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CultureDec 12, 2016

The Best Project I Never Started and Never Finished

Bernard Buentipo

I consider myself a do-it-yourselfer, a project weekend warrior, maybe even a handyman. And as a consultant, it makes total sense. I research, I get to use a lot of cool tools, and I flex my creative muscle.

Similar to client projects, what satisfies me the most is when I see things from start to finish, and I can be proud of seeing the final product.

This past Nov. 9 was Credera Service Day. I joined 23 of my fellow colleagues to build a new home for a deserving family.

It lasted all but one day. We were not involved from the beginning and we knew we wouldn’t see the final product. However, I was inspired every step of the way.

THE PARTNERSHIP

From day one, I was impressed with our partnership with Dallas Habitat for Humanity. For more than 40 years, their mission has been to:

“…PUT LOVE INTO ACTION AND BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO BUILD HOMES, COMMUNITIES, AND HOPE.”

Dallas Habitat makes homeownership possible for hard-working, low-income families. Each homeowner is required to perform over 200 hours of “sweat equity” on their home, building alongside the volunteers. These homes aren’t given away, which is a common misconception.

Additionally, each homeowner goes through a series of nine life skills classes ranging from financial literacy to homeownership. Dallas Habitat focuses on one neighborhood at a time, building up to 50 homes per year. Creating homeownership throughout a neighborhood at this rate impacts the whole community. The more homeowner occupied homes there are in a neighborhood, the more crime rates go down and graduation rates go up.

Through volunteers, Dallas Habitat has perfected this home building process:

  1. Select a focus area, in this case the neighborhood of Joppa in Dallas.

  2. Train, guide, and trust volunteers with little to no experience.

  3. Build a home in 10-12 full days.

DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT, SAME MENTALITY

Most of the volunteers I spoke with either never worked on a house or never performed the building activities we engaged in that day. But that didn’t affect our determination.

Our Dallas Habitat project manager said that he expected us to finish 60% of the roof. We ended up finishing 90% and only stopped because we ran out of shingles.

I’m proud of our group for being one of the last ones to pack up because we were not going to leave until we finished framing the side windows.

What’s more interesting is that hardly any of the snacks were eaten, which showed the amount of focus for seven hours of building.

At Credera, we strive to be the best at what we do. And it is no surprise that even in an entirely different setting, we were determined to perform above expectations.

GROWTH BEYOND COMFORT ZONES

I enjoyed watching people expand out of their comfort zones. I watched consultants drill through cement to install two porch columns. I witnessed others get their first experience with various power tools, even taking multiple pictures with them.

Everyone worked as a team, from consultant to partner. We solved problems, we addressed quality issues, and we helped one another, serving a higher purpose.

A DAY ABOUT BUILDING

Our Service Day on Nov. 9 was not our typical workday. We weren’t consultants. We were builders.

It wasn’t a day about recognition. We did not meet the family that would benefit from the house and our service. We probably never will.

It wasn’t a day about finishing. We came into the project halfway done and left with three more days of construction remaining. It was about expanding on the good will of other volunteers.

It was a day about building: memories, friendships, and hope. Not only for us, but for the family about to embark on their new journey.

Quite honestly, it was the best project I never started… and never finished.

life at credera

We’re “open-sourcing” the Credera culture in a series called Life at Credera. We are sharing an authentic perspective on what we are learning and where we are growing. We are talking about friendships and fungrowth, higher purpose, talent and character, leadership, and communication.

We hope this series is a helpful resource on the continuous pursuit of a great culture. And we hope the results are encouraging to our company, employees, clients, and friends.

Looking for more? Check out these great Life at Credera perspectives: