That means a reading list heavy on Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar and other self-improvement and business-improvement authors. Usually, one or two books a month are assigned for the staff to read.
"After we read 'The Goal,' a novel about operational efficiencies and bottlenecks, we recognized that Josh was a bottleneck in our system, and we transitioned one of our salespeople into production to relieve that bottleneck," Hamby said.
"We even did 'Man's Search for Meaning,' a Holocaust survivor book that basically says they can take away everything except your attitude."
To help create time for books, the company has an audible book account for employees so they can listen during travel time in their vehicles.
The brothers even have required reading before they'll hire a new employee. Greg Nelson, for example, was assigned "How to Win Friends and Influence People" before his sales and project manager job offer was affirmed.
"The most difficult thing is to hire great people," Hamby said. "A person in an interview could say cliches, but we rotate applicants through multipart interviews with our different divisions. … It's amazing the different insights you get."
(Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star. Her "Your Job" blog at economy.kansascity.com includes daily posts about job-related issues of wide interest. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or by email at email@example.com.)