Steve White was happily retired for just about a year when he received a call from the owners of the PuroClean brand who were seeking new leadership to revitalize the company with an eye toward eventually selling the company. By Cindy Charette
Steve White was happily retired for just about a year when he received a call from the owners of the PuroClean brand who were seeking new leadership to revitalize the company with an eye toward eventually selling the company.
After accepting the appointment as president and COO, White and his team were able to accomplish in two years, what was expected to take four or five years. They did it in large part by building the culture committed to success through three essential pillars:
- Servant Leadership: Lead boldly but with the heart of a servant
- Extreme Ownership: Be publicly accountable to demonstrate your word is your bond
- Active Collaboration: Work hand-in-hand with franchise owners to operate as one team
In 2015, PuroClean was purchased by current co-owners Mark W. Davis and Frank Torre, who asked White to stay in his role. Together, they worked to take these principles deeper and build a world-class PuroClean brand. As a result, the brand is soaring.
White’s career began in the U.S. Army, followed by a now 35-year career in the franchising. Along the way, he has devoted much effort to rebuilding struggling brands like PuroClean. When turning a business around, White relies on all he’s learned from great military and franchise leaders he has been privileged to serve under.
He defines his leadership style to being the calm in a raging storm, like the eye of the hurricane. White likes to actively listen to every issue and frustration, and then work to develop solutions that can become long-term improvements. His “One Team” focus has resulted in departmental silos becoming teams of trusted colleagues who together accomplish more than they ever thought they could.
White believes culture is an essential part of success because, as he frequently says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day.” This is especially important when situations are constantly changing, requiring quick and decisive action from leaders to adapt.
In the restoration and remediation industry, PuroClean franchise owners must react fast. When water or fire damage occurs to a place where people work or live, it requires immediate action in order to ensure each property is safely restored. That’s one more reason company culture is so important; it helps to ensure that each PuroClean team member shares similar work ethics and can-do attitudes to meet the needs of the customer.
“Culture takes over for things you can’t plan for,” says White. He adds that helping franchise owners reach their goals while practicing the company’s philosophy of servant leadership, extreme ownership, and active collaboration is his greatest reward.
For more information on a PuroClean franchise, visit purocleanfranchise.com.
– Cindy Charette