I recently finished reading a book titled “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.” The book primarily covered the topic of risk, how risk is created, how to avoid excess risk, etc. With many years of dedicated study on the subject and experience working as a risk manager for a profitable hedge fund, the author could be described as one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic of risk. (Yes, a majority of the book is as boring and nerdy as you would expect it to be.)
As I read through the book, the last chapter, titled “Fitting Ethics to a Profession,” struck a chord with me. The author pointed to the many flaws of modern professions and how the very nature of these professions doom the people the profession intended to protect. For example, the heads of banks took on an excess amount of risk causing the financial collapse of 2008. While the CEOs of these banks were able to jump ship without losing any more than a dime, the U.S. taxpayers, who were free from wrongdoing, were forced to bail out these banks at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.
What attributes these professions to fail at such a large scale? Ultimately, it is due to the lack of accountability that these professions hold that allow them to err and be free of consequences on their side. In contrast, professions that take these consequences head on have what the author likes to refer to as “skin in the game.” Early Roman engineers were required to spend days beneath the bridges they designed following their construction. Early English engineers were required to sleep beneath their bridges with their families, ensuring they realized the importance of safe design.
Although we may not be going to the extent of sleeping underneath a newly constructed bridge, I think our “skin in the game” is something that sets TREKK apart from others. I believe that we at TREKK are more quick to realize that the work we perform not only impacts our own lives, but the lives of our friends, family and community. We don’t desire to perform quality work only because it’s our job, but because we know it will affect people that we know and love. We help to assure the very roads we drive are safe and that the water we drink and sewers we use are clean. I take pride in knowing that we at TREKK are able to put that much more effort forward knowing that we are chefs that “eat their own cooking.”
~ Derrick Price