The Salt Bag Story
Commit to work harder on yourself than you do on the job. Every new DEFENDER Direct employee hears this parable from founder Dave Lindsey
on their first day of work. It epitomizes the philosophy that is the key to DEFENDER's
A tale of two men, and two different attitudes
Bob and Ben both get hired at the Acme Salt Factory on the same day. Their job is
to load 50 pound bags of salt from the loading dock to the delivery trucks. Bob
and Ben have a difficult first day at work. The work is physically demanding,
not particularly interesting, it is incredibly hot and by the end of the day they
are worn out.
At the end of the day, both Bob and Ben arrive at their homes exhausted. At home,
Ben's wife asks how things went on the new job. "It is horrible, hot, boring, back-breaking
work. How about getting me a beer and I will order a pizza for dinner. The game
is coming on TV soon and I don't want to miss a thing!".
Across town, Bob and his wife, Susie, are engaged in a similar conversation. Bob
answers his wife's inquiries differently though. "Wow. That is hard work. I had
not realized how out of shape I'd gotten since I quit working out with the basketball
team in high school. This should not have been so difficult for me." Susie suggests
that they eat a healthy dinner and get a good night's rest so that he is fresh for
the second day of work.
Day two on the job was as dismal as day one for both Ben and Bob. At the
break, Ben grabs a candy bar and soda and hangs out with a group of guys in the
break room. The conversations are negative as they discuss how hot it is, how heavy
the bags are today and the poor outcome of last night's Cub's game.
Bob grabs a bottle of water and some fruit and then catches up to Earl and Ed for
a chat. He noticed that they handle the work more easily than others and he want
to find out if they have any tips for him. He discovers that they have a weight
lifting belt that they use to give them more support and they recommend that he
try some light weight lifting to prevent injury and fatigue.
When Bob arrives home that night, Susie is happy to hear about the weight lifting
belt and suggests that they go pick one up that night. On the way to the store,
Susie says, "Bob, my cousin Sam called today. He is a fitness trainer and they just
transferred him to the club on the way to your plant. What do you think about him
working with you on lifting techniques? It might help prevent injury." Bob agreed
that was a good idea and met Sam at the gym a couple days later.
Ben continued collapsing on the couch, drinking beer, eating pizza and burgers,
night after night and complaining to his wife about how hard the work was, how exhausted
he was and how bad the Cubs season was going.
Bob continued to work out, eat healthy, read books on strength training and apply
what he was learning to improving his performance on the job. In a few weeks he
was stronger than he had been in a long time and his energy levels were climbing.
He arrived back home each evening excited to share his accomplishments with Susie.
They began to go to the gym together and they found they were happier as a couple
than they had been since they were newlyweds.
Then something happened that really gave Bob's career a huge lift. Bob started improving
his system for loading the salt bags. Because of the weight training and his increased
endurance, Bob discovered that he could lift two salt bags at the same time. This
caused him to be able to complete twice as much work as Ben or anyone else on the
Bob's foreman noticed the increased output. He asked Bob what had caused the significant
improvement. Bob showed him the lifting belt that Ed and Earl had recommended and
a few of the simple exercises that Sam had trained him on to strengthen his lifting
muscles and sustain energy. The foreman asked Bob if he could share those lessons
in the team meeting the next day.
When Bob conducted his training with the rest of the team, some of the other team
members started using the techniques Bob shared. Over time, they also increased
their capacity to load salt bags. It wasn't long before a few were able to load
two bags at one time. A few months later, lifting two bags at a time was standard
operating procedure at the plant. The Acme Salt Factory's production started to
Ben continued to be miserable, refusing to take responsibility for improving his
skills and outcomes. He ended up quitting the job and going to his next job with
the same bad habits, destined to achieve the same outcomes he had achieved in many
Bob got promoted. More than that, Bob made a difference for others on the job and
at home. He worked harder on himself than he did on his job and everyone around
Our expectation at DEFENDER is that you will work harder on yourself than you do
on your job. This is your responsibility to those you love and care for. By working
hard on yourself, you will be a better parent, family member, community member,
friend and you will also be a better team member. You will move down a path of unlimited
opportunities both personally and professionally. It is what you were created to