BUILD On Target

10 Signs of a Greatness, Listed in Order of Importance

BUILD On Target

By John Brandon
Contributing editor,

Greatness is hard to define and even harder to attain.

Still, we know greatness when we see it. Sometimes, it’s a brilliant new gadget. Or maybe it’s a book that rises above the rest. A football star like Tom Brady, even at 39, is great because of who he is and his accomplishments.

When a company stands out, you know because there are certain traits and attributes you can identify, sometimes just by paying closer attention. They are widespread and hard to ignore, You can look for these signs by listening closely to what people say in a meeting or when they banter in the cafeteria or after work.

Here are the signs, in order of importance leading up to the most critical attribute:

1. Everyone is having fun

This is the ultimate entry-point for greatness. It starts here. It’s just fun to be around companies where everyone knows how to do all of the other things on my list below. You want to be there. You feel encouraged and motivated. It’s a great place to hang out, even after work or on weekends. Fun radiates out of the place, and it is that allure that attracts even more talented employees one after the other. Without a sense of fun and creativity, forget ever achieving any level of greatness. To be great, you have to be a beacon.

2. No one is pedantic

Why am I using such a specific word here? How is it related to great companies? For 26 years, I’ve been involved in multiple organizations and volunteered at many different entities both small and large, and the one thing that seems to kill all progress and creativity is a lack of respect. The sure sign that respect is not common in a company culture is when everyone acts like they know everything. Sure, the mantra “be curious” is important. You can’t be curious and pedantic at the same time. When the company is filled with people who want to learn new things, it becomes a great place.

3. Empathy abounds

Empathy is an ability to see another point-of-view. When everyone seems to have that ability, look out–that company is going to excel. It’s going to blow the roof off, in fact. We all need each other to help us grow, and empathy is an engine for that. I’m going to help you, you’re going to help me–that’s called teamwork. Sadly, empathy is not that common. Tied closely with that sense of pride and a know-it-all-attitude is a closed mentality that is more about self advancement. I’ve visited hundreds and hundreds of companies, and the one trait that seems to stick out when there’s a bad one is when everyone is trying to advance their own career. Empathy is in short supply, and so is greatness.

4. Expectations are crystal clear to everyone

Years ago, I had a boss who never bothered to explain what we were doing or why. Then, he became critical when we didn’t do what he wanted. Huh? Every employee was shooting in the dark with a pop gun. We didn’t know where to aim, when to shoot, or why we were even in the room. As humans, we all want to know why–what’s the vision here? Where are we even going? Why are we doing these things? If that’s crystal clear, then it creates a great company because the entire organization becomes unified. Even more importantly, the goals are clear to everyone involved. It’s not a well-kept secret.

5. Grace is prevalent

What happens when employees miss their goals? What if you know where you’re going as an organization but you don’t quite end up getting there in the end? This is where grace is important. I’m convinced that showing grace instead of a demeaning, belittling attitude is what makes a company even greater. I’ll say it’s even more important than having fun. Why is that? Because grace is a license to fail, and being free to try new things and fail at times is what makes people work hard and want to stick around. A culture of criticism kills momentum. A culture of grace, encouragement, understanding, and excitement will turn any organization into a giant.

6. Roles are clearly defined

“I never know what I’m doing” is a tough predicament for any employee. Employees feel anxious and awkward. You have to set expectations about the why. However, even more important as a starting point for greatness is the idea of role definition. Employee need to feel empowered, and that’s where clear roles come into play. A role is a reason. It’s a way to define why that employee is even at the company and the scope of their involvement. You can’t make expectations until you have informed the employee about how much power he or she can wield. Then, set them loose. Greatness will happen.

7. Everyone sees and rewards hard work

I’ve been involved with companies that really know how to recognize employees. On Slack, they’re praising each other all day–in a real way that shows true pride in the accomplishments of others. We communicated! We discussed! We resolved! It’s a team exercise writ large (and in digital form), one that involves frequent pats on the back when there’s a milestone. It’s crazy to think some companies don’t do this. They only acknowledge hard work in rare instances. Most of the time, they are treating employees like cattle that need to be herded–and kicked if they get out of line.

8. Every employee is happy

Here’s a great way to define happiness at work: An employee is happy when they are perfectly suited to their role. They are challenged enough, placed into the proper department, encouraged constantly to achieve great things, and know their expectations. A happy group of employees creates a dynamic environment. An unhappy group causes constant conflict and stress, which makes the company sink like a stone.

9. Mentoring is more important than performance

You know, most of us will figure it out and do great work. Beaten into submission by an angry boss won’t work. Mentoring will. I wanted to list this one as the most important attribute of a great company, but it does fall into second place. (Only a great leader can mentor effectively, so that has to be number one.) Yet, it’s so critical. It’s a way to hand down tacit knowledge. Great companies know how to do that. Great employees know how to mentor one another. They are highly motivated to train others because they know that’s what creates greatness. In fact, that’s really the definition to remember: A great company is one where the most important knowledge is handed down from one employee to the next in a way that’s built on the foundation of individual relationships.

