Labor of love

Be creative

Sometimes, adding a little color to your explanation can help
employees more clearly understand what it is that you are trying
to tell them.

Catalfumo has put a lot of faith in a picture of a Viking ship that
he has circulated to many of his managers.

“It showed seven or nine Vikings trying to row and one guy in the
back steering,” Catalfumo says. “I sent it to everyone in upper management. I said, ‘What do you see in this picture?’ I had three or four
managers get it right. There is somebody in the front looking out.
There are five people rowing and one person steering. The upper
management people said, ‘Dan, the person looking out the front, the
guy with his hands over his eyes, that’s upper management looking
for the course you’ve given us. The workers are in the center rowing, and you are steering us in the right direction.’”

Whether it’s a Viking ship or some other type of illustration, the
idea is the same. It’s OK to set aside the business textbook or jargon once in awhile in favor of a more creative way that might be
better able to engage your people.

“I stay up at night until 1 or 2 in the morning because I don’t sleep
a whole bunch,” Catalfumo says. “I read every magazine I can possibly read. I’m really into graphics.”

When you’re creative and you demonstrate that creativity openly, it’s more likely your employees will tap into their own wealth of
talent to solve a problem or keep the company moving forward.

“Give them an opportunity to express their viewpoints and keep
an open mind while embracing diversity,” Catalfumo says. “There
are many ways to get to the same goal.

By emphasizing teamwork and collaboration, you give your
employees an opportunity to put their skills, talents and energies
to use for the good of the business.

“Take their strengths and make them stronger while working
through their weaknesses and give them the support they need to
succeed,” Catalfumo says.

Perhaps the most important of Catalfumo’s beliefs is the idea that
he never allows doubt to enter his mind, and he doesn’t believe in

“It truly is passion,” Catalfumo says. “I’ve done presentations
where people said, ‘The passion you have far exceeds what you
need to build for us or do for us.’ But whether it’s a $1 million job
or a $350 million job, the passion is still the same.

“Failure for people isn’t sometimes that they did something
wrong. It’s that you didn’t tell them how to get there or why they
were doing it. We just spend a lot more time telling people why
they are doing it and what to expect when they get there versus,
‘Just go do it.’”

HOW TO REACH: Catalfumo Construction and Development Inc., (561) 694-3000 or

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