When Josh Baker, Lawrence Weinberg, and their company, BOWA Builders, were named Big50 in 1992, they already had strong numbers and a great approach to their work. In recent years, however, they've taken steps to ensure that all their employees share their commitment and vision by clarifying their “Core Ideology.”

This statement of key company values is something that is taught to all 70 employees at BOWA, old and new, and has even been translated into Spanish so that every person has a complete understanding. The five core ideologies are simple but essential.

  • Heroic customer service
  • Continual self-improvement
  • Integrity
  • Hard work in a fun atmosphere
  • Sharing the success
  • Baker says, “Core ideology is not something a company invents; it is something a company just has.” Baker and Weinberg had this approach to their work before sitting down to verbalize it, and that is why they have been able to build such a strong business.

    The five values are demonstrated to customers through the service BOWA provides. Baker thinks the values would be watered down if used in marketing. Instead, he says, the benefit comes “when everyone in the company is working within this same mindset, and you can have greater confidence in your staff and in the work that is done.” This idea of show, not tell, has clearly benefited BOWA: Repeat customers are a large part of their business.

    Since 2000, BOWA Builders has taken its dedication to these values to the next level. At every quarterly meeting, the employee who has most clearly demonstrated the values receives a Core Value Award. Anyone can nominate anyone, from laborers to project managers. “This award system has noticeably raised employee morale,” Weinberg says, while helping to put all levels of labor on an even field.