularly scheduled (or emergency) maintenance projects! 

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Tower Force Times – Vol 20 – Tower Fabrication and Installation with Tower Force


Tower fab check

The Tower Field Services at Tower Force provide fabrication and installation services for many clients. Mr. Keith Hurst and his tower field service team can manage the entire process working with your engineering group to ensure that the fabrication is done correctly and that everything fits together in the field. By having one contractor control the fabrication and installation you can eliminate ‘the blame game’ and save time and money on your project.


TowerForce-Turnaround-Season

 

Tower Force is ready for Turnaround Season

After the slow down from COVID-19, some R&R and a lot of fishing. The Tower Force team is ready for the fall turnarounds and is currently busy taking bids. We were able to keep our teams intact through out the crisis with various projects. Give Keith Hurst a call at 281-506-7152 or email him at khurst@towerforce.com


August Birthdays

Happy August Birthday to our Employees!

Luis Perez, Michael Altamirano, Derek Garza, Jorge Badillo, Leeroy Garza, Luis Torres, Joseph Moake, Jimmy Perales, Bictor Abad, Dean Daponte, Nader Khalajabadi, Duane Newman, Martin Cruz, Perfecta Bernal, Erik Pineda, Andres Guttierrez, Luis Tapia, Reyes Chavarria Jr., Stephanie Cuellar, Jesus Galvan, Jose Rosales, Reynaldo Liscano, Juan Telli, Ramon Ortiz, Alvaro Martinez, Kristhian Vasquez, Ruben Contreras Jr., Jenny Rosales, Trevor Smith, Juanita Ochoa, Leonoso Espinoza, Leonel Espinoza, Rafael Rodriguez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jorge Morena, Jorge Mares, Leonardo Martinez, Marco Garza, Gerardo Roman, Marcelo Garcia Jr., Hunter Reynolds, Matthew McLees, Josue Espinosa, Jose Espino

If you see them on a jobsite please wish them a Happy Birthday!


Call or email today to see how we can help with your next shutdown/turnaround/regularly scheduled (or emergency) maintenance projects! 

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How To ‘Turnaround’ Your Business: Step 5

Step five: Let someone else know

In my article on step four, I advised how to take a moral inventory of yourself and your business. That step dealt with admitting inner truths to discover what is blocking you from your full potential and the full potential of your business. You and your business are “hand in glove.”

Step five goes further because it requires you to share this moral inventory with a trusted mentor. If you recall, the first step to “turnaround” your business is finding a trusted mentor.

This is not a negative exercise. It is quite the opposite, as it guides you to explore, in great detail, the strengths and weaknesses of your business and discover areas of improvement or possible new directions. This exercise helps reveal self-destructive behaviors. Yes, some businesses have created self-destructive or defeatist cultures.

The moral inventory should be in an easily understandable format and contain basic elements of who or what you are blaming for your personal or business failures. The “who” or “what” can be a person, place, thing or even an idea.

Before doing this exercise, I had a lot of absolutes in my mind, such as, “I absolutely won’t do business with certain people” or “We should absolutely go after this portion of the market and do it my way.” I confess now that was all wrong. I eventually saw that people doing things differently were gaining ground and becoming successful. I realized the positions I took were the wrong positions.

When assessing or owning the “cause” or “blame” behind problems, it usually involves a particular incident or moment like, “The banker wouldn’t give me the loan I needed, and that’s why my business suffered” or “Those clients did not pay and that’s the reason I’m in debt.” The list grows with the amount of time spent in business because, like the stock market, business is a “W.” This means it has its ups and downs; it is not a straight line from the bottom to the top. That’s why not everyone is cut out to start, own or manage a business.

One’s emotions related to the person, place, thing or idea should also be expressed on the list. The emotions are usually related to one of the following: self-esteem, pride, money, emotional security, ambitions or personal relationships. Each cause or incident should be categorized by selecting one of these emotions.

