I always wanted to lead, but I wasn’t sure I had or knew of all the tools that would be necessary to be successful. When I was in my formative educational years, it was easy to see that architecture students were never taught how to run a company. After all, why would they teach us about business if only 3% of architects matriculated to leadership roles? So much of my business training was self-guided. When I started with Design Collective, I got involved with finance, the computer systems, metrics, and identifying variables and rubrics to get processes in place and to set standards for performance and evaluation. I use algorithms and percentages, gut instinct and calculated actions. And perhaps what it comes down to, what it always comes down to, is that there is a very key difference between running a business, and letting a business run you.
Every single day is different here; that’s what gets me out of bed and into the office. Though with so many new ways to do things, new technology to utilize and the recognition that ‘change is inevitable and necessary,’ I feel like it’s time for others to assume the reins and time for me to empower them to do that. I feel I’ve outlined the path I think is best for the future of the Firm, and it is my hope that we grow positively in every imaginable aspect. I’m ready for my next step and also ready for Design Collective to embrace theirs.
While Mike Goodwin is stepping into my role, initially it will be hard for one person to do it all. We all have our own personalities and professional strengths and how we bring that uniqueness to the table is what makes us different.
Different things drive our employees these days from when I began my career, and Mike Goodwin bridges that generational gap. Not only is he a solid architect with a great foundation, he understands the rising generation differently. As a generation you are so smart, much more so than when I graduated. For you, eight hours of concentrated work is like banking twelve. You’re like sponges because you pick up concepts so quickly. I challenge you to awaken that internal, integral drive. Ask more questions, make observations that dive beneath the surface, and begin asking why and how this business runs; don’t just experience it as if it were on auto-pilot.
And I encourage you to embrace the here and now. Although we need to honor and understand the past, nobody wants to go through the baggage of what was and what came before. Look forward – that’s how I’m looking at retirement. I’m going to let it come to me.
I have no regrets for my time at Design Collective. I’ve sought to influence others intrinsically, and proud to say the number of those I’ve communicated with and called colleagues over the past thirty years have been in the hundreds.
I’m grateful for all of this, for everything that came before and for everything that will happen after I leave. I would like to think that if there was one phrase to sum up my time here, it might read something like “Rich Marietta. He passed through these doors … and they’re still open.”
Thank you all for making my career worth living...
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