By Tony Whitaker
Recently I was asked by a friend if I love my job. I enthusiastically affirmed that I do indeed enjoy the work that I do; but more importantly, I love the results of my professional activities. I described how I am able to help people and organizations achieve their goals or to somehow further their mission, and that this is a very satisfying way to use my time, intellect, and energy. I explained to my friend that although my work generally involves development or renovation of real estate; no one does this kind of risky work for its own sake. Those who pursue land development activities are always trying to achieve some other greater purpose. And for me, this is where the satisfaction is found.
I have always been impressed by the diversity of purpose that I see in clients as they pursue their projects: a business owner who wants to expand the family business… a charter school with a unique plan for educating students… an organization that builds high-quality care facilities for seniors… a church that is passionate about serving its community. There seems to be no end to the variety of ways that the beneficial development and use of land can achieve worthy objectives. My job allows me to perform in this very challenging, but opportunity-rich, arena.
Another way that I think about this topic is to see it as a basic value proposition. Almost everyone wants to create or add value in some way. I routinely see our clients create value for their businesses, for their organizations, and for our communities at large. In the same way, our staff members feel a strong sense of satisfaction from adding our own contributions to the total value equation. Broadly speaking, we categorize the beneficial results of our work as adding financial value, functional value, or social value. Of course, the greatest satisfaction comes when all three value types are achieved.
If I ever doubt this value, all I need to do is drive by one of the neighborhoods that we designed twenty or more years ago, and consider the families who have been sheltered, the children who have been nurtured, the birthday parties and cook-outs that have brought people together, and the lifelong memories that have been created in that place. At one level, it appears to simply be a modest subdivision of land with streets and utilities… but I know that it is so very much more. This is why I love my job!