If you are at all like me, you go through life trying to have a positive impact on those around you, often wondering if you've made a difference. If you are really lucky, you occasionally get some feedback. This is particularly relevant when it comes to our company culture where we have always striven to create an environment based on respect, collaboration, balance, and long before it was in vogue, giving back to the community.
The first time I got one of those unsolicited acknowledgments was about 18 years ago. As I sat next to my oldest son, a very bright overachiever who often reminded his Dad of his failures rather than his accomplishments, we were listening to a commencement speech by the Founder and President of Starbucks who spoke about the culture of respect and caring for their employees being at the core of their success. My son turned to me and said, "Hey Dad,that's just like your company." I remember feeling very proud and surprised that he had noticed. I also thought that maybe, just maybe, he was moving on to the next phase of his life with something of value that I had helped impart upon him.
Fast forward to the present, when our firm recently received the "President's Award" from CLARB, the national Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. As I sat there in New Orleans with Vince McDermott, our senior partner of Landscape Architecture, and listened to the President of CLARB describe the reason our firm was chosen for this acknowledgment (the first time an entire firm rather than an individual was honored), I was again surprised that our selection was based on the entire culture of our firm and not just on our past contributions to the organization. In her presentation, Jerany Jackson actually quoted the following passage from our Statement of Core Values.
"The staff and leadership of Milone & MacBroom, Inc. are committed to core principles and values that define our organization. We value the strong interpersonal relationships and the exceptional work environment that we have created. We are a team of talented, committed,energetic people who are motivated by challenge, diversity, and team success. We work together under a framework of respect, collaboration, trust, and friendship, recognizing that the sum of our collective talents will always be greater than our individual strengths and contributions."
Like 18 years ago, I was surprised by the acknowledgment and proud of our firm's steadfast commitment to our core principles and putting into practice what we preach. This time, I was fortunate and proud to have my fiancée and our 14-year-old daughter with me. Hopefully our daughter will carry these fundamental values forward with her.
John M. Milone, P.E.