Meet James Millsap — Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Director

At L&P, we’re on a journey to make meaningful change in our company through inclusion, diversity, and equity (ID&E), and we’re excited for you to meet our ID&E Director – James Millsap (Millsap)!

Millsap

What brought you to L&P?

I’ve been an ID&E practitioner for many years, and I was in the manufacturing space before my time with Leggett & Platt. However, a desire to grow my career brought me to L&P, and I have received a very warm welcome.

Tell us about your role as ID&E Director. What are you looking forward to, and why is ID&E important to you?

Overall, I look at ID&E as a pretty big contributing factor to employee engagement and the employee experience. I want to work with everyone at L&P to create a company where we can all thrive, and I’m looking forward to helping our company continue this journey and decide what’s the next right move for us.

I am relentlessly optimistic about aiming for a top-tier employee experience for all. I believe we can do this when we live out our values – when we work together to take ownership and raise the bar for what’s possible.

What’s something interesting about you?

I can quote Disney’s Aladdin almost word for word.

L&P Global Initiative: Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Training

Leggett & Platt is committed to employee safety and well-being. Part of that commitment is preparing our team members to act in emergencies. L&P has been on an ongoing mission to equip each facility with an AED machine and train our team members to use the devices.

Since the inception of our global initiative in 2023, we have made progress in equipping each of our facilities with AED devices. At the start, we had 56 AED machines across our branches worldwide. Today, this number has grown to 175, which is a testament to our collective commitment to safety.

The success of this initiative is thanks to our operations, which recognized the importance of AEDs. In emergency situations, the first few minutes are critical. For every minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival reduces by approximately 10 percent. Having an AED and knowing how to use it can mean the difference between life and death. Statistics show that if AEDs are used alongside Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), the probability of survival increases to 75 percent.

“This global initiative aims to protect our employees and train our partners to use these devices anywhere, which could fundamentally save lives, including in our local communities,” says William Wright, Manager, EHS Europe.

Dave Bumpus, Senior Director of EHS, agrees: “This initiative is representative of our values—to put people first, do great work together, do the right thing, take ownership, and raise the bar.”

AED and CPR/Safety Training

Our employees have been working hard to learn how to use AEDs safely and effectively and administer CPR. We want to share pictures from our teams globally.

L&P Brasil

Guadalajara, Mexico

Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC), India

Shanghai, China

LPGS, China

L&P Jiaxing

Chieng Yeng, China

Pacoma Ningbo, China

Corporate Headquarters, US

We are so proud of our teams for putting people first!

You Belong at L&P

Belonging is more than a feeling – it’s a space we create between us. It’s knowing that we’re welcome at L&P and there’s a place for more than our skills. There’s room for who we are.

As many of our colleagues and communities around the world celebrate and lift up the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, we join them by reaffirming that you belong here. We commit to strengthening workplaces that create space for everyone, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Supporting The Trevor Project

Pride Month is also a time to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. At L&P, we made a monetary contribution to The Trevor Project – the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. Because they are often stigmatized in society, LGBTQ+ youth have an increased risk of dying by suicide when compared to their peers.

Learning More During Pride Month

If you’d like to learn more about LGBTQ+ history, experiences, and supporting LGBTQ+ colleagues, check out the following resources:

Safety & Belonging at L&P

At L&P, safety – both physical and psychological – is a top priority.

We’re committed to creating safe workplaces, and we’re very proud of our teams around the world for putting people first. They prioritize safety, care for one another, and create an inclusive environment of mutual respect, empathy, and belonging.

This month on L&P social, we’re excited to share content and stories related to safety and belonging with you!

Wellness Spotlight: Lance Gooder

Throughout May, we’re sharing tips for promoting wellbeing. This week, we’re spotlighting financial wellbeing with Lance Gooder, Senior Financial Analyst at L&P!

Lance joined L&P 11 years ago as an intern in the Internal Audit Department, working various roles there for four years before transitioning to the Treasury Department. We asked him to share about his role and some tips for staying financially healthy.

What do you do as a Senior Financial Analyst?

Lance

My primary responsibilities revolve around:

  • cash flow and consolidated financial statement forecasting
  • analyzing balance sheet currency exposures and developing a mitigation plan for the exposure risk
  • completing regular reviews of treasury-related company metrics and providing executive/board-level reporting on those metrics
  • calculating intercompany lending terms/rates

I also provide a supporting role in many back-office treasury functions, such as vendor approvals, payment set-up/approvals, derivative and currency trade settlements, and various bank account admin functions. I help with any ad-hoc projects or initiatives in the department with a specific focus on working capital or financial data analysis.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

With the size of our department, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of treasury-related tasks. In most large corporations, treasury personnel get pigeonholed into one or two related functions. The benefit of working for a company of L&P’s size is that I get to dabble in a little bit of everything – from something as complex as currency derivatives to as simple as approving payments.

While my role provides a general cadence, there’s always unique and challenging experiences. I had a passion for math, finance, and accounting early on, and a little bit of a creative side as well. I’m lucky in that I’ve found a career that calls for the right balance of “science” and “art” for me.   

Do you have some favorite financial tips to share with our colleagues?

I can think of a couple:

First, don’t underestimate the power of compounding or time value of money. This can apply both on the savings and debt side. It doesn’t require an astronomical return to generate a large amount of wealth over time. A lot of people are looking for a quick way to double or triple an investment, and the reality is that there are very few of those opportunities out there. Don’t let that discourage you though, because a steady cadence of contributions with just a slightly positive return will morph into a meaningful amount that will surprise you over time. Similarly on the debt side, regular usage of interest earning debt with little payment toward a principal balance can quickly turn into a difficult obstacle to overcome.

