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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Set Big Goals

One of the key activities give to back to the community is when employees volunteer at this nearby school. The principal told Arnold and George that the children need male role models. More...

Key Question:


Work on important projects.  We already wrote that this is the strategy used by Arnold and George to attract talent. This is also the way they keep themselves inspired.

Q:   What happens to a team when it achieves what others think is impossible?

A:   The team never goes back to working as it did before the big goal was accomplished. The team has proved themsleves to themselves -- and they are often eager to tackle another hard goal. The same process is true of individuals.

The philospher, Immannuel Kant (1724-1803), said that we all construct our own world. He also wrote, "That which man must know, do and believe finds its justification not in reality existing in itself (noumenon), as traditional metaphysics held, but in the theoretical, practical and aesthetic faculties of man."

Scholars today believe that Kant sublimated Rationalism and Empiricism, philosophies which preceded him, and that his work sprouted Idealism and Positivism.

When you hear someone say, "A mind expanded will not return to it's original size," that person is capturing the spirit of Kant.

Q: Can Kant help us grow our companies? How?

A:  By even understanding him a little, we know that improvement is always possible. We can extend and expand our levels of understanding. We know that we are not stuck in reality because our minds can expand.

Accomplishing a big goal builds confidence. In fact, the only thing that builds confidence is success. Failure teaches but it does not give us the adrenaline rush we all love to feel when we cross any finish line.

Goals then force us to grow, to expand and to dig deep down inside of ourselves to find the strength that is there if we call upon it.

Think about it

What big goal is worthy of your time and effort?  What big goals should each of your employees be setting?  Do you know the personal goals of your employees? If not, why not?

Clip from: Diversified Chemical Technologies

Arnold Joseff and George Hill

Detroit, Michigan:  There is no alchemy within the deep success of Diversified Chemical and her founders, Arnold Joseff and George Hill (pictured above). Rather, it is the right mix of ingredients -- attention to details, adherence to rules and procedures and exacting standards, fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, and an investment in their people and community -- that produce results that consistently meet their customer's expectations and exceed their customer's requirements.

Arnold and George opened Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc. in 1971 and today it is the holding company for four subsidiaries: Adhesive Systems, Coat-it; Diversified Chemical Technologies, and Paperworks. Together the companies employ over 200 people -- 50 are chemists -- and they generate over $150 million in annual sales.

In the '80s they decided to stop being sales-driven and to become innovation-driven. They reinvented the entire business. They took their lab off the back burner and turned up the heat by putting it at the very core of the company. It meant putting technology ahead of personality as a way of defining their competence within their industry.   These two broke the mold then reinvented it.

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Diversified Chemical Technologies (GH)

George Hill, CEO

15477 Woodrow Wilson
Detroit, MI 48238

Visit our web site:

Office: 313-867-5444

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1971

Set Big Goals

GEORGE: It is always right to talk about making the kind of profits that give you and your family a sense of security and a sense of well-being. Nothing wrong with that -- that is American capitalism. But I think, if you start focusing on that, then you miss some of the real fun and the real joy of being in business. You miss part of the creative process. I am not an artist or a musician, but creating wealth in the community and creating – not wealth for Arnold and I, but wealth in the community – and creating jobs is something we are capable of doing. We are able to sell ideas to people that says, "Okay we are able to give you business and out of that comes a lot of jobs and even more to come." So, I think that if you are in a position to build something and if you enjoy that, the money will come. It is not about the dollars, it is really about the building process and the achievement process.

ARNOLD: Today, I provide vision. Many of the products that we are coming up with are the result of the directive or the guidance I have provided. When you are surrounded by PhD's and people with Master's Degrees, it's easy. Because you can say, “I see a need. Let's sit down and see whether we can truly develop a product that meets the need.” And invariably, we do. Then it becomes infectious. When the chemists realize that they can be creative and inventive, they bring it to you.

GEORGE: My first job was right over there at Michigan Bell, that's only two blocks away.

HATTIE: Lifetime friends, they met at Cass Technical High, the city-wide college preparatory school and graduated with the Class of “58. Today, they wear thick rubber soles because their feet are worn out from standing on concrete floors.

ARNOLD: Well, the old homestead and our facilities and Glazer Elementary are all within a six-block circumference from each other. What we have here is an elementary school where, according to the principal Dr. McMurtry, 75-percent of the students either come from one parent families or below the poverty line. And what this school represents is an opportunity for our company to become involved in the community in yet another way, because, it is our employees that are involved in addition to the company. And we supply tutors and mentors and money that allows them to actually have access to things that they couldn't ordinarily afford.

HATTIE: Now, what is it that you said -- the principal came to you and said, “Arnold, what we need most is?”



ARNOLD: Men – males.

HATTIE: Men to mentor - to teach.

ARNOLD: To mentor -- just to listen to the students. And we are going to really expand on this, this coming fall. Because, this is the way you change America.

GEORGE: We had no mentors. My father was a butcher in a slaughterhouse -- Arnold's father was a carpenter. My mother always taught me to do my very best – she taught me to get an education. She was one of those people who really believed very strongly in me and felt as though -- if I put my mind to it – whatever I wanted to do, I could do. And that's one thing she did tell me.

HATTIE: She actually said those words to you.

GEORGE: “Anything that you think you want to do, you can do.” If you were to ask me thirty years ago, when we started, that we were going to have all of this. And – and that we were going to be able to sit down and say, “Not only is this wonderful -- but, in the plan that I rolled out to my key managers that we talked about earlier – we have a very clear vision of tripling the size of this business in the next four and a half years.” We are looking forward to a real ride.

HATTIE: How did you get here?

ARNOLD: It's called the force, Hattie – it's called The Force. I don't say it is genetic. But it's either in you or it's not in you. In the case of George and myself – it was in both of us. It allows you to have the force to take on adversity, to mount it and to be successful. And I will categorically tell you, I don't think they can teach this in business school. It is either there or it is not there. I only hope that I can pass it on to others. But I will tell you, that we have had our backs to the wall many a time and it's that force that allows you to continue and to be successful.

HATTIE: George and Arnold have achieved their dreams, but not all of them. Shifting to innovation as their priority has given them the foundation to make a big-business sized donation to the Detroit Science Center, to organize volunteer efforts for their neighborhood elementary school, and to fund advanced education for many. Their focus and discipline has rewarded them in the past and we bet it will reward them in the future. Do you need to stop doing what you're doing to create an even greater opportunity for you company? For George and Arnold, it meant they had to stop being sales-driven and start being innovation-driven.

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