The last thing to do is complete the exercise by filling out the column that explores the question, “What was my part in this?” It is here that one comes to realize it isn’t always about who is to blame or what the cause of the problem is. The fact that you played a role in the problem can be quite revealing as well. For example, you might say, “I extended too much credit to the customer who failed to pay,” “I knew I shouldn’t have altered the terms of the deal” or “I thought I needed their business in order to succeed.” There can be any number of scenarios, but it is important we each explore our — or our company’s — role in the cause or incident and make changes accordingly.

Step five is probably the hardest step for turning your business around and keeping it on track, but this step is the most important because it takes insight and sharing. It involves owning up to your mistakes while also letting another person know about them. It all comes down to trust. Trust yourself enough to know and admit your mistakes (we all make them), and then trust someone else with that knowledge. If you choose the right mentor, that information will be used not as a weapon against you, but as a learning tool for yourself and your mentor.

It’s easy to seek the comfort of vic-timhood. Many do it all of their lives. Nothing is ever their fault. They had no role in the outcome. It was the authorities, their parents, the environment, friends, the government, the times, etc. But the freedom that can be found by taking personal responsibility for the decisions we make and the actions we take cannot be overstated — especially when it comes to finding success in life and business.

 

Also published in BIC magazine.

 

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Tower Force Times – Vol 19 – A History Of Distillation


Distillation Column

Tower Force field service crews are Distillation Column experts

Distillation was first patented in 1813 by a Frenchman named Jean-Baptiste Cellier-Blumenthal. It is one of the oldest and most commonly used processes for the separation and purification of liquids. In distillation columns it is critical to get the components installed correctly or the process can be flawed. The Tower Force field service crews have years of experience and proprietary procedures to ensure that these internal parts work correctly when they are done with a project.

Click here to read more about Distillation History.


Wheelhouse Golf Tournament

Tower Force to be sponsor for The Wheelhouse Golf Tournament

The Wheelhouse is having their annual golf tournament on Friday September 18th at The Battleground Golf Course in Deer Park, TX. Tower Force is a huge supporter of The Wheelhouse which helps men recover from alcoholism and drug addiction. Come join us!

Register for The Wheelhouse Golf Tournament


July Birthdays

Happy July Birthday to our Employees!

Arturo Garza, Jorge Garza, Oscar Rios, Erick Guajardo, Saul Cruz, Lonnie Clayton, Santiago Galvan, Angel Balderas, Israel Mosqueda, Edgar Valdez, Adrian Torres, Guadalupe Rodriquez, Raul Gonzales Jr., Jose Olivares, Donato Garza, Luis Vega, Efrain Araguz, Sonia Trejo, Jany Guelmes, Isaias Guzman Jr., Tony Martinez, Heriberto Avellaneda, Bryant Guillen, Joel Salas, Cesar Hinojosa Jr., Juan Mata, Cristo Valdez Jr., Jose lopez, Christopher Gomez, Edgar Diaz, Gilberto Cantu, Daniel Moncivaiz, Alejandro Ponce, Marco Trejo, Ezequiel Sanchez, Vistor Mata, Sergio Rodriquez, Jamien Nunez, Christopher Aleman, Miguel Delarosa Jr., Adolfo Uresti Jr., Jose Carrizales

If you see them on a jobsite please wish them a Happy Birthday!


Call or email today to see how we can help with your next shutdown/turnaround/regularly scheduled (or emergency) maintenance projects! 

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How to ‘turnaround’ your business: Step 4

Step four: Knowing yourself

Tower Force Times – Vol 18 – Safety Is A Priority At Tower Force


Tower Force Safety Is A Priority

Tower Force has a 5+ year ZERO TRIR

Like many services in our business the Tower Force tower field services are a risk prone business that has to be mitigated by utilizing professionals for the work and site specific training before they arrive on the job. The expectation of the management at Tower Force is that each field professional brings with them the skills needed for the job including an attitude that safety is a priority. This formula has done well for Tower Force. After over 5 years in business Tower Force has an injury TRIR rate of ZERO and has been awarded the 2019 GPSA Midstream safety award for it’s effort in the midstream industry last year.


