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Posts Tagged ‘Growth’

  1. Wine…A Learning State of Mind

    March 4, 2013 by Jeff Forrest

    A special thank you to last month’s ghostwriter, Bethany, who will remain anonymous. I truly appreciate her stepping in for me while I was exercising my brain during the month of February. At age 49, I can finally say I graduated from college…kind of.

    A few weeks back I completed a program called Owner/President Management, or OPM. This is an executive education course where I spend 3 weeks a year, for 3 years, in a dorm on-campus at Harvard Business School reading case studies, talking about successful (and not so successful) companies, and going to classes on leadership, control, finance, marketing, negotiation, strategy, entrepreneurship, sales/operations and wine. The wine education usually happened around 8 pm when I got together with my study group for a few hours, opened a bottle of wine and talked about the case studies, our lives and received amazing advice and feedback from truly smart people on how to make WPC better. The relationships I built with my 160 classmates were half the value of being there. They are all owners and/or presidents of their companies from all over the world including China, India, Brazil, Thailand, Australia, Jordan, Nigeria, the Philippines, Canada, Bulgaria, Egypt, and Denmark. I could go on and on. Our professors are some of the smartest and brightest people around and challenged us to participate in an environment that encouraged us to learn and think beyond our comfort zone. Regardless of the subject matter, I found value in the process, gained key insights into our company, and myself, and hopefully will translate that into a strategy to implement now that I am home. In short, I realized that life is a constant learning process and I gained the tools to raise my intelligence level a few notches. It is a life changing experience to say the least.

    If I were asked to say two things about what I learned while being at Harvard, it would be a self-awareness of both my strengths and, more importantly, my weaknesses. The second would be how proud I am of the culture that exists at WPC. During the many conversations, both in and out of the classroom, it became clear to me that WPC’s distinctive competitive advantage is it’s people and their passion for providing an experience that is unique to our industry. Doing the right thing, taking care of our customers and vendors, providing exceptional customer service, having fun (check out WPC’s Instagram account to see some of that @WPCCo) and protecting our reputation are a few of the cornerstones of that culture. By living up to these values, we live up to our motto of Building Beyond the BlueprintTM. Maintaining and improving this culture will always be a critical part of preserving our advantage.

    Although I graduated and was greeted by warmer weather when I came home, the learning process will never end and my hope is that it will translate into actions that will benefit all of us by improving our company and ensuring our sustainability. Tracy is an Harvard OPM graduate as well and we see everyday the threads he has sewn into the fabric of our company to get us where we are today.

    A special thank you to all of the WPC staff for letting me sneak away from work these past 3 years and accomplish a little something that will make my mom proud…kind of.


  2. Personal Growth – a Smart Move

    February 7, 2013 by Jeff Forrest

    {WPC President, Jeff Forrest, is traveling the frozen tundra of the northeast, his fingers too frostbitten to blog this month. Normal rants, raves, and ramblings from Jeff will return next month. In the meantime, enter ghostwriter – who shall remain nameless – to offer you a different perspective from the inside.}

    WPC recently broke ground on a new student housing development at University of Central Florida in Orlando. You may have read about this project, Plaza on University, on our website and social media. It’s pretty substantial and an incredible addition to the Knight campus…or should I say, off-campus. Said ghostwriter is UCF alum, and though this is certainly a great job for WPC, I don’t say this out of pride, rather of sheer coolness because this type of housing didn’t exist when I was a student. Way back when, you know – the 90s – UCF had Fox Hunt, which in comparison to this project should be condemned and demolished. You either lived in, knew someone who lived in, or had been to a party at Fox Hunt. I have the luxury of claiming all three. What can I say? I was committed to my UCF education.

    Anyway, I digress. Plaza on University is huge and it’s pretty. Yes, it looks good –something 90s UCF didn’t have. And, it got me thinking I wanted to go back to school just so I could live there, above one of the fancy stores that will reside underneath. And, then I snapped out of it and realized I’ve already been there, done that. And, I have a job. Here at WPC. If I went back to school, there would be no one to write this blog. Believe it or not, that brings me to my point. Wait for it, wait for it…personal growth is critical to your relevancy. And stagnancy is stupid. Okay, so that’s two points. UCF peeps are overachievers.

    Fortunately for me, I am employed by a company who encourages growth, both in the organization as a whole and individually among staff. Not only is it encouraged, but provided on multiple levels. There is a consistent theme revolving around achievement within the walls of this building. Personal growth is less of an option and more of an essential principle in the culture of WPC. Training courses for employees, OSHA certifications, conferences and seminars for continuing education, and acquiring the latest software to manage projects with ease and accessibility for our clients are just a few of the ways WPC stays on top of internal growth.

    Why is this important? WPC is interested in sustainability as a company, relevant through all climates of economy and change, as well as in fair weather. It’s easy to sit on your hands and do nothing, especially if things are working. But, WPC doesn’t want to just be… we want to be the best, giving our clients not only a quality product but an experience unrivaled by our peers chock full of the greatest technology and best business practices.

    Just like other businesses, WPC measures growth by revenue. Simple concept. If you are making more money, you are usually busier, which indicates augmentation of your business. The truth is, or so WPC feels, the business is only as effective and relevant as the people who are driving the bus. Smart people do smart things, ultimately leading to smart business. Smart, huh? Who needs to go back to school???

    Kidding aside, seeking excellence and industry advancement is something WPC has strived for, attained, and offered to all who walk through the shiny, glass front doors. The goal is to provide our clients with a top-tier experience and deliver projects with innovative technologies. And for this ghostwriter, its one of the reasons I was attracted to WPC.

    I guess I will just have to resort to a PhD in Vicariously Living by watching the progress pics of Plaza on University. And you can, too! (Shameless plug >> Plaza on University at UCF )