Be a builder in everything you do. Add value to every situation you can. Grow other people every chance you get. Build relationships to help you grow.
During my career, one message stands the test of time above all else. It was a message that I heard over and over in every situation that required a solution. If I had a conflict on cost, I was told “be a builder”. If I was behind schedule, I was told “be a builder”. If I had a relationship issue with a client or a subcontractor, I was told “be a builder”. In the early years, since we were in construction, I always assumed he meant, “think like a builder and find the best technical solution to keep the project moving forward”. And this was true. If you can stay out of the fray and focus on building the best you can, the solutions and the outcomes are much better than fighting, litigation, and standing your ground at all costs.
As the years have gone by it has become much clearer as to what he really meant. Construction is a microcosm of the world we live in. We will always have risks, conflicts, delays, financial struggles, and relationship issues as we move through life in both our personal and professional lives. It is easy to get caught up in the details, the politics, and the conflict. It is hard not to think of what’s best for you, or what someone else is trying to get out of it. When those things arise, step back and look for the solution that adds value to the situation, the mission, or the cause…something to ground the discussion that everyone can rally around to move things forward.
In short… Be A Builder.
Build Hope and Faith
No matter what leadership role you play, you can lead in any situation by being a builder. You can have an impact. We have all had people in our life that have added value to us or to a situation. They have helped us and others grow to our full potential.
As human beings always seem to do, we will get caught up in the weeds and forget these principals. It does not mean we are bad people or bad leaders… it just means that we are straying off the path for a bit because of all of the stress and pressure that life throws at us.
Ask yourself, “what can I do today to add value and be a builder in someone’s life?” Adding value may not be received the first, second, or third time it is given. Being a builder is a long-term game. It is like a thousand-piece puzzle with no picture to guide you. The best approach is to start with the edge, then find one piece and a time until you get to the heart of the puzzle. When your goal is to bring value to others and your sights are set on the mission all of the pieces will fall into place.