Legacy of a Builder: My Sean Scott Story

Certain topics I wish I could kiss with fire.  I wish my passion and my wholehearted-ness could jump off the page and lick the reader in the face with the fire that burns in my heart.  Such is the case for the following.

I first met Sean Scott on February 26th, 2011.  I know that because I memorialized it in a note on Facebook.  Here’s what I had to say:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/will-oconnor/february-26-day-1/10150402317065144/

I’ve told Sean several times, but I’ll probably tell him several more if I’m lucky enough, but that day, and the subsequent nine months following was probably the single most important encounter of my professional career.  If I ever have a more important one, I’ll have risen to heights I’ve only envisioned in the fantasy world of being a mogul billionaire developer.  That is not the point.  I came to Sean as a “clerk,” having just finished trade school.  I knew less than I thought I knew, and I didn’t think I knew very much.  Sean was the Superintendent at Union Mill, a place I’ll always consider a part of my soul’s home, for many reasons, of which I hope to one day detail.  The specifics are of little importance here, but suffice it to say that Union Mill was a “monument” job for any Superintendent, and had neither the support from the office, nor from the field subcontractors to adequately run itself.  It survived purely on Sean’s will, and his leadership ability to get others to buy into his vision, work ethic and refusal to fail.  In that, Sean instilled in me core principles that I’ll never be able to undo.  Sean is a teacher, a mentor, a motivational speaker and a very valued friend.  I don’t talk to him often enough, but that is something I intend on fixing here and now.

EdisonProject33Pictured to the left is Sean at my wedding.  I married my wife 18 months after I met Sean, and in that time, he left such an indelible mark on my heart and my mind that there could be no better a selection for a groomsman.  Seen here with his trademark smile, Sean reminded me of the man I wanted to be from the onset.  He’s an onion in the best way a man can be.  Layered with sophistication, you can talk to Sean about construction, God, sports, wives, and on down the line.  He’ll pull you out of the depths of your frustration or stress with the right words, followed by a joke, a slab on the shoulder and the smile in a way that made me view him as a boss, friend, brother and father figure in whatever way was most helpful at the time.  I owe my mental approach and determination to Sean.  Yes, I believe I’ve always possessed it, but Sean empowered it.  The memory of those days at Union Mill still empowers it.  In all, we completed two difficult projects together.  The last one wrapped about four-and-a-half years ago.  His drive and mentor-ship propel me to this day, and are responsible for taking me out of my shadows, including my most recent grapple professionally.

Being a young father, with one on the way, and being at the helm of a twelve week schedule where deadlines cannot be extended, even with the most legitimate of reasons, of which we have many, I became sultry over my plight as a one-man-band out here for my company.  Justifiably, the job does not merit more than one team member on-site, but the prospect of twelve-hour days, seven days a week with a nearly full-term pregnant wife at home and two little ones I would do anything to be around will test the mettle of any man.  For stumbling through that I am not ashamed.  I am only ashamed of the fact it took me so long to revisit the challenge we went through together; well him mostly with me trying to provide whatever assistance I was capable of at the time.  Upon revisiting the test of endurance and will that was Union Mill and my job with Sean, I awoke this morning with a new outlook on my charge.  Suddenly there was light at the end of the tunnel; even if that light was only the example set by my mentor.  If I am to exhibit the qualities of leadership, perseverance, strength and capability, what better place than here? What better time than now?

I’m writing this blog today as much as a “Thank-You” to Sean as a reminder to myself.  I intend to re-read this when I grow weary, for it is bound to happen again.  I’ll strap in some Eric Thomas (that guy is an amazing motivator, by the way), refill my coffee cup, and remember the time I watched the most impossible deadlines get hit; the most challenging tasks get achieved.  I’ll remember going to work until I had to go to sleep, waking up, no matter the time of day, and getting dressed to do it again.  I’ll remember when our office walked in and told us it was in our best interest not to hit the date.  I’ll remember Sean telling me “Fuck what they say.  This is our baby.”  I’ll remember the elation of that certificate of occupancy and I’ll remember the fantastic feeling of holding my wedding reception in its courtyard.

EdisonProject31

Regardless of what credit he may give me, regardless of what I may build or what level of happiness I may reach to sustain myself against the forces of the outside world, Sean is an integral member of my Pantheon of parents, teachers, mentors and role models that have provided the type of foundation required for anyone seeking to reach their goals.  He’s a great friend and an awesome man and I’m proud to have been through the gauntlet with him and even more inspired by the continual reminder he serves in my life that I can do anything I determine worthy of my efforts.  Through channeling that dedication and resolve, I am reminded and bolstered by his spirit.  We should all be so lucky.

Thank you, Sean.

Yours in the Pursuit of Happiness,

Will O’Connor

 

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