Category Archives: Top 5

Top 5 Tips to Infuse Creativity into Your Work Life

Creative thinking and unique ideas are important in almost every job at L&P, yet it’s easy to feel uninspired in the middle of a busy day. We reached out to Marketing + Creative employees Sandi Longman (Interior Designer), Scott Clark (Creative Director), and Cody Langford (Art Director – Commercial Products) for their Top 5 Tips on infusing more creativity into your work life.

1. Plan time to think. All three agreed — it is crucial to allow yourself time to explore a variety of directions at the start of a project. Each new idea will inspire another and the best solution will eventually reveal itself.

2. Carry a sketchbook, notebook, or journal. According to Cody, it can be helpful to physically write your thoughts or notes down. “Making your ideas visual helps to get them out of your head and allows you time to process while you do other things.”

3. Set the mood. For a relaxed, creative space, lighting is key. “I reduce the overhead lights and add a couple of lamps to create a warmer atmosphere,” Sandi says. “This creates a more comfortable environment. You’ll feel as if you’re in your own home office instead of a corporate setting.”

4. Surround yourself with creativity. Access to interesting objects can inspire imaginative thinking. “I personally enjoy my collection of kitschy objects, vintage electronics, and business attire. There is so much inspiration in a $3 suit of polyester glory,” says Scott. A visible mood board can also inspire, adds Sandi. “Pinning up cutouts or pictures that trigger certain feelings or emotions always helps.”

5. Brainstorm! Gather a team and unleash everyone’s ideas onto a whiteboard. Input from a coworker during a brainstorm session can turn into a promising option or new direction. This list is a great example.

Top 5 Tips to Retirement Readiness

Whether you’re 55 or 25, saving for your retirement should be on your mind. As our Qualified Benefits Manager, Cathy Johns advocates for retirement readiness at L&P. Here are her Top 5 Tips toward retiring comfortably.

1. Start somewhere. It’s funny how the most critical tip is also the simplest. If you’re not yet saving for retirement, just start somewhere. Nobody else is saving for you! Even a minimal effort to start is better than nothing.

2. Maximize your match. Many companies offer contribution matching programs, so contribute at a level that allows you to receive the most match you can. Don’t walk away from free money!

3. Choose your investments. While lots of programs have default investment options, you don’t always have to go with them. Evaluate your risk tolerance and choose which investment options are right for you.

4. Name your beneficiaries. This isn’t too difficult to do, but it’s very important. Naming your beneficiaries can also bring you (and your loved ones) peace of mind.

5. Continually monitor and budget. Saving for retirement probably shouldn’t be a “set it and forget it” event. We recommend periodically examining your situation and altering your budget for the ups and downs life brings. Then, you can fine-tune and adjust the amount you’re saving as you go.

Top 5 Fun Facts About Our Founders

You already know that Leggett and Platt created an incredible company, but did you know they were also highly-respected community leaders? Here are our top 5 facts about the duo who started it all.

1. Joseph (J.P.) Leggett was the child of immigrant parents. After leaving England, his father became a prominent citizen in Pennsylvania and secured Joseph’s early education at the Millville Seminary – knowledge he surely drew upon throughout his life as an inventor and businessman. As a young man, Joseph worked in St. Louis for several years before moving to Carthage, MO.

2. Cornelius Platt was an (actual) pioneer. At the age of 10, he and his family traveled from Iowa to Carthage in a covered wagon to become one of the town’s early settlers. His father, a blacksmith, started C.D. Platt Plow Works – where the first coiled bedsprings were produced in 1883.

3. They were born entrepreneurs! Leggett and Platt knew their sales market was limited in Carthage, so they decided to hit the road. After loading a horse-drawn wagon with bedsprings they traveled to nearby towns, drawing crowds as they assembled springs and slats on the spot.

4. They were civic leaders too. Both men were very active in the Carthage community. Leggett served as City Mayor from 1906 to 1912. He was also President of the Bank of Carthage and the Jasper County Fair Association. Platt served as Director of the Bank of Carthage and was President of the Board of Public Works from 1908 to 1929.

5. They loved life. Leggett spent much of his “spare” time inventing. He held patents for many ideas including a tea kettle lid, an endless necktie, and an automobile propelling system that was a predecessor of today’s front-wheel drive systems. He was also known as an avid hunter and fisherman. Platt loved to golf at the Broadview Country Club and was devoted to his church. He also owned Platt-Porter Co., a wholesale grocer best known for their fresh roasted coffee!

Top 5 Tips for Presenting to a Group

You may not find yourself behind a microphone on a regular basis. However, it’s just as important to have great presentation skills when you’re presenting to your own circles of influence.

Hi, we’re the Communications Team. We’ve witnessed a wide variety of presentation styles over the years. Here are our Top 5 tips on how to be a more effective presenter.

1. Be Prepared. Practice, but don’t cram. Nerves can kick in whether you’re speaking to a large audience or a small, informal committee. Go over your notes until you’re comfortable with the material and can speak to it with confidence. An overly polished presentation can lose authenticity though — be sure to find a good balance.

2. Bring your personality out to play. Your audience will be more engaged if you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the project or topic. Personal anecdotes or humor can be great tools for maintaining attention too. Lose the note cards and just be yourself.

3. Stay positive. The audience is your friend.

4. Look at people, not your slides. Make eye contact with as many people as you can. A good rule of thumb is a gaze of 3-5 seconds before shifting to the next friendly face. This makes them feel both important and included.

5. Breathe. Relax and pause when you need to collect your thoughts. Oxygen is essential.

Top 5 Ways to Develop Your Professional Self

When it comes to navigating a career, Alissa Owsley really knows her stuff.

As Director of Learning & Development, she spends every day creating and improving training opportunities here at L&P. We asked her to share her Top 5 tips to develop yourself professionally. Here are her thoughts:

1. Be the boss! If you’re waiting for your manager or the company to hand you development opportunities on a golden platter, you’ve already failed. No one cares more about your professional growth than you. Stop waiting, grab the steering wheel, and be the boss of your own career development!

2. Get comfortable with discomfort. True change happens outside of your comfort zone. If you want to develop professionally, you’re going to have to face a little discomfort. Challenge yourself to take on tasks or assignments that stretch the limits of your abilities.

3. Build a social network. No, I don’t mean jumping on Facebook. There is a deep, abiding truth to the saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” If you stay in your office, and eat with the same people every day in the cafeteria, you’re going to go nowhere fast. Put your name and face in the minds of influencers.

4. Slide sideways. Gone are the days where career advancement means climbing an invisible ladder. Be open to lateral moves. Experience is invaluable wherever it may be found.

5. Get a coach. We all have blind spots when it comes to our own abilities and attitude. Find someone you trust to coach you on the road to professional development. We all need another set of eyes to navigate the career obstacles in our path.

Top 5 Reasons We’re Introducing a Top 5 Series

1. Because we like lists around here! List-making is our love language, so twice per month, we’ll post a new Top 5 list – Top 5 Ways to Make Your Resume Shine, Top 5 Tips to Save for Retirement, Top 5 Fun Facts about L&P’s Founders… just to name a few.

2. Because we’ll share perspectives from subject matter experts. With each Top 5, we’ll talk to L&P employees who really know their stuff. Expect to learn from the best of the best – from all pockets of the company.

3. Because we want you to pick up some handy tips. We’re talking to all you lifelong learners out there.

4. Because we hope you’ll learn something new about L&P. We’re a global manufacturer turning ordinary materials into extraordinary products. And we’ve got quite a story to tell.

5. Because a Top 5 is fun! And we think 2019 is the perfect year to have fun. Stay tuned!