First off, let me apologize in advance if I offend anyone with this edition of our newsletter, but this has been eating at me for some time now. I even went so far as to consult with some folks that I have a great deal of respect for, and their response was essentially “Go for it, if you don’t say it who will?” What I am talking about is the apparent apathy for active involvement in groups working for the betterment of the industry.
In the past several months I have been to several industry events and the turnout and active participation by my colleagues in the industry has been less than stellar. Actually, in some cases down right pitiful. It made no difference whether it was an AGC meeting, a subcontractor association meeting, contract negotiation prep meeting, or a PRIDE meeting – the effort by industry leaders was disheartening.
Now that the construction economy seems to finally be turning the corner, contractors and labor leaders who have had to figure out how to “do more with less” for the past several years, are still very much cost conscious (as well they should be) and are scrutinizing all expenditures (also, as well they should be). Unfortunately, I am also hearing with greater frequency the statement, “What value do we get from our membership in a particular group?”, yet they don’t attend or participate in any functions or events. Of course you don’t see the benefits…you have chosen not to participate. I personally am heavily involved for several reasons. First and foremost, I have a big mouth, and unfortunately sometimes use it too often. In my mind, it would be hypocritical of me to “snipe from the sidelines” without being involved.
In a previous newsletter I commented that as I was growing up in the industry it was an honor to be “invited or asked” to attend an industry event, meeting, or be part of a committee. This is where we got to rub elbows with the titans of our industry, the movers and shakers, the true industry leaders were all there. I can honestly say that after each meeting or event, I came away with at least a tidbit of information that I could use (and I still do today).
As industry leaders, we have the responsibility to lead our teams. If we, the folks in the executive offices, do not participate in industry events, how can we expect those that are under our guidance to get involved? We have to lead by example. If today’s movers and shakers are actively involved there is a much better chance that our future leaders will also start participating. I do realize there is a time commitment and our lives are very busy, but so were the lives of those who paved the way for our success. Involvement and participation to promote, protect, and generate positive changes in the construction industry are our duty. Someone did it before us, now it is up to us to groom those who follow.
President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has the moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere”. Please join me in getting actively involved in our associations and industry groups while encouraging (and / or mandating) our next generation to also get involved. In many cases, we have paid the price for membership; let’s now make full use of it for the preservation and betterment of our industry.
Until next time, WORK SAFE, WORK HARD, and HAVE FUN.