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JACK BROWN

DNA OF A VP OF CONSTRUCTION

DNA Construction Jack Brown headshotWith 31 years of construction management experience under his belt, Jack is passionate about retaining strong professional relationships and a sound reputation within the Multifamily market.

His dream is to lead the most successful and sought after General Contractor in this industry, and he is committed to achieving this goal. Client relations and quality control are hugely important to him, and they influence every decision he makes.

Jack Brown
Senior Vice President
CBG Building Company

Was construction always your career path?
It always was, but there were some times early on in my career that I second guessed whether it was the right choice for me. Especially some of the tough jobs, when you’re working somewhere that isn’t a good fit or on high-stress projects, it can be challenging to stay excited. However, I love it now and I’m very happy I stuck with it. I haven’t questioned it in over 25 years.


What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced along your career path and how did you overcome it?
Working in very political or corporate environments was always challenging for me. It’s similar to what I mentioned on finding the right fit, because there are some situations that you can’t train for. My industry mandates responsiveness, which can be difficult in those types of environments. In the end, I overcame this by seizing a new opportunity with likeminded industry leaders.


What attributes do you think are integral to role?
Relationships are the most paramount thing – you have to thrive on these and genuinely want to strengthen them. This is a small industry in many ways. You have to be open to new relationships while continually maintaining existing ones. That’s what it takes to gain respect and success in the industry.

What is your advice to someone who is moving up the ranks in the field and wants to pursue a management/executive career?
Treat the company like you own it. Not from an ego perspective, but in terms of being invested in the results and performance of the company. No one works harder than the business’s owner. Be the first one in and the last one out. You must enjoy the hard work if you are going to be a leader. And it can’t just be about optics – sitting at your desk until 8pm doesn’t count if you’re not being productive. You have to see your success as contributing to the company’s and vice versa.

How important is it to be exposed to all areas of the business?
You absolutely need to have that broad exposure across the business. Obviously for knowing the ins and outs of your business, but also for connecting and maintaining relationships with everyone you work with, and those who work for you.

You’ll be a better manager if you understand the different roles and responsibilities of everyone in the company.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I especially enjoy watching people grow, seeing the new generations come up and being able to guide them. There are a few people in the industry whom I have known since day one in their careers, and seeing them succeed, knowing that they’ll be able to guide and direct their company into the future – it makes me proud of them and of their company.

It’s a way of leaving a legacy. No matter how much individual success you have, it doesn’t mean that much unless you can pass it on.

In your opinion, how important is networking?
It’s very important. A lot of people put time and effort into networking up – meeting the senior leaders, the company owners, the funders. That’s important, absolutely, but I think it’s easy to overlook networking across all levels, especially internally. When is the last time you attended a meeting where all the superintendents or sub-contractors are attending? Show your face there, talk to the people who actually build your buildings. You’ll meet people with a different industry point of view than those you see every day. With a greater understanding, you’re better able to make informed decisions. And it will build a lot of goodwill.

What advice would you give to the next generation of professionals aspiring to become a construction leader?
You need to cultivate your work ethic. When I see someone who is willing to go the extra mile, and put in their time, it stands out. I will go out of my way to hire them, to help them develop. If you don’t want to work hard then don’t expect to become a business leader.