TZL 1352 (web)

T R E N D L I N E S J u l y 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 , I s s u e 1 3 5 2 W W W . T H E Z W E I G L E T T E R . C O M

Career advancement

Having a set strategy for when the internet is down will prove you are the leader you are striving to be. Upside to being down

In Zweig Group’s 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Report of AEC Firms , data from the online survey was compared to the survey taken by applicants for Zweig Group’s Best Firms To Work For award(s). There were a few interesting distinctions between the two groups regarding the topic of career advancement and furthering education. The chart above shows the percentage of firms in each category that create career “tracks” for advancement, whether it be a track to becoming a technical leader or a manager/owner at the firm. Seventy- three percent of Best Firms To Work For provide these tracks, about two and a half times more likely than the typical firm. We also found that these firms are more likely to reimburse their employees for things like books/ supplies for college courses and professional exam fees.

T he internet is down. What do you do? Head home for the day? PANIC?!? If you don’t have any IT responsibilities, you probably don’t have a set plan of action in the event you are suddenly cut off from the outside world. Recently, we temporarily lost use of what I now know is the real glue to any office, the all-powerful internet. Our phones are relayed through the same provider and followed suit soon after our internet access vanished into the ether. Most people take this opportunity to wrap up and start their evening early, and they feel fine about the way they handled the situation. This group usually takes less than 15 minutes to clear out like they are late for something they didn’t have planned. Then there are those who are master planners and won’t be steered away from the rhythm of productivity. Here are a few tips on how to find yourself in the more productive of those two groups: ❚ ❚ Be positive. If you are a positive person, you won’t have a problem with keeping the right attitude. Having a positive attitude can also help build new skills faster, earn more, and help us live longer. ❚ ❚ Communicate. Make the rounds to tell everyone in the office which services are temporarily down and what is being done to solve the problem. You’ll probably try to send an email out first before realizing that is not an option. This issue can normally be communicated in a relatively short amount of time. ❚ ❚ Drafted. Nothing is stopping you from putting together that weekly email report and saving it to the drafts folder. This strategy is almost always underutilized and can even save you an extra travel expense if you want to be productive without the choppy internet on most flights. I edited this article from a seat on a redeye out of Seattle. ❚ ❚ Tidy up. Clean up that projections sheet that hasn’t been touched in three weeks. Get your white board in order and make sure your team knows why you keep it organized the way you do. Always try and snap a picture of your white board before traveling for easy references. ❚ ❚ Strategic planning. Is your plan for the future all that you want it to be? This is a good time to make sure you are working towards those commitments you made to improve the lives of everyone with the company. There are countless other things that can be done when the unexpected strikes. Having a set strategy for when this day arrives will prove you are the leader you are striving to be. Contact me at if you have any other go-to tips for a doomsday office scenario. CHAD COLDIRON is director of executive search at Zweig Group. Contact him at

Chad Coldiron

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F I R M I N D E X O’Connell Robertson...............................2 Patel, Greene and Assoc.........................6 Stantec.................................................10 Team Better Block...................................4 TETER. .................................................10 Ware Malcomb......................................12 WGI, Inc..................................................4 MO R E A R T I C L E S xz MARK ZWEIG: 50 calls Page 3 xz Above and beyond: Gordon Greene Page 6 xz MEGAN CHANG: Rest: What is it good for? Page 9 xz LEO MACLEOD: Mountaineering team: Leads and support Page 11




2020 POLICIES, PROCEDURES & BENEFITS SURVEY REPORT Zweig Group surveyed AEC industry firms on their workplace policies, benefits, HR staff composition, HR operating expenses, and other important workplace issues and challenges. Data was collected from firms of every size, type, and region of the country. The 2020 edition includes updated data on response to COVID-19 including project, projection, budget, and policy changes. The results of this study will help you benchmark your AEC firm in all areas related to benefits and compensation. The 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey Report of AEC Firms provides you with industry statistics on policies and procedures, so you can support your policy decisions with hard data. Use the 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey Report to: ❚ ❚ Ensure your firm’s benefits and policies are competitive with industry norms, to help you recruit and retain employees

❚ ❚ Identify HR operating expenses that you can – or can’t – afford to cut ❚ ❚ Benchmark your firm’s medical, dental, and life insurance packages

❚ ❚ Support your firm’s paid-time-off and other policies with hard data on industry norms ❚ ❚ Find out if firms are projecting benefits increases and make sure your budget aligns with the industry ❚ ❚ Get data on HR directors’ typical backgrounds, education, roles, and compensation

