“We get our greatest satisfaction from accomplishing things – yet we seem hell bent on getting to a position where we don’t DO anything that would give us that satisfaction.”
I don’t know what’s wrong with us humans. We get our greatest satisfaction from accomplishing things – yet we seem hell bent on getting to a position where we don’t DO anything that would give us that satisfaction. It really is odd when you think about it.
AEC firms seem particularly plagued with this problem. So many engineers and architects go through school to become engineers and architects and end up being non-doer managers. And neither they nor their employers are happy as a result!
If you ask me, there’s no place for a non-doer in our business. Clients don’t want to deal with non-doers. They don’t know anything. Other employees don’t want to work for non-doers, either, for the same reasons.
My advice to everyone – and especially firm principals – is that it’s best to stay in the game. Keep working on projects. That way, you’ll know how long things take, what they cost, and what is happening with technology and materials that can be employed on your other jobs. You’ll also know who is actually GOOD who works in your firm, not just those who talk a good game. The other benefit is you probably won’t get run off from the company by those who are still “doing” sooner than you’d like. It’s a real simple idea.
None of this may seem like a problem right now. Business has been good. Practically everyone is growing and profitable. Firms can carry a certain amount of dead weight now. But it won’t always be like that. The cycle will repeat itself and success, while still possible, won’t be as easily attained. It seems to me that it’s a good idea to at least earn your salary billings-wise if you can. It will keep others from placing a target on your back when times get tough. Expensive, non-doers are always the first to be jettisoned.
Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.