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president's letter
Success: we all want it – how do we achieve it?
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Sam Bruce
NTCA President
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Greetings NTCA! I’m honored to be serving as your President for the next two years. I want to thank Martin Brookes for his contributions during a very trying time for the industry – and the world – over these last two years. I look forward to building on the foundation that Martin, and those presidents who came before him, established.
Since this is my first President Letter, I just wanted to jump right into what has been on my mind for the industry. Abraham Lincoln stated it simply in one sentence: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Professional and personal growth are keys to success at every level within a business. As a business owner, or leader in your company, you have a responsibility to keep growing to lead your company in the right direction. You also have the responsibility to help others with their growth, to help them succeed. As employees of a company, you too have the responsibility to keep growing, as you are the key to any company’s success. When growth is a focus of your business, everyone will succeed.
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Business leaders As leaders within a business, you have a huge responsibility to make sure your business is profitable and successful. This ensures that people will have jobs, get paid, and can provide for their families. Your growth is a key to making these things happen. Even if your business is thriving, you cannot become stagnant. The tile industry is constantly changing and you must change with it.
Professional growth can be achieved by attending industry conferences and events. Here is where you see the most current industry developments, trends, and changes. Also, connecting and listening to people at conferences allows you to see other perspectives beside your own, and creates opportunities to learn different ideas to improve the way you do business. Outside of knowing tile, working on your soft skills is just as important. Some of these skills include communication, leadership, time management, adaptability, and problem solving.
Tile installers As employees, you have the opportunity to make a big impact on the success of the company you work for. Your growth will add value to the company and increase your own value and worth.
If you are a tile installer, professional growth is a must! Tiles come in different sizes, shapes, and material and you must know how to install them all correctly. You too can grow your knowledge through attending industry conferences, trainings, and workshops. Industry certifications, such as apprenticeships, Certified Tile Installer (CTI), or Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT), are also ways to add to your value as an installer, and they too promote professional growth.
However, do not think of growth just as tile techniques, methods, or installation skills; soft skills are just as important. If you are a tile setter, you most likely are responsible for much more than just setting tile. Sometimes you are also a project manager with the responsibility of ensuring a project is completed on time and within budget, a supervisor overseeing other installers, and in many instances, you are communicating daily with the customer. Growth in soft skills such as leadership, time management, and communication are just as important as knowing how to install tile, and have just as much impact to a successful project. Look beyond your normal avenues to grow soft skills through seminars, local junior colleges, online schools, books, or any other outlet that offers trainings in these areas.
Lastly, everyone can benefit from the knowledge of others. Seeking out a mentor and networking are ways to grow from other people. Every convention I attend, my goal is to bring back something that I can apply to my business. Many times the things I bring back I have learned from one of my peers. We can all learn from each other as we all have different talents and strengths. Usually what I admire most about others is the things they do better than me. The biggest benefit of being a member of the NTCA is what you can learn from other members, as they are experiencing the same challenges as you.
People who invest in themselves become more valuable in all that they do. Companies that create a culture and avenues where employees can develop will be successful. No matter what your role is in the tile industry, make growth a focus and “success will take care of itself.”
Best to your success, Sam Bruce President, NTCA SamB@vctile.com