What's New

Overcoming Challenges, Preparing for the Future

December 21, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
BOCA RATON, FL - In his keynote speech at Excellence Alliance, Inc.’s, fourth-annual National Executive Meeting for its independent contractor members, Jim Norris, chairman of the organization, noted that even in good times it’s not easy running a business.

It’s solitary as an owner, he said, “And there’s a burden, a weight to bear.… People are depending on us.” Also, that old nemesis, consolidation, is still very much present.

“We’re still under pressure from the consolidation movement,” he stated. Consolidated contractors are getting more aggressive and more focused on branding. “They’re not going away.”


In addition, utility competition is still a major force, Norris remarked. The utilities have experienced more failures than successes, but “They can withstand a lot of failures” because of their deep pockets.

When times are good, it doesn’t seem that important to consider outside forces, he said. But what about when things slow? With a winning company in a strong economy, “Now is the time to set our sights higher.”

In the best companies, said Norris, “There’s a strong sense of team.” However, barriers will exist within a company because different departments won’t always communicate. The owner must work to improve communications between the different groups. “Our role is to build bridges” within the business.


Norris then gave an example of what he considers exceptional teamwork. He talked about the Colorado baseball team where a pitcher who had just pitched the day before volunteered to pitch in extra innings when the manager ran out of pitchers. When the game went on, a catcher who had never pitched before filled in pitching for another inning.

Neither of these men was getting paid any extra, but both were willing to step up and do whatever they could when the team needed them.

You want to get all your people to share your commitment to the organization. “Things change when we change our attitude,” he noted. This begins with a commitment to provide exceptional service.

This is a relationship business, Norris said. People come back to our companies “because they believe in us … because they have a relationship with us.

“We can’t take people for granted.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Greg Mazurkiewicz

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts



NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con