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WORKING TOGETHER FROM THE START

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLIED BUILDING CORP.
Allied Building Corp. constructed this 42,000-square-foot office building in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLIED BUILDING CORP. Allied Building Corp. constructed this 42,000-square-foot office building in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem.

Being confident, knowledgeable and able to delegate and empower team members are keys to holding the captain’s chair of a successful business organization, according to Tom Kolepp, vice president, marketing for BerkOne Inc., in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

Kolepp is part of the leadership team at BerkOne, helmed by president Tim Fehr.

“Great captains are foremost leaders,” Kolepp said. “They know where they want to go and effectively communicate that to their officers and crew.”

He said a great leader lines up resources, logistics, training and other elements but must have help to deploy the company’s mission.

“[They] enroll people in the mission and get people working together from the get-go,” Kolepp said.

At Allied Building Corp. – A Scarcia Co., president and chief operating officer Anthony Scarcia said effective leaders listen to crew members.

“Obtaining feedback and observations from the crew is a necessity to being an effective leader,” he said.

He acknowledged that crew members are part of the voyage, and, whether they realize it or not, are important players in steering the ship. But the team crosses the aisle, according to Scarcia.

“Clients also indirectly steer the ship in the aspect that a successful company must be cognizant of its clients’ needs and adapt as necessary to be an effective partner,” Scarcia said.

 

BERKONE INC.

Tom Kolepp, Vice President, Marketing

Hanover Township, Northampton County

< What are the keys to being a great captain?

Great captains are foremost leaders. They know where they want to go and effectively communicate that to their officers and crew.

Beyond conceptualizing the mission, they can get things done by lining up the resources, logistics, training and contingency plans their people need to be successful.

They can’t do all of that themselves, so they enroll people in the mission and get people working together from the get-go.

Captains can’t make all the decisions, though. That’s why they must establish some kind of “command and control” system so that other leaders and managers are empowered to make decisions that additively keep the ship on course and up to speed.

Good captains listen to the crew’s feedback, because sometimes mid-course corrections are required.

< Besides you, what else steers the ship for your company?

In my role, I am part of the senior leadership team that works directly for BerkOne’s president, Tim Fehr. With Tim’s vision in mind, we communicate, meet and work together.

We support each other and the teams who work for us. We set the strategic direction for the company and establish the initiatives to implement the strategy.

All of us also have responsibility for some aspect of day-to-day operations, so we have to pay attention to both the short-term and long-term health of the company.

< What’s the most important part of onboarding a new member of your crew?

Any visitor to BerkOne sees our values prominently displayed in every office, conference room and public area.

We refer to these five values when making decisions as a senior team, while working in project groups and doing our individual jobs: “integrity, employees, ingenuity, teamwork and customer and partner satisfaction.” The values represent our culture – the why of our company.

Then, as the technical aspects of the job are learned – the what, who, when and how – employee competency grows and people feel good about contributing to our profitable growth.

< How do you encourage the crew when navigating in choppy waters?

The inspiration for this answer is the why behind BerkOne’s values. In the real world of systems integration, implementation and operations, we make commitments.

Frequently, unknowns crop up and create the “chop.” Sometimes, it gets pretty stormy and it’s all hands on deck, including the captain and officers.

You figure out your position, chart the course to the endpoint and encourage the crew by focusing on the commitment and progress. You also ask, “How can I help you to get the job done?” and then do your best to get what’s requested.

When you finally arrive, it’s important to recognize the contributions of those who helped meet the commitments. These are the people that you can rely on to take leadership roles in the future.

< How do you define a successful voyage for your company?

The successful voyage of the good ship BerkOne is continued annual profit growth while running the company according to our values.

 

ALLIED BUILDING CORP. – A SCARCIA CO.

Anthony Scarcia, President and Chief Operating Officer

Bethlehem

< What are the keys to being a great captain?

Listening to the crew is so important to being an effective captain. Obtaining feedback and observations from the crew is a necessity to being an effective leader.

Flexibility is another important key. The business world is moving at a swift pace, and being able to adapt and be flexible to the needs of your clients, crew and business partners is required in today’s economy.

Pooling and directing the resources and talents of your team to tackle each day’s business challenges is paramount to being a great captain. It is impossible to go it alone, and engaging the team is crucial to a successful journey and an absolute must for a great captain.

< Besides you, what else steers the ship for your company?

The crew is always a part of steering the ship, whether they know it or not. They can help steer the ship in so many ways. Encouraging the team to be a part of steering the ship is important and something that needs to be reinforced on a daily basis.

Clients also indirectly steer the ship in the aspect that a successful company must be cognizant of its clients’ needs and adapt as necessary to be an effective partner. The ship must continually make adjustments to its course in order to provide the best outcome for its clients.

< What’s the most important part of onboarding a new member of your crew?

The most important part is for the new member to understand that they have a direct role in the results of the company.

Too often, crew members want to compartmentalize their role and not strive to accept additional responsibilities and the associated challenges that go along with those added responsibilities.

Having a crew member understand and embrace the idea of being dynamic in their role is immeasurable for the employee and for the company.

< How do you encourage the crew when navigating in choppy waters?

Perseverance is the key element. There will always be choppy waters and unforeseen issues that arise along the way, and being able to persevere through those issues is a necessity in business.

It’s easy to become negative when there is any resistance, and encouraging the team to persevere through those negative times is the most important part of the journey.

Resiliency is crucial in all businesses and especially in our industry, the construction industry.

< How do you define a successful voyage for your company?

The final outcome is always a part of defining a successful voyage; however, identifying lessons learned along the way is crucial to enabling success on futures voyages.

It is important to be able to understand what was successful in the effort, and, more importantly, to understand what can be improved upon.

At times, it may be an unpleasant task to rehash the path taken on a business voyage, but being able to face those issues to better prepare yourself for future journeys is the most important part of the voyage and will better prepare the team for future success.

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