Creating a Family-First Culture with Jim Robinson



Summary:

On this episode of FM Evolution, host Shawn Black talked with Jim Robinson, who is the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services, as well as an author, speaker, certified business coach and chairman of a nonprofit. Jim has practiced the family-first culture at his company for nearly 37 years, ever since he started and became the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services. Jim continually works to create a culture of dignity and respect among his employees and with their clients. In this episode, Shawn and Jim discuss how to create, maintain, and spread the family-first culture.


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Show Notes:

(1:56) Creating a Family-First Culture

(4:05) Environment for Openness

(6:27) Growing as a CEO

(8:00) Advice for Creating an Open Door Policy

(12:28) Misconception with Family-First Model

(15:54) Autonomy in the Family-First Environment

(18:25) The Importance of Diversity

(21:07) Encouraging Communication

(28:53) How Family Culture Impacts Client Engagement


Links:

Shawn Black

Jim Robinson


Quotes:

“You have to do that in the interview process. You gotta get them open. You gotta…as they interview you, you started on the sales pitch and you trying to sell the idea for them working for you versus asking more questions of them.” Jim Robinson, (3:08)


“That CEO thing just means I'm responsible to them. Not for them. I got to screw some things up, but I am responsible to them. That means [I’ve] got to do my very best to make sure we're continually growing and have a place for them to call home.” Jim Robinson, (7:49)


”[The family-first model is about] respect and dignity, caring, loving, learn to love, learn to be loved, accept love from others. That's really, really what we all want anyway. Why not give that?” Jim Robinson, (10:05)


”Family can be complicated. We prefer it not to be. So we simplify the family model and we just say, treat them like you treat your great-grandmother: dignity and respect, collaborate, ask opinions…” Jim Robinson, (19:37)


“Practice quality service, treat them like you'd treat your great grandmother: dignity and respect [at] all times and ask, what else can you do for them?” Jim Robinson, (31:55)


Creating a Family-First Culture

On this episode of FM Evolution, host Shawn Black talked with Jim Robinson, who is the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services, as well as an author, speaker, certified business coach and chairman of a nonprofit. Jim has practiced the family-first culture at his company for nearly 37 years, ever since he started and became the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services. Jim continually works to create a culture of dignity and respect among his employees and with their clients. In this episode, Shawn and Jim discuss how to create, maintain, and spread the family-first culture.


Inviting Others to Openness

At 19 years old, Jim Robinson became the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services. At the same time, he also started the family-first culture. Family-first culture means treating others like family and doing everything you can to help them, whether they be your coworkers, employees, or clients. This culture makes people feel well-respected to the point where they can make mistakes, grow from them, and be supported in that process.


Family-first culture starts immediately with the interview, where Jim believes that instead of telling people they’re great, employers need to let them open up and show how great they are. By being open and honest themselves, employers invite new employees and clients to do the same. Although this concept may seem trite, very few companies truly embrace and practice this to the extent that Jim and his employees do today.


Buying into the Family Concept

As a CEO, Jim insists that he is no different than anyone else in the company. All he wants to do is learn with and from his employees, and he believes the best and most effective way to do this is to employ a culture of family. To do this, Jim is open and honest with the people around him, and he has found that doing so invites others to do the same.


“That CEO thing just means I'm responsible to them. Not for them. I got to screw some things up, but I am responsible to them. That means [I’ve] got to do my very best to make sure we're continually growing and have a place for them to call home.” Jim Robinson, (7:49)


Employing a family-first culture is important not only for morale among business people but also for client satisfaction. Jim and his team achieve this by always asking what they can do for their clients, and that becomes contagious. Eventually, it gets to a point where it’s unintentional, and clients are consistently satisfied because of the positivity and dignity with which they were treated, which is a result of the family-first model.


Just like every family has its dysfunctions, so does a work family. However, the difference is that Jim sees these as opportunities to learn, grow, and help each other instead of points of frustration.


”Family can be complicated. We prefer it not to be. So we simplify the family model and we just say, treat them like you treat your great-grandmother: dignity and respect, collaborate, ask opinions…” Jim Robinson, (19:37)


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