“There is something good in everything.”
I sat down with Glen Eberle, an Olympian, a former military-combat pilot, and founder and namesake of Boise-based Eberlestock, a company that designs, manufactures and sells a range of sporting gear and tactical gear for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and military tactical combat units. We we were discussing how his company almost collapsed due to a warehouse fire years ago. That fire left him with only a few smoke-scented inventory items. He and his wife packed those items up in their truck and left for Shot Show in Vegas — and came away with a considerable order that gave his company a new beginning.
In life, we’ll face adversity, challenges and events that can be crippling — if we let them. Glen rose above. He took a bad situation and made good from it.
And he learned from it. (Listen to the full interview on The Military Wire with Mike Schindler.)
One might say it’s easier for a former Olympian and combat pilot to overcome what life throws at us, but when you meet Glen –should you ever — you’ll find that he did what many humble, God-fearing leaders do: He pressed forward despite his situation because he knew he could make a difference.
The original roots of Glen’s company started with the radical design of Olympic-class biathlon racing rifles. And quickly moved to the design of a rifle-carrying pack, which was inspired during Glen’s time as an Olympic Biathlete in the 1980s. His rifle design was so forward-thinking that it is still the preferred design and weight of rifles used in Olympic biathlons today. That one event catapulted Glen into exploring ways to design performance into outdoor gear.
The company took shape back in 2003. Their signature product? Hunting packs with a unique rifle-carrying scabbard, a concept that was revolutionary when Eberle first invented it years ago. “These things didn’t exist until we did it,” he recalls.
He kept his eyes open for opportunity. The sport had been around long before Glen, but instead of settling for what was, he looked for a way to improve performance. He carries this same philosophy beyond his company and into his relationships — not necessarily how relationships “perform,” but the quality and value put into each relationship.
With Glen, performance and quality go together.
As leaders, when we adopt a philosophy like Glen’s, innovation takes place. New products are developed, new ideas to tackle old problems are born, and we move our relationships and organizations from status-quo to game changer status.
Today, Glen has been called a world-changer. He won’t necessarily take ownership of that title — but he will tell you that he will continue to be a pioneer and a leader, not a follower.
The world becomes better when each of us decides to stretch ourselves and think beyond our own boundaries and beliefs.
When we “keep our eyes open,” we just might be amazed at how we too can be a world-changer.
To learn more about the Eberlestock story, check out this video.
— By Mike Schindler
Edmonds resident Mike Schindler is the founder and chief executive officer of Operation Military Family Cares –– a 501(c)(3) veteran service organization and technology provider that combats veteran homelessness, while working to strengthen relationships and equip communities and families for succes