The key to growing your firm and reaching your strategic goals often rests with the quality of your employees, and the quality of your firm’s policies, procedures, and benefits is critical to hiring and retaining a top-notch workforce. The data presented in the 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey Report is broken down by firm type, size, region, and other important factors, so you can make accurate comparisons between your firm and others. Visit to learn more. ON THE MOVE

O’CONNELL ROBERTSON PROMOTES THIRTEEN KEY STAFF MEMBERS O’Connell Robertson recently recognized thirteen staff members earning senior associate or associate titles through the firm’s Associate Program, which serves to recognize and encourage high impact employees who provide high quality professional services, improve firm operations and contribute to the profitability, success and growth of the firm. “These team members each bring unique strengths and contributions that are making a significant impact on our clients, firm culture and operations,” said Amy Jones, President of O’Connell Robertson. “We appreciate their commitment to our mission, to bring value to our clients through creative problem solving and design and look forward to their continued contributions and leadership.” Senior Associates: ❚ ❚ Aaron Anderson, PE, INCE, Architectural Engineer ❚ ❚ Danny Cornejo, Regional Business Development Director ❚ ❚ Misela Gonzales-Vandewalle, AIA Architect ❚ ❚ David Meyer, PE, LEED AP, Mechanical Engineer ❚ ❚ Casey Nicholson, RA Architect ❚ ❚ Kim Pham, EIT, Electrical Engineering Designer

Associates: ❚ ❚ Garrett Brown, RA Architect ❚ ❚ Doug Dawson, RA Architect ❚ ❚ Kristin Jones, Office Manager/Sr. Project Construction Coordinator ❚ ❚ Ray Moreno, Architectural Project Manager ❚ ❚ Will Pate, Information Technology Administrator ❚ ❚ Erin Van Doren, CDT Architectural Designer ❚ ❚ Janiece Winston, Chief Financial Officer O’Connell Robertson is a full-service architecture and engineering firm proudly celebrating 70 years in 2020 designing smart, elegant, and effective environments that enrich the lives of the people they were designed to serve. O’Connell Robertson’s diverse in-house expertise and broad range of capabilities enable the firm to see projects from different perspectives, and offer new approaches to solving difficult problems. With offices in Austin and San Antonio and seven decades in business, O’Connell Robertson has established deep roots in Texas, which have helped the firm to establish valuable relationships with clients, organizations, consultants, and builders throughout the state.

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50 calls

If you make these 50 calls, you will not only get new projects, you will also learn a great deal and renew old friendships.

Y ou want to revitalize your business? Want to regain your own enthusiasm and interest in your business?

I have an idea for you. If you will do it you will not only get new projects, you will learn a great deal and renew old friendships. Won’t that be fun? Here’s all you have to do: Pick up the phone and call 50 of your old clients. Catch up with them. Find out how they and their families are doing. Ask them about their business. Ask them about the challenges they are facing and what they are doing about them. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them right now. Ask them who else in their organization (or outside of it) you should be speaking with.

These 50 calls will give you something to talk about with the other clients you speak with. These 50 calls will help you learn new things that you may be able to apply to your own business or other clients. “Making these 50 calls to past/former clients is a variation on the ‘50 cups of coffee’ tactic that I am hearing many people do these days.” These 50 calls will help tune up your marketing database. These 50 calls will get you new business, both now and in the future. Making these 50 calls to past/former clients is a

Mark Zweig

These 50 calls will get you out of your hole.

These 50 calls will get you used to making business development calls. These 50 calls will get you tuned into the markets you serve.

See MARK ZWEIG, page 4



TRANSACT IONS WGI ANNOUNCES THE MERGER OF TEAM BETTER BLOCK INTO ITS NATIONAL MOBILITY, COMPLETE STREETS, AND URBAN DESIGN TEAM National engineering design and professional services firm WGI, Inc. announced that Andrew Howard and his Dallas, Texas-based Team Better Block joined forces with the West Palm Beach, Florida-based company that has offices in eight states. WGI is a nationwide leader in providing technology-based solutions for the planning and design of public infrastructure and private land development projects. Founded in 2010, Team Better Block is led by Howard. It gained national recognition for performing pop-up pedestrian-scale projects that earned awards and recognition for their placemaking and community revitalization efforts. More than 200 cities around the world have used Team Better Block’s “design recipes” to rapidly illustrate and execute the conversion of auto-dominated urban areas into vibrant community and business spaces. Long-time clients of Team Better Block include the American Association of Real Possibilities, National Association of Realtors, Massachusetts Development Authority, and City of Norfolk, Virginia. Team Better Block will retain its branding in the marketplace as Team Better Block, powered by WGI. Howard will continue leading the Team Better Block practice at WGI, joining an integrated firm that is leveraging tomorrow’s technology, today. WGI’s significant and forward-thinking investments in national thought leaders and tools that support its work across the spectrum, from placemaking and new mobility to heavy infrastructure, is part of a strategic corporate plan for continued growth and success. WGI’s Chief Strategy Officer Michael Davis,

