This is Phil Robertson, and he is the founder of Duck Commander. He singlehandley turned what was known as an unknown business into a multi-million dollar industry. But before we get into the corporate dynamics of the Duck Commander, lets talk a little bit about what Duck Calls are first.
Duck and Waterfowl hunting is about as old as the Republic itself, when sophisticated and accurate firearms allowed English settlers to effectively take down migrating birds. Duck meat is known all over the World for its fatty and tender consistency and amazing gamey flavor. If you have never eaten duck or goose before, I highly suggest you try it
During duck season, hunters from all over the areas come and build duck blinds in the grass. A duck blind is a man-made shelter that effectively shields a hunter from the sight and smell of ducks. Usually a pile of logs and grass will do. After securing some duck decoys in the water, the hunter and his dogs go and sit quietly in the blind.
These are duck calls, obviously I used the Duck Commander brand because so far its my favorite. A duck call simulates the sound of a duck quacking. After you get situated in your duck blind, you blow on your calls and this, along with the sight of the decoys, entices ducks to come and land on the water and chill for a little bit.
Eventually the ducks realize that you are full of balogna and they fly away. When they flay away, you stand up and shoot them. Once they fall out of the sky, your trusty dog goes and fetches them for you.
Dogs such as retrievers, pointers, and even poodles are excellent chioces for hunting companions. These are very good boys. The green headed ducks are males and the brown ones are the females.
It all started with Phil Robertson. Growing up with seven children in his family, hunting became a way to help feed his family when money was scarce. Eventually, he got a football scholarship to Louisiana Tech University where he played first string quarterback ahead of Terry Bradshaw.
After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical education and a Master’s in education, Phil taught for a couple years but realized it was not what he wanted to do. I wanted to spend more time in the woods, hunting, fishing and being himself.
He was never satisfied with the mediocre duck calls on the market, so he began to experiment with making his own calls that would replicate the exact sound of a duck. In 1972 the first Duck Commander call was born, and Phil received a patent for this call and the company was incorporated the following year.
The robertson home became their first factory where they produced and packaged the calls. Phil went around the deep South store to store trying to sell his new calls. He was mostly rejected and in one Walmart, actually laughed out of the store. In the meantime, the Robertson had a commercial fishing business to keep food on the table.
Duck Commander began as a family business and remains a family business. In the mid 1970s, Phil made some dramtic life changes and turned his life around by pursuing Jesus. Not only is Phil known as the Duck Commander, but he is also known for his leadership in faith based coalitions all over the state of Louisiana.
Phil’s basic approach to success is this. Be yourself, open yourself up to the Almighty, do his will, and help others find him. Phil’s public preaching of the gospel has caused many southern churches to book him as a gospel preacher at their churches. He also leads bible studies from his home in West Monroe, LA.
Phil’s son Willie took over Duck Commander as CEO after he got home from college and used his business degree to turn the family business into a multi-million dollar corporation. Duck commander is now a world reknown company in the game call industry. They gross about 3-4 Million a year. For a family owned company with only about 15 employees, that is a lot of money!
Today, Duck Commander is sold all over the world, with warehouses all over West Monroe, LA. Duck Commander’s success is immortalized by the A&E reality show, Duck Dynasty.
Willie continues to lead the company while his brother Jase and his uncle Si head the productions and lead putting together the calls. Each call is personally tested and sterilized before going out on the market.
Phil Robertson’s legacy is carried on by his successful sons through combined genius and talent. His simple and stubborn idea that he could make a duck call better than anyone else blossomed into a very lucrative business.
Although no NFL salary, the Robertson family defineitly made some wonderful and perfectly timed business decisions that did not even seem like business at the time. Again, Phil just wanted to go play in the woods some more after college.
Phil Robertson’s devotion to his family and to his faith are truly remarkable in an age where impersonal relationships are becoing the norm. Duck commander’s ability to not only turn a profit but also to bring the Robertson family together within a collaboration that benefits everyone is an admirable trait that not many people can pull off.
Family and Faith in Duck Commander? A simpler approach to Corporateleadership.-Joey Buoscio
“Faith is the number one thing in ourlives, and so everything revolvesaround it: our marriages, our families,our business.”