Construction Leadership Insights

Never Burn a Bridge

Some time ago there was an ambitious young construction executive who wanted to get his MBA.
He went to his CEO and let him know, and the CEO not only encouraged him but also had the company pay his tuition. A short time after receiving his MBA, the young man requested a meeting with the CEO. Somewhat sheepishly, he announced that he had accepted an opportunity with a different company.

Put yourself in the shoes of the CEO.
Perhaps you would be a little bummed out, bitter, and even berate the guy going out the door, “How could you treat me this way. We put you through school, and here you are leaving for another organization!”

The CEO didn’t do that. Instead, he wished the young man success, choosing to live out one of his principles: “Never burn a bridge.”

Construction is a local, relationship business.
The strength of the relationships that you have in the localities in which you build has a massive impact on the success of your organization. The young man went off to work for a developer and because of his drive and ambition and his talent he was soon leading the organization.

The young man never forgot the kindness and understanding of the construction CEO.
Based on the strength of that relationship, they’ve gone on to do many projects together. The CEO is Jeff Hoopes, of Swinerton Builders. He told me this story during our recent discussion for Construction Genius podcast. Click this link to listen to the interview. 

Other topics we cover include:

  • Jeff’s approach to selling,
  • thinking like a service provider,
  • business development,
  • business diversification,
  • simple strategic planning (no dusty binders!),
  • business acquisitions,
  • and leadership lessons learned from his experiences.

To check out more episodes of Construction Genius, and to subscribe, click this link.