architect of the WGI-TBB deal, said, “I am very excited that Andrew and Team Better Block are joining the WGI Mobility, Complete Streets, and Urban Design team. Recent events call on each of us to focus on making our communities safer, healthier, and more equitable. “Andrew’s ability to effectively engage and visually demonstrate opportunities to all citizens on the streets where they live and the parks where they play provides WGI, our clients, and our communities a profound resource.” The combination of WGI and TeamBetter Block expand into multiple facets of WGI’s wide range of services and markets – beyond the initially obvious. As Team Better Block integrates into WGI, its unique approach will pop up in civil engineering, transportation planning, land planning, landscape architecture, structural engineering, and more. Also welcoming Team Better Block is Dan Hennessey, who is responsible for WGI’s Mobility Planning Department. “The WGI Mobility team looks forward to adding Andrew and his international street-planning and placemaking experience. I have admired his successful work for many years and how he helped make communities safer and better through innovative ‘tactical pop-ups.’” For Howard’s part, the excitement is also unmistakable. “You’ve seen what a small Team Better Block can accomplish. Now, as part of a multi-disciplinary firm of 600 – hold onto your handlebars! WGI already feels like home, as they embrace developing community informed projects and focus on infrastructure that can heal places with equality, sustainability, and more fun! I look forward to scaling the Better Block process to the variety of services WGI offers.”

Team Better Block clients are also excited about what lies ahead for the combined firm. Said John Land, Deputy City Manager of Farmers Branch, Texas: “Our city looks forward to having two great consulting firms become one. I have no doubt your commitment to community-based solutions will only enhance WGI’s fantastic work.” “I am so glad you are expanding the support for the Better Block Mission. I can’t wait to see what you come up with now,” said AARP’s Livable Communities Director, Danielle Arigoni. After six years of consulting, Howard’s Team Better Block co-founder, Jason Roberts, anchored himself in Dallas as the founding director of the non-profit Better Block Foundation he created. The 501(c)3 educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. “Andrew going to WGI is an affirmation of what we bootstrapped 10 years ago,” Roberts said. “Once a fringe topic, better block is now a formal planning process in cities around the world.” As a multidisciplinary solutions-providing consulting firm, WGI has 18 offices in eight states, serving an active client base in over 30 states, specializing in the following disciplines: mobility planning, transportation engineering, land development/municipal engineering, traffic and transportation engineering, parking solutions, geospatial and land surveying, subsurface utility engineering, restoration and structural engineering, landscape architecture, environmental sciences and water resources, architecture, land planning, and MEP engineering.

will encourage other people in your company to do the same. One “match” may very well start a fire that burns down a forest. Try it out and let me know what happens! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at “Pick up the phone and call 50 of your old clients. Catch up with them. Find out how they and their families are doing. Ask them about their business. Ask them about the challenges they are facing and what they are doing about them. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them right now.”

MARK ZWEIG, from page 3

variation on the “50 cups of coffee” tactic that I am hearing many people do these days. That is where they try to arrange 50 cups of coffee with people they may never have a chance to meet or talk with otherwise. I have had people ask me to do that several times in the past year and always said “yes.” Today we have virtual “cups of coffee” from the pleasure of our own kitchens or back porches or offices. Which brings me to Phase 2 of the “50 calls” program. That’s where you make 50 additional calls to people you have never spoken with before. Once you realize how great this is you will be more willing to call people who weren’t clients in the past. And of course that could be pivotal. And once you make the second 50 calls, you will have new opportunities with new clients you wouldn’t have had otherwise. All of the same benefits to the 50 calls made to former clients apply. Finally, once you make these two rounds of 50 calls each you will be so sold on the benefits of doing them that you

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.



