He came to The Beam Team with a proven track record in business leadership, project management, and human resources. Since his arrival, John Morris has led the Alpharetta, GA-based commercial general contractor on several fronts, including HR and field operations.
Today, we sit down with John. Appointed in 2022 by CEO Greg Hall as The Beam Team’s president, John is the first non-family member/owner to lead the company.
The Beam Team’s founder, his wife, and their sons bootstrapped the business to where it is today, and you are now the first non-family member appointed to lead the business. What does it mean to you to be in this position?
The Hall family did a great job creating that “family” feel to their businesses. This is something that is not only important for the Hall legacy, but I also believe it is a critical component to a winning culture and a successful business.
The relationships we build with our employees, customers, vendor partners, and our community goes deeper than just the normal interactions of business. We all spend a lot of time working. We may as well spend that time with great people, doing something we love, and be really freaking good at it!
It is an honor to be trusted by the family to carry out their legacy and be charged with taking their beloved family business to new heights. It has been about a year already, but I’m still extremely excited about what’s to come!
The last couple of years have not been without their challenges. As if serving the world’s biggest brands is not already a “big heavy,” we are still coming off the pandemic effects and into a time of economic swings. How do you square this with what is already on the plate for the company?
Well, I really hope we never have anything like the pandemic again, but one thing we know is that a business is never clear of potential obstacles of all sizes. The methods and disciplines we use to plan for potential obstacles, navigate through them, and make corrections remains the same.
I often say, “stick to the plan and trust the process”. It is easy to get distracted, second guess yourself, or lose sight of the goal. Especially when it’s chaotic. I have brought a new level of discipline around thoughtful planning, executing the plan, and always communicating throughout the process.
Communication was a major opportunity for me to add value, especially as we have fresh memories of the communication challenges during the pandemic. It has always been a commitment of mine to spend time in the field connecting with our employees. When I’m in the field, I can give employees 100% of my attention and engage them in our mission, goals, direction, opportunities, etc., while also listening to their thoughts and ideas. I prefer to make company decisions together as a team with a diverse set of thoughts, opinions, and data. Connecting with the field allows me to give our field employees a powerful voice at the decision-making table to make our company better. I couldn’t let the pandemic weaken my connection to the field, so I was out there as much as I could during that time.
Regarding your comment about the economic swings; of course, these swings bring a set of challenges, but also opportunities. We have set up our organization to be nimble and adjust to the ever-changing demands in our industry.
Our competitive advantage is our talented employees. We have a workforce that is multi-skilled, dedicated, nimble, and extremely hungry to succeed. As our industry and environment changes, so do we. Change is good, and we are seeing a lot of it in our industry. A large majority of our customers are preparing for record level project volumes despite the continued after-math of the pandemic. We are preparing for similar growth.
Do you see changes or new priorities on the near horizon? What might customers and your associates expect?
Like I mentioned above, we plan to stick to the plan, and trust the process. I may be relatively new to The Beam Team president role, but I have been heavily involved in all of the changes that have occurred over the past several years in partnership with our previous president, Greg Hall.
Greg and I shared strong alignment on the company’s vision. The momentum we’ve been building over the last few years will continue in the same direction.
We will continue prioritizing quality execution in everything we do. To be a high performing organization, it requires everyone performing at a high level with clear expectations, direction, and guidance.
I am a strong believer in measuring performance and setting thoughtful S.M.A.R.T. goals. It has been shown that organizations fail to meet 90% of the goals they give themselves. We will not be one of those companies. We successfully met 13 of our 15 key goals in 2022. I expect nothing less for this coming year as we continue to raise the height of our goals.
What is the secret sauce at The Beam Team? Why is this company so different with such a presence among so many publicly traded brands?
It is everything I mentioned above and more. We are performing a service that has been around for a very long time, and our competitors have gotten really good at it.
In order to be the best, everything inside the organization needs to be working very well from top to bottom. There are thousands of activities that all need to be executed perfectly, all the time, for a company like ours to be the best. The secret sauce is our unified efforts to make all those little things happen every day.