My family of six traveled to Detroit, Michigan, this past weekend.  It is a three-hour trip north from our home near Dayton, Ohio. Well, it really takes more like four with all the stops for restrooms, snacks, and sightseeing.

The highlight of the trip, for me, was The Henry Ford Museum.  If you have never been to The Henry Ford, I recommend you make room in your travel schedule for it.  It’s not that I am such a museum enthusiast. Actually, the thought of a museum bores me, but The Henry Ford is not your typical museum.  They certainly had many things you would expect such as classic cars and a gift shop. But, again, this museum has something extra. It also contains, President Lincoln’s blood-stained chair from the Ford Theater, the infamous bus that Ms. Rosa Parks made her mark on history, and the limousine that JFK was assassinated in. This and more made my mind swirl about leadership.

A part of our admission package was the Rouge Factory Tour. This is where Henry Ford perfected, what we call today, vertical integration. Mr. Ford developed a mile-and-a-half wide by mile long property with 93 buildings totaling 15,767,708 square feet. The basic idea was to take all the raw materials necessary to make a car, bring them to one central location, and refine them, mold them, and assemble them all in one place.  This would remove any dependence on unreliable outside sources of material.

Since its inception, the Rouge has created some of the most beloved automobiles that have ever graced a man’s garage. They include the 1929 Model A, the 1932 Ford V8, the 1949 Coupe, the 1956 Thunderbird, the 1965 Mustang, and even the current 2016 F-150. We had the privilege of touring the assembly plant as the trucks were going down the line. I was so very impressed by the science behind the scenes.  You would think that it was all done by robots, but you would be wrong.  Many hard working Michigan men and women were laying down carpet, inserting trim panels, and mounting engines onto the frames. It was like quiet and consistent clockwork, and I was fascinated.

The size and complexity of what Henry Ford and his family have created are beyond my imagination.  Mr. Ford’s vision has inspired many an entrepreneur throughout the past 100 years. One of these is me. I am still trying to define in my mind what I am to take away from such a wonderful place as the Rouge. From Henry Ford’s initial dreams to the company’s dedication to its preservation, I am motivated to bring that philosophy back home to DIY Pole Barns. I believe that we are leading the way in the post frame industry.

I want to dream big and never quit. That has worked for us for the past 12 years and the future continues to look bright. As a leader I need to continue striving toward an unknown future.  With the help of God, and our coworkers, our dreams will come true.