We are going to start the quarterly President’s newsletter with an apology. Most of you know we are not big fans of “I” at Doyle Construction. Everything is we. That said, with the topics covered here, there is just no way around using it a good amount as I reflect on my thoughts. This newsletter will be produced quarterly in January, April, July, and October going forward. Whereas the Doyle Construction newsletter will be more of an update on current events within our firm, the President’s Quarterly newsletter will focus on high level initiatives at Doyle Construction as well as my thoughts on certain topics.
At the close of 2022, we set a simple goal for 2023, to focus on our mission of existing to build fulfilled people and fulfilled clients. We define fulfillment as improving and growing, while enjoying it, not one or the other. During the year, 80% of the clients we worked with went on to award us another project, our voluntary was 5%, and our team member fulfillment scores averaged above 9. We aren’t quite where we want to be yet, but we are getting there. We will continue to focus on this mission for decades to come.
So, what are our key themes heading into 2024? In the past month, we have spent a good amount of time thinking about this. We keep coming back to focusing more on care and community. Early in my career in 2010, I was talking with a painter onsite (an older gentlemen) and noticed he had on a faded shirt from a previous employer. Having been familiar the firm and the owner, I asked what it was like to work there. At this point, his eyes lit up and he passionately said “He was a tough SOB to work for. He pushed the hell out of me, but he cared and looked after me like no one else ever really did, he was the best boss I ever had.” I would like each manager at Doyle (myself included) to strive for a similar review from the team members we guide. If every Doyle team member at each level of the firm feels deeply cared for, there is really no limit to what we can achieve. This is a simple concept, but one I want everyone at our firm to really think about frequently in 2024.
The second thing I have been really thinking about is community. In his book, The Second Mountain, David Brooks discusses the hollowing out of America and the decline of communities in all aspects of life including religion, work, and neighborhoods. In his view, and one I have adopted, the increase in mental health issues and decline in happiness are strongly correlated with the rise of individualism present in American society today. He cites how kids out of high school or college used to join a company, plant roots there, develop deep relationships and retire at the same place 35 years later whereas your average grad today works six firms in their 20’s. We want Doyle to be the old school company, the old school community. We want our firm to be a place that our team members know they can count on in rough times outside of work. As we see it, a strong community is essentially a group of people with meaningful relationships founded on core/common beliefs and values, and in our case bonded by our place of work. We should all think about how we can contribute to our community based on our own personal strengths as we start 2024. Done right, this is not going to be easy.
We are extremely excited to continue to drive our mission of existing to build fulfilled team members and fulfilled clients while also working on our themes of community and care. We will touch on these as well as other developments in our second quarter newsletter. Until then, thank you for reading.