Beyond the Build


What Holds Us Together

For those of us who weathered the Financial Crisis, it seems like just yesterday. In truth, it started some 15 years ago, and a lot has changed in the meantime. For starters, our relationship with China has grown more volatile, there is war in Eastern Europe and Covid has disrupted countless systems and practices. Many companies have new leadership in place with members who were not steering the ship a decade and a half ago. All this boils down to uncertainty. For those of us who have survived, I have confidence we will figure it out one way or the other.

One thing you can count on is that there will always be challenges but with entirely new circumstances. Still, there is one truth that’s constant: It’s the people who matter. If the leaders of our businesses and nonprofits make a concerted effort to be honest with their teams, keeping everyone informed, and unite them around the common mission to work through the tough times together, everyone will emerge stronger.  As leaders, this will likely involve some grassroots research, taking the extra time to be near all levels of our workforce and listening to what is being said. In business and in life, attention to every perspective can unite us and spark ingenuity.  A good thing.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

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