In the spring of 2018, Weston’s CEO, Alan Solow, reached out across the company with a novel idea. He wanted to form a Developing Leader Council (DLC) comprising 10 current employee-owners. He shared a vision of a united task force committed to special projects addressing real company challenges, both operational and cultural, with an expectation of actionable steps that effect real organizational change. The Council would have unique opportunities for their own professional development through special projects and regular engagement with senior leaders and the firm’s Board of Directors. The most notable criteria for nominated members included: demonstrated high levels of performance at Weston, potential for future leadership roles, strong team skills, and the ability to consider and act with a company-wide-perspective.
It soon became clear the DLC was about much more than the promising careers of selected members; instead, the concept stems from a fundamental view on leadership intrinsic to the Weston culture. Alan says, “leadership is the ability to look beyond your own contributions to being able to lead people towards a goal or endpoint.” The DLC works in service of the Weston community, and that’s what its members understand.
The formation of this Council is emblematic of our culture at its very best across all geographies and levels at Weston. The DLC exemplifies the full investment we make in our people, which starts on day 1 when a team member becomes an employee-owner. Our people are truly team-oriented—operating in terms of project teams, proposal teams, client teams, office teams; the DLC shows us that even among strong leaders, the team is essential. Westonites have the trust and cohesiveness to often look no further than one another to solve problems and improve our organization.
Through the Council, we also see the true transparency and openness of our leadership at the top to get direct input and ideas from developing leaders. Alan, who personally vetted these members and is working direct with them, shares his own professional experience, emphasizing the importance of networking and mentors, in his own career.
“Two key mentors helped me along the way and worked with me to grow at Weston. These individuals were key to my growth and helped guide me to new and exciting opportunities. It took patience, resilience, networking, influencing, and candor to progress in my career.”
He adds that “with organizational growth comes new career opportunities. Networking is key. New relationships provide information, perspectives outside your area of influence, innovative ideas, and access to new opportunities. I think it is important to build your network up and down the organization so that you can learn perspectives from across the company. Our unique organizational structure makes it easy for employees to access new and interesting development opportunities and build positive relationships with their Company contacts.”
The DLC is the newest of multiple paths to growth, mentoring, networking, and leadership opportunities for career progression that have long been part of our organization. For example, Weston is proud to sponsor a first-rate Project Manager In-Training Program (PMIT); a new Sales Career Path; and Practice Leaders for all of our disciplines. Employee growth is simply built in to our infrastructure.
Finally, our own CEO helps us see the connection between individual employee growth at all levels and organizational growth, saying, “our growth goals open up leadership opportunities both on the project and technical side, as well as in our sales, account management, and administrative organizations…this will require new leadership to step up and take on new challenges…”
We can’t wait to share more updates about our new DLC and Weston Career Programs. To learn more about Careers at Weston, including our open positions, visit: https://www.westonsolutions.com/careers/