Catching up with our Customers
In this month’s segment of Catching up with our Customers, we highlight Rinnovare, a Post Tension Construction company that is based on service and giving. Rinnovare offers turnkey Post Tension concrete packages for multi-family projects, and their main focus is garden-style apartments along with some light podium work. Discover more about their business, how they are different from their competition, and what projects they’re currently working on by reading the full Q&A here.
Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites
The ultimate solution in detectable warning systems
Makers of Chemicals and Aggregates for the Concrete Industry
Fiberglass Rebar and ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) Category Manager
Our associate spotlight this month is of Hal Dowhower, our Fiberglass Rebar and ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) Category Manager. Hal was born in North Platte, Nebraska and is a graduate of St. Johns Military School in Salina, Kansas. Prior to joining us, he was Owner of Dowhower Building Supply from 1986-2000, then he was in Outside Sales for Hawkeye Building Supply from 2005-2017, and then he was in Outside Sales for Liteform Technologies from 2017-2021. He and his wife Diana have three children and eight grandchildren, and his hobbies include woodworking, digital photography, drone photography, fly fishing and traveling. Welcome to the team, Hal!
Our Leadership Article this month is, Apology 101: Make Things Right. Many times, half-hearted apologies just make things worse. Here are tips on how to apologize properly.
Apology 101: Make Things Right
By John Baladani
You know you made the right decision. And the decision was well made. The problem is the results were not.
So now you’re on the hot seat. People are clamoring for your head. What do you do?
Every good apology has three operative elements: acknowledgment, acceptance and amends.
- Acknowledge the wrong. First, say you are sorry for what occurred. People may be suffering. Acknowledge the pain and the loss. Make it known you understand their pain. Demonstrate empathy by showing compassion.
- Accept the consequences. Shoulder the blame. Make it known that you hold yourself accountable and will work to rectify the situation. In the wake of the failed invasion in the Bay of Pigs, President John Kennedy, just four months in office, said, “Victory has a hundred fathers, and defeat is an orphan.”
- Make amends. People are disappointed, frustrated, and maybe even disillusioned. They don’t want speeches; they want actions. Talk about what you and your team will do immediately. Get working on the problems and take corrective measures.
Keep in mind an operative principle of apologies: “It’s not about you. It’s about them.” A leader who discusses everything he did to avoid the mistake may tell the truth, but those suffering do not want to hear it. Instead, they want to know that the person responsible for the error is focused on making things better.
Good apologies all contain one key element: no finger-pointing. A senior leader often makes an apology, even when she may not be directly responsible. But as the top person, it becomes your job to own the situation. So you don’t point fingers. Instead, you swallow your pride, and you take the heat.
Anyone can make excuses except those in charge. “Never ruin a good apology with an excuse,” said Ben Franklin. You can provide the backstory, but when you do make it clear that you are not excusing yourself, you are merely giving context. Own the decision and its consequences.
Doing this will make people recognize that you have something we all want: a backbone. By making amends and correcting the situation, you create a path forward for your team, your organization, and maybe your reputation.
No leader makes the right calls at the right time. But great leaders make things right when things go wrong. As Winston Churchill once quipped, “Success in life is the ability to move from one mistake to another without losing enthusiasm.” Defeat is not the end unless you let it define you.
There are, of course, mistakes that require the leader to step down. But, in the grand scheme of things, those occasions are rare. When they involve moral transgression, removal from the position is a good thing. When they include mistakes in judgment, regard them as “teachable moments.”
Apologies are but the first step toward creating a better future. Forget this at your peril.
That’s all for this month. I hope we all enjoy nice weather for the next few months and that we all end this year on a high note.
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