What’s Your Style?

Laura M. Porinchak / September 2015

As I write this, the race to win the election for president of the United States of America in 2016 is more than hot. Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican party, and Hillary Clinton is hanging on to her lead with the Democrats. Both have the potential to run our country, and both have very different styles of leadership.

Trump has been accused of being incredibly egotistical and narcissistic, and others are angry with his choice of words even though they may agree with him in principle. So much of what he has said is considered to be “politically incorrect,” and he has managed to turn members of his own party against him. On the other side of the debate table, Clinton has been called a liar and someone who is out of touch with the middle and lower classes. She is accused of being cold and power-hungry.

Yet there are similarities between the two top candidates: Both are incredibly rich, both have a wealth of business experience, and neither can escape scrutiny—even about their hair. Why does Hillary need to spend $600 for a cut? And what is really growing on The Donald’s head? We may never know the true answers to those questions, but I digress.

The fact that we have another 14 months of campaigning to endure means that there is plenty of time for things to change. You never know when one of the other candidates in the race will say just the right thing at just the right time, and topple whomever the current front-runner is.

You know I’m not one to talk politics in these pages, but I can’t ignore the fact that this presidential-race discussion is covering the headlines at the same time our construction magazine has a scheduled focus on leadership. As all the presidential candidates are demonstrating, there are a lot of leadership styles out there. Many of them will be effective in their own right while some leaders are better at some aspects of the job than others.

Knowing that the times are changing in our own industry, we asked some leaders of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry how they handle the various tasks and personalities involved with being “the boss.”

The four men we spoke with have all run their own companies, they have all been president of this national trade association, and all four have won AWCI’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award. In the article that starts on page 34, these industry leaders offer seven tips and other insights for doing what it takes to be or become a great leader.

On a similar note, some of your responses to our Problem Solved question this month got me chuckling. Granted, I have never met most of our 30,000+ readers, but you can probably tell from reading the responses who is considered a tough boss versus who is nice. We asked one question and basically got three different answers said in many different ways. Most of you also answered anonymously this time, which is to be understood; I’ve learned that wall and ceiling contractors aren’t known for tooting their own horns.

What I like about this group is that you all may be united in a couple of issues, but the methods you use to go about achieving your similar goals may be drastically different. Go to page 96 to see what I’m talking about.

Finally, page 45 starts AWCI’s Buyers’ Guide of suppliers (the August issue featured the manufacturers). As all of them are AWCI members, we believe them to be the leaders of the supply/distribution chain that keeps your wall and ceiling work moving. AWCI thanks you for using these leading suppliers to handle your business.