Taking a Leap of Faith

How a Virtual Company Leveraged Their Team for Excellent Results

Have you ever thought about quitting your job and taking the time to discover what you should do with your life? Many entertain the possibility, but few are willing to take that leap of faith. (And we’re not necessarily recommending it!)

Bruce Thrush, however, is one who made that leap of faith. He left his position as a successful executive with a Fortune 500 company, and struck out to re-learn how to live the good life.

The Ah-ha! Moment

A man’s identity and his career can be inextricably intertwined. Men are often judged by the work they do, and the income they provide their family. Changing the path of one’s life is risky, in both the perceived loss of identity and the corresponding loss of income. “I realized that being a good provider is a place for a man to hide. It’s kind of a lie,” said Bruce. “I rationalized and justified sacrificing enormous amounts of time for the work—while I missed out on so much with my family.”

Norsk-1Bruce’s wife and three daughters had become used to the status quo. Bruce was often out of the country on business, and when he was at home, he worked long hours. He experienced a wake-up call when tried to shift his corporate role—to reclaim his family life–and found it to be next to impossible. That situation catapulted him into a soul-searching sabbatical that would change his life, and the lives of his family, forever.

“All those years climbing the corporate ladder came at a cost. The financial rewards were not enough to counterbalance the unmet emotional and spiritual needs of my family. Setting healthy boundaries was difficult,” Bruce recalls. “So, I made a covenant to adjust my focus onto things that were eternal. I quit my job, sold my home and began a year-long journey to find my true calling.”

“The first three months were like detox!”

Bruce used his newly acquired free time to work with his church’s men’s ministry. He notes, “I recognized God had given me this season, and I didn’t know how long it would last. I felt great compassion for the men I saw running on the treadmill of life. It was a challenge because men don’t connect relationally. Because I was very raw and vulnerable, I found I could touch the hearts of men in a real and emotional way. They could call and ask for my time to meet about their personal and spiritual problems.” It was a transformational season for us all.”

Nearing the end of the allocated sabbatical year, a vacation on the island of Hawaii brought clarity. “I spent time reading the Bible and thinking about my purpose. Then, I read an article in Fastnorsk-2 Company about virtual corporations, and it opened my mind. I felt empowered and directed to create a new company. I prayed over the business plan I’d created. I wanted to be sure that I would honor God, my wife and my daughters. I felt a sense of humility,” he said.

“I had a thirst to create something of tremendous value that was fun and dynamic.”

“I was a one-man shop in the early days. A big shift happened when my primary customer decided not to buy the products any longer, which forced me to find new markets. Ironically, that’s when the business really took off,” Bruce said. And NORSK was born. Not just a nod to Bruce’s heritage, the word ‘NORSK’ also alludes to the Scandinavian concept of innovative design, and simple elegance.

NORSK is a virtual company, with vendors, customers and team members all over the world. Their products include innovative, high-quality automotive, flooring, hardware storage and sporting goods for residential and commercial applications. The company’s customers include The Home Depot, Menard’s, Walmart, Sears, K-Mart and Amazon.com. NORSK has become a terrific, successful business.

norsk-3Now, the challenge was how to get everyone on the same page. Bruce recalls, “I met Joe Calhoon when he spoke at a Convene meeting, and was attracted to him as a person. I felt Joe was a good fit. His focus on organizational health and development is my passion. My MBA education at Pepperdine University was packed with complexities. He took the vast concept of strategic planning and removed all the complexities. It was like Strategic Planning for Dummies! He made it so people without MBA’s can wrap their arms around the information. I was intrigued by that.”

With Joe on Board, Bruce gathered his team members from the USA, Asia, Mexico and South America for a meeting that has had lasting impact on their business. Together, they employed the PriorityAdvantage™ system and its tools to improve Norsk’s people, productivity, and, ultimately, its profits.

A Defining Moment

“I know I am driven, and I can be demanding. I sometimes feel like I run around with my hair on fire, leaving a trail of debris,” Bruce said. “I had an ah-ha! moment when reviewing the Organizational Health Assessment (OHA),” just one of the tools Joe folded into the team’s work sessions. I saw that my people believed ‘this company really cares about the people involved.’” Bruce had successfully created the antithesis of what he had left behind in the corporate world.

“We developed Vision, Mission, Values, Objectives, Strategies and Priorities for each of us. We set, achieve and celebrate progress on our most important priorities every month. This creates a culture of celebration, learning and accountability,” said Bruce. “I learned that because of the high-trust environment we cultivate, people want to perform. And NORSK continues to increase joy at work through our high-trust relationships.

“Creating a culture where team members serve each other and the customer with care and passion leads to better top-line and bottom-line results. Jesus modeled God’s economy by investing in people through servant leadership and a multiplication model that belies traditional thought.

“Joe Calhoon’s facilitation of the Organizational Health Assessment and other personal discovery tools empowered our team members to embrace that ‘through God all things are possible.’ Much to their surprise, our strategic planning sessions became more about their personal growth, talents, and gifting and less about how to increase my personal net worth as a business owner. If you are genuine and authentic in how you treat and care for your employees, sales and profitability have a way or taking care of themselves.”

Keep this book of law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
— Joshua 1:8