10. There’s a great leader

I’ve written about this before, but behind every great company there is a great leader. Call it the trickle-down effect of management. Someone at the top practices all of the attributes listed above and demonstrates what it means to show empathy, recognize hard work, and promote mentoring. Greatness happens. A great leader has an attitude that generates enthusiasm and happiness among the staff. It’s contagious.

Source: Inc

5 Ways Social Media Commercial Construction

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Your Construction Company

5 Ways Social Media Commercial Constructionby Jennifer Hennion

Are you unsure about how to use social media? Follow these easy steps to join the conversation.

Like many business owners today, construction business owners want to know how social media can help them promote their business to drive leads and increase sales.

Social media may not necessarily be the best marketing tool for every business but should be used regardless. With more than 200 million adult Internet users in the United States, 2 million Google searches a minute and mobile devices projected as the primary Internet connection tool by 2020, you must have a presence on social media. According to eMarketer, more than two-thirds of U.S. Internet users regularly use a social network.

Your customers can now control the messages they receive and how, where and when they receive them. In the past, companies have attempted to reach their customers by pushing a message out through a local newspaper or a radio advertisement. But today, customers look for information online to find the products and services they need.

Social media and other digital technologies provide a great way to deliver relevant content to interested customers. U.S. companies ranked LinkedIn, company blogs, Facebook and Twitter as the top four social media tools that helped them generate leads.

How to Get Started
Put all of your ideas about what you can do online on paper, and develop a plan to meet your objectives.

First, consider the various social tools available and how to use them. Over time, you will be able to determine which tools have the biggest impact for your business—the ones that drive the most inbound leads. Keep these points in mind:

1. Develop Strong Content
Regardless of which social tools you use, the content you generate must be well-written, relevant and of interest to your target customers. Sometimes, it can be informative and professional, and other times, it can be fun and entertaining. You want your viewers to share what you say with others.
When preparing content, think about the terms and phrases your audience might search for on the Web. Try to include critical, relevant keywords and phrases in your content. Many of the social media platforms index content for search engines, which can help you promote your company online without investing in additional paid advertising.

2. Communicate Through Word of Mouth
Social media grew from word-of-mouth. People go to social networks because they share a common passion or interest. For instance, if someone owns a particular brand of equipment and loves it, he might want to keep up with news from that manufacturer—if he “likes” the manufacturer on Facebook or follows them on Twitter, he will get updates from them anytime they post something. These updates will fuel his interest and make it easier for him to keep in touch with the company and product. To develop a following on social media, regularly post relevant news about the projects you have completed or special promotions to keep your name in front of them.

3. Connect with Others

Connect with bloggers, publications, associations and other influential people in the industry to keep your name out there. Start by establishing a LinkedIn account. You will be surprised how quickly you can find your customers, potential customers, suppliers and other complementary businesses in markets that your company serves. Do not be a pushy salesperson. Simply have a presence, and update your information from time to time.

4. Share Your Expertise

One of the most commonly used tools for managing content across social mediums is through a company blog. Blogging can help you establish your company as an expert in the field and as a resource. It gives you a way to keep fresh and relevant information on the Web. Here are few ways to use a blog and other social media sites:

Announce a new product, service and new hires.
Express your company’s personality. Blog postings can be fairly informal. Share information that communicates your company culture.
Communicate your success. Have you won any awards or attended any trade shows? Have you been featured or mentioned in any articles in local or industry business journals?
Showcase the work you have done. Post testimonials and case studies about projects you have completed or customers you have helped. You can even post project photographs.
Once you develop content for your blog, link it to your website and other social media sites.

5. Advertise
Advertising online, particularly on social media sites, can be extremely cost-effective. It allows you to target specific geographic areas and demographics within those areas to reach only those with a verified need or interest in your products or services. For example, a homebuilder who targets three counties in New York can advertise to a certain age or income demographic in those counties, which eliminates the cost of reaching people who do not fit the customer profile.

Other Social Media Benefits
Your social marketing efforts can have a significant impact on the amount of people visiting your website. For example, if you post a blog with commentary about the recent completion of a bridge construction project, you can link to an article that was written about the bridge construction being completed on time. Your blog might show up the next time a potential customer or journalist conducts a search.

Social media can also produce some tangible metrics that can paint a compelling picture about the results of your online efforts. Likes, follows, retweets and information sharing can all be measured to help you justify your time spent on your online marketing. Your salespeople should follow up on online leads.

If you implement a few of these tactics, you will look much better than your competition when potential customers go online to complete their research and find a great deal of information about your company, products and services.

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Small Business Marketing Tips for 6 Industries