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One team, one goal

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AWMAC by Nick Anastas
Nick Anastas is vice president of the AWMAC Ontario Chapter, a member of the NAAWS Manual and AWMAC Joint Standards Committee, and past-chair of the National GIS Commitee. He can be reached at: nick@awmacontario.com
How many Stanley Cups would the Oilers have won if Gretzky didn’t have Messier by his side?
How many NBA rings would the Bulls have if Jordan didn’t have Pippen, Rodman and Armstrong backing him up?
Great results need great individuals working as a great team.
In our world, that translates to all the players on a project working together towards the same successful result.
Look at the best projects. You rarely hear of them happening in a vacuum. The millworker had to work tightly in concert with the designer, GC and rely on all their vendors’ expertise. Only then can real greatness have a chance to blossom.
There are a lot of players in this industry. There are a lot of designers and architects with great ideas. There’s a lot of millworkers who can do good work. There’s a lot of places to buy lumber or sheet goods.
But only when the players actively decide to work together can a great project come together.
The current political and social media trend of radical polarization, tribalization and antagonism don’t have a place in our world. You might get more clicks or likes from You vs. Me; or Us vs. Them; but in the real world, that’s not going to get things done.
Only when we see our suppliers as our partners, our customers as our clients and our installers as our own team. All teammates working to help each other produce the best results.
When we’re working together, we can look out for each other. Our vendors can make sure we’re getting exactly what we need, because we got them involved early, and expressed our concerns and needs. Instead of shopping prices around and trying to trade money for time; when there’s never enough of either…
For the best results, we build a team of experts, and trust them to do what they do best. Because we, as individuals can only have long-term success if we all succeed.
There aren’t any shortcuts. No quick fixes. No get-rich-quick schemes.
No one job will be profitable enough to afford burning all those bridges you’ll cross along the way.
In an industry as tight knit as Architectural Woodwork; your personal and professional reputation will always precede you; and have a value beyond measure. What do you want your clients and vendors to be saying about you, behind your back? How hard you are to work with? How you never deliver on your promises? That your word has no value, and your work is always late/wrong?
We all encounter pitfalls along our way. Many caused by circumstances, and some of our own making.
How we take accountability, communicate with our partners, deal with the issues, and find a resolution are the elements that people will remember.
We need to stop putting companies and projects in jeopardy and stop using litigation in place of collaboration and communication.
And that must start from the top. We need to demand better; and in turn, be better ourselves.
Every time a shop closes down, the whole industry loses.
Every time a project goes awry, and quality, professionalism, or character are brought into question; the whole industry loses.
We all need to take ownership of our collective reputations and to keep earning the respect we deserve.
Competition is healthy, but only when it builds better things.
This is one of the fundamental principles that AWMAC functions upon. Woodwork Manufacturers; Machinery Suppliers; Hardware, Lumber and Sheet Suppliers; Installers; Stone and Glass Fabricators. Designers; Schools. Many are competitors, but all are “members”. All with a voice that needs to be heard in order to properly steer our industry.
We are the stewards of our trade. And as the times have changed, so have our responsibilities.
Because none of us can function without the others. We each have a role to play, together, and we need the others to play their part as well.
By extension, we can’t excel, unless we empower the others to be equally excellent. With clearly defined roles, expectations, and deliverables.
Teamwork and communication are what wins games. And it is where respect and success are born. And that’s the only road to true greatness.

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