For our Father’s Day #NALPstories series, we talked to Jennifer Lemcke COO of Weed Man USA about working with her father CEO Roger Mongeon.
What has Jennifer learned about business from her dad?
– Creating a win/win
– Always trust but make sure you’re always measuring
– Always give feedback
– Be true to yourself and who you are
– Never jeopardize integrity
My dad has always taught me that, man or woman, always make yourself the best person available for the job. Always be training your replacement. This has been a good strategy for me – it’s why I love cross training and getting people involved in projects.
What has she taught her dad?
I called him to ask! He admires the way I interact with people, the fact that I am a great listener, and that I attract good people to our organization.
How are their personalities similar? Different?
We are both very results-driven/process-driven, we love working with people and we are innovative. We are different in that my father is very slow and analytical, and I’m more fast-paced and motivated by energy.
Do you ever catch yourself doing something and think, “I’m just like my dad”?
I’m very much in the school of thought that there are always solutions to every problem. The idea that something can’t be done annoys me to no end, and I know my dad thinks exactly the same way. When there’s a problem in front of you, you need to attack it with positivity. Innovation is always at the forefront of our minds.
How well do they work together?
We work very well together due to a mutual respect we have for one another. First of all, it stems from the business plan, which we’ve always built together. I’m not worried about what he’s thinking, and he’s not worried about what I’m thinking, because we’ve built the plan together. So we’re always aligned with where we want to go.
Was there any ever expectation that you would work in the business?
No, there wasn’t. In fact, I was in political science at the University of Ottawa and my husband was in Criminology. We never expected to be part of the business. My dad gave us the choice on whether or not we wanted to join. We had obviously seen over the fence that he was able to build wealth and succeed, so when he asked us to join we just knew it was a great opportunity and a good fit. He had already proven success, so it was kind of like walking into a proven success story.
What is the key to keeping work and home separate?
We don’t. I guess it would be important to keep it separate if we both didn’t love what we do, but we love the people and the business and the opportunity it’s creating. It’s fun to talk about around the dinner table! But, when I need a dad, I know that I can always shift and he’ll provide me with another type of guidance outside of work.
What father/daughter duo (real or fiction) do you admire most?
There isn’t anyone that comes to mind, but I love the concept. When I look out into our industry and I see people like Kelly and Maurice Dowell that have built a successful family business, it inspires me to build on that within our Weed Man organization. We’ve had the good fortune of having several father/daughter and father/son teams at Weed Man, including Kim Klusman and Bill Berg, Kelley and Mike Ward, the Hillenmeyer family, the Kurths, the Cundiffs, and many others. It’s great to see a parent starting or leaving a legacy for their children.
What is the best piece of advice your dad has taught you personally and professionally?
I think that on a professional level it would be, “Always make yourself available and help your employees be the best they can be.” This has served me well because I have been lucky enough to keep my employees for the long term. On a personal level,
“Always treat people with respect and remember that actions speak louder than words.”