McWane's President Speaks to Kiwanis Club
April 8, 2014
As posted in the Birmingham Business Journal
McWane's Ruffner Page shares tips on growth, management
Cindy F. Crawford Editor-Birmingham Business Journal
McWane Inc. President Ruffner Page talked to the Birmingham Kiwanis Club Tuesday about the national and international growth of the Birmingham-based manufacturer of iron pipes and fire extinguishers.
While talking about the company's expansion into China and Colombia, Page shared the company’s philosophy on growth of the company and its employees.
Here are the top takeaways:
• If you want to grow and make a decision to acquire another business, your greatest strength is having a sense of urgency, but you don’t have to do anything to force the deal. For instance, don’t wait for the right market price.
• The most important quality they look for in an employee is their willingness to learn new things, give them time to do it and the common sense to innovate and get better.
• Give employees the confidence to try new things and get stable before giving them incentives to try something new.
• Practice humble management of the staff and managers have to know they can’t do it all themselves.
• When it comes to managing people, he said the company works hard to uncover talent that’s within its workers.
• Always be nice to people, because you never know when you’ll need them later. Page said he finds people he trusts 100 percent who work in various industries and businesses and establishes relationships with them to turn to when he needs help – many times for help preventing him from making bad decisions.
For instance, he met a man who was born in China, raised in India and now lives in Canada who has been very helpful as McWane expands into China, which he described as being dysfunctional and challenging.
McWane Inc. is the fifth largest private company in Birmingham with revenue of more than $1 billion, according to the BBJ’s largest private companies List. It has about 5,500 employees across its international footprint.