Small Town, Big Lessons

May 14, 2024

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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The Greenbrier Resort

Image Credit: Depositphotos

There’s a little town in West Virginia with a big history.

White Sulfur Springs became known as an area health spa in the late 1700’s. The majestic Greenbrier Resort was built and later served as a headquarters and hospital during the Civil War. In later wars, it would shelter diplomats and serve as a hospital once again.

Over the years and across centuries now, it has adapted to the needs of the people.

Presidents, celebrities, and royalty have vacationed at this magnificent resort.

In the 1950’s, it took on a new, but secret, mission called “Project Greek Island.” The secret was revealed in 1992 when it was confirmed that Project Greek Island had been the building of a massive secret bunker intended to house members of Congress in the event of a nuclear war.

All of this in a small town of just over 2200, nestled in one of the most scenic areas of the country.

Greenbrier is still a very popular destination for vacations, events, and business meetings; but the town is now making yet another mark on history. It is the home of the Barnwood Builders show, now on Magnolia Network.

Log Cabin

Image Credit: Depositphotos

Barnwood Living is a local business, led by Mark Bowe. With a small but highly talented and hard-working crew, these Barnwood Builders disassemble old log cabins and timber frame houses and barns; and turn them into new homes, lodges, and event venues as far west as Colorado. They take hand-hewn timber that can sometimes be over 200 years old and give it new life, extending the centuries past into a new future.

How is this small team leaving their big mark on history?

They are a team of leaders.

Each team member brings unique talents, skills, and experience to the job. When a specialist is needed, the team naturally defers to the leadership of the team member with the most skills and experience for the work at hand. And they are quick to praise a job well done.

They have a solid work ethic.

As you can imagine, the work is not easy, and the weather can be challenging. But they show up with enthusiasm for the mission.

They love what they do.

Each team member brings their strengths, skills, and experience to the job site. But they bring something more. They bring a desire to learn more and develop their skills by learning from those who have gone before – the original builders. They love what they do because they realize they are brokers of history, carrying the past into the future with the utmost care.

They have each other’s back…always.

Each team member knows their fellow team members have their back. They communicate throughout the day. They watch for danger. They take precautions and pay attention to detail. They are careful to do their job well, so their fellow team members are safe and protected.

They do amazing work, and they do it together.

While it is obvious that they respect each other, it is also clear that they enjoy each other’s company. In a world of disconnect, this team has a sense of true community.


As you can see, this small town and this small team have some pretty big lessons for all of us. Is your team working together to make its mark on history? Are you doing your part to carry forward the work of those who have come before you, and to do it with great care?


Action Steps

  1. Think about the work you do. How does it tie into the past? And how can it improve the future?
  2. What is the mission of your company?
  3. Does your team know the mission, and do they support it with passion?
  4. Do team members enjoy working together? Do they show up with enthusiasm?
  5. Do your team members bring unique strengths, skills, and experience to the job? If so, do they each get an opportunity to lead with those skills?
  6. Do your team members feel connected – to the business, the mission, the history, and to each other? Is there a community spirit in the workplace?

For valuable resources on Discovering Your Strengths, click here.

Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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