Likewise, Duffany reflects on how clients’ goals have become refined over the past decade. “People are building for the next generations. It has become important to make sure that adult children and grandchildren are acknowledged in the design and amenities,” he says.
If “The sins of the fathers are to be laid upon the children,” as Shakespeare wrote, then conversely shouldn’t it be true that the hard work and lessons learned be passed along to the willing and capable children as well? In both companies, the next generation has essentially spent a life in training. Both fathers are understandably proud, but both also possess acute clarity when discussing their sons’ skills and abilities. Bob McPhee says that Rob is far better prepared than he was when he was Rob’s age. “He has recognized the value of customer service, and he has incorporated it into the way that he works as well,” he observes.
When asked what he has learned from his father, Rob says with a chuckle, “Where do I begin? But honestly, I’ve learned a lot. Just the patience, the listening to people and what they want, it is what I witnessed my father doing my entire life. Growing up and working in this company, right down to learning the mannerisms of dealing with clients, employees and subcontractors, I learned it all from shadowing and watching my father.”
Mike Duffany says that the decision to hire his sons during their summer school break was a no-brainer. “I’ve always told them, ‘What other job can you get that will give you time off to go to various summer camps and still have a job when you come back?’” Both boys were active with football, lacrosse and scouting. Mike Duffany has been involved with scouting his entire life, and has achieved Star Scout accreditation himself. But both Tim and Todd are Eagle Scouts, and all three credit the discipline and dedication gleaned from scouting as integral elements of the success achieved in their business.
Mike goes on to say that he knew the skills his sons gained in construction would always serve them well. Whatever their career choice, they could either hire a contractor and have an understanding of how things could be done, or at least perform the work themselves. “Either way, they would always have a skill that would serve them well,” Mike says.
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