An Interview with Bradford Beldon, CEO of the Beldon Companies
By Keith Martino
How will your company be remembered? A sage philosopher once wrote, “The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second-best time is now.” This can also be applied to planning your corporate legacy.
Here’s an opportunity to supercharge your efforts with ten unique ideas practiced by a one-of-a-kind Texas family, the Beldon Companies. This contractor has successfully thrived for seven decades in the scorching heat. It’s particularly brutal in July on the roof of a retail center in the Lone Star state. That’s where their business strategy sizzles most. They are professional roofing contractors. Despite hurricane force gale winds that occasionally rush in from the coast, this company has managed to ride out many storms. Even the recurrent spring floodwaters fail to impede their progress. Their roots run deep. Their reputation is solid and blossoms daily amidst the charities they fund.
In part one of this interview, Brad Beldon, grandson and third-generation CEO fields questions and shares the unique Beldon philosophy for breeding longevity and success. Here’s the first three ideas to help you be successful.
KEITH: We’ll be interviewing Brad today about the reputation that the Beldons have built here in San Antonio, and it’s quite a legacy. In fact, I dare say that you could stop almost any native San Antonian on the street and asked them if they’ve heard of the Beldon name. They would likely say “absolutely” and point to the roof on their house.
BRAD: Probably 10 years ago that could be true, but as the city continues to grow, the name recognition isn’t quite there like it used to be.
KEITH: I don’t know, Brad, I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody in this city that didn’t know you or your family.
BRAD: Maybe if we didn’t roof a millennial’s house, we roofed their parents’ home. [Laughs]
KEITH: The one they grew up in.
BRAD: That’s right.
KEEP PEOPLE GROWING AND THE ENTHUSIASM ALIVE
KEITH: Where does the enthusiasm for the Beldon family come from? How do you keep it so fresh?
BRAD: Our goal every day is to improve the people that we work with and to make them better at what they do. And, if they become better at what they do then the entire organization becomes better.
Our belief is that we’ve got to work from the bottom up and it’s a different philosophy. We try to be transparent in everything that we do with the coworker and the customer.
Our philosophy is what happened yesterday isn’t good enough. So, every day we work on improving. If our expectations start here on Monday, by Friday they are here. Then Monday starts higher still. It doesn’t come back down.
We tell people when they join the organization that if you’re not willing to change and if you’re not excited to get better every single day, you are not going to like it here.
KEITH: Well, you know, it’s been my experience that you guys evolve over the weekends as well. [Smiles]
BRAD: Our goal every day is
TREAT EMPLOYEES AND VENDORS LIKE FAMILY
BRAD: And the business is our family.
KEITH: Yes, it is.
BRAD: Our main philosophy is that our internal customer, external customer, our vendors, anybody that we do business with should be treated exactly the same—like family. They’re part of our ecosystem and we value them as much as we value family members. And so, our philosophy is very different. Our belief is that we should treat you as well as we want to be treated. We don’t hold suppliers’ checks. We don’t send a check in the mail and not sign it. We understand that our partners need our cash to operate their businesses. Our philosophy is that it’s really one large partnership inside of our ecosystem.
MAINTAIN THE VALUES OF YOUR FOUNDERS
KEITH: You mention your grandfather often.
BRAD: To this day, my father and I still talk about my grandfather and my grandmother and what they did and what they didn’t do. When we recently made the sale of one of our divisions and set up the Beldon Foundation, my father said, “Wow, I wonder what Papa and Nana would have thought about this.
It’s true. We often reflect back on what my grandparents would’ve done and how they would have done it. And, you know our thought process follows a very similar pattern. We tend to make decisions the same way. Our values haven’t changed.
Look for part 2 of this article in the next issue of MCS where ideas 4-7 will be discussed.
About the author
Keith Martino, the author of Expect Leadership, has a passion for helping construction and roofing business owners achieve stellar results. Martino is head of CMI, a leadership consultancy founded in 1999 that customizes leadership initiatives in the construction, renovation, and remodeling industries. Prior to founding Keith Martino.com and CMI Assessments, Martino has successfully led sales and marketing organizations for multinational companies.
Modern Contractor Solutions, June 2019
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