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EZEQUIEL TOVAR, from page 1

you will be grateful you took the time to address it. If done with proper care and consideration, your firm will reap the rewards and so will you! 2. You should prioritize mentorship for the next generation. Mentorship is a sign of good stewardship. Why? Because it shows you’re actively willing to preserve your firm. Whether you take part in this before, after, or during your time as principal, it is something that will greatly help the individuals of your firm. With baby boomers and Gen X retiring, and taking their decades of knowledge and experience with them, millennials and Gen Z now represent the majority of the workforce. According to Zweig Group’s recently released 2023 Salary Report of AEC Firms , roughly 65 percent of the AEC industry is under the age of 45. Mentorship allows you to effectively transfer your knowledge and that of retiring employees and, in doing so, equip and better develop your younger talent. Do you want good or great talent? You decide. Take me for example: I graduated last spring, and I have been blessed to be the beneficiary of mentorship and am better for it. Many seasoned individuals have shaped me and given me a new perspective that I would not otherwise have had. This has saved me a lot of time and elevated my work. The purpose of mentorship is to ensure that knowledge transfer happens, through both experiences and work. Not only does this benefit the younger generation, but it helps the mentor. Why? Because you are giving back in a way you rarely have the opportunity to. Mentoring also reminds you of the beauty of your profession and how you are making an impact on upcoming generations. Why not take part in that? 3. You must be genuine. This is one of the pillars of being a good steward for your firm. Preparing an ownership transition plan and mentoring are dependent on this. The genuine care of your employees is what will lead your firm to be at its highest level. I am not talking about being genuinely unkind. But rather, demonstrating a thoughtful attentiveness and consideration toward your employees. Have you ever worked for insincere individuals? My fiancé was the office manager for one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world and dreaded going to work. Why? Because just like the food they made, they were artificial, and this ultimately drove an effective, hard working woman away. Nobody likes fake people. It is human instinct to pick up on who sincerely cares about you and who does not. Some firm owners like to pride themselves in offering exceptional service to their clients, but when it comes to their employees, that is a completely different story! When you are sincere to your people, they will take care of your clients. It is essential for principals to be an outstanding example of what it means to genuinely care. This is most certainly not the most detailed list of qualities of being a good steward, but these are the ones that have stood out to me the most in my early career. Zweig Group’s flagship training program, The Principals Academy, offers training catered specifically to principals. Learn more about how you can elevate your ability to lead and grow your firm here . Ezequiel Tovar is an analyst within Zweig Group’s ownership transition team. Contact him at

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