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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Make Room For Just One Boss

The founder of  Texas Nameplate was smart to step aside when his son, Dale Crownover, was ready to lead the company.  You learn that  employees deserve to know who is in charge so seniors have to remove themselves to make room for fresh ideas.

Key Question:


There are many steps in the process of preparation and Roy Crownover tells us about the hardest one.

Q:  What did Roy do when Dale was ready to become President?

A:  He stepped aside and no longer gives direction to employees.

Q:  Is Roy right that there should only be one boss, or are there ways for both Roy and Dale to have high profile leadership positions?

A: He's right because people want leadership and can't follow two people unless they always agree upon the direction the company should take. It would be confusing if you went to Dale and got one answer to your question and then when to Roy and got a different answer.

With only 67 employees it is easier to have one leader; however, the two men could have divided responsibilities and had some employees reporting to Dale and some reporting to Roy. I think Roy truly believes his son is a better leader and is happy for Dale to be President while Roy sits on the sideline and serves as cheerleader for everyone.

Q:  Why do most companies die with their founder or they die when the founder decides to quit working?

A:  Some would throw these types of companies into a category called "lifestyle companies." In other words, the company was a vehicle for the founder to live a certain kind of life. We disagree

Most small businesses would-could-and-should have a life separate and apart from the founder. If the founder would first learn to trust, it opens the way so the founder could find people in which to place that trust. And the business, with all its customers, suppliers, and employees, should continue to perfect relations, systems, and their contributions to their community and world.

Think about it

Have you ever worked in a situation where you received mixed signals from bosses? How did it make you feel?  Do the people at your company know who to listen to? What keeps you from passing the torch? Do you have someone you are training that can move into your place soon? Are you nervous that if you pass the torch, you won't have anything to do? Do you think your life might feel empty if you don't have to be in the office everyday?

Clip from: Texas Nameplate


Dallas, Texas: Dale Crownover took Texas Nameplate from being just another print shop to become the first small business to be given the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You will find their nameplates are on virtually everything. They print those specialized labels that out last the item to which it is attached. And because of quality controls, this group is the international supplier to the world's largest companies.

When he went to Washington to receive the Baldrige, the other two winners, Boeing and Solar Turbines, and all DC bureaucrats listened in awe; this man talked about the essence of quality, family and this nation's charter to achieve and to always do better.

We can all learn from Dale and his people. Yet, they did not stop working at it;  and six years later, they received the award again!
You will quickly see that this is an extraordinary work force. When we first taped this episode of the show, nobody including Dale had a college degree and some employees had just received their high school diploma. Notwithstanding, here you learn how they make world-class products and reap plenty of profits.

Oh yes, today, Dale and others have earned a college degree.

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Texas Nameplate

Dale Crownover, Owner

1900 E. Ervay
Dallas, TX 75215

Visit our web site:

Office: 2144288341

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Make Room For Just One Boss

HATTIE: Roy's son Dale is now president.

I've gotta be honest with you and tell you I think you must've been crazy 20 years ago when you said, `I want to take charge of this company.' Because, from what I learned from your dad, it's never been easy. I mean, what made you want to do this?

DALE CROWNOVER: As a little boy working down here, I liked the people. They were very sincere with my father. Even though my father was having a hard time, they worked with him even through the hard times, and I just felt like it would be neat to carry on his dream with the people. I felt like I owed them something 'cause they had done a lot that they had deprived me with themself and their family. And when I got involved, it was still a good business, but I felt that we needed to go to another level.

HATTIE: What you did is uncommon. I don't know if you know that or not, but it's uncommon for someone who would've been as young as you were 20 years ago to just say, `OK, son, you're now in charge, I'm backing off.' Explain to me why you did that.

ROY: Because, from the partnership relation. There's two of us. Whenever I'd say something, the other man would say something; the other man say something, I would say something. And you cannot run a successful business with two partners, only one. And that way the people that you hire and you work, they respect you for what you say, what you do. Not two people, one person. Designate the people below you to be the second, third and fourth, not you.


ROY: And that's whenever Dale took the power. You got a ramrod. And I have told many, many people today you only need one boss. You work at it hard and you'll have people that'll follow you. And you be good to these people.

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