The President’s Perspective: May 2024

Published by Timothy Reed on

The President’s Perspective: May 2024

Grant Falco

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Slowing Down to Move Forward

In our fast-paced lives, where each achievement is quickly overshadowed by the next goal, we often overlook the profound benefits of slowing down to reflect. As the fourth-generation president of Falco’s—a family-run hearth, barbecue, and HVAC retailer in Spokane, Washington—I’ve navigated the relentless pace of business for 22 years, but never alongside such profound personal losses as I’ve experienced over the past 12 months. The passing of my grandparents, Joe and Florence Falco, and the loss of my mother, Kristi Falco—all central figures in my personal life and our family business—have left palpable voids, challenging me to navigate grief while managing the operations of the business and my family. As I write down these words (or do pretty much anything these days), something my mother used to say comes to mind: “You can’t let sadness or anger control your life; we have limited time on this earth, so cherish every moment.” This advice has become a guiding light, urging me to find balance and perspective amid loss, while also assuming responsibility for my family and our 37 amazing team members.

The chaos of daily responsibilities can obscure the bigger, better picture, which can lead to running on autopilot. The losses I’ve experienced this past year have forced me to reassess myself, to step back and evaluate my life’s direction. This pause has allowed me to align my actions with my long-term vision, ensuring that I’m moving forward with purpose, clarity, and the opportunity to spend my time well. 

Since I care deeply about this industry and its success, I feel compelled to share this message with other leaders who read this magazine: It’s essential for all of us to pause when we feel there’s no time to do so, reflect on whether we’re moving in the right direction, and reassess our priorities throughout the process. Given that reality, this article will share how stepping back has helped me make more informed decisions, support my communities more effectively, and cultivate a mindset of gratitude, transforming my challenges into opportunities for growth. But trust me: I’m very much still learning, and this journey has come with consequences.

It’s essential for all of us to pause when we feel there’s no time to do so, reflect on whether we’re moving in the right direction and reassess our priorities throughout the process.

Assessing Priorities Amid Unrelenting Chaos

In the daily grind, it’s easy to overlook the broader perspective and focus instead on immediate tasks. I’m often asked, “Why do you let fires burn?” My answer is simple: I have to. I can only focus on one thing at a time. When I’m most productive, I can also be simultaneously letting a situation go to hell in a handbasket. But over time, this practice should lead to fewer fires that are smaller—and eventually, all these small fires will be manageable. My recent challenges have emphasized the importance of stepping back to reevaluate my priorities and direction, simply because I felt out of control every single day. Often, we find ourselves acting as drivers on autopilot, not realizing we may be heading in the wrong direction. Taking a moment to pause and reassess is crucial—it allows us to make decisions that benefit not just our businesses, but also the well-being of our families and teams. This intentional reflection ensures that our actions are aligned with who we want to be and where we want to go.

Taking a moment to pause and reassess is crucial—it allows us to make decisions that benefit not just our businesses, but also the well-being of our families and teams..

Showing Genuine Support

Support is not just about being present; it’s about meaningful engagement and intentional appreciation. In business, this means creating an environment where the team feels genuinely supported, not just functionally managed. It’s about paying attention, acknowledging specific contributions, and setting up your company to do so as well. We all want to win at work and have that success acknowledged in front of our peers, and doing that for our teams is an absolute game-changer.

At home, we need to truly engage with our loved ones through constant communication, shared time, and, in my case, a lot of focus, as I always feel the outside world is drawing me away. Our families need to know we’re truly there—but that means leaving everything at work (which, if you are anything like me, is next to impossible). I once heard someone say that we should hang up all our worries on a “worry tree” before we come into our homes. I tried this method, it stuck, and it has truly helped me. Doing things like that fosters a culture of deep, genuine support, which is especially crucial during tough times. The strength of our relationships—whether at work or at home—significantly impacts how effectively we navigate adversity, even at the smallest level.

The strength of our relationships— whether at work or at home —significantly impacts how effectively we navigate adversity...

Cultivating an Environment of Gratitude

Embracing gratitude shifts our focus from what’s missing to what’s present, encouraging us to appreciate what we have. This shift can dramatically change our approach to life and work. In the workplace, acknowledging the hard work and dedication of employees fosters a positive environment. The key here is to be specific. We need to show our teams that we see them and tell them what they’re doing well. 

At home, appreciating the small moments also enriches our lives. Gratitude opens the door to a fuller, more satisfying existence, turning everyday challenges into opportunities for growth and connection.

Thriving Through Tough Times

As I’ve attempted to apply these principles, I’ve realized they have significant implications for my life, both professionally and personally. Regular reflection leads to better decision-making, genuine support builds resilience, and a grateful attitude promotes positivity and growth. However, taking the time to do all of this has limited me in other ways. I’ll admit that the flip side of this is that I can’t be everything to everyone. During our reflection time, we have to truly set limits for ourselves, and we need to keep adjusting them until we can honestly say to ourselves that we can do these three things.

Implementing these practices isn’t just challenging—it’s downright tough. It demands brutal honesty with ourselves, acknowledging our shortcomings, and a relentless commitment to our personal growth. As we maneuver through the complexities of life and business, it’s critical that we don’t just pay lip service to these ideas. Real progress demands real change. It requires the guts to admit when we’re wrong, the strength to correct our course, and the resilience to keep going when it feels easier to give up. So let’s not merely nod along to these principles—let’s live them, test them, and let them transform us. This is how we move beyond surviving tough times to truly thriving through them.

Grant Falco

Grant Falco

Grant Falco is the President of Falco's in Spokane, Washington where he runs a fourth generation business that serves customers in the great Spokane market. Grant is the Co-Founder of The Fire Time Network and enjoy spending time with his incredible family.

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