From The Editor




In this space last issue, I cried on your shoulder about how the pipes had burst in my house. Due to the resultant damage, I complained, my family and I had to temporarily move in with my parents. On the bright side, I posited, it looked like we might only be out of our house for 3-4 weeks.

If only. It’s now been more than two months since I last lamented the situation, and we’re still not back in the house. Oh, it’s true, we might be able to move back home next week. But maybe we won’t; maybe my floor guy will throw out his back. Maybe an adventurous contractor will find more water damage. Maybe a meteor will hit our house.

I’m now a wizened veteran too frequently burned to get my hopes up. (And, thankfully I have very accommodating parents who are putting up with my ragtag crew, which includes a boisterous 2-year-old.) One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is dealing with my mortgage company — perhaps even more difficult than working with insurance. My insurance settlement checks are made out not just to me but also to my mortgage company, naturally, since they own more of the house than I do. But getting them to endorse the check so that I can have the money and (novel idea) pay the workers has been a labored process — why companies like that one make communications so difficult and uninformative is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum and bound with red tape.

After multiple weeks of faxing papers and notary public endorsements and frustrated phone conversations, the mortgage company belatedly informed me that I could escape this bureaucratic labyrinth in which I was imprisoned if I agreed to act as my own contractor on the project to expedite my receiving my insurance money. It would be up to me to enlist the workers and make sure they do the work satisfactorily and to pay them. “Is that something you’d be interested in, Mr. Akers?”

“Um, yeah. Since that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for two months already.”

My Dad made the point later that a big project like my home repairs (north of $60,000 and counting) needs a boss to manage personalities and to keep an eye on the details (was that baseboard painted yet?) and the middle ground (the cabinet guy has to finish before the floor guy gets here) but not at the expense of the big picture (it’s gonna cost what?).

All that sounds like the job of a CEO, and if it’s anything like my own personal homeowner slog, they can have it. In this issue, MBQ honors the CEOs of the Year in the Mid-South: the folks who hold the center together and push on toward the goal amidst a maelstrom of unpredictable and uncontrollable forces. Setbacks will happen, but endurance is the key. And then, one day, you and your team have achieved victory and you’re back in your house and sitting in your comfy chair and catching up on Justified. I don’t know what that is representative of in the CEO analogy, but I bet it’s awesome.

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