We got to do something fun today. We helped dedicate a Habitat for Humanity of Greenville home that our team got to help build. We did this through the annual CEO Build.
The Habitat for Humanity CEO Build is more than having local leaders show up for a few hours to hammer nails or paint walls. The build is about bringing a community together with one common purpose, helping others.
The original idea of a having a CEO Build came from the issue that most companies were being approached to fund an entire build. CEO and president, Monroe Free as well as the Habitat Greenville development staff wanted to find a way that would incorporate multiple businesses to come together to help fund a project. In 2012, the concept of the first Greenville CEO Build was created.
While corporate giving in most cases is throwing a check at a charity or having the company’s name printed on something deemed important, the CEO Build is a chance to give local leaders a way to get involved within the community. Every CEO that comes out to help build each has a unique set of leadership skills and it is always interesting to watch how everyone works together.
Having taken part in the CEO Build for five years no,, I have come to see true leaders emerging with every project. Not every leader is the same. Some take different approaches than others, but as I have stated in the past a great leader is one that is personal. Developing relationships within the company you manage is always a key priority in my opinion. A great way to establish new connections for your businesses is networking at events like the Habitat CEO Build. Not only does it initiate great leadership, but also shows how diverse of a leader someone can become.
While there are many leaders volunteering with the Habitat CEO Build, there are also leaders being created within the Habitat families that receive the houses. Most people have the misconception that the Habitat houses are free, but the families have to put in so many hours of “sweat equity” (meaning the family helps with construction) and I always see several families go above and beyond to help out. Studies show that obtaining the goal of becoming a homeowner makes people want to be more involved within the local community. The new homeowners may start with something as simple as planting a garden in the front yard to getting more involved with the local government.
Throughout the years of leading the CEO Build, I have seen great leaders emerge from the volunteers to the families receiving the home. Every build is unique and getting the opportunity to participate in something so great for the Greenville community has been a challenge at times but ultimately rewarding. In my opinion, it all goes back to being a personal leader. Getting the chance to know these CEOs and the families receiving the Habitat homes has been the best part of leading the builds, and I am excited to see what is to come for the next project.