Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Washington Room

Setting the Precedence for Presidency

George Washington pioneered what it meant to be president. Can you imagine leading a new country with your background knowledge being in surveying and running an estate that was left for you? A humble man, Washington turned to the men around him to seek advice in making decisions. He was able to draw from the relationships he had so he could think big picture for a new born country just learning to walk.

Washington knew that he needed the trust and confidence of the people he was leading. He was able to do this through his decisive and systematic decision making, letting the people know that he was there to protect and serve them. The people knew he was dependable because of his consistent actions and follow through. When he stepped down from the presidency, King George the II called him “the greatest character of the age.” That’s a pretty good reference from the King of a country you disassociated yourselves from!

Do What You Say & Say What You Do

Dependability comes through the building of relationships; relationships with clients, coworkers and direct reports. In an environment that is constantly changing and based on performance, it is the perfect storm for tasks to fall through the cracks. Whatever your role, it is your responsibility to do what you say and say what you do. In other terms, have realistic expectations of yourself in what you can commit to and follow through on! While there are always surprises that can’t be controlled, having relationships with those you work with allows you to have tough conversations when problems arise. When you’re consistently consistent in what you deliver, people trust that you will get the job done, even if it isn’t how you originally planned.

Where Can You Improve?

Part of the Interstates Way is continually pursuing a better way. One way to do this is through self-reflection of how you are matching up to the Interstates values and where you can improve. Self-reflection can be an uncomfortable, yet necessary, process to think big picture and move the company forward, one person at a time. Some questions on dependability you can ask yourself are:

  • Who is someone that I don’t know very well? How can I go out of my way to build my relationship with them?
  • What area can my coworkers depend on me most?
  • What area this week have I failed to be dependable for someone?
  • Who is it that relies on me most? What can I do to be more consistent for them?

After identifying some areas that you are doing well in and need to improve, list one way you can improve for tomorrow. Each decision you make has an influence, whether good or bad, on those you encounter each day. In the words of JP Dinnell from Echelon Front, “What can I do today that will make myself a better version of my yesterday self?”


Eric Van Den Berg, Interstates Engineering Operations Manager


Check out our previous Leadership Series posts:

1) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Wythe Room

2) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Lincoln Room

3) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Marshall Room

4) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Wooden Huddle

5) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Franken Board Room

6) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Barrett Hangar

7) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind The Roosevelt Room