TZL 1356 (web)



Alignment: Stewart Haney CEO of Wendel (Williamsville, NY), an innovative AEC and energy efficiency firm that collaborates with clients for a holistic project approach.


A s CEO of Wendel, Haney focuses his time on the firm’s strategy, growth, and culture. His participation in several professional and community boards are a reflection of his passion for achieving goals through the collaborative efforts of talented people. His favorite quote is by former professional hockey player and head coach, Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” “Failing can actually be a good thing,” Haney says. “We fail small, and often. We like to try a lot of things and have an open mind while keeping our head up without making enormous investments. You can learn a lot from failure, and often something great will emerge from it.” A CONVERSATION WITH STEWART HANEY. The Zweig Letter: Under your direction, Wendel has increased in size by about 25 percent in the past three years. What do you attribute that to? Stewart Haney: I largely attribute that to an aggressive

growth strategy. We expanded our interior design and architectural presence in the Midwest and southern regions of the United States. We’ve also taken the concept of being a one-stop-shop or multidisciplinary firm to another level. We’ve developed an intense tool called Immersion which helps to develop project scope in greater detail than what is typical. It’s a superior process. It provides a greater project understanding achieved through discovery workshops; buy-in from key stakeholders, achieved through inclusion at the project’s onset; and consensus on budget and project direction, achieved through heightened project understanding. It leads to an accelerated project timeline achieved through a condensed pre-design phase. We also created what’s called “Master Builder” which integrates construction and design. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? SH: A servant leader. I like to say that I have 300 bosses. I strive to be a level five leader – as outlined in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great . I try to lead by example,


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