Brett Walsh is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources & Organizational Development for Graycor, a privately held family of companies employing more than 1,200 construction specialists. Brett is a member of the Graycor executive leadership team and is responsible for delivering people programs in the areas of recruitment and selection, talent development, succession planning, retention, total rewards, organizational development, employment branding, and employee engagement.

In this conversation, Brett lays out how he and his leadership team transformed the Graycor culture from “command & control” to one of “servant leadership” where “it’s not about who is right but what is right”. He talks about the conversations that started the process, the hiccups along the way, and how they continue to evolve and build into their people.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Time Codes

(2:28) – Pitching Graycor

(4:02) – What are some of the industries and verticals that you get into?

(5:33) – How do these divisions that are based on building types interact with each other?

(6:46) – How would you describe the culture of the employees at Graycor?

(8:55) – What was the impetus for the switch away from this ‘Command & Control’ culture?

(11:23) – Is it fair to say that there really wasn’t an expert on the people side of the business and they needed to bring someone like you in to change that?

(13:42) – What does the process look like to align all of these pieces and get folks on board with basic strategies?

(16:24) – What was the forum for these discussions?

(20:10) – Do you have an example of an issue where there was disagreement between you and higher-ups?

(22:34) – What did the second conversation look like in your job interview after the initial one lead to a heated disagreement?

(26:10) – Have you always been more of a ‘listener’ than a ‘talker’?

(29:12) – Have you learned your willingness to be self-critical and desire to improve through mentors and others in your life?

(35:02) – How are you holding leaders accountable?

(35:29) – Are these conversations happening one on one or is it during a management training program?

(38:48) – Are there any programs, books or assessments used through the leadership training programs that you’ve found to be effective?

(45:05) – What is the hardest thing for folks to grasp when learning servant-leadership?

(47:37) – How are you elevating yourself/others while also giving ‘the job’ away at the same time?

(54:14) – What are you most excited about right now?

(57:41) – What is the purpose of business?