How Teamwork and Technology Propel Us Forward: The Role of a Leader

When I joined Cornejo & Sons four years ago, I saw immediately that the company has a great legacy here in Wichita. They’ve been around for many years, and they set a standard for what you expect from construction. Our president, Georges, and I felt early on that it was important to continue this legacy and develop its vision to bring us into the next generation of Cornejo & Sons. For us, that meant focusing on teamwork and technology.

 

On the technology side, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve. Construction is built on sweat and hard work, and technology doesn’t do the work for us — it just allows us to make better decisions. As enthusiastic techies, our leadership team seeks out technology that will provide better service to our clients. In addition to helping us stay connected to our clients and the community, we use technology to improve the process of mapping sites. In the past, you had to conduct surveys weeks in advance, and you might drive an hour and a half to get to a site. Now, we can use drones to fly over a site and get a look at it in real time. I’m able to make fact-based decisions even when I’m not there. It helps me lead and serve my team better, too. I can see what they’re seeing even when I can’t be there, so I’m able to give them instant support.

 

As a leader, that is my role — to serve my team. I’m responsible for providing our team with what they need to operate at the highest level of efficiency. My job is to put them in the right position for success. For my team to do their jobs at the high standard of operation our company is defined by, they need the right tools, the right team, and the right leadership. Their ability to do their jobs at the highest level depends on me. I take that role very seriously. My focus goes beyond the operational duties and focuses on building relationships within our company and the community.

 

We’re lucky to have a leader at the top like Georges, whose character sets the standard of excellence in integrity and hard work. He passes that on to each member of our team. As Georges mentioned, we have a robust summer intern program — we keep them active! We train this next generation of engineers and construction workers and teach them how to carry out the job right by Cornejo & Sons standards. Teaching also helps keep our minds fresh and young. With our involvement in the Young Professionals of Wichita, we extend that talent development to our town’s own citizens.

 

I’m passionate about helping train the next generation of engineers — I love getting in front of a group of students and sharing what I know about this industry. It’s the reason I’ve volunteered on steering committees for STEM education in schools. It’s not only a passion of mine but a commitment to having a positive impact on the community, and it’s a commitment that everyone at Cornejo & Sons upholds.

-Pat Short