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Letter From the Director

Thoughts From My Desk…

“You are simply not going to believe it.” This is the phrase I have been using regularly as I talk with many of you reading this magazine, whether you are a CFA member, or one of the many companies across this great country to whom I have the privilege of casting our voice. Where I use this phrase is in the promotion of the one thing CFA is known for more than anything else: our networking.

Listen, I am involved on a daily basis – yes, daily – in resolving conflict in our industry. Often I am fielding a question by a member challenged by an inspector, gathering information to share in defense of a company’s decision to meet an OSHA regulation, or responding to a claim that a company has installed concrete improperly. All of these chances I get to be an advocate for the concrete industry, however, pale in comparison to the impact I see and hear when I am in the same room as company representatives just like you. Yes, you, the one reading this letter… Picture my finger pointing at you.

From “I’m simply too busy” to “We don’t have enough coverage right now,” to “We’re not quite ready to join” – there must be a thousand reasons why more than 5,000 companies receive this magazine but do not do anything more with it. That is not stated to single you out, for you are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority. The majority of companies in this industry, or in any industry, for that matter, will never take the inspired step or the calculated risk to invest in themselves and open up their collective minds to see a much broader picture of potential. And then, there are the 300 or so that do. What does it look like on the inside? That is where my phrase comes in: “You are simply not going to believe it.”

I sat in a meeting two weeks ago in Philadelphia, the same meeting that our president, Phil Marone, was at. In this meeting, only two people knew each other (outside of me as the host, and our education consultant and mentor, Rocky Geans). These happen to be the two companies local to the event. The remainder of the room had never met. When it was all said and done, they could not wait to get back together, as they had begun the formation process to become a Management Exchange Networking group. That doesn’t make things easier; it rewards the harder. The more you expose yourself, opening yourself up to others’ ideas, the more rewarding your future will be. I heard one company describe the challenges they faced in creating their schedules, another in keeping control of workers’ compensation insurance, and another trying to figure out who would call in sick and who would respond to the rescheduling of their work. These were all shared within the group, and everyone had a strategy to share or a corroborating experience; and, as a group, they came to even larger decisions.

You are simply not going to get any better by being the same company tomorrow as you are today. You are not going to open your doors to the competition that is around you, letting it come in and look at your business or listen to your struggles. You are not going to win any battles with customers, inspectors or compliance officers by presenting the same responses you gave last time. The only way to move forward in this industry, or in any industry for that matter, is to stop and consider yourself a leader. Good leaders do not merely follow, and they do not demand. What a good and successful leader will do is make the informed decision to invest in their company by becoming affiliated with like-minded leaders. Then those companies can serve each other by getting in the room, listening and sharing. What do I want for your 2018 Christmas? I absolutely want peace and joy for you, but I also want success – success you are simply not going to believe until you experience it. Become a member!

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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