I recently listened to a keynote speech from Gary Brecka, a human biologist, author and entrepreneur, who gave this powerful talk that connected so many dots for me. 

In his speech, Brecka talked about this law in physics called constructive interference, which is when two wavelengths of equal length meet and the size of the frequency doubles. Neither Einstein nor Newton could explain what this phenomenon is, but what this means is you can get energy from conversation. You can get energy from what you’re reading on this page … right now. 

See, you can get energy from people around you. On the opposite side of that spectrum, we’ve all had experiences with people who have sucked the energy out of the room.

Researchers are able to measure the frequency of energy leaving the human body during interactions and can even tell when someone is experiencing anger, passion or despair. 

Do you know what was the most powerful frequency these researchers measured leaving the human body? Authenticity. Researchers said it was 4,000 times more powerful than love! 

Genuine authenticity happens when your words are truthful, and you believe what you’re saying. Every contractor and owner in our industry knows the importance of authenticity. Brecka’s speech then helped me to understand why we work so hard to make our Best of Success conference happen every year. 

If we lacked authenticity in our jobs, we would never earn our clients’ trust. If we lacked authenticity with our clients, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the level of success we’re all aiming for — what every speaker who took the stage at our event last December should be admired for.

Recently, I had the honor of experiencing genuine authenticity in the roofing industry through the heart of Kevin Gwaltney.

I met Kevin, president of Diamond Roofing in Kansas City, Kan., at the 2012 International Roofing Expo in San Antonio. He had just assumed control of the company following the sudden and tragic death of his father — without a succession plan in place.

The pain he was going through was personally and professionally overwhelming, but his story was commanding, and it was his authenticity that made his story powerful. He had pushed aside that grief to share his story so others wouldn’t face the same perils. 

The surge of energy I felt after leaving that meeting motivated me in so many ways; it inspired me to write the Best of Success mission statement. Candidly, that meeting with Kevin influenced how we shape Best of Success to this day. 

Tragically, Kevin passed away from cancer in January of 2023 at just 45 years old. As heartbreaking as it was to lose him, it was incredible to see how many people from different corners of the roofing industry jumped in to help Kevin in his time of need. 

All in all, Brecka’s speech — and Kevin’s legacy — inspired my latest Publisher’s Note, providing me with some tips I hope you take with you after every Best of Success event:

  1. Always be willing to share information within our industry, even with your competitors.

  2. Leave a legacy of building relationships and connections.

  3. Let down your guard, share your knowledge and ask questions.

  4. Allow your clients and peers to feel like family; after all, the roofing industry is one big family.

  5. Create authentic relationships that change your life and business. 

That’s the authenticity that we foster at Best of Success every year and why I dedicated this past conference in Kevin’s honor. So, how are you leading with authenticity in your everyday job? How can you strive for more? 

These are the questions we should be asking ourselves as we move through the 2024 season. To all of you, cheers to a New Year and many fresh starts.