By Phil Key, President
This year’s theme, “Getting It Done,” reminded us that the future of the company is in our hands. We have a past that has helped shape where we are today and has given us the values by which we operate. Respect for each other, value our customers, take ownership and care for our community—these values are the foundation of our organization. But those values are not stagnant. They are a living, breathing thing that is evolving, just as our company continues to evolve to meet the needs of our customers, the expectations of our team members, and the wishes of our community.
We will undoubtedly face challenges. Our current challenge is improving our gross profit, which is being done in many ways throughout the company. Being efficient in our actions; managing costs; using the reports and tools we have; identifying jobs where job scripting and crew training can be improved; purchasing and using the best equipment for each task; creating opportunities for enhancements and value-adds; participating in more A-time planning; and sharpening our estimates are just a few of the areas we will be focusing on in the coming months.
But where the rubber meets the road is our ability as managers, to lead our team. This comes in many forms including….
- Figuring out how to inspire more and nitpick less
- Building your team’s confidence in their skills and abilities
- Empowering to discover each team member’s potential
- Being open, honest and transparent
- Having your employees’ back; being reliable and consistent
- Communicating sincerely and often
- Helping those who are struggling with personal or professional issues
The human factor is perhaps the most important—and sometimes challenging—piece of leadership. It requires being present in the moment, while having a knowledge of the past and an eye toward the future. Keeping our team engaged, motivated and committed to our organization is a critical factor in our ability to be productive and to grow. Change is in our future and we’ll undoubtedly face many new opportunities—some from outside our organization (technology such as robots, artificial intelligence, drones) and some from within our organization (scaling field days, keeping our culture strong). But our ability to embrace those challenges comes from our leadership—which is you. If we’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that upper management isn’t totally in charge of the company’s direction and growth. While we provide some of the structure around that growth, what we accomplish and where we go from here is in your hands. Our future is promising, and I have every confidence that with your talent and leadership, this company will continue to grow and be prosperous.