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that appreciates and supports the direction in which Bass
Mechanical is moving."
Things were progressing, but Baum admits that most days
it was hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. "Right
before my dad died we experienced some significant
financial losses on projects, so we were bleeding cash
and facing the ceiling of our line of credit after his death,"
explained Baum. "For two years straight it just felt like one
thing after another. I got to a point where I didn't know if I
could do this. Frankly, at times, I didn't know if I wanted to do
this. After a significant loss on a project was brought to light
in early 2015, I remember going home one afternoon, totally
exhausted, falling on my bed, crying. I felt hopeless."
In the spirit of the Vince Lombardi quote, "It's not whether
you got knocked down, it's whether you get back up," Baum
picked himself up, got dressed, and returned to the office.
To raise the company's business acumen, he hired a COO
and CFO with decades more experience than him; both
with impressive resumes including running their own
companies. "Their expertise and leadership has been
transformational for the company's systems and processes,"
said Baum. Bringing in the right talent allowed Baum to
function in a more strategic capacity and focus on long-term
needs, including nurturing management development in all
areas so succession doesn't become a fire drill in the future.
Baum is also experimenting with new approaches to
enhance open communication with his direct reports,
including scrapping traditional annual performance reviews
in favor of monthly one-on-ones. He admits that after
he took on the CEO role, he struggled with addressing
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"That day was life changing for me. I realized in that moment
that if the situation could improve I had a responsibility to
make it happen. I often reflect on that moment when things
get tough, because you can't look ahead with your head in
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