Labor of love

Set the tone

The key to maintaining your employees’ faith in you and your
vision is a pretty simple step to take — at least on paper: Follow
through on doing what you say you are going to do.

“Always, always, always do what you tell people,” Catalfumo
says. “You tell somebody you’re going to do it on Tuesday at 3 in
the afternoon, it’s got to happen. Hundreds of people have already
made decisions based on you telling them 3 is going to happen.”

By maintaining regular lines of communication with your people,
you help ensure that everyone is on the same page with the direction of the company.

“(It’s) consistent communication and regular follow up; supervisors or key personnel making sure each expectation is communicated,” Catalfumo says. “It requires coaching, developing and following up.”

Whether you’ve built your business from scratch or not, your
employees will look to you both as a model for how to act in the
workplace and as a barometer for how the organization is doing.

“Every morning I walk in, it doesn’t matter how bad my day is or
how good, the first thing I do is have a smile on my face, and I say
hello to the receptionist,” Catalfumo says. “She is the first person
that everybody else gets to see when they walk in. I make my laps
around downstairs and upstairs, and I go say hello to everybody
and make sure they have a great smile on their face. If they have a
problem, let’s get it nipped in the bud and let’s move on.”

As Catalfumo’s company began to evolve and increase its presence in both the construction and land development sector, he
needed his managers to take a more active role in the company’s
growth.

“You have to mentor your upper management and even your
lower management to what you expect,” Catalfumo says.

Your energy and spirit can be an infectious way of getting your
employees to buy in to your vision.

“You have to have the passion, the willpower, the drive and the
ambition,” Catalfumo says. “I tell my guys in my leadership team
that they have to reach their arms out and take other people with

them when they are talking and doing things. If it’s your own company and you write and sign every check yourself and it’s your
money, it’s a different will and a different passion. If you don’t have
passion, why even go to work?”

The trick is to take that passion that you have gained from building the business and pass it on to the people that are working for
you.

“We never talk at people; we talk with them,” Catalfumo says.
“Some people walk into a room and they talk at you, which means
you are just there. I’ve learned you can talk with people and have
them engaged in the conversation on why we’re doing such and
such a task. It’s almost the same as saying, ‘I’ll never laugh at somebody, but I’ll laugh with them.’”

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