Here is a question you probably don’t come across everyday – what does the construction industry, sports, trust, and family have in common? The answer is – The Headden family. And, yes, although Father’s Day has come and gone, we want to share this story because we think it expresses the values at the heart of our industry as exemplified by Steve (the Dad) and his sons Richard and Dillon.
Steve got his start in the industry honestly. His dad worked as a mechanic – owned his own business where his mom kept the books. 9 times out of 10 elbow grease in Steve’s case literally meant grease on his elbow given growing up he spent all his time in his dad’s garage around engines and transmissions. Even when Steve went to college, he would come home in the summers and work with his dad pulling apart cars and diesel engines and putting them together again.
Steve will tell you that not only did this work give him a great perspective on the inner workings of all things mechanical (which has been a boon to his career in this industry) but he also learned from his dad the importance of trust and relationships in conducting business. His dad would tell him “Man has only one thing in this world and that’s his word”, and if you ever met Steve you would know that this a man whose word and hand-shake mean something.
Trust is not only a corner-stone of Steve’s life – it is also part of the bed-rock for how Richard and Dillon operate. If you ask Richard what is one thing he learned from Steve about conducting business, he’ll tell you “It’s the importance of building trustworthy relationships. If someone can’t trust you, you don’t have much there.” He’ll further say he learned from Steve that one of the best ways to build trust is to “Do what you say you’re going to do” and that the relationship comes from “Treating others with respect.” His brother Dillon will add that he learned from Steve that trust is also about trusting yourself and your team. As Dillon says “Perseverance and hard work always pay off. Things work out even though they might turn out differently than what you thought they would. Still, you just need to do your part.”
If this attitude sounds like something out of a Darrin Donnelly book on sports lessons applied to everyday life and business, it may be because it is. Steve, Richard, and Dillon are all staunch supporters of the Gamecocks, and actively involved in sports themselves. Mental fortitude, perseverance in the face of adversity, teamwork – these are all some of the values they carry over from the sports world into their work and their daily lives.
Maybe the take-away from the Headden family, then, is this – it is not really about work-life balance, it is more about work-life integration. When you do what you love, and love what you do, the line simply blurs and who you really are becomes more evident. And, when you operate in that realm, then a little grease on your elbow is the mark of a hard-working, honest man who does what needs to be done, who loves doing it, and who keeps passing it down to our future generations.