My wife’s car was twelve years old and between the paint touch-ups from my guy Benny and the engine that rattles more than an angry snake, it was time to move on. I reached out to my brother and resident deal-hunter for advice. He told me not to be afraid of buying a car out of state if it was the right car. He expanded on the concept by indicating that when you buy a car from a far distance the built-in road trip back to home allows you to form a bond with the car and your travel mate making the new car an experience rather than a purchase. Although I love watching shows about junkyard cars coming back to life, I would not claim that I am a “car guy.” That said, I do understand the attachment that comes along with major purchases like this, especially ones that offer a bit of a vacation.
So we did it. We bought the used car my wife had found in Salt Lake City and my thirteen-year-old son and I flew out in the morning. We completed the purchase and cruised the ten plus hour drive with impromptu stops to enjoy the sites along the way. My techie, knowledge devouring son had read the entire manual by hour two and discovered things about the car we didn’t know we purchased, like remote-start. Around the bend arrives Grand Junction–time to hike through the canyon; at Rifle–grab an ice cream, and so on.
During the hours of windshield time I pondered what my brother had said and realized that starting a relationship with a new client and project team has this same opportunities as the car-purchase-inspired road trip. So often, like other project team members, we are hired for our utilitarian qualifications. We jump right in showing our performance abilities but fail to take the time to sit down with the client and the team to learn about them discovering shared quirks and sometimes realize what we didn’t buy (like fold-in mirrors!).
In what are busy times for all of us, no doubt, I encourage you to take the time to get to know each other at the onset of a project. This does not have to be an elaborate outing. Consider bringing in lunch and dedicating time to discuss people’s backgrounds. Get creative and let us know what team building solutions you come up with!
~ Paul Wember, Owner’s Representative