Ron Wolf Blog Series – Step #8 to Building a Winning Organization

Ron Wolf Blog Series – Step #8 to Building a Winning Organization

20181130 190629 300x146      71A0EWJB5FL. SX303 BO1204203200  193x300

(Editor’s Note: Cornerstone Development had the honor of hosting a private dinner event with former Green Bay Packers General Manager Ron Wolf.  Besides being treated to a host of great inside football stories (and maybe a tall tale or two!), Mr. Wolf was kind enough to share some excellent business insights which he detailed in his book, The Packer Way: Nine Stepping Stones to Building a Winning Organization.)

The following is the eighth in a series of blogs examining these stepping stones and how they relate to building success and improving our product within Cornerstone Development.)


I don’t think there’s ever been a builder in history that hasn’t dealt with some adversity. Ron Wolf titles this chapter, “Handling the Unexpected” and basically, things happen in life, in the construction industry, in football games, and within families. So, the point that I love that Ron makes in this section of his book – which I highly recommend that everybody reads this chapter – is that the game must still be played.  Don’t take the ‘Woe is Me” attitude.

You have to embrace what’s happened, figure out how you can solve it and then move on. At Cornerstone, we’ve had instances where something’s miss-shipped, something’s installed in the incorrect place. These problems can all be fixed but you have to handle it with the grace, integrity and foresight to know that it will be done and it will be done right. You must communicate this to your respective home buyers.

Here’s a more specific example.   We were building within the City of Brookfield years ago (2010) and we all know how cold it gets in Wisconsin. The City came out to our site to shut off the water stops to the buildings that were under construction. They shut them off in the street so that it doesn’t go up and then freeze at the building. That’s their responsibility to handle this, not ours. We take it from where the water gets to the building, but we didn’t want water coming up for that sole purpose. It can’t freeze.

So springtime comes that year and – thank God for this! – the plumbers are working on this framed out building. They are in the building and suddenly the water, which had not been shut off to this building, erupted. The ice had corked the four-inch main to the building and the main blows! The PSI (pounds per square inch) was tremendous. It actually could have killed someone had they been standing right over this piping.

Suddenly you have water just spraying in and raining on the homes. Fortunately, those homes weren’t finished but the water rushed in up to the ceilings and the rafters. We were lucky that we had guys on site who were intelligent enough to know how to shut off the stop in the street and they knew where it was.

It only blew for a couple of minutes because they had they had to get a tool to reach down under the ground. It’s like a long wrench that reaches in and they shut it off. Unfortunately, the damage had been done, so we had to call in restoration services to dry out the building and it set us on our heels for a little bit. But we didn’t take the “Woe is Us” approach. This game went five quarters and we did a little overtime on this one but we knew we were going to be okay.

The message I would like our home owners and prospective buyers to take from all of this is that they can expect that we are in it together, not just up until closing but beyond. There is a warranty and we set our home owners up for success. We are committed to that success, that mutual success. So we want them to love their home and they will love their home. That commitment will get us through any “Woe is Me” unexpected circumstances.

In the end, our home owners are part of the neighborhood, loving their home and enjoying the new lifestyle that they have!

Next Time:  Ron Wolf’s Ninth Stepping Stone – STAYING ON TOP