While discussing his vision for The Granite Group, Bill’s business coach pitched different goals that he could strive towards—goals tied to profit, goals tied to opening new locations, goals tied to numbers—and none of them really resonated with Bill. Those goals felt like steps on the path to a greater mission. That mission—Bill’s core mission—is to create a “durable growth engine for our people.” He ties the concept of company growth with the actualized growth of his employees. He wants them to have stability, forward progress, and success in their lives and in their careers.
And, from top to bottom, they’ve done it. The morale at this third-generation family-owned company is among the best I’ve experienced while on the We Supply America tour. They have entire families working together at The Granite Group and even those that aren’t related by blood have found a home at work.
Brad Dupuis, the VP of Marketing, joked that he left a “sexy” career as a sportscaster to work for The Granite Group. He sat on a stack of copper pipes as we talked about how having kids led him to look for stability.
“Those sexy businesses, there’s a lot of flash, there’s a lot of perceived ‘coolness’. Do you know what’s cool? It’s being around great people and having the opportunity to build an awesome career with a company that’s pointing north and has the ability to grow and then nurture. That is sexy. That, I love.”
The fact that distribution is, allegedly, not “sexy” is a myth that we have to disprove. Distribution is a sexy industry—it’s full of opportunity, profits, innovation, and it provides long-term and sustainable careers. What could be sexier than that?
We talked about how so many young people want fancy, flashy jobs in industries that offer some sort of cool factor. But flash doesn’t feed you—it doesn’t have the substance to fuel your engine and propel you forward like The Granite Group’s durable growth engine.
During my tour, I’ve seen time and time again that distribution is a people-focused industry. That these companies truly appreciate and care about their staff, and the result is happy, honest, fulfilled employees. The Granite Group is such a good example of this.
“If you’re doing things right,” Brad explained, “You can have an unlimited career. You can make a great living and be surrounded by great people.” And he’s right. After all, isn’t that the point of a career? Being fulfilled, while making a living, providing for yourself and your family, being able to enjoy your job and your life outside of work?
When I visited the distribution center, Vice President of Logistics Mike Wayne pointed out that the company culture has been a surprise to many employees (in the best way possible). They’ve brought on new employees who say that this is the best place they’ve ever worked—the first time they’ve felt important—both because they are paid a living wage but also because of the community they get to be a part of.
“It’s not just about the monetary benefits here. It’s about this close-knit group of people,” Mike explained. This is what The Granite Group leadership wants to provide for their employees.
Kelly Squizzero from Infor joined us at The Granite Group We Supply America film shoot, and she saw how the strong leadership is dedicated to their people-first culture. “It was so evident that they have very strong leadership,” she explained. “They have this amazing family-like culture, and it’s a very well run organization—you can see how much they care through their actions and their words.”
I love how The Granite Group embodies what it means to be a people-centered business—one that truly cares about its customers and one that carries employees from the beginning of their careers to the end of their careers. To me, this is one of the noblest things a company can offer its employees: lifetime fulfilling, and meaningful careers.
You hear it all the time—“putting people first.” Normally, it’s sort of a cliche. It’s something every business says (whether it’s true or not), and few actually deliver on it. But The Granite Group does deliver, in fact, they go beyond “putting people first.”
Deeply ingrained in the strategy—and dare I say, the heart and soul—of the leadership team is a deep awareness of the importance of employment. The jobs they provide and the careers they foster impact the whole person—yes 9 to 5—but beyond that. The Granite Group leaders consider how the company can positively affect the lives of its employees holistically, and they make it a priority to do so.
The Granite Group episode is the perfect capstone to our 8 part docuseries. I hope you’ll be inspired by the nobility of this company that is so dedicated to serving its team.
And don’t forget to check out the bonus interview that I had with Bill Condron. His business insights are grounded in his human-focused strategy. He is known for being a disruptor and his No Assholes Allowed rule—you have to check it out!