Beyond the Build


When Right is Wrong

Do you remember that old expression, “The customer is always right?” Sometimes, it’s a hard pill to swallow.

In any business, there will be times when you know you are right, but you have to back down a little for the sake of a relationship. It may be that you are quibbling over a detail that’s of no real significance or there are two different ways to accomplish a similar goal. Once something is said, there are no redactions. While there are apologies, there still may be the fractures below the surface that are not seen immediately.

People are almost always more important than whatever point we are trying to make. This goes for customer relationships as well as internal relationships with our team members. We have been encouraging our folks to take a breath, and not react in haste. Delivery matters, and even when you are right, standing your ground is not always the right thing to do. 

I’m probably just as guilty of doing this as anyone. Hopefully, over the years, I have gotten better at carefully choosing my words. It’s a daily practice.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

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