Winning in the Marketplace: A Conversation with Spark VIP Zach Young

Hello friends,

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Spark VIP participant, Zach Young, President of Kast Construction. I love how these opportunities give me a chance to learn from other leaders. During our conversation, Zach shared a quote that really stuck out to me. He said, to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” I couldn’t agree with that statement more, and there’s a lot we can learn from what Zach shared. So, how do we make sure our employees are winning in the workplace?

Oftentimes, employers will feel they can only compete on paychecks. After all, the paycheck is the commodity part of a workplace — no matter where I go, I’m going to get a paycheck. So, if that’s all you have to offer, you don’t have much to offer. And if the only thing you can do is just increase paychecks to compete with the next guy, that’s a no-win proposition because there’s a limit to what you can do there, and it’s easily imitated.

But one critical value you can offer your employees, that is not easily imitated, is culture.

While trying to differentiate his construction company, Zach understands the way he can win in the workplace:

“The sky is the limit with what we can accomplish if we continue to focus on people, culture, execution and customer satisfaction; and then ultimately, the secret to me, is scaling the culture. We’re focused on being the company that the people we’re looking for are looking for.”

This type of culture is so powerful for a business. It is what truly separates you from being a commodity, even in typically commodity-driven industries such as construction or fast-food.

A remarkable culture is really hard to create; but it’s even harder for your competitors to duplicate once you have one. And if you create an amazing workplace, the paycheck will not be the only thing you have to offer. Now don’t get me wrong, a paycheck is certainly important as everyone has to pay their bills. But when employees are working in an environment that helps them grow, develop their own strengths, and ultimately achieve their dreams, then you have something your competition can’t compete with. And that will be reflected in how your employees represent the brand, how your customers are treated, and how your business grows in return.

Zach and I talked about how it’s now common to hear from people, “I can’t find good employees” or, “I am struggling to hire people.” With the culture that Zach and the leadership team at Kast has built, this is not the case for them. He is able to hire staff based on referral from current employees, which reduces recruiting costs and helps to strengthen his culture.

“They bring good people because they are going to work alongside them. Our people only bring in others who fit the culture – those who are good teammates, hungry and hardworking, humble, and looking for a brighter future. And that has snowballed to where the resume flow is constant.” 

I really loved this point Zach shared. When your employees feel strongly about the company and your culture, they will naturally recruit like-minded people to come work there. And that only helps your company, culture, and brand grow stronger.

I truly believe if you want to grow your business, grow your people. And to the degree that the people are growing, the business will grow as a result. This is how you win in the workplace — and ultimately, win in the marketplace. If you are looking for the tools to start winning in the workplace, Spark course can help. The more leaders we have like Zach, who recognize the importance of focusing on people, the more remarkable cultures will be formed. How’s that for sparking a revolution?


Together, we can Spark a Revolution of brands more defined by meaning than money, brands that achieve success in a manner that redefines it.

David Salyers
Founder, Spark A Revolution

P.S. Looking to read more about hiring for the right culture fit? Check out the newsletter where I dive in to this very topic.


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February 2019