Bonfire Engineering and Consulting is a network and technology services organization located in Denver, CO.
Like most entrepreneurial companies, Bonfire Engineering and Construction has high aspirations both in purpose and in product.
They believe all Americans should have access to high-speed internet that will drive economic health and vitality of their communities by increasing job opportunities, improving education, and making healthcare more accessible.
During its four-year journey as a company, they’ve gone from the lows of losing a co-founder to some amazing highs of growing by 50%, building a culture of people that truly care about their purpose, to diversifying their revenue. This diversification has allowed them to move from one customer at 90% to now having no one customer over 20%.
“It’s been a wild ride,” says Brian Hollister, CEO and Co-Founder. “The journey itself is part of the experience that all entrepreneurs go through and one that provides challenges and opportunities every day.”
Bright Spots In Rough Times
At the time of this interview, Brian and his team continue to lean on the EOS structure, carefully navigating the current pandemic environment while focusing on keeping their employees safe and looking at the opportunity ahead.
“When COVID-19 started, we immediately took the recommended precautions from the CDC and WHO to protect the team. Unfortunately, in one of our offices, a customer that had tested positive interacted with our team, placing all of them at risk. This immediately caused us to put everyone on lockdown until the waiting period for symptoms was over. Thankfully, everyone stayed healthy and we were able to weather the work stoppage by having the team do remote work when possible.”
Even with the disruption that came with the pandemic, there have been many bright spots.
“Our business is engineering and constructing fiber-optic networks for service providers, so we’re considered to be an essential business. Not only have we not let anyone go, but we’re continuing to hire. We’re very humbled.”
The Power Of ‘Delegate And Elevate’
Since implementing EOS into the business about 18 months ago, Bonfire has been better able to maneuver through crisis and opportunity alike.
“When the company was just getting started, we worked so hard on creating our core values. But using EOS provided the structure to truly make them a part of the business.”
“If you want to go somewhere fast, you go it alone. If you want to go far, you build a great team… and ours is one of the best.”
– From the Bonfire Engineering and Construction website
“Two simple words, delegate and elevate, are more powerful than you think and EOS helped me put those words into practice,” he says. “I surround myself with leaders that can ensure that I don’t need to be in the middle of everything. With the right measurables in place, I always have an eye on the most important things and know who is accountable to what. This really drives ownership by the team.”
Brian and the Bonfire team soon discovered that using EOS helped drive accountability to everyone at all levels. And when it comes to accountability, one of the EOS Tools that they capitalized on is the Level 10 Meeting™.
Getting Problems Solved With The Level 10 Meeting
“The Level 10 Meeting is huge across the organization,” Brian says. “From the engineers to the construction people, it built this muscle memory of having meetings on the same day at the same time using the same agenda. We’re getting problems solved!”
And as it turns out for the company, working through problems at the Level 10 Meeting is also great for discovering opportunities.“We’ve always said that at Bonfire, your voice matters. Using the EOS Process® has shown everyone in the company that they have a voice. It’s a place where everybody can make an impact.”
Leading Through It All
So what does Brian have to say about his growth as a leader through EOS?
“I would certainly give myself higher marks as a leader after having implemented EOS than before,” he says. “As we continue on this journey, I continue to see opportunities for growth personally and professionally.”
But as things get better, it can sometimes be hard as a leader to not look back at life before EOS.
“We’re getting a lot of traction in different areas that we didn’t have before,” Brian says. “As entrepreneurs and overachievers, we hold ourselves to high standards and sometimes want to rush the process. However, going through this process has helped us realize it takes time and reminds us of the challenges we had pre-EOS, and why sometimes you need to go slow to go fast.”
Building For The Future
“With help from EOS, I’m building the company in such a way that we are truly becoming scalable and predictable,” Brian says. And as the company grows, his passion and energy remain focused.
“I want to continue to partner with service providers, communities, and governments to provide the education, collaboration, and insight that they desperately need.”
He pauses for a moment, then continues.
“In the end,” he says. “I want our legacy to be that we changed lives by bringing high-speed internet into the communities that needed it”
And with EOS, Bonfire Engineering and Construction is well on its way.
Bonfire Engineering and Construction is implementing EOS with the help of Certified EOS Implementer® Margaret Dixon
Key Takeaways – Leadership Lens
Leading any entrepreneurial company on its journey to success takes time, patience, and a firm determination to live by core values to create a lasting legacy.