LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

Written by Josh Brotemarkle, CFO & General Counsel

I wear many hats at a growing commercial construction company. CFO, General Counsel, IT Manager, HR Guy to name a few. The common thread woven through these roles relates to a key core value at LS Black – Mind the Store.

I was recently asked to explain what Mind the Store means by an employee we recently hired. He assumed it meant that we had a culture where he would be evaluated (and rewarded) primarily on how much business he could develop and how profitable that business would be to the company. I admired his ambitiousness and then I explained what Mind the Store means to me and the company.

Mind the store means different things in different contexts. It does not mean that LS Black’s profit is the Holy Grail and it never means that short term profit takes precedence over long-term sustainability. At the project level, it means that we do what is right for the project and we look out for owners, architects, subcontractors, and vendors. Project-level decisions are made in the context of understanding a project inside and out and making decisions that best serve the stakeholders.

At the corporate level it means that we make informed decisions to strengthen LS Black’s staying power in the markets that we enter and serve. One of my CFO jobs is to recommend long-term strategic initiatives that increase revenue and profitability. These investments span a multitude of contexts from new market entry, to our culture, people, technology, and know-how. As General Counsel, I am charged with managing the risk we face as these strategic initiatives are put into action. My IT manager hat requires me to make sure the corporate infrastructure is safe, sound, and capable of supporting the strategic initiatives we are undertaking. It usually involves combining a number of things into a coherent whole by making the right decisions with respect to the tools that are available on the market. As the HR Guy, one of my jobs is to make sure our people are well cared for, compensated fairly, and have the appropriate platform to grow professionally. All of this is important for long term stability, growth, and future of the company. That, I explained, is what Mind the Store means.

Our CEO recently defined LS Black’s purpose as existing to provide a platform for ambitious, team-minded construction professionals to achieve their career goals. This purpose is ambitious. It is also motivating and admirable. To achieve this purpose it is important to mind the store.