Work From Home & Online Learning Opportunities



ELEVATING DOER-SELLERS: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR AEC PROFESSIONALS - VIRTUAL SEMINAR PRICE: $799 OVERVIEW: Elevating Doer-Sellers: Business Development for AEC Professionals is specifically developed to help design and technical professionals in architecture, en- gineering, planning, and environmental firms become more comfortable managing clients and promoting the firm and its services. Led by two retired and current CEOs with extensive experience from the design desk to the board room, this one-of-a-kind seminar presents business development techniques proven to drive real growth and value in your AEC firm. THIS VIRTUAL SEMINAR WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 5, 2020 LEARN MORE WEBINAR SERIES LEADERSHIP IS EVERYTHING – HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY LEAD YOUR FIRM THROUGH CRISIS AND CHANGE – LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PRICE: $499 OVERVIEW: This is a four-part Leadership Development “Webinar and Discussion Series.” There are four key elements needed for success today: Projects, Profits, Peo- ple, and Purpose. This program is designed to focus on a number of the most import- ant “People” aspects that are increasingly critical to our success both individually and organizationally. Goal: Especially during this time of significant crisis and great change, provide essential tools and insights to current and aspiring leaders and managers to improve our individual and collective success, growth, and resiliency. THIS WEBINAR SERIES WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 11, 2020 LEARN MORE


The Zweig Letter Podcast is back! With new episodes weekly, stay up to date with AEC trends in the TZL podcast hosted by Zweig Group’s Randy Wilburn.


Zweig Group is an approved provider by the AIA & SHRM




Above and beyond: Gordon Greene Co-founder and executive vice president of Patel, Greene and Assoc. (Temple Terrace, FL), a firm with a mission to elevate their families, communities, and profession.


I n 2011, Patel, Greene and Assoc. was co-founded by Hiren Patel, president, and Gordon Greene, executive vice president, as a three-person firm. Since then, it’s grown to a staff of more than 70 people. Greene says he attributes the growth to creating and maintaining a culture where people want to work. A CONVERSATION WITH GORDON GREENE. The Zweig Letter: How has COVID-19 impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting/working remotely? Gordon Greene: We were already considering and planning for a broader teleworking policy, so COVID-19 simply accelerated that plan. We have always embraced technology, so many of the pieces were already in place, including laptop computers for all staff, high-speed VPN connections and a dedicated director of technology to help oversee the transition. We have recently adopted a three-phase plan for re-opening, similar to what many states are doing, including our home state of Florida. Our Phases 1 and 2 aren’t really different, but Phase 3 will be

full reopening. However, our full reopening will include a broader teleworking policy, now that we have proven its effectiveness for us. TZL: PGA was founded in 2011 and has grown significantly since then. What’s been the greatest challenge you’ve had to deal with as a direct result of growth? How did you handle it? GG: Staying ahead of recruiting to enable the growth and maintaining our culture of openness, teamwork, and appreciation. As a leadership group, in 2018 we identified culture as a main focus in our five-year strategic plan. Our objectives are to build the company out in a way that enables us to maintain the culture in a scalable way. TZL: How far into the future are you able to reliably predict your workload and cashflow? GG: Not as far as we would like. We can project cashflow a month out “very” reliably, based on historical payment patterns from our clients and regular budgeted expenses. We strive to improve this area of our business significantly.



GG: The first thing we do is vet personality at the hiring stage. We adhere to a strict “no jerk” policy for hiring, which means I don’t care how much work you might bring in with whatever relationships you may have, we don’t want you. If a jerk does slip through screening, we take care of that swiftly, but our screening process has performed very well so far. We typically put candidates in front of several PGAers during an interview process, mainly for the jerk test. Our culture hinges on teamwork, kindness, and working well together – no room for jerks. Beyond that, we have invested in personality tests (we use Peoplemap) that give us insight into our folks. We continually look for ways to incorporate that knowledge into how we specialize our interactions with each other. We also seek opportunities to send our leaders to trainings to learn from other leaders on how best to lead and manage people. We participate in the Florida Engineering Leadership Institute (FELI), which is a six- session, year-long program that focuses on leadership strategies for engineers. Most importantly, we communicate with each other. We hold regular leadership meetings, which includes all people managers. We take these times to communicate the latest news from the company, but also to illicit feedback from folks and communicate expectations in terms of how we handle certain situations. TZL: What measures are you taking to protect your employees during the COVID-19 crisis? GG: The main thing we have done is extend our teleworking policy. We sent everyone home on March 17. We have since implemented a “Phase 1” reopening, but did not require anyone to return to the office. Only those who were comfortable doing so returned. For those now working in the office, we increased our office cleaning frequency to nightly, and managed to find hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks for each of our three offices. TZL: How are you balancing investment in the next generation – which is at an all-time high – with rewards for tenured staff? This has always been a challenge, but seems heightened as investments in development have increased. GG: We recently opened up ownership of the company to new owners. This initial sell was the beginning of a larger transition See ABOVE AND BEYOND, page 8

