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President’s Message – Latest Scoop 2024 Issue 1

Vowing for Teamwork & Collaboration vs. Combat Construction

Keith Headshot

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote these words in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 4:12-13:  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Many of us have heard these verses shared at weddings, often with meaningful symbolism that inspires the starry-eyed couple to work together, learn to appreciate their differences, and depend upon God’s strength for a successful marriage.

The practical wisdom of the statement “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” also directly applies to how work teams function. Of course, we express the principle differently in the workplace than we do at a wedding! At Brubacher, we highlight the principle as Teamwork, one of our core values. Contractors are inherently competitive by nature, so we sometimes need reminders to work together as a team with co-workers, clients, and business partners to achieve successful outcomes. We often refer to this as collaboration, working alongside other teams of people for a common goal.

Some segments, and some people,  of our industry are prone to ‘combat construction’ rather than collaboration. It has always seemed to me there are enough inherent challenges in construction without intentionally adding more by pre-meditated change-orders, withholding useful information, pitting people against others, and character assassination.

According to our professional services providers, this ‘isolate and compete’ mindset results in some firms refusing to allow their professional advisors to work together in serving business needs. I was surprised and disappointed to hear this comment from a few firms who participated in Brubacher’s Professional Partners Day last December. This event stems from our firm belief in the value of teamwork, both within the company and with our partner relationships, and we have been holding these valuable meetings since 2008.

It is always a privilege to bring together our benefits consultants, banking and surety partners, organizational development coach, risk management brokers, legal counsel, and financial advisors. We believe it is important to share company direction and progress toward goals, along with challenges we value their help in addressing. As opportunities and challenges arise throughout the year, these partners have context and inter-company connection as a basis from which to work. We have found that this regular connection and collaboration builds trust and efficiency that benefits everyone in the long run. Personally, I am always excited to see and hear the networking that takes place, further advancing their future business prospects.

As our key managers participate in these annual events, they hear new ideas, challenges, and emerging issues that, in other firms, are often reserved for executives only. I have personally observed the increased trust, confidence, and understanding that results when people who are focused in one area of the business hear and understand what others’ experiences and viewpoints reveal. I also challenged our managers to consider where and how this model of learning and inviting input from others with diverse skills and viewpoints can be replicated within our own company or their areas of responsibility.

How would your advisors, whether business or personal, describe their relationship with you? Do they know all the facts: the good, the bad, and the ugly? Do they know your challenges in addition to your vision and goals? Do they work well with others or are they focused on how to get more for themselves?

Just like any other team in business or our personal lives, the relationship with advisors is only going to be successful to the extent it is built on trust, transparency, and common goals. What changes do you need to make to experience that outcome?

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22

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