EDITOR’S NOTE: Our new Spotlight section features contractors, alumni, and apprentices
Janet Martin, Vice President of Bret’s Electric, is a longtime Northern Colorado resident, an industry leader, business owner and philanthropist — locally and nationally.
Don’t be surprised when you visit the Bret’s Electric website where a powerful message is displayed subtly across the bottom that says, “Don’t be shocked by our quality!” It’s a confident and proud statement that epitomizes the kind of perspective Janet Martin brings to the company she and her husband, Bret, founded in the 1990s. Since then, Bret’s Electric has become a nationally award-winning company that has grown into a second generation of leadership, opened a new corporate headquarters, and become an employer of choice for military veterans.
“I’m a big believer in a high level of industry engagement,” Janet says. “My involvement in chambers of commerce, IECRM and on the IEC national board has helped to propel business growth and brought benefits to Bret’s Electric.” She also believes that her regional and national work within the IEC organization continues to advance the industry in meaningful ways that impact the issues merit shops and the trade face.
Janet continues, “For associations and membership organizations like IECRM, members are its reason for being, so getting and keeping members truly engaged in the organization is critical for survival as well as for members to truly garner the greatest benefit from membership.”
Yet, when the hard hat is off, Janet’s goal is to make a difference in her community. She spends time supporting the Larimer County Jr. Livestock Show, local schools and sports teams, and national organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warrior, and Toys for Tots, to name just a few.
“Giving back is at the heart of my life passion,” she says. “I want my legacy to be that I made a difference by helping to build a brighter future, both literally and figuratively, for others.”
Most Successful Work Habits…
“I like to start my day early which enhances my own productivity.” Janet says. “There are many task related habits that I also stick to like keeping a ‘to do’ list, setting goals for meetings, and responding to email and phone calls in a timely manner.”
Above all else, Janet is committed to honesty and integrity in everything she does. “People often define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one else is around,” she says. “I believe that honesty and trust are central to integrity. Keeping your word, acting with honor and truthfulness are basic tenets in being seen as a person and organization of integrity.”
Bret’s Electric looks for integrity as one of the fundamental values it seeks when hiring. “Our company culture is all about the habit of integrity and practicing honesty each and every day,” Janet says. “Out of that comes the very best work possible, results for our customers and is why we can say with pride, ‘don’t be shocked by our quality.’”
Best Business Books…
Janet recommends Traction by Gino Wickman. “This book talks about how all entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations—personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or, once made, fail to be properly implemented,” she says. “Traction presents simple yet powerful ways to run your company that give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment.”
She also returns to the classic book, The Peter Principle, the eponymous law author Dr. Laurence J. Peter coined decades ago that talks about why things go wrong in the workplace.
Finally The Secrets Leaders Keep by Amy K. Hutchins tackles issues that many leaders and business owners don’t really want to talk about. “This book is a brilliant glimpse into the secrets business leaders keep about who they are, how they play, why they lead in a certain way, and about what prevents them from leading more effectively,” she says. “It gave me terrific insight for myself.”
“My past employers are my business heroes,” Janet says. “My parents, however, are my life heroes. They were successful entrepreneurs and taught me how a successful business is built. More importantly, they also taught me how to live life in the best possible manner.”
Best Advice for Colleagues, Apprentices, and Business Owners…
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage my colleagues, apprentices and employees to find something meaningful to become thoroughly involved in – whether it’s in business, an industry, or in the community,” Janet says. “Through engagement and participation, you’ll find the mentors that you need and the guidance to stay focused on your goals, stay motivated and feel challenged.”
She points out that you’ll also learn to appreciate other business owners and leaders who have walked the walk and done the talk before you came along. “Learn from their success, but more important, learn from their mistakes,” she suggests.
One parting suggestion from Janet Martin: “Join an IECRM or IEC National committee. You’ll be enriched as a result.”
IECRM Committees: : /about-iecrm/committees/
IEC National Committees: //www.ieci.org/about/national-committee-members