Odd Fellows Contracting started in 1988 working on small projects and “odd jobs” but has developed into an award-winning Design Build remodeling contractor in the Greater Lansing area. It has taken over 30 years of growth and development to be where we are today and the journey continues. I asked the owner, Bret Oleksyn, to share some thoughts on a phrase the he uses often when talking to us. The phrase is “The Relentless Pursuit of Better”. He uses it in a way to help us not get stuck in our day to day and as motivation to help us improve. Here are his thoughts:
When I was young, my mother would tell me that she would always love me, no matter what, and that if I always tried to do my best, she would ALWAYS be proud of me, no matter what. It wasn’t long before I began to understand that doing my best not only gave good results, but also, mom being proud of me earned some additional benefits, such as stopping by the ice cream store before getting groceries, or perhaps I would even get to go to the grocery store while my brothers and sisters worked on the family farm. As I grew older, bigger, and stronger, I realized that doing my best accomplished more than it used to, and even better in most cases. For the record, doing my best was a little hit and miss. I was after all, still a young boy.
Getting older still is when I became of more help to my dad on the farm. In working with Dad, he used to say some things that I didn’t always want to hear but as I matured, they made more sense. He’d say things like, “Always do a little more today than you did yesterday, if you can.”. He’d also say, “Never leave for tomorrow what you can finish today.”.
With these and other great examples, it just made too much good sense to fully apply ones-self to a given task or project, if in fact the task or project is worth doing in the first place. Over the years, I have discerned two additional benefits about this mindset. One is that it is not much more difficult or tiring to give it some extra gumption and get it over with no matter how unpleasant the thing might be. The other is that fully engaging can be somewhat entertaining along the way as well. When you give your all to something, it has a way or making it more enjoyable. It may be enjoyment due to a self-competitiveness or, from an exercise basis or, even from psychological and therapeutic benefit, depending on the activity, it could even be all three.
Somewhere along the way, it struck me that no-one knows their potential, no one! So, I began to ask people two basic questions. Question #1: Do you know your potential? Of course, no one says yes. The second question is, who wants to limit their potential? Again, no one says yes to that question either.
So where does this leave us? It’s very easy. Do your best at everything worthy of pursuing. As you get older, more knowledge and more wisdom and “better” in general, continue to do your best with the new and renewing you each day, each week, each month, and each year.
This is the path that I have referred to as, “The Relentless Pursuit of Better”
I see this attitude throughout our culture here at Odd Fellows Contracting. The goal is to improve ourselves, improve the team, and improve the customer experience throughout all that we do. We stumble occasionally along the way but we have a culture where we learn and grow and pursue excellence. Things are never stagnant here and it great to be part of a wonderful team of “pursuers” as we make beautiful changes to our customer’s lives and homes.