- Top-Notch Company Culture, Instincts Helps MSNW Group Shine
A Lesson In Business Succession
Business thrived and Bruland grew as she tackled difficult challenges and learned hard lessons. She also used her experiences to demonstrate strong leadership to the person who would ultimately become her successor: her daughter.
Terell Weg grew up around MSNW, so she knew all about the company and the different industries it services, including janitorial, landscaping, construction, maintenance, etc. She was 10 years old when her parents started the company and has memories of pushing trash around and helping her dad to do inspections. In high school, she answered phones — not too bad a gig since the company’s office was in her home. At 16, she even took over her own account that she handled after school.
What Weg didn’t know is whether she actually wanted to work at MSNW after high school. But after graduating from Gonzaga University in her home state of Washington with a degree in business administration, Weg was compelled to come back. She began in a human resources role and eventually moved up into leadership.
It didn’t take long for Weg to justify her rank. She thrived in a lot of different facets of the business, but was best when interacting with others.
“It just became very apparent that she loved the clients and loved the team,” says Bruland.
However, not everything went as planned for the Bruland-Weg duo. Bruland wanted to transition away from MSNW in 2016 so that she could focus on leadership development and her book, “The Success Lie: 5 Simple Truths to Overcome Overwhelm and Achieve Peace of Mind,” but Weg rejected the offer to take over. A young mother, she wanted to spend quality time with her two boys and planned to have a third child.
Weg’s desire to expand her family won out and she took an extended maternity leave (five months instead of her usual few weeks) to be with her baby. But the show had to go on, so Bruland promoted another individual to manage the company.
As it turned out, that individual left the company in 2017. The timing was right and Weg was hungry and as ready as ever. Her five months away from the company helped her discover her strengths and come to her own conclusion that leading MSNW was what she was destined to do.
“When Terell was able to see someone else in her role, she saw that was something she needed to be doing,” says Bruland.
But Bruland wasn’t prepared to just hand the lead position off to her daughter. In fact, it ultimately was MSNW’s management team that selected Weg — not Bruland.
“When Terell expressed interest in that position, everybody from the management team wanted her. It was unanimous that it had to be Terell,” says Bruland. “If I didn’t have a management team that supported the decision, we would have gone in a different direction.”
Weg could have eased into a comfortable chair of complacency once she was officially announced as president of MSNW in 2019. After all, the company was doing well, but her gut instinct told her “no.” Instead, the new young leader has been fashioning her company to fit its future.
“For me, it was really important to build my own circle of colleagues that I can bounce ideas off of,” says Weg.
She started to build that circle as she and her husband attended Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) events and networked with industry colleagues. Especially the association’s annual CEO Seminar.
“This is where we really clicked with people and built our circle,” says Weg. “We now have friends for life who happen to be colleagues from BSCAI. I know we can call them for anything, whether it’s business or personal.”
She’s needed people she can trust, of course. Like nearly every other building service contractor in the United States, MSNW has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has been tough on the entire staff. Weg and her employees found themselves going through stages of grief — they were in denial, then were angered, depressed and now are accepting that things will be different for a while.
“When leading a company, it’s hard to separate business from personal, so the cycles of grief were intermingled between making adjustments at work with our team and clients — really every single part of our process,” says Weg. “Then the added stress of making the same changes at home, with our children being ‘quaran-schooled’ and not being able to leave our homes, not being able to get the groceries we needed, not finding toilet paper anywhere. Everyone was affected in one way or another with this pandemic. Overall we are extremely blessed and our business has prevailed. All we can be now is thankful.”
Weg loves a challenge, though. In fact, she thrives under pressure and as difficult as it has been going through this pandemic, she believes MSNW is flourishing.
“It’s proved to me that I have the right people and the right team in place,” says Weg. “My team — anything that’s come up — they’ve been on it.”
Weg says she isn’t sure what MSNW is going to look like after the pandemic, because it’s not until then that its entire impact will be realized. But, when the challenging after effects do show themselves, Weg will implement lessons she learned watching her mom all those years and will be ready to pivot.
Top-Notch Company Culture, Instincts Helps MSNW Group Shine
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