By Tom Cowan, Director of Operations with Nexus 5 Group
I have known John for quite a while now. Starting from his days at Pearce Construction almost 15 years ago. At that time, he was a project manager and I was a subcontractor on a large church expansion. That project just seemed different. A very complex project that went way smoother than most.
It was a successful project in the end and I can say one of the most enjoyable projects I can remember. Why? There was a real sense of winning on that project. Everyone had a role and was held accountable for it. We also had fun when we could. It was ok to laugh during the sub meeting. Everyone worked together and with confidence. It's easy to look back now and understand and appreciate it (although at the time we both probably took it for granted.)
Fast forward to today.
I can say I've traveled many miles with this man and the same feeling of winning is still alive. There's just something about John that brings out the best in most people. If you know him, then you won't be learning anything here. Why? Because he is consistently sharing this great vibe with everyone he is around. You always know who you're getting.
For me, John represents many things. But first and foremost he is a family man. He is a wonderful husband to his wife and a great father to his four kids. He will always choose family first. That family extends into his work family as well.
John loves to be the center of attention. He will say he doesn’t but he does. He usually regrets being vulnerable later, but we love him because he loves to laugh and not take everything so seriously.
About a year or so ago we adopted the tag line “Servewell”.
This has been something John has said around the office many times. As we solidified the Nexus 5 Group brand, with marketing material and office décor, it was an obvious insert for a tag line. It was John's reminder to himself and for others that, “if you serve well at home, then you will bring your best self to work. If we serve each other [other team members] well, then the bi-product of that is a happy client and serving them well”.
It is a very anti-entitlement approach and one that he expects back. It's this servant leadership that is the catalyst of the successful culture at home and at work.
This was a fishing trip we went on. Although not a big fisherman, we did have some luck and we both were taught the ways of trout fishing. Nobody needed to teach him how to tear up ribs tough.
When John isn't working, he enjoys many activities.
He is involved in many community impact organizations which include Father’s Club on the Board Of Directors, Kansas City Crime Stoppers on the Board Of Directors and Johnson County Human Trafficking Coalition as a Committee Chair to name a few. He is one of the least selfish people with his time that I know.
He is very active in his kids schools and activities. John loves to have fun. He enjoys boating, and boating and boating. He still loves to ski, although admittingly, is harder to do so as the days go on. On top of all that, he still finds time to get up each morning and join the guys for a workout called F3 (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith).
Yeah, he's still got it.
This isn't Johns biography, and if it were I could write a book. There are a ton of details which would describe what makes John a great person. This is a summary... A snapshot in time of my perspective of a man who has mentored me the last 10-15 years. I'm so grateful to have worked alongside him and soak in his ethics and morals.
In the end, I believe there are really only a handful of people who truly define who your are or how you end up. They are the ones who ensure that you get enough space to be yourself but are always there to grab you when you need them. They help shape the way you see the world. John is one of those people for me, as I'm sure he is for many others.