We’re currently building an internal database program that will allow project managers to enter a payout curve for each project, which can then be paired with payment expectations, resulting in a fairly reliable cashflow that can be extended out. The program will project cashflow for two years, but I would say that only the nearest three to four months could be considered very reliable. This same program will also function to guide our resource workload needs, so it should be a multi-purpose tool. The program will connect directly to our Deltek Ajera database, so there will be no redundancy in project entry; only minor data entry for each project. We are still in the development and testing stages of this work, so hopefully it’s as effective as we intend it to be. TZL: Are you using the R&D tax credit? If so, how is it working for your firm? If not, why not? GG: Yes, we are. It’s working great. It has literally saved us tens of thousands of dollars in taxes. Any AEC firm doing design work should take advantage. TZL: Since founding the firm in 2011, what is one of your proudest moments? GG: Winning a Zweig Group award, of course! While those are very fun to win, and are certainly a matter of pride for us, one moment that will always stick with me as a source of pride in our folks happened at about 2:30 a.m. one night, trying to get a submittal out. I was the project manager and engineer of record, working in our Tampa office for the day/night with the rest of the team. The project team was primarily myself and a project engineer, but we had all-hands-on deck this night to get it done. The pride came when I found myself in the corner (somewhat useless at this point) and the whole team was cranking along, having fun and constantly checking with each other on what they needed help on. At one point, someone realized something had been calculated or drawn incorrectly. Without hesitation, at probably around midnight, they set out to make the corrections. No blame was laid, no frustration – just a cohesive team working together to get to the finish line. All I had to do was buy dinner and answer a few questions here and there. This sort of thing has happened time and again at PGA. It fills me with pride. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers?


Terrace, FL




❚ ❚ Temple Terrace, FL

❚ ❚ Bartow, FL

❚ ❚ Winter Park, FL


❚ ❚ Roadway

❚ ❚ Drainage

❚ ❚ Structures

❚ ❚ Planning

❚ ❚ Environmental

❚ ❚ Traffic

❚ ❚ Marketing



PRIME: 30+

MISSION: “We exist to elevate

our families, communities, and


© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

LY 13, 2020, ISSUE 1352


ABOVE AND BEYOND, from page 7

is 27 years old, but has clearly demonstrated a knack for managing projects, then she is a new PM. Now, the more PMs we have, the more loose we tend to get in how we all manage our projects, each with his own best practices. We have set a company goal for 2020 to develop a PGA PM Handbook, which will codify the minimum best practices for how we manage our projects. This tool is intended to simplify things for our experienced PMs and help guide and comfort our new PMs. Our Handbook will be very flexible, allowing PMs to apply their own approach within the framework provided. It will also be a living document, as client expectations are everchanging. TZL: How has COVID-19 affected your business on a daily basis? GG: We have remained very busy, so it hasn’t affected us at all in that sense. The business part is getting done – submittals being made and proposals being submitted. It takes a few more messages or emails, but we are getting it done. The lack of daily personal interaction has been the toughest part. A large part of our culture is built on what kind, helpful, and fun people we have. Much of that can be communicated in Teams’ messages and GoTo meetings, but you do miss something. We have several folks who are going above and beyond to create virtual happy hour events and birthday celebrations, which is carrying us through and helping us to maintain that culture. However, we look forward to being able to do those things with one another very soon. TZL: How many years of experience – or large enough book of business – is enough to become a principal in your firm? Are you naming principals in their 20s or 30s? GG: I was 29 when Hiren Patel and I started PGA, so I come from a different perspective answering a question like this. I understand that experience is important, but setting some threshold on experience or relationships is too arbitrary. When you got it, you got it, and a good leader can see that quickly. I am still in my 30s (37 now), Hiren has only recently entered his 40s, and three of the six new owners are in their 30s. At no point was experience or “book of business” a consideration. We invited these new owners due to their commitment to PGA and to our clients, day in and day out.

