By Stephanie Davis Goad
Jon Anderson, also known as coach, psychologist, cheerleader, principal, banker, and accountant, wears multiple hats as operations manager of Metro Builders Supply in Joplin, a major retailer of appliances.
From product support to delivery assistance to solving problems, he fills in the holes whenever there’s a need.
“Wherever we lack, I help the employees make the most of the customers coming in…. If the guys are really busy, I’ll be out delivering. It will be a hundred degrees and we’ll be out delivering and hauling ranges up three flights of stairs,” says Anderson.
He does all of the ordering and buying for the company, pays the bills, and oversees customer service.
“We always try to make the best decision for the customers,” he says, “because they are why we are in business.”
Anderson arrives at 7 a.m. and works until 5 p.m., sometimes later. And, he works hard on company time. But, when he closes up shop and heads out at the end of the day, rather than taking work home with him, he takes on a completely different life.
Quitting time is definitely not a time to quit for Anderson. It’s his time to play hard, and he does many activities outside of work that keep him just as busy as his day job.
Boxer by night, golfer on weekends, and hunter by season, the 38-year-old father of three boys says his eclectic mix of interests lowers his stress levels and helps him to better perform at his job.
Boxing is something Anderson started last December, following his September divorce. Boxing was a good stress reliever, and it allowed him to spend more quality time with his boys, who have also grown to love the sport.
“I was used to being with them and seeing them every day, and then to not see them was really hard,” he says. “It was a way to spend two hours a night, three nights a week together. Boxing is a great activity.”
He says boxing keeps the body in shape and teaches discipline, two things needed in his job. He says there’s no feeling like it.
“When you step in the ring and the bell goes off, it’s a huge sense of rush. You have adrenalin pumping, you sweat …you get hit a few times and it clears the cobwebs. The first three minutes seem like an eternity and you can’t go run and hide. You have to stand on your own two feet, toe to toe with your opponent. When the bell rings, you wipe the sweat and blood off and go again.”
He adds that the tension of boxing stays inside the ropes at the end of the night.
“Outside the ring there are no hard feelings. I’ve learned respect, and I’ve learned discipline. You’re not in there to kill one another. It is a sport. I have a lot of respect for the guys that do that.”
Boxing is just one activity Anderson fits into his already busy lifestyle. He also plays golf, hunts, fishes and scuba dives.
He’s been golfing since age six, and he hunts about anything that’s legal to hunt, including deer, turkey, ducks, geese, and, beginning this October, elk.
“How many people can say they were in a tree stand watching a bear circle, below?” he asks, pointing to the bearskin rug adorning his office wall, along with other stuffed creatures he’s collected from past hunting trips.
“I just love being outside. There are no cell phones, no worries of the world, you just get to see what God made and then you get to go out and enjoy it. I just like to go out and watch nature and be a part of it and interact with it.”
He’s a certified scuba diver and is two tests away from becoming a dive master. He says it’s another activity to keep his life full and interesting.
“Sometimes you get stuck in rut, but when you get to break out and do all these other things, it makes it so much more fun. You get a fresh look, recharge your batteries, and you have a better outlook on work and the way you handle people and customers, and then you look forward to next time you get to go do these other activities, whether it’s hitting a golf ball, hitting the heavy bag or climbing up in a tree with a bow,” he says.
Deidra Sluder, a saleswoman at Metro Builders, says Anderson does a great job incorporating skills from his extracurricular activities into the workplace.
“I think they are all good stress relievers for him. I like how he incorporates hunting in his office.”
She says the employees seem to benefit from his personal life, too, since their boss stays more relaxed.
“It makes for a really nice work environment. As a boss he’s great. He’s very understanding. He knows that family is first, and that is hard to find. He’s a great human being, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss. He’s a good egg.”
When you ask how he would describe himself, Anderson, just grins, pats his blond, spiky hair and says, “I’m a father, businessman and sportsman with a ‘Rascal Flatts look,’” referring to his look-alike, the lead singer of the country music group Rascal Flatts.
By Stephanie Davis Goad
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