We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary this month! MPC team members sat down recently to celebrate and reflect on the journey – the ups as well as the downs. We look forward to being around for many more decades, but we know that a company needs to continually learn and conscientiously apply any lessons to promote a curious and collaborative culture so we can succeed in the long run.
With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Lessons we have learned and applied over the last 10 years – flavored just a bit by the decades of industry experience prior to that for most of our team!
Live your core values. Define what you stand for and what you aspire to stand for. Then put those words into practice. Apply them without hesitation to every situation you face and each decision you make, no matter how big or small. It is amazing how decision making is easier and more straight forward when you apply this principle.
Work with clients who have a similar culture and values. Our most successful relationships have been with developers that are in alignment with us on the fundamentals that flow from our core values. The principles we have been taught all our lives really do matter: loyalty, consideration, respect, and taking a long-term approach to relationships.
Those core values translate into successful projects. The best construction projects happen when talented teams – designers, developers, contractors, and trade partners – work together in a spirit of partnership and transparency. Great things happen when each one expertly manages their own contribution and takes a larger view to support the success of the other team members.
Hire the best. Hire for skills, teachability, and emotional intelligence (EQ). Skills can be fine-tuned and expanded if an employee is teachable. EQ comes from within, and it encompasses personal traits like empathy, active listening, humility, and honesty. EQ helps ensure an employee will be a positive team member with co-workers, clients, and trade partners. And by the way, be sure to hire employees who can teach you a thing or two!
Purposefully develop your team members’ skills. Building a successful business does not happen alone. Invest in your people for the long term. Proactively train them and do not just assume they will learn on the job. Break down skill silos within the company wherever possible by cross training team members so they have a more valuable portfolio and can make a larger contribution.
Set goals, stay structured and deliberate. Do not let the day come to you, be proactive and make things happen. Every employee should have goals that support long-term company and personal success. And if team members define daily or weekly plans with an eye on those goals, it will generate positive momentum. Many small steps add up to big progress, and that is a formula for project and career success.
Live and execute project success criteria. Take the time to define what success really means to each project stakeholder upfront and through every stage of the project. Going through this exercise helps reinforce a common set of project goals. It also provides a basis for communication and collaboration among all team members that can sustain a lengthy project through twists and turns.
Be willing to adapt to change. Flexibility on values and principles is not an option. But being open to better ideas and being willing to go the extra mile to support a partner or accommodate the inevitable evolution of a project is a necessity.
Don’t be a commodity. Offer a distinct, valued business model that sets us apart within the increasingly commoditized construction industry. Be the preferred construction partner in multiple areas, including scope of services, depth of trade partner relationships, workmanship standards, reliability, and business ethics. Be the contractor that partners look forward to working with because we do good work, and we are good people.
Looking forward to the next decade.
2021 is shaping up to be a remarkable year! In this first year of our second decade, we want to express our gratitude to our construction partners for the lessons we have learned from them and the successes we have shared with them. And we will never forget lesson #1, the one that ties all of this together:
Great projects come from great teams.