I welcome Jeff Hoopes, Chairman and CEO of Swinerton Builders, back to the show to discuss his approach to leading a multi-billion dollar ESOP company, why the structure of his executive team encourages healthy conflict, and how Jeff is striving to leave a legacy of teaching his employees how to make money, build wealth, and be part of a wonderful company. Click the link to listen to our first interview: Strategic Insights into Growing a Thriving Multi-Billion Dollar Construction Company
- What it means to be a servant leader.
- How Swinerton’s ESOP structure influences Jeff’s leadership.
- The structure of, and relationship dynamics within, Swinerton’s executive team.
- The power of rejecting “yes men”.
- Swinerton’s approach to succession planning.
- A little of Jeff’s personal history (Bay Area real estate was expensive, even in the 1980s).
- How Jeff built wealth within Swinerton’s ESOP structure through sweat equity
- Superintendents at Swinerton retire with $1m in shares.
- Growing Swinerton into a top 10 commercial builder in the United States.
- How the ESOP structure influences Jeff’s servant leader approach.
- Why Jeff turns down other companies when they offer to buy Swinerton.
- How Swinerton navigated and increased profitability during the Great Recession.
- Keeping your ego in check: Surround yourself with people who can say “no” and tell you that you are wrong
- Swinerton’s succession planning matrix.
- The “four legs” of a successful executive team: Operations, Business, Finance, Sales
- How the executive team engages in open debate, prior to emerging with a fully supported agreement of how to proceed.
- Filtering the executive team culture through the Area Managers.
- The value of having a diverse executive team representing the field and the office.
- How long-term, 30-year relationships, influence the executive team’s leadership.
- The difference between a short-term “dictatorial” leadership style, and long-term servant leadership.
- Jeff’s goal of making the young people that work for Swinerton wealthy, and giving them the business as a gift.
- How Swinerton supports people during tough personal circumstances.
- The importance of patience in realizing the rewards of the ESOP structure.
- How the ESOP structure impacts strategic decisions.
- The danger of using an ESOP as an exit strategy for the first generation of owners, and not as a long-term wealth building mechanism for all employees.
- Why ESOPs fail.
- Jeff’s desired legacy: Teaching his employees how to make money, build wealth, and be part of a wonderful company.
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