Kids These Days
“Kids these days!” Let’s face it – at some point, our parents said it about us and their parents said it about them. And, for those of us in our 40s and 50s today, it remains a lament that we say today. Fact is, each generation has its own peculiarities but we also change as we get older. Success in the construction industry requires the ability to work well with multiple generations and types of people. And that is especially the case in today’s age of labor shortages.
In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we’re going to dig into how to ensure your company’s success and growth by being able to inspire, lead, and work well with people both younger and older than yourself. But, before we do that, here are details on a webinar / conference call which you do not want to miss this Thursday at 11 am Eastern – another in our “Let’s Be Frank” series featuring Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs.
So, back to “Kids These Days!”
I attended the recent Metalcon show in Pittsburgh and, while there, something occurred to me that really worries me. These days, when I go to other trade shows, I usually see a very diverse group of attendees – diverse in terms of age, sex, and ethnicity. And that’s a wonderful thing. But, at Metalcon, I saw mainly people who looked a great deal like myself – men in their 40s and 50s – just more tired old men schlumping along through a trade show in comfortable footwear. That worries me! Are we operating in a non-sustainable business environment because of our lack of diversity?
Metal roofing is in reality a growing and vibrant industry with many years of solid upside ahead of it. However, to take advantage of that potential, those in the industry now MUST be capable of welcoming others into the industry. And, to do that, we have to face the reality that industry newcomers will often not look, talk, act, or think like we do! So, how do we do that? How do we successfully integrate, lead, and mentor new folks to our great industry?
No matter where you are in our industry – supplier, manufacturer, distributor, or contractor – we all face this challenge. Here are things we can do to meet this challenge:
- Live into the fact that working with others is about YOUR need to change, not their need to change.
- Connect with people on a personal level. Yes, they are there to “do a job” but, until you know what inspires and motivates them, you will never get them to effectively do the work you have for them.
- Build into others. If you were suddenly gone tomorrow, what would they have to know in order to carry on and ensure the success of your company and the industry?
- Throw away your old paradigms of what a work day “must” look like – folks can be just as effective or perhaps more effective with different schedules and practices.
- Effectively keep the Mission and Vision of your company front and center. Now, more than ever, people work hard for big picture goals that excite and inspire them.
I hope this information helps you guide your business (and our industry!) successfully into the future.
For more great ideas on things to do in your business, mark your calendar now to attend the Metal Roofing Summit, April 27 – 29, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. We are hard at work on a great agenda and other plans to really ramp things up for the 2020 Summit! We will bring you ideas and contacts to use for your company in 2020 and beyond.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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