I just came home from a peer group.  It was a great experience, but it made me ask myself what a peer really is.  Everyone in this industry who succeeds is competitive and committed to excellence.  Excellence requires learning, which is at the core of the purpose of a peer group.  A peer is defined as “a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background and social status.”  By this definition, it seems impossible to truly be a peer.

All of the people and the businesses in the peer group are different.  We build different types of projects for different types of clients.  We take different risks and have different business models.  We have different org structures and strengths and weaknesses.  But this is inherent and necessary to value in a “peer” group.  We complement each other and learn from each other and get better by spending time talking about our businesses.  And the time spent on reflection is necessary to help refocus on the reasons we are in business to begin with, and our commitment to doing the best we can to the benefit of others.

I want to thank all of my “peers” for their input and assistance in helping me and us become the best we can be.

Peter Douglas, P.E.
The Douglas Company

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