Turnaround your business - step 4

How to “turnaround” your business Step 4

Our resident writer and marketing guy Whitney Strickland is writing a series of articles for BIC magazine about how to turnaround your turnaround business in 12 steps. The latest article is on Step 4 which deals with taking an inventory not only of the business but yourself. You can read the full article here

If you haven’t read steps 1-3, we suggest you start here


Happy June Birthday to our Employees!

Rodrigo Trevino, Rafael Ramirez, Jose Hernandez, Octavio Salinas Jr., Benaia Espinosa, Cesar Montemayor, Thelma Torres, Noe Reyna, Charmella Guidry, Rodney Regalado, Sergio Flores, Jose Estrada Morales, Juan Carpio, Pedro Samaniego, Manuel Mendez, Merardo Mendez, Juan Maldonado, Jose Uresti, Armando Gutierrez, Rolando Seanz, Elijah Jones, Omar Camarillo, Asael Lopez, Rolando Lopez III, Carlos DeLeon, Rodolfo Bocanegro, Jesus Martinez Hernandez, David Silva, Jose Uriegas, Benjamin Ramirez, Efren Garcia, Ruben Trejo, Apolonio Miranda, Mario Morales, Erick Sanchez, Raul Garza Jr., Jesus Gonzalez, Jason Delgado, Daniel Olvera, Christian Granados, Fortino Villegas, Arturo Garza Jr., Jesus Pompa

If you see them on a job site please wish them a Happy Birthday!


Call or email today to see how we can help with your next shutdown/turnaround/regularly scheduled (or emergency) maintenance projects! 

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Tower Force Times – Vol 17 – Desalters Are One Of Our Specialties


Desalters are one of our specialties! Desalter refinery process unit

The Tower Force field services teams are very familiar with the complex internals of a desalter. Our teams work with manufacturers such as Desalters LLC in order to supply customers with the best product and the best services during these types of installations. Tower Force performs thousands of hours of desalter work each year. Please give us a call if you need any desalter work quoted please call us at 281-506-7152.

Desalter = A refinery process unit that removes salt from crude oil.

 

 


Tower Force Main Office

Tower Force office now open!

 

 

Although the Tower Force field service crews have been working throughout the pandemic on various job sites many of our office employees have been working from home. We are happy to announce that on May 18th our office will be open with restrictions recommended by Harris County and the Center for Disease Controls

 

 


Happy May Birthday to our Employees! Happy May Birthday to our Employees!

 

Bonifacio Cibrian, Orlando Maldonado, Antonio Martinez Jr., Ismael Lucio, Alfredo Nandin, Karl Jones, Rolando Ramirez, Jose Mata, Steven Waters, Luis Rubio, Ruben Guevara, Anibal Serna, Roy Warren, Esther Aleman, Alfonso Contreras, Luis Sandoval, Dagoberto Trevino, Leoncio Escamilla-Vasquez, Jacob Leras, Sergio Cerda, Mario Cabriales, Jorge Gomez, Eduardo Navarro Jr., Alberto Rojas, Alejandro Rodriguez, Sergio Perez, Juan Castillo, Fidel Santana Jr., Rodolfo Reyes, Marco Cardona, Rodolfo Gonzalez Jr., John Zamora, Jesus Montelongo, Paul Zavala, Mariano Pizana, Erik Hurtado, Dali Reyes, Antonio Villegas, Adrian Morales, Alvaro Bocanegra Jr., Derel Carlisle, Joshua Roman, Jorge Delgado, Ramsey Ramirez, and Alejandro Flores!

If you see them on a job site, please wish them Happy Birthday! 

 

 


Call or email today to see how we can help with your next shutdown/turnaround/regularly scheduled (or emergency) maintenance projects! 

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