Roots of Success: Bradley Block
In this Roots of Success series, we sat down with Equiliem’s leaders to learn more about what they think it takes to succeed and their journey. In this article, we visit Equiliem’s CVO, Bradley Block, who has been carving out his path to success in staffing for over 17 years.
In June 2022, Bradley Block became Chief Vision Officer for the newly rebranded Equiliem. The transition of six business entities uniting into one marked a new chapter in his family’s 50-year staffing legacy and the birth of an even grander vision of impact in the industry. Bradley continues to pilot strategies and initiatives alongside and in collaboration with the leadership team.
“We are in a very exciting place as a company,” Bradley said. “The future I see in front of us holds incredible potential. It will be hard work and hopefully fun along the way. Equiliem is in a great place to build and grow.”
Creating an environment for people to thrive along with the company is part of Bradley’s vision. “We want to create an environment where people can flourish and move towards their definition of success.”
Be Energized, Have Purpose, Stay Present
Bradley’s vision of success is about feeling energized and motivated daily to learn something new and not feel ‘like a drone’ at work. He said, “True success is getting excited about the ability to impact people and make a mark with the things you do. That’s when you feel that what you do has a purpose.”
One of the ways Bradley stays in tune with his purpose is by “being present both at work and with my family.” He admits that he’s had to change some habits to become the positive influence on his family that he wants to be. One adjustment was to resist jumping on his phone to check in on work items first thing in the morning. He said, “Taking those early morning moments to be present with my wife and daughter helps open up the day on the right foot.”
Surround Yourself with Smart People
One thing Bradley noticed early on was how successful people spoke about having support in the form of mentors and leadership groups. He says, “I was lucky with people I’ve run into, gaining exposure to successful individuals inside and outside the industry. A common theme was mentoring, so I thought I should investigate it.”
A proponent of the diversity of thought and opinions, Bradley also said, “Not all advice is good advice. You want to find what’s right for you, depending on where you want to go.”
He suggested looking to family connections, business networking groups, school alums, and industry associations, including the American Staffing Association (ASA). “ASA has a formalized mentor-mentee program, and that’s a great place to start if a staffing career is your goal.”
Surviving Hard Knocks
Like any business, staffing can have its challenges. What makes it more of a rollercoaster than some is that so much relies upon people, and people can be unpredictable. “People never cease to amaze me in good and bad ways,” Bradley said. “Someone can step into a role and demonstrate unexpected skills. Or alternately, someone valuable can depart without allowing you to resolve an issue.”
Bradley said he turns to his team when a lost employee, lost contract, or opportunity gets him down. “Some days are hard; you are best served with a team around you. If you have people to grab a drink and talk it through with you, it’s easier to get back up on the horse and keep riding. It isn’t easy to self-motivate all the time. Having others boost you up makes all the difference in the world.”
On Tough Decisions
“My grandfather Jerry Block taught me that the worst decision is no decision,” Bradley said. “If you don’t choose, there can’t be progression or growth. You learn from every choice you make.”
While he strives to be conscious of others when making tough calls, Bradley agrees with the adage, “you can’t please everybody.” He added, “Decisions are a part of business, and you can only use the information you have. If you realize a decision is wrong, you can correct it. I do what I think is right, but no pride attached if it needs to be reconsidered.”
Building the Balancing Blocks
Bradley believes the notion of compartmentalizing work life and personal life into balanced blocks of time for each is unrealistic. Instead, he measures his balance by the enjoyment he gets from his work and his life. “I don’t know any successful people who do a 9-to-5 day.”
He said that his work hours vary over time and his progression through life’s phases. “Sometimes I’ve been engrossed in work because I was excited about a project, and other times, I’ve become overwhelmed.” He added that he invested more time in work in his earlier years before he had a family.
When the need for reset arises, Bradley condones taking a break. “Unplugging and enjoying family or taking a trip helps me prepare to tackle the challenges again.” He adds that sometimes his reset is less about rest and more about getting out of his comfort zone. “It could be a new sport, trying new cuisine, or taking a vacation in a new destination. Variety is the spice of life.”
The Extra Five Minutes
While successful people may make it look fast and easy, Bradley has peeled back the onion enough to know that most success is not overnight but the result of hard work and slogging through problems and hurdles. His family often repeats words passed down from Jerry Block, “Good luck is the fruition of hard work.”
With a hard work ethic ingrained within, Bradley sometimes rolls into the office on a conference call and settles in on his computer to plow into his daily tasks. “I kick myself sometimes for not being more cognizant of people around me. I need to make more time to walk around and be present with people for their questions, big or small. I know how someone willing to offer guidance or answer questions can make an impact.”
“Making an extra five minutes can change the trajectory for someone. That’s what we are here to do, to help people. I don’t want to lose those family values that go hand-in- hand with the work.”
Equiliem (www.equiliem.com) believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive.
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