This post on the RDC blog may be a bit different from the content we typically post. Usually, there is an air of formality and a subject of product or service education associated with the articles we publish. But this post will be a bit more informal and personal than the average RDC blog content.
In December 2022, we lost one of the founding members of our business. Robert N. Dietrick, or Bob as his friends and family called him, began working for his father, Robert E. Dietrick, in 1977. For the next 45 years, Bob would lead a small family business in Indiana through a growth phase that saw a distribution partnership with Rite Hite Manufacturing, the opening of branch offices in 3 geographies outside of Indianapolis, and the employment of 100 individuals throughout the state today. What started as Robert E. Dietrick Manufacturer’s Representative is now Robert Dietrick Company, Industrial Solutions Provider. You can read more about Bob in his obituary from the Indy Star.
Bob was my father and my mentor. He was my mentor in life, like so many great fathers are, and was a business mentor for the past 6 years. Outside of caring for our family, Robert Dietrick Company was Bob’s life’s work. He did not hesitate to pass down the business lessons and the philosophies he had learned over the course of his career to me and countless other leaders at our company. Without a doubt, 2022 was a challenging year to wrap up as many of us experienced personal grief and loss over Bob’s sudden and unexpected death. But the start of the new business year has already proven that Bob left his company primed for continued success for years to come. The members of RDC are honored to carry out his legacy in the way that we conduct ourselves with our customers, vendors, and teammates moving forward.
Bob Dietrick lived a fulfilled life of kindness, joy, and gratitude to all those he crossed paths with. So much of what he wrote and said is documented as a guide to members of our business to continue the great work they are doing without his daily wisdom present. Bob was known to frequently ask, “How is what I am about to say or do going to affect someone else?” This was a lesson he learned from his father. Bob was the embodiment of treating others with respect. What he did was important, but how he did it made Bob an extraordinary individual. Talking about a person, telling their stories, and living out the example they set is a way to honor them and keep their memory alive, which is what we are ready to do for Bob.
A few years ago, Bob helped to establish four Core Values of Robert Dietrick Company that very directly relate to his philosophy referenced above. These are cornerstones of what we look for in employees and across all specialties within the business. I want to share the unedited versions of these Core Values as they appear in the RDC Colleague Handbook with you. I believe they exemplify how Bob forever impacted our company culture. And I hope this will encourage you, the reader, to know what a special place the Robert Dietrick Company is. Whether you are a prospective employee looking for a new opportunity, a customer, a manufacturing vendor, a partner, or (dare I say it) a competitor, please know that we are incredibly proud of what Bob built and led for so many years. Where we go from here is onward. We are honored to serve you and work alongside you. I hope you enjoy getting to know us just a bit more through the Core Values that Bob Dietrick established for us.
We put people first at RDC. Nothing is accomplished through isolation, so we believe that TEAMWORK is a core value of our business. This means embracing clear, direct communication and dealing openly with your colleagues. Practice empathy and respect towards all. And finally, follow through on commitments that you might take on behalf of others.
Honesty and accountability are expected in all business conduct. Be sincere in your efforts and practice INTEGRITY. This core value will build stability amongst our team members and with our customers, paving the way for future success.
RDC represents only the most innovative products on the market. These products are meant to make our customers more efficient and safer in what they do. Therefore, we must be innovative in our very nature, as well. INNOVATION is the belief that everyone in this business can make decisions like an owner. RDC was founded as an entrepreneurial venture. In that spirit, “intrapreneurship” will allow you to develop in your role as time goes on. We encourage you to be proactive, not reactive in your work. Seek ways to make our business better than you found it, and we will be successful together.
Attitude is everything. None of the other core values can happen without POSITIVITY. Start each day with a “can do” attitude and a strong work ethic. Optimism is infectious. Your colleagues and customers will thrive off a positive outlook.