Once Felix, Paul and Bill joined forces, they knew the success of the next stage of their careers would depend on their core values and ability to support each other through the severe pressures of a startup.
They talked for a while about what they liked and didn’t like in the companies where they had worked or knew about. They also talked about the things they really liked in the companies they were familiar with.
For them, it was important to “Dare to Be Different”
Below is an excerpt from Mustang, The Story, Chapter 5: Dare to Be Different:
Paul, Felix and I were bothered by the treatment of project people in Houston. Top management at engineering and construction companies seemed comfortable with a “plug and play” mentality towards engineers, drafters and support people on their projects. They felt the ebb and flow of project people was mandated by the vagaries of winning bids, compounded by capricious industry cycles. There was nothing they could do to create continuity of work for more than a core team. We had seen the piping design group at CBS go up to 35 people, then down to 5, then up to 37 and down to 6. Each time we moved a project into drafting, we had new players, so we saw the same mistakes being made in the design. This frustrated us and our clients, who expected us to get better with each project.
We loved the people and the “can do” attitude towards any challenge thrown in front of them. The feeling of accomplishing a tough mission when everything finally comes together through the team’s efforts was a great adrenalin rush. We enjoyed the small company feel and being around really good technical people.
Our drivers for jumping into the abyss were primarily other oriented; providing job security to keep our teams together, assembling good teams to take care of the client’s work, creating flexibility to stay ahead of industry changes, and generating continuous profitable work so the company would not disappear out from under people and clients. If we could pull all of this off, we would have a great place to work and have more fun doing projects…lots of possibility in all of this!
Felix, Paul and Bill determined that they had to be different in order for Mustang to be successful. How can you “dare to be different” in your career?