Beyond the Build


Stand Inline or Right Next To It?

Imagine yourself as new hire in a company. You’re full of different ideas that maybe counter to the culture of the company, as you see it. Do you pull yourself in line with your company’s culture, or maybe risk speaking up? Simply put–fit in or stand out?

That’s a difficult position, and research indicates that the answer is anything but black and white. It’s probably a mixture of the two, and that’s certainly true here.

In the past, as we have hired folks in entry level positions who have pushed back against the tried-and-true. Some ended up not being a fit with our culture. They figured it out and moved on. But many of them have brought real value to the table, challenging our standards and forcing us to up our game. That’s a good thing. From a management standpoint, I think it can be easy to be a little too sure of yourself, favoring the wisdom of experience over the challenge of the new. This in itself is a balancing act.

I would argue that, when presented with respect, those of us who’ve been in business a little longer ought to meet fresh ideas with a listening ear…


Merrill Stewart Jr.

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