Episode 86 – Andy Crossman, Journeys DDA
The Great of the Greats
Some of us dream of one day being the boss of where we work, Andy Crossman made that happen. 10 years ago when he started working for Journeys DDA he had no idea that he'd own the business, but that's exactly what happened.
“In hindsight, it looks like my whole life had been preparing me for this,” Andy said. Andy explained that he has a brother with developmental disabilities and they grew up in a small town where there were limited resources to be able to meet his needs. As a result, his parents decided to open their home to others with special needs and care for them. “I grew up in this congregate setting environment and helping to care for my brother,” Andy explained.
Andy originally studied business and marketing and worked in automotive sales. After Andy's wife pointed out to him the work he was suited for wasn't in car sales, his life brought him to Journeys and he's been there ever since.
Journeys serves special needs children and adults across Idaho by offering several different programs and by teaching behavioral management.
When asked about hiring the right individuals for the Journeys population Andy replied, “This isn't an industry for most people. Not that it's too physically taxing, it's emotionally difficult. It takes stretching yourself, leaving your comfort zone, breaking down those barriers and preconceived notions, and seeing people for their potential.” Hiring the right kind of person is important. One with patience, compassion, and who is caring.
Andy is clear to share that Journeys not only works to help their clients but also their employees through behavior management. Effective behavior change is applicable to everyone and their staff benefits from learning it in their own lives too.
Andy says that his personal experience with his older brother has helped to shape the decisions that he makes with Journeys. “I like to think that's the benchmark for our services. Is this somewhere where I'd like Eric to go? Is this an activity I'd want him to do? Is this staff I would want working with him? That really helps us get past dollars and ratios. Ultimately it's would this work for Eric?”
Being mission and value-driven is central to Journeys and stays the center of decisions that are made. Andy explained that Journeys has had many opportunities to grow and change over the years and the values have been their anchor point to make decisions and keep them focused on their purpose.
Journeys has certainly grown over the years is now has over 400 employees. Andy says the ability to maintain quality and the expectation of the level of service is always a concern.”We try to hire from within whenever we can. Once they embrace our culture we know they are ready for the next step,” Andy said.
Andy's advice to those who may be in a situation to purchase the business they are working for includes standing out so you can be noticed and then being brave enough to have the conversation. “Once you can stand out don't be afraid to have that conversation. For me, it was being a person that the owner trusted and me mustering up the courage to have that conversation with her one day. Here I am, owning the company.”
Andy is committed to continued growth and is a prolific reader. He feels that this is key to his success. “In life, it's so easy to just settle, it's so easy to take those steps back or not go forward. I found for me personally the only way I can stay motivated is by continuing to read, continuing to grow and continuing to hang out with people who are far more successful than me.”
For more information on Journeys, please visit their website at https://www.journeysdda.com/.
Business Leadership Moment
Have you ever received a bad review or gotten some snarky comments on a post? Did it hurt? Was it the only thing you could think about all day? Why do we do that when in contrast we have a plethora of positive reviews? Renae discusses this and how standing out to be a target isn't a bad thing!