plan that will allow more of our key tenured staff to see rewards for their efforts. This reward is in addition to an already robust benefits package that helps all PGA employees feel very rewarded for their work. TZL: How often do you valuate your firm and what key metrics do you use in the process? Do you valuate using in-house staff or is it outsourced? GG: We only recently had our firm valuated, in preparation for our initial selling of ownership units at the end of 2019. We used a valuation group within the outside accounting firm that we use, since this was our first one and we wanted a benchmark for how we stack up against the multiples provided in Zweig Group’s Valuation Survey . We used these benchmarks to develop our own Z-Formula, averaging Zweig multiples for full-time equivalent employees, net service revenue, EBITDA and profit. We plan to move ahead by valuating the company yearly according to this formula, periodically having a full valuation done when the company experiences any major changes, or whenever we feel like springing for one. TZL: On the PGA website, it says that your firm is passionate about saving clients’ money. What are some ways in which you do that? GG: We are civil engineers, by-and-large, and our primary clients are government clients. That means we partner with them to be good stewards of taxpayer money. We continually look for ways throughout the design process to be innovative, even if that means some redesign later in the schedule than we would like. Integrity is one of our core values, so we might also have opportunities to explain to a client why some aspect of the scope they’ve assigned to us isn’t necessary, or how we might otherwise reduce our own efforts to reduce their design costs, yet still deliver the final deliverable that they need to build their project. TZL: Research shows that PMs are overworked, understaffed, and that many firms do not have formal training programs for PMs. What is your firm doing to support its PMs? GG: We are doing our best to hire more PMs. Outside of that, we’ve always looked to grow the next generation. In this case, if a young P.E. shows potential and a PM can delegate some PM duties, then we do it. If that young P.E.

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Rest: What is it good for?

I f you answered “absolutely nothing,” this article is for you. If you resonate with the following sample of my last Tuesday, then this article is definitely for you. Taking a break and letting your mind wander can bring a fresh perspective and the extra boost you need to make it through the day a happier, healthier you.

Last Tuesday I got to work early to make the following day’s deadline, only to find 20 emails in my inbox (that were sent after 7 p.m. the day before). While skimming through emails, a colleague dropped by for advice on their project. I hadn’t quite finished answering their question when my phone rang – a client wanted an update on their project and to see if it could be done a week sooner. Trying to rearrange my team’s schedules, I glanced at the clock and realized I was five minutes late for a meeting. All of this in my first hour in the office, and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet! Sadly, I’m sure this example rings true for many reading this article. The rest of the day didn’t get any better, so I ended up staying a little late and then signing in again after having dinner with my family so I could try to finish the work I had actually come in early to do.

Somewhere along the way, work culture has equated busyness with success, and rationalized that the longer you stay busy the more likely you are to succeed. Also true, while you’ve probably heard about the dangers of burnout, you don’t know how to quantify it (and besides, that’s a problem for other people, not you). What exactly constitutes burnout, and how many days of long hours is one day too many, varies from person to person. Instead of focusing on how to walk the tightrope of your own personal limits, try instead to interject rest into every day – make it a best practice. Studies have shown that people are more creative and do better work when they’re well rested. The quality of the time they spend working is higher than that when they’re tired and worn out. As architectural and engineering professionals, this should have obvious benefits as the quality of our calculations and drawings

Megan Chang

See MEGAN CHANG, page 12



ON THE MOVE STANTEC EXPANDING COMMISSIONING AND ENERGY SERVICES Marcus Myers has joined Stantec – a global engineering, architecture, and consulting firm – as director of commissioning and energy services for the Western US. Myers is based in Stantec’s Chandler, Arizona, office where he will lead the project management, business development, and integration of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services, and projects focused on envelope design, enclosure commissioning, and energy. Throughout his career, Myers has contributed to advancing energy and carbon solutions within the built environment. When assessing a building, Myers takes a holistic approach to a buildings performance, looking at how all the components of the systems are integrated and work together with the goal of maximizing the overall building operations. Myers uses his extensive experience in building commissioning (both envelope and MEP), high performance design, and energy modeling to help clients realize the best solutions. “Marcus’s experience leading commissioning and high-performance energy projects nationwide will be an invaluable resource as we look to grow our expertise in this critical area,” said Brian Larson, a senior

vice president in Stantec’s Buildings group. “His passion, expertise, and drive to deliver high quality results will help us tremendously as we continue to expand our footprint in the commissioning and energy services arena.” Myers graduated from Arizona State University with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Architecture, followed by master’s degrees in Architecture and Science of Built Environment. His other credentials include, Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA), Certified Energy Manager (CEM), LEED AP BD+C accreditation, and Living Futures Accredited (LFA) through the ILFI. In addition to his professional endeavors, Myers is an active member of the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE). He has served as the ASHRAE Arizona Student Activities Chair and Co-Chair of the Grassroots Government Advocacy Committee (GAC) for the last three years. Myers is a member of Arizona United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and sits on the Arizona USGBC Market Leadership Advisory Board as the Arizona Student activities chair for colleges and universities. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Building Commissioning

Association (BCxA) Southwest Chapter and is involved in training the next generation of building commissioning professionals as a faculty associate in the Del E. Webb School of Construction at ASU. Stantec developed its commissioning and energy services practice over the last 20 years as an extension of the firm’s engineering and high-performance building sectors and expertise. The organization’s commissioning group focuses on three essential points integral to quality assurance applications and unparalleled building performance: communication, documentation, and verification. The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. We collaborate across disciplines and industries to bring buildings, energy and resource, environmental, and infrastructure projects to life. Stantec’s work – engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through design, construction, and commissioning – begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships.

