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Next week, many of the best contractors in the country will meet in Charleston for our annual Grand Summit Conference. At the conference, Summit Members will be working on developing their leadership skills to get out of the hourglass and lead a business that can run without them. This year’s theme, “Find the Leader Within”, will be about identifying critical leadership behaviors to build a team, as well as inspiring and coaching that team to achieve a common vision. As we preview some of the conference material, challenge yourself to identify areas that you’ll want to work on:

Keynote Speaker – We’ll kick off our session with a keynote address by Giovanni Feroce, Benrus Chairman and CEO, former CEO of Alex & Ani. In his “Lessons in Leadership” talk, he’ll share his experience in growing a company from only $2.2 million in annual revenue before his start in 2011, to $79.8 million in 2012, then $230 million in 2013.

Leadership Culture – Experienced Summit leaders will share their leadership struggles, culture, principles, successes, and goals. Panelists will share how forming and reinforcing a culture based on company values is the cornerstone of successful leadership. They will also discuss how they communicate their visions, foster innovation, and have the courage to make tough decisions.

Leadership at All Levels – This session is focused on leadership qualities we should look for and expect at each level. We will facilitate a panel of Summit Members who will share their strategies and approaches for pulling out leadership qualities and personal accountability at every level: apprentices, painters, craftsmen, job leads, and crew leaders. Getting others to “think” and show a desire to grow is your key to getting out of the hourglass.

Technology and the Field – As a leader, your job is to share the visions, set priorities, and give your team the tools they need to excel. How are you keeping up with technology? This session will highlight best practices in technology for efficient communication between the field and the office. We’ll cover scheduling, daily reporting, auditing, monthly reporting, integration among systems, and how to get your team to embrace technology.

Human Resource Questions, Concerns, and Practices – An important leadership component is to get the right people on the bus and be their coach. How well are you doing that? What employee issues are you dealing with? In our continued effort to spotlight human resources, we’ll hit on three major areas:

  • “How do I handle…?” – Summit member FAQs on dealing with employee-related issues
  • The legal side of the hiring and firing process
  • Developing an aggressive recruiting system

Field Supervisor Manual – Many of you are wearing multiple hats, including leadership in the field. The field supervisor is a critical role to bring into your company as you grow. We’ll be introducing a manual you can use to train your supervisor on how to manage crew leaders, customer relationships, and job profitability.

Financial Leadership – Dean Barnett, Managing Member of R.D. Barnett PLLC, will share his thoughts on responsible financial leadership. Dean will discuss what financial support small businesses need and where the accountant fits in. He’ll also address long term planning, including succession planning.

Marketing and Branding Consistency – Kevin Nolan, with his “I always hit my goals” mantra, will share Nolan Painting’s growth strategy and marketing strategy. He will cover:

  • Challenges maintaining the brand experience as you grow
  • Growth strategies into new markets
  • Prospecting and other new marketing ideas

Sales Management – How do you manage, coach, and hold your sales reps accountable? We’ll identify the behaviors required to build and manage a sales culture in your organization. Imagine how great it is (or will be) when someone else can sell over $1 million in new business each year. Sales management is an important function of growth.

Skills Training – Are you tracking the training progress of each employee? Leaders seek to continually develop their people and develop a career based organization. This session will share the new video-based training and a tracking program that will match up with the skills pyramid.

Safety Leadership – Safety usually comes last in organizations, until an accident happens. Then, it becomes a priority. A safe workplace is a professional, profitable, and caring workplace. We will honor and hear from companies who have achieved Summit Safety Bronze certification and are leading the industry in safety.

Remember… The pace of the leader is the pace of the team!

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