What most notably stands out about your leadership style or what is an example of leadership success you can share with our readers?
Each year, we set the same three goals for ourselves. The goals are prioritized, so that the first goal — to be a best place to work — is most important to achieve while the third goal — a profitability benchmark — is least important. That prioritization makes it clear, to the entire company, that there is nothing more important than the welfare of our people.
Plenty of companies proclaim that their people are paramount, but their annual goals are misaligned with that assertion. I like to say that if you show me the priority of your annual goals, I will show you the values of your company.
What impact has COVID-19 or the disruptions of the past 18 months had on you as a leader?
In 2020, we had the highest sales revenue in our 67-year history, despite the fact that our offices were closed for the entire year. This taught me that people can be productive working from home, so we want to continue that.
But some work activities are difficult to do from home, so we need to repurpose the office to optimize for those activities. For example, meetings longer than one hour are more effective in person than virtual. The same is true for socializing to build trust and culture. And, ironically, heads-down concentrative work is also more effective in the office than at home. We are redesigning our space, and our customer’s spaces, to compel employees to leave their home and come into the office because they choose to perform those activities in an optimized environment.
My personal leadership style didn’t change very much through the pandemic. We have a high-trust culture that was already well-positioned for remote work. Goodmans has always had a liberal work-from-home policy as part of our ambition to be a positive influence on our employees’ family life. When the pandemic hit, it was no different than if everyone in the company suddenly had to stay home to take care of a sick kid … for 18 months.
What do you feel we can be doing as a business community to empower economic growth here?
Our Latino community is a massive, underutilized economic engine that needs to be engaged. In Phoenix, non-Latinos are six times more likely to own an employer business than Latinos. If we can inspire and support our Latino community to pursue entrepreneurship at a rate closer to the rest of the population, we could self-generate a massive economic boom. To help, non-Latino businesses can diversify their supply chain, support technical assistance programs like Fuerza Local, or get engaged with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
What is new and notable for your company’s near future that will impact our economy?
We have become the first distributor in the world to represent both Herman Miller and Knoll. Both of these rival manufacturers have deep legacies as industry pioneers, and are widely recognized as innovative and thoughtful leaders in modern design. We have been partners with Herman Miller since 1968, and bringing Knoll into our family is a dream come true. Our customers now have access to the best of both worlds!
We anticipate the tail of the pandemic to be active as employees return to the office and companies modify their space to accommodate hybrid work. It’s going to be a busy couple of years for us as businesses reposition their offices to compete for talent with other, more progressive organizations.
Name of Leader: Adam Goodman
Position of Leader: CEO
Company Name: Goodmans Interior Structures
No. of Years with Company: 28
Main Local Office Address: 1400 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix 85014
Phone: (602) 263-1110
Number of offices in Greater Phoenix: 2
Year Established Locally: 1954
City Nationally Headquartered: Phoenix