MEGAN CHANG, from page 9

and call someone to catch up, go to the gym, clean up and organize the piles on your desk – the possibilities are endless. ❚ ❚ Take a nap. This one may or may not be for you. If you’re able to take a power nap (at your desk, in your car, in an unused conference room) then go for it! Resting your eyes and your mind, even for a short stint, can hit the reset button on the rest of your day and give you that jump-start you need. “You must make a conscious decision to start resting more. If necessary, block out downtime on your calendar so you’re able to make and keep the commitment to yourself, and you just might find that rest really isn’t a four-letter word after all.” ❚ ❚ Sleep more. This may seem similar to taking a nap, but getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, consistently, does wonders for your overall mood, disposition, and patience levels. You’ll probably find that if you’re more relaxed, your team will be more likely to come to you for advice (and you’ll be able to make better decisions). You must make a conscious decision to start resting more. If necessary, block out downtime on your calendar so you’re able to make and keep the commitment to yourself, and you just might find that rest really isn’t a four-letter word after all. MEGAN CHANG is an associate and professional engineer at TETER. Contact her at

directly tie into costly change orders, E&O claims, re-work, and satisfied clients (to name a few examples). You may feel like you just don’t have the time to take a break, and you’re not alone. Just take a look at what our lunch breaks have turned into: webinars, eating with one hand while trying to type with the other, meetings, or just skipping lunch altogether. Our schedules are often so overloaded that taking a break seems to be a luxury or guilty pleasure instead of the norm. Yet really, in the grand scheme of things, 15 minutes here and there isn’t going to sideline your day, nor is it going to sideline your team. Taking a break from the day to day minutiae and letting your mind wander can often bring a fresh perspective and the extra boost you need to make it through the day a happier, healthier you. Here are some things to try: ❚ ❚ Take a walk. One thing my office, TETER, has encouraged are walks. These are optional and usually occur at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., with half-mile or one-mile options. Besides getting people up from their desks, giving their minds a break, and moving around, the walks have allowed time to catch up with coworkers, a chance to get to know someone better (the sidewalk usually only allows people to walk in pairs), a schedule for regular mentoring opportunities, and a venue for impromptu meetings to discuss projects. If that sounds too much like working while walking, just enjoy the scenery! ❚ ❚ Make lunchtime screen-free time. Give your eyes a much- needed break! Go to lunch at a restaurant, pick up the phone

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You don’t achieve success by going solo. You need allies – your manager and your direct reports – to make the load lighter. Mountaineering team: Leads and support

I f you want to climb the highest peak in the world, you can’t do it alone. When George Leigh Mallory scaled Mount Everest in 1922, he had plenty of help. Any successful leader has learned the hard way that you don’t achieve success by going solo. You need allies to make the load lighter.

Leo MacLeod

Balancing the demands of doing your job, taking on new responsibilities, and trying to change habits that have worked for you in the past, can be exhausting and draining. The mantle of responsibility that you need to worry about other things, in addition to getting deliverables to clients on time, can weigh on you like an 80-pound pack. We need not just help, but the right help. Start to look at the allies you need to help you on your journey. Recruiting them is your first step up the mountain. In the next two articles, I’ll talk about building allies. In this article, I’ll focus on the two most critical members: your manager and your direct reports. THE LEAD. When I coach people to define their mountain, or their three-year vision, I encourage them to first share their mountain with the one person directly tied to their success: their

manager. Think of this person as your lead. The person who can take you from here to there on the quickest path. They are responsible for your workload and focus. If they know where you are headed, they can help you get there. Oddly, few emerging leaders take this step. Which is too bad, because how can the person charged with your direction at the firm help you get to where you want to go if you haven’t shared your itinerary? There’s often a fear that it might be too assertive or pushy. But any good manager would rather have someone with drive and direction than someone without a plan, always asking for what to do. What if your mountain is not in perfect alignment with the company mountain? The reality is few of our mountains align perfectly – most likely your

