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The 2012 CFA Summer Convention is fast approaching, and with it, perhaps one of the best investments of time and money a concrete contractor could ever make. The energy, vision and camaraderie of a summer meeting all join together to make us better business owners, and better persons. If you have not already done so, let me encourage you to stop reading right now and make plans to join us at the Grand Traverse Resort on July 26-28.

As you may have noticed, I can be a deep thinker at times. I enjoy looking at my life and the surrounding culture, always asking if I am like a thermometer, simply reacting to my environment; or more like a thermostat, which has the ability to effect change in that environment. We each have a sphere of influence that we are uniquely gifted for and precisely positioned to impact. Nothing typifies this better than the classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, where George Bailey is given the rare chance to discover what a difference his seemingly insignificant life was actually making.

This brings me to the last leg of the three-legged mission statement we have at our company. The first leg was our employees, the second our customers and the third leg is our community. So let’s end our journey with a few thoughts on serving and bringing lasting benefit…“To our community…Building on the sure foundation of Godly values”

I can recall our leadership team struggling to define this third component in just a few concise words. Then we remembered our business logo. For years it had included the phrase “the sure foundation”, found in several Bible translations of Isaiah 33:6. In using that, we had hoped to convey our desire that folks build their homes and their lives on something strong, stable and enduring. So, we took a deeper look to see what that the verse really stated.

“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.”

The historical context (circa 725 BC) shows Prophet Isaiah boldly predicting that the reign of Jewish King Hezekiah would not be remembered for conquests, commercial enterprise or for external splendor, but rather for the wisdom and knowledge shown in putting his confidence in God. (Barnes). If these timeless values could underpin a king’s long reign despite great and numerous pressures, then they somehow could be found relevant for our lives today. Jesus thought and taught as much, seeing how he ended his Sermon on the Mount with a comparison of the wisdom of two builders (see Matthew 7:24-28).

As the team discussed further, we were finally able to focus in on a way to convey this truth. As we built our foundations, our aim would be to do so in a way that reflected that wisdom and knowledge needed by families, organizations, communities and nations through the ages. It would be more than just helping to build a house or two each year with Habitat, but rather striving to build on values that would endure the pressures, storms and tragedies of life. In fact, there was a sense of obligation and responsibility that drove us forward. We had been given much and much was expected of us.

Finally we had a completed mission statement to lead our growing company forward. Of course such lofty goals have been difficult to achieve, but at least we’ve had a direction to head towards. So, if there is really any point I wanted to make in taking three issues to share our mission statement and how we arrived at it is this…I really do believe each of us are created with some purpose in mind. While it is far too easy to be consumed in the busyness of life, the lure of wealth or even the potentially fatal attraction of a workaholic, let me end with the challenge to carve out some time during this economic downturn to “think deeply” just a bit.

“A life only exists in the moment of now. It has no need to exist in the past, which is over, or in the future, which does not exist. Your life is like a lump of clay. It can remain that way through luxury or idleness. Or it can be shaped through goodness and change, until you arrive at the masterpiece that is your life.”
(Scott Avett, In Muse and Spirit)
Tim Parrish, CFA President, Cornerstone Foundations

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us