An Essay by Cody Vincent 

November 18, 2022 – Lakewood, CO — Encore’s greatest resource has always been it’s peopleIn our industry people start with being apprentices. The most accurate reflection of our fortitude, knowledge, exactitude, patience and kindness as foreman comes from the people that work for us. The question being posed in this discussion is how we are teaching apprentices those attributes and how well.   

According to Merriam Webster the definition of a relationship is “the state of being related or interrelated”. In my opinion a relationship is built like everything else, through time, dedication and persistence. We must also acknowledge that a relationship must be reciprocal. All parties involved in the relationship must contribute. There are many ways to do this, and it would be ignorant to layout a formula of two individuals connecting, what are some strategies that have worked for you?  What are the defining factors of a perfect reciprocal relationship? The base of mentorship is a relationship, only after you have made that connection can you begin to teach.  

Fortitude can only be taught under two circumstances, pain and adversity. We are responsible for our job’s overall culture. We must delegate to those around us to be successful. This also teaches others in the company how to become their own source of positive outlook, while also giving them an environment that allows for the inevitable failure with us as foreman to be able to lessen the damage.  

My personal teaching and learning style are full immersion. It is our job as foreman to teach apprentices, in whatever way best fits the two individuals. Using myself as an example, I give apprentices tasks that are slightly above their skill level. I try my best to only help if I see major catastrophes or am asked, I also try and be as present and knowledgeable with the task while not taking away their personal investment. To gain personal investment we must share our thoughts and processes on a bigger scale and relate them back to the task that the individual is performing. This is a great way to teach electrical knowledge while also teaching fortitude, knowledge, exactitude, patience and kindness.  

Exactitude can only be guided through clear expectations and correction. I personally struggle with having hard conversations. Even though it is a difficult task, this is necessary and in the end kind to the people you are teaching. We must not become lazy and avoid those conversations. We must communicate expectations verbally and through action.   

Patience and kindness can be very closely intermingled and separated. I can show both to people I do not care for, but I always have an easier time showing these to those that I care about. To be kind we must be friendly, generous, and considerate. To be patient we must be able to tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. These two subjects are easily overlooked, and their importance is even more overlooked. Patience and kindness build relationships. Fortitude could be defined as patience repeatedly. Teaching is being generous enough to share our knowledge even though it may cause delay, suffering or trouble, and we must remain friendly through it. Kindness is needed when explaining expectations and patience is needed when we need to reinforce those boundaries to help the individual and the team.   

Apprentices are Encore’s greatest asset. They bring life, accountability, and growth to our company. We need to cherish them. We need to guide them into the teachers we want to be and the teachers we wished we had. We need to recognize that the people working for us can be our greatest resource now and should be in the future.    


About the author: Cody Vincent has been with Encore Electric since 2013. He began with Encore Electric as a first-year apprentice and has since grown into his current position as a foreman. Throughout his electrical career Vincent has worked on many projects in the Colorado mountains, including local hospitals and resorts. Vincent has been recognized for his exceptional work both internally and outside of Encore Electric, being named a Top 30 Under 30 Electrical All Star by EC&M in 2020. 

“Our Greatest Resource” began as a page of notes for a recent foreman’s meeting. During the meeting foremen were discussing what they saw as their team’s greatest strength. For Vincent, it was easy to identify what he saw as his team’s greatest strength: the apprentices. In his essay, Vincent goes on to describe the value he sees in his apprentices and how he strives to act as a servant leader to help them grow into the next generation of industry professionals. 


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