See LEO MACLEOD, page 12



ON THE MOVE WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES JASON DOOLEY PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL IN ATLANTA OFFICE Ware Malcomb , an international design firm, announced Jason Dooley was promoted to principal in the firm’s Atlanta office. In this role, Dooley is responsible for leading the overall growth and management of the firm’s offices in Atlanta and Miami, as well as other responsibilities encompassing the Southeast region. Dooley brings nearly 22 years of design and construction experience to the Ware Malcomb team. He joined Ware Malcomb in early 2016 as regional manager to open and grow the firm’s new Atlanta office, and was promoted to Regional Director in 2018. Since his hire, Dooley has successfully connected with Ware Malcomb’s national clients in the Atlanta market, as well as made new connections throughout the region, with projects spanning beyond Georgia to include North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi,

Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. His architecture and interior design expertise includes build-to- suit, building expansion, building renovation, complex tenant improvements, industrial, healthcare, office, science & technology, multi- family and higher education projects. “WareMalcomb’s Atlanta office has experienced tremendous growth under Jason’s leadership, prompting the firm’s recent expansion into a new, larger office space in the Buckhead business district,” said Kenneth Wink, CEO of Ware Malcomb. “With this promotion to Principal, Jason is now taking on responsibility for overseeing the growth of the firm’s Miami office as well. We look forward to Jason’s continued success in growing Ware Malcomb’s presence in the Southeast region.” A registered architect, Dooley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is an active member of industry organizations including the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties

and American Institute of Architects. Dooley was one of three people recently elevated to the position of principal within Ware Malcomb’s offices across North America. Ware Malcomb also announced the promotion of Mary Cheval to principal, Interior Architecture & Design in the firm’s Irvine, California, office and Edward Mayer to principal, architecture in the Newark, New Jersey office. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineering and building measurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as a Hot Firm and Best Firm to Work For by Zweig Group.

LEO MACLEOD, from page 11

team, who were already busy. It felt selfish for her to push work on to other people, so she could accomplish her goals. But she also reasoned that they are not going to grow and reach their own mountain if she doesn’t push them. If everything remains the same nobody grows and the firm never changes. Today, if you hired a guide service to take you to the top of Everest, you would carry a light backpack, while Sherpas typically carry up to 80 pounds of food, propane, and bottled oxygen. They are part of one team, interdependent on each other for success. The next day when a junior member of Beth’s team gave her a set of drawings for a new bridge, she started to take out her red pen to make corrections, but stopped and then said: “I need you to review these more carefully.” In eight short words, Beth took several steps in the right direction: she stopped herself from doing work that wasn’t going to get her to her mountain (and the firm’s mountain); she modeled for the junior staff person how to manage time and delegate to others; and, lastly, she made the staff person more accountable and responsible for his own results, which is the first step in becoming a leader. She helped him on his mountain, even if he didn’t know what it was! And it wasn’t a long, drawn-out uncomfortable discussion. To grow as a leader, you need to know where you’re going. You need to be conscious of how you’re spending your time and if each move in the day – an email, a conversation – is keeping you exactly in this spot or moving you closer to your vision or mountain. Your manager and your direct reports are the team members most directly tied to your rope up the mountain. They will either drag you down or help you move up. Start by having a conversation with your manager about your direction. Push back work to your support team, so they are taking more responsibility and you are untethered to move forward. LEO MACLEOD is a leadership coach in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at

manager struggles with similar challenges of fitting his own mountain into the demands of the job. Welcome to leadership. Smart managers will not be threatened by your dreams. Instead, they’ll work with you to shape the demands of the job with what drives your life and career goals. If they know you want to become an associate principal in two years, they can tell you what you need to get there. They can put you on interview teams and give you coaching to confidently present to prospective clients. They can test you with larger projects and have you manage small teams. As you evolve as a leader, you’ll be doing the same thing for people on your team. THE SUPPORT. Beth is a project manager at a small civil engineering firm. She’s 35, married, no children, likes to hike and drink local beer with friends. Her mountain is to become a principal in the firm, but that’s probably seven years off. In three years, she wants to be an associate. Beth is driven and extremely competent and loved by clients. There’s nothing keeping her from getting to her mountain but herself. She fits that super-doer profile of an emerging leader who is doing it all herself and not asking for help. But her death grip on every detail was not leaving room for meeting with clients to develop relationships in order to keep them happy and get more work. Delegation was very hard for her because she couldn’t trust it would get done to the high standard that people expected from her. She was stuck in the past and it was keeping her from reaching her future. She had taken the first step of building her team by talking to her lead, her manager. There was perfect alignment there with her direction and what the firm needed. But she needed to enlist the help of her support team – the direct reports she managed – in order to spread the load. This was tough because it felt like she was burdening her

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