Leadership, People

Leadership and Kern Hill Furniture

Those of you familiar with Winnipeg would know of Kern Hill Furniture and Nick Hill’s “C’mon down” catch phrase. Sadly Nick Hill is no longer with us, but his son Andy is carrying on the tradition. Nick Hill was a man larger than life and anybody that met him remembered the meeting. I was lucky enough to meet him once as my father was from the North End and they shared common friends.

Here is one of Nick Hill’s famous commercials.

Leadership and Growth

Late in Nick Hill’s life, his oldest son Andy started doing Kern Hill Furniture commercials. The first commercials seemed quite forced and I’m sure even Andy would say that these commercials were not his best. I remember wondering if Andy would be able to step in the rather large shoes of his father. I even remember wondering if Kern Hill Furniture would be around in the future. Did Andy have the same passion and charisma that his father had?

Today Kern Hill Furniture is doing well by all accounts and Andy is doing his father proud. His style is very reminiscent of his father and if you closed your eyes you might just imagine a young Nick Hill.

So what does this have to do with Leadership and Growth?

Well it appears that all Andy needed was an opportunity to grow and lead. I can imagine that it would be difficult to have the opportunity to try new things and lead when Nick was around and he could still light up a room. But once Nick was gone, Andy had to carry on. There was no choice. Andy was now the leader.

I wondered about how many teams have people who could do so much more but are not given the opportunity. I thought about my teams and how often I like to offer my opinions that make decisions. Sometimes that is required,  but other times that may prevent others from also leading and making decisions. (and growing) It is an interesting situation. How can we best find the middle ground that allows for successful projects and for the growth of our team mates and friends. I know I am going to be more committed to allowing for the maximum growth of my teams mates. Andy Hill reminded me of the potential we all have inside of us. It just takes the right opportunity to bring it out.

I think it is hard to have the patience to allow other to lead when we think we have the capability to make the decision ourselves. We may think it will add risk as people new to leading and making decisions will make mistakes.  And you are correct. But by minimizing project risk, we are accumulating corporate/company risk. Eventually we need to grow leaders so the company can grow and prosper.

You never know who the next great leader will be unless you give them a chance to shine.

About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio has worked for Protegra for 14+ years because of the professionalism, people, and culture. Terry started as a software developer and found his technical calling in Data Architecture. Terry has helped to create Enterprise Operational Data Stores and Data Warehouses for the Financial and Insurance industries. Along the way Terry discovered that he enjoys helping to build teams, grow client trust and encourage individual career growth, completing project deliverables, and helping to guide solutions. It seems that some people like to call that Project Management. As a practical Data Modeller and Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Data Modelling and Agile. Terry considers himself a born again agilist as Agile implemented according to the Lean Principles has made him once again enjoy Software Development and believe in what can be accomplished. Terry is a fan of Agile implemented according to the Lean Principles, the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, Operational Data Stores, 4th Normal Form, and asking why


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