I’d like to introduce you to Grant Garrett, owner of Garrett Excavation. Grant is a fellow 1994 grad from Lake Hamilton High School. We didn’t know each other too well back in school, but well enough that I can call him a friend. Grant asked if I’d be willing to visit a few of their job sites to take some photos for various promotional needs. One of which was to print a large poster to be gifted to a few clients. I guess this was my first official “corporate job” and I’m very thankful he gave me a shot. I love taking photos of dramatic scenes with lots of grit, grunge, and details. This was the perfect opportunity for just that!
First, a little background on Grant. In high school, Grant was known for being a big, powerful offensive lineman. His job was to muscle up and push people around. He was so good that he ended up playing for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and then was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Personally, I was elated because I’m a long-time Packers fan! His NFL career didn’t last very long, but you can’t help but respect how far he made it in football.
Ironic isn’t it that Grant went from being a big, powerful lineman who’s job was to push people around to running an excavation business where he uses big, powerful equipment to push stuff around!?
Grant drove me to three different job sites so we were together for much of the day. You learn a lot about someone when you spend that much time with a person at work. I have to say, I’m very impressed with who Grant is and what he has become over the years.
So, what did I learn about Grant? First of all, he is a rare breed of person who has great leadership ability to run a large company. Many people would be crushed by the pressure of so many responsibilities. While we were together, he must have fielded over 20 phone calls. Some were simple questions, others covered logistics of moving equipment, some related to the issue of the breakdown of an extremely expensive piece of equipment. Then there were staffing questions, meeting highway standards, testing soil, or setting up equipment maintenance. To be honest, I’m amazed at how he can keep on top of so many things. You see, Grant is running a BIG company. They have equipment and job sites all over Arkansas. Grant is gifted with the ability to lead.
Another thing that impressed me was Grant’s compassion for people. If you study personality profiles at all you’ll know that this is a rare combination when you can be leadership and task-oriented as well as people-centric. No matter what phone call Grant received and how urgent the matter, Grant was patient, kind, and soft-spoken in response. When it would be easy to get frustrated and respond with harshness, Grant chose to be compassionate and understanding. I once heard that if you wanted to know a person’s true character, see how he treats his waitress. I actually had a chance to see this in action. We stopped for a bite to eat for lunch and it was a place he visited often. The waitress spotted him immediately and asked if he wanted his usual. You could tell she was delighted to see him there.
Another character trait that shined through was Grant’s humility. This is another trait that is rare in leadership. During one of our many conversations, Grant said whether he lived in a $1 million home or a single wide trailer, he knew he was going to be ok. Success for Grant hasn’t made him prideful. Somehow he has remained grounded and personable. This is true with his business life as well. In the corporate world it can become a dog-eat-dog environment where everyone hates their competition. Grant has good relationships with the other people in his industry and respects their operations.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because it was a good reminder and challenge to me personally to remember what is truly important in life. It also reminds me that it isn’t only the shady guys working the system that are successful. Good guys can still do things the right way and be successful. That brings me to another good trait about Grant: work ethic. Grant works and he works hard. He brought his “work hard, do your best, and deliver quality” attitude from high school, college, and the NFL to the excavation business.
Ok, enough flattery. I don’t want it going to his head! LOL! Grant is a great guy, he runs an incredible operation, and I truly enjoyed this assignment.