My father founded F.H. Perry Builder in 1977. I purchased the company from him in 2008, and today, I’m president and owner. We serve the Greater Boston market.
In 2014, I started a marketing exercise, sending a newsletter to trade partners, clients, architects, interior designers, vendors, and industry colleagues. And committing to monthly musings meant I needed content. So, in each issue, I would describe a small, personal event in my life and tie it to the business. I got a lot of great responses, and over time, I started paying more attention to my writing.
It turned out that writing wasn’t just this little hobby I have but was, rather, a way I could share meaningful content that actually resonated and worked for people. After a while, I had quite a few newsletters, and it occurred to me it might be good to put all of them together in a book.
The book is titled Leading With HEART. It’s a bit of a play on words because HEART actually spells out the values of F.H. Perry Builder: Human, Empathic, Adaptable, Refined, and Transparent. There is a sixth value as well, Communicative, which has its own section in the book.
When I originally wrote the newsletters, the topics reflected whatever was on my mind that day. But when putting the book together, we organized the pieces to fit into the categories of the company values, each saying something about leading the company. I didn’t want to order the pieces chronologically. I thought it would be interesting to have a piece from 2015 followed by something written post-pandemic. I wanted to give the reader variety but also a way to recognize the consistency of our values throughout the years.
There is a section called “A Quick Note on How to Use This Book” that guides you to read it all at once, start to finish, or pick one piece out in the middle at random. Sections are meant to stand on their own.
Another interesting thing I learned over the years is that I couldn’t predict what people would respond to. I got a lot of feedback on the newsletters that often surprised me. There would be a line that felt like a throwaway to me, but then someone would send a note saying, “You just captured the story of my whole year in that one line. Let me tell you what happened to me and why this resonates so deeply.”
The immediate and very personal responses taught me what writing should be about in the first place: that the reader is moved… even if it isn’t in the way you thought.
What Kind of Leader Are You?
So many of us go into remodeling and lead our companies by instinct. We go by what feels right. Anytime that you can begin to name what “feels right” actually means for you, that is the distinguishing factor for your company. It helps your team and your clients know who you are.
With this in mind, I hope that sharing this book inspires you to think about who you are as a leader. That’s what working on it did for me. I’m also hoping that Leading With HEART is meaningful to my team, my clients, and to people, such as architects, who are considering working with us and want to know us more deeply.
You can purchase Leading With HEART at fhperry.com/book.