Beyond the Build


Staying On (Or Off) the Wagon.

I was recently traveling down a main street, when I came across what I call a “beer wagon.” You know what I am talking about: it’s a self-propelled vehicle, where people sit on a stool with bicycle pedals, around what looks like a conference table, drinking beer. Everyone is supposed to be peddling to help move the vehicle down the street. As we passed this particular wagon, I noticed a couple of folks toward the back drinking beer, but not peddling. Because the pedals are under the table, the rest of the peddlers could not tell.

I got to thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s first book and the conversation about “getting the wrong people off the bus and making sure you have the right people on it.” (At least that’s the way I remember it.) How true. While some companies may have proprietary systems or patents that carry them along, businesses’ best assets are people. Whether it’s construction, real estate, or another market entirely, we need the right people on the bus, and everyone must be engaged to be move your bus. It’s nice when everyone is peddling.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

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