The second is one that I think is important for living a full life: think of money as the tool, not the goal. Set objectives for yourself or your business, and then figure out how to come up with capital needed to accomplish it. Whether it’s buying a house, expanding a new product line, paying for an education, or buying a toaster, determine what you want to accomplish and then identify how much you need to get there. If you’re constantly looking to just grow your cash balance, you’ll never have enough, and you’ll miss a lot of enjoyment along the way.

Do you have any advice for staying financially healthy throughout different life stages?

This may sound cliché, but the first and biggest step is just setting up and maintaining a budget. Understand what your inflows and outflows are and operate within them.

For those who are a little more advanced, don’t be afraid of debt or leverage – understand it. Leverage can be a useful tool for accomplishing your objectives, but it is critical to understand the risk and potential return of what you’re spending that leverage on.

We appreciate Lance for sharing his personal tips for staying financially healthy. We encourage everyone to do their own research and consult a trusted financial advisor when making financial decisions.

Supporting Wellbeing at Work: Addressing Imposter Syndrome

This month, we’ve been sharing content related to promoting wellbeing. One way to promote emotional wellbeing is to raise awareness of imposter syndrome in our work lives.

Imposter syndrome occurs when an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments despite genuine success. Many people who experience imposter syndrome feel like fakes or phonies and that their achievements are based on good fortune or timing instead of their own effort and hard work.

Imposter Syndrome can significantly impact how we perceive our work, self-worth, and social interactions with colleagues and peers. A study found that 75% of female executives surveyed reported experiencing imposter syndrome. 53% of female professionals between the ages of 25-34 are currently experiencing imposter syndrome. And it affects not only our work lives but also our personal lives and relationships. 70% of adults will experience feelings of imposter syndrome at some point in their lifetime.

We can overcome imposter syndrome by understanding its prevalence, cultivating compassion for ourselves and others, and sharing our experiences to raise awareness.

Here are a few ways you can address imposter syndrome:

Acknowledge it: Many successful people struggle with imposter syndrome. You are not alone. Recognizing and sharing your feelings with others helps normalize it.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: When you start to experience self-doubt, ask yourself whether these thoughts are valid. Are they rooted in evidence?

Practice Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Everyone has setbacks, but it doesn’t define you.

View Criticism as an Opportunity for Growth: Many people who experience imposter syndrome are perfectionists. Understand perfection is unattainable, and when you receive feedback, it’s an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Track Achievements and Celebrate Progress: Keep a record of praise and accomplishments. When you are experiencing self-doubt, reflect on these achievements and praise. Reward yourself whenever you combat those feelings of self-doubt and realize that progress proves your hard work.

Sources: PR Newswire and Forbes

Co-workers Embrace Sustainability and Wellbeing by Biking to Work

Henry Grice and Jim West at Leggett & Platt Flooring Products in Houston, Mississippi, have found a unique way to promote sustainability while nurturing their mental and physical health. Henry and Jim often bike to work along the Tanglefoot Trail. 

The Tanglefoot Trail is Mississippi’s longest “Rails to Trails” conversion that preserved an abandoned railroad corridor by transforming it into recreational trails. The trail runs right behind our flooring facility.

“Every little bit counts when it comes to saving money, reducing wear and tear on our vehicles, and working in a small way to conserve the environment,” said Jim. “The bonus is that it helps us enjoy nature while remaining mentally and physically healthy and environmentally conscious.”

Let’s Talk Global Intercultural Dialogue

May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – a day to celebrate cultural diversity and highlight the importance of intercultural dialogue! 🌍

At L&P, we do great work together by encouraging connection and the open exchange of perspectives and ideas between teams around the world. It’s how we build understanding, unite above our differences, and stay innovative.

Judith Kuhn, HR Director – Specialized Products Europe & Global HR Lead – Hydraulics, shared a quick tip and resource for collaborating across cultures more effectively. She said we can start by being aware of cultural differences – how we communicate, manage time, make decisions, and lead differently – and pointed us to an introduction of Erin Meyer’s eight-scale Culture Map to learn more.

For more information on collaborating across cultures, check out Erin Meyer’s book called The Culture Map.

Supporting Wellbeing at Work: Staying Hydrated for a Happier, Healthier You

This month on L&P social, we are spotlighting ways to promote wellbeing.

One important aspect of physical health is staying hydrated. Staying hydrated isn’t just about quenching your thirst – it’s a powerful tool for maintaining productivity, focus, and vitality throughout the workday.

The Benefits of Hydration

Boosted Energy Levels – Dehydration can lead to feeling tired and sluggish. Staying hydrated helps maintain energy throughout the day.

Reduces Stress – Dehydration can affect your mood. Staying hydrated helps maintain cortisol, the hormone responsible for feeling stressed.

Promotes Sharper Focus – Your brain functions better when hydrated, supporting cognitive processes, memory, and decision-making. 

Improves Skin and Physical Mobility – Water helps flush toxins from your body, creating youthful skin. In addition, hydration helps prevent muscle cramps and supports joint health.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Set a goal: Keep a water bottle at your desk and set a goal for how many times you fill it throughout the day.
  • Flavor it: Many people have difficulty drinking water because it lacks taste. Add fruit such as lemon, lime, or strawberries to your water for a flavorful twist.
  • Eat Your Water: Foods like watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and spinach are nearly 100 percent water. Eating these foods helps maintain hydration.

Remember, hydration is self-care. Prioritize it, and you’ll notice positive changes in your work performance and overall wellbeing.