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President’s Message

Unwanted Gifts Can Become Truly Valued

Keith Headshot

Oh Mom…why does Grandma keep giving me such a practical gift, like a handkerchief, every year for Christmas? Can’t she give me something fun instead?” That question was asked by more than one child in our home while I was growing up, especially me!

It’s natural to think about giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, and it’s natural to want something we wouldn’t otherwise buy for ourselves or were really looking forward to having or experiencing someday.

I’ve also been thinking about ‘gifts’ we receive and give throughout the year, though they’re not the kind we wrap and aren’t always appreciated at the time. In fact, it seems to me that some of the gifts I least appreciated receiving are ones that turned out to be most valued and useful.

One type of gift I haven’t always appreciated at the time is the truth about reality that someone else noticed or experienced. Over time and with the wisdom others shared with me, I have come to value and even thank others for the gift of truth or for a view I hadn’t seen earlier.

As leaders, we have a responsibility to recognize and confront the reality about ourselves, other individuals, and the work at hand, and to help others do the same. At Brubacher, we work hard to understand the situations we face and then share what others NEED to know for the best outcome, rather than what they want to hear. This principle applies to both construction projects and individual growth.

We choose to give these valuable gifts…

  • When we help others see their potential, even when they can’t yet see it in themselves.
  • When we promptly, truthfully, and respectfully address obstacles to the success of others and/or projects important to them.
  • When we explain the impact of various options to clients and are honest about the risks and opportunities affecting the ultimate success of their projects.
  • When we address unspoken tension or assumptions that block good relationships or outcomes.

And when we choose to receive these from others, even when it feels uncomfortable, we can benefit from a gift that grows to be even more valuable over time.

Back to the handkerchief story… I eventually grew to appreciate ‘Grandma’s hankies’ that stayed in my drawer and served their very utilitarian purpose for many years, long after the other gifts were consumed, broken, or thrown away. And now, my mother-in-law incudes one in my stocking every year!

What kind of gifts will you give and receive within your sphere of influence this Christmas season and beyond?

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