Leading Through Uncertain times

It’s no joke.  We are living through some of the most uncertain and unsettling times many of us have ever experienced.  And it’s also no joke that the burden for leaders to, well lead, is needed now as much as ever.  To be able to stay focused on what’s important, remain calm, take appropriate action and help others do the same is critical to the long term success of the organizations, departments or the work teams we are a part of.

In renowned leadership expert John Maxwell’s blog post Leading Through Frightening Times , he provides practical and common sense guidance on how best to lead through the times we find ourselves in.

Here’s a brief Summary of Maxwell’s main points.

  1. Be a visible presence.  Your presence, physically, mentally and emotionally can do a lot to curb the fear and uncertainty that your team may be experiencing.  Don’t hide away behind closed doors.  That does nothing to foster the confidence camaraderie your people need.
  2. Acknowledge the fear, but don’t empower it.  Our job as leaders is to define reality.  However, stick to the facts.  Don’t over blow the situation.  We’re all getting enough of that from everyday media.
  3. Paint a brighter picture. Be forward thinking.  All things will pass.  Point towards the future and how things will be better and how we all we be stronger as a result of our present trial and challenges.
  4. Be cautious with predictions, but generous with hope.  As you point to the future, remember, you can’t predict with 100% certainty what will happen.  But you can think of others first and help them through to a better future.  Be thankful for each day, praise the good work of others, be generous with your interactions. Hope is the fuel that helps people move foward.

When fear and uncertainty seem to rule the everyday messages we all are constantly bombarded with.  Maxwell offers a dose of sanity for those of us responsible for keeping things together, getting the job done and moving forward in the most productive, safe and thriving way possible.

Stay safe, do all you can to stay healthy and move forward with a clear, accurate and hopeful attitude.  What you say and do matters.  Faithfulness to your duty will reap rewards that lesser leaders will never know.  This too shall pass.  Keep the faith.

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Four States Gasket COVID-19 Update

Dear Valued Customer.
We at Four States Gasket & Rubber want to let all our customers know that we are taking all government and local precautions regarding the COVID-19 virus. Keeping our employees, customers and communities safe and healthy is a top priority at all times, and even more so during times like these.
We are very thankful to say at this time all employees are healthy and we are operating at full capacity at both Farmington, NM and Brighton, CO facilities. Both facilities are open normal business hours 7am to 5pm and can fully serve the gasket and sealing of all customers. We are also working closely with our manufactures daily to avoid any delays or shipping problems that may arise during this time. As updates affecting our day to day operations, or any delay that may cause problems supplying product arise, we will keep all customers posted as soon as possible.
Four States Gasket & Rubber thanks all our loyal customers and we want to let you know we are here and can take care of any needs you may have. Contacts for both offices are below if you have any questions, need to request a quote, or order placement.
Farmington, NM-  (505) 325-9806
Brighton, CO- (303) 655-8315
Please contact paula@fourstatesgasket.com with any AR/AP needs you may have for both locations
Thank you for your continued support and please stay healthy
 Scott Blades
Owner / General manager


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I Need a Round Gasket with Holes In It?

Like any service oriented business, fluid sealing companies, which include your local gasket shops, work hard to provide great customer service, professional fluid sealing advice and “right-now” gasket fabrication. Taken as a whole service package, this is one of the top advantages of having a great working relationship with your local gasket shop.

The variety of fluid sealing problems that customers bring into a gasket shop cover a wide range of gasket materials, shapes, sizes and applications. On a regular basis a customer will walk in and ask if we can make them a gasket for a piece of equipment immediately. When asked about the dimensions or for more information on the gasket they need they’ll say something like, “you know,” “it is a round gasket with holes in it.” Since there are many gaskets that are round with holes in them, that description doesn’t help. Everyone ends up frustrated.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a gasket made, before you walk into your local gasket shop it helps if you have the information needed to fabricate or select the right gasket for you. A simple way to gather the info needed is to follow The S.T.A.M.P. method.

The S.T.A.M.P. Method

S. – Size. What are the physical dimensions of the gasket you require. If the gasket is an odd shape, bringing in a sample is helpful. In addition, knowing what thickness of! material you need would help too.

T. – Temperature. What is the minimum and maximum temperatures the gasket will have to withstand.

A. – Application. What type of equipment will the gasket go on. I.E., pumps, valves, mixers, vessels, engines, dehydrators, etc.

M. – Media What are you trying seal? If you guess at this one your gasket provider will be guessing as to what will work for you.

P. – Pressure. What is the operating pressure you expect the gasket to hold up to?

S. – Speed. This applies to rotating equipment. What is the shaft speed in fpm?

If you have the answers to the above applicable questions for your needs, your gasket provider has everything they’ll need to supply you with the right gasket for the job.

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Over the years, metal gaskets have become one of the most popular style gaskets to be used.  Once properly installed they hold up under some of the toughest applications across a variety of industries.  They perform consistently well earning both maintenance and operating personals confidence.  Of course, all of this is determined by the proper handling of the gasket prior to installation.   Quite often when a metal gasket fails, it fails somewhere between after being purchased and at the job site before installation.

A result of Careless handling

A result of Careless handling

After hearing about and actually seeing a number of “broken” gaskets here are the top 3 ways you can destroy your spiral wound gasket before you get a chance to use them

  1. Through them in the back of your pick up right after you purchase them. This always seems to surprise people when they show up at their job site and the gasket windings are all over the back of the truck looking like a giant slinky.
  2. Loosely package them for a long journey in a makeshift card board box. Yep, they can only take a certain amount of bouncing, pounding, and jostling around before the windings come undone.  Surprise!
  3. Lastly and I’m sure it’s not the least, bang them around your shop or work site. Even though these gaskets are made out of metal, they weren’t meant to be carelessly handled.  I recently received a call from a somewhat panicked mechanic whose last metal gasket sprung.   Miss handling the gasket in the shop was the culprit.

Avoid handling spiral wound gaskets like I mention above and you stand a great chance of actually using them as intended.

What work practice have you implemented to avoid damaging spiral wound gaskets before you get a chance to install them?

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Silicon – The Other High Temperature Elastomer

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