Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

Looking Back…And Looking Forward

We have all gone through more in the last year than we would have ever imagined possible. If there is anything I have learned, it is to stay nimble and be thankful.

There are things in life that one can prepare for, and others that require you to think on your feet. It seems like most of the past year has been the latter. Lots of folks think they have this “remote work” thing figured out, and I know we don’t, but at least for now, I think we have some idea. I am reminded that it often takes a long time for problems to bubble up.

More than ever, I am convinced that most offices are driven by the internal energy that comes from connecting in person.  Zoom cousins may be a close second. We have used this tool, but as a whole, it’s just not the same. Having said this, one of our takeaways has been our “Monday Meetings,” which have about 30 participants, work well on the Microsoft Teams virtual platform. We will continue to conduct the meeting this way, even if we are all in our building, because it ensures all voices are heard.

I also have tried to carve out more time to talk one-on-one within our company. I’m not perfect at this, but it is something I will continue to practices as a way to open avenues for right now and the future.

More than anything, we’re learning to embrace agility. Sometimes a “Plan B” isn’t enough, and you should have plans C through E in your back pocket as well. This past year was an opportunity to remember what really matters. Health, family, meaningful work and real friendships are just a few on my list.






Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.