A few random thoughts on some recent changes in our business and in the world at large.

I have always thought that change is the most compelling, frightening, exciting, and challenging thing that one will encounter in business or in life. Here are a few random thoughts on some recent changes in our business and in the world at large.

Roof one for the Gipper

The recent passing of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan caused us to recall his tenure as leader of the free world. While reading about his presidency, I could not help but wonder, "What would a successful roofing contractor have in common with Ronald Wilson Reagan?"

Even his political foes have acknowledged that Reagan was the "Great Communicator." He practiced the art of communication with amazing results. Beginning with knowing himself and his message, he kept the message simple and clear. He may have been a complex thinker, but he communicated his vision in such a way that everyone involved understood what it was.

He could have been called the "Great Delegator," because he believed that his role as a leader meant that he was the one who set the course rather than the one who actually held the controls. He put plans into motion and simply cheered on the ones who functioned as the "doers."

Reagan knew himself, believed in himself, and believed in the job he was called to do. His positive outlook was contagious to his entire team and it showed in the results they were able to produce under his leadership. Roofing contractors who know themselves, who have a clear vision for their enterprise, and can successfully communicate that to their customers, employees and vendors, will likewise succeed.

generalRoofing Reorganizes

The great experiment has turned another page with the recent announcement that generalRoofing Services was sold and filed for Chapter 11 protection. The idea of consolidating many commercial roof-contracting firms into one that began back in 1998 has yet to fully "gel" as its founders had originally envisioned. Time will tell if the reorganized giant will emerge as a strong national roof-contracting firm, a big player in a number of key markets, or as a memory of a model whose time had not yet come.

NRCA Out-sources Annual trade Show

The National Roofing Contractors Association recently announced that it had come to a long-ranging (45-year) agreement with trade show operator and media conglomerate Hanley Wood LLC to operate its annual trade show and seminars. This move was part of a significant restructuring of the NRCA headquarters operation.

According to NRCA executive vice president, Bill Good, operating the event took a tremendous amount of energy and focus that will now be turned toward the core issues that are of concern to the NRCA roofing contractor membership. This change will be difficult in some ways, but should ultimately pay the anticipated dividend: a leaner, more focused, and more effective association, better prepared to address the needs of its membership.

Now It's Our Turn

Roofing Contractor is entering a new arena in order to advance our mission of "helping the roofing contractor succeed." This November we will stage our first "Best of Success" seminar. This bold initiative - two days of sessions on key issues affecting the roofing industry - will allow participants to learn as well as share their knowledge and experiences.

There are numerous venues that leaders in the roof-contracting business can go to hone their management skills. It is our intention to make this one of the very best.