Rich Von Alvensleben, CEO of One Up Construction, a California Licensed General Contractor and Operations Manager of Von Vesting, Inc., a real estate investment firm focused on distressed property, says corporate America isn’t built on a straight and narrow path. Instead, it’s fraught with high peaks and deep valleys – and both are vital to its continued operation.
Imagine, says Rich Von Alvensleben, the great Pyramids of Egypt, Mount Fuji, and the Eiffel Tower–three very different sights with one undeniable common trait. All three of these structures, both man-made and naturally occurring, are pyramidal, with an expansive base and a definite point. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, businesses – successful businesses – are built with this same schematic in mind.
There Has to Be a Valley in Order to Have a Mountain
Rich Von Alvensleben says that a pyramid structure in the workplace allows each individual to harness his or her natural talents most effectively. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, having fewer people at the top opens up the opportunity for more business leaders to start their own dynasties instead of living in someone else’s shadow when they know they are top tier material. So then, asks Rich Von Alvensleben, why are there so many people who start at the bottom and stagnate in the middle?
Growing up, most people are instilled the values of hard work and loyalty to “the hand that feeds” them. Rich Von Alvensleben notes that 97% of Americans work for someone else. The remaining 3% are the ones who start off on the pedestal and build their businesses from the sky down. These few with the entrepreneurial spirit understand what they bring to the table and know a good support team only makes them stand a little higher, explains Rich Von Alvensleben. These are the founders of businesses like Microsoft and General Motors. These are the ones who turned their backs on conformity and took a chance. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, these are the people who became the hand that feeds the populace.
Ride the Wave
Businesses are built by leaders. They are created by those with the ideas and the inner strength and courage to face adversity against all odds to make their dreams a reality, says Rich Von Alvensleben. The most successful leaders are the ones who can find the perfect “right hand man” to extend their reach. Rich Von Alvensleben says that successful companies are built because these leaders also know how to build a support system that strengthens the foundation for those at the top. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, the ability to recruit talented individuals is a gift all executives must have.
As a business grows, so must its base. The leaders of today must have many generals who can each recruit their own wave of talent layers. Take the military as an example. Rich Von Alvensleben points out that if the Commander in Chief was the only one calling the shots, the nation would be in a sad state. The President of the United States has a layered system of command, with each area lead by a trusted official. Each of these units of the military, from the Army to the Coast Guard to the Air Force, all have Generals, Lieutenants, Sergeants and so on and so on until the ranks exhaust at Private. Rich Von Alvensleben notes that each of these positions is vital to the nation’s safety but not each is rewarded the same way. The higher-ranking officers are the ones calling the shots and therefore earning a higher wage – just like on Main Street and Wall Street America.
Rich Von Alvensleben believes that only by filling each wave of new recruits does the military function as a whole. So it is with business. Each “commander” must possess a talent for knowing which men and women will fit best in their organization and at what level. Each position is important; just as each piece to a clock is necessary to its continued accuracy.
From atop his or her “mountain,” a leader must be able to see beyond the horizon and anticipate what comes next. Corporations are the same, says Rich Von Alvensleben. He asks his new employees/partners/workers, “where do you want to start?” The 97% start at the bottom and stop in the middle because it’s just too hard, too frustrating, to fraught with politics to get to the top without being a visionary, without being the one that begins there, concludes Von.
Rich Von Alvensleben is a respected real estate investment professional. As Operations Manager of Von Vesting, Inc. and CEO of LKT Inc (d.b.a. OneUP Construction), Rich Von Alvensleben specializes in acquiring, rehabbing and re-selling distressed properties. Over the past 12 years, he has profitably managed a $48 million real estate redevelopment (or flip) fund. In 2008 alone, Rich Von Alvensleben bought and sold (“flipped”) a record 450 homes.
Rich Von Alvensleben began his career as a commercial diver for the United States Antarctic Research Program; at USARP, Von Alvensleben was stationed abroad for four months. Rich Von Alvensleben was also founder/co-owner of the Associated Drilling Company, and helmed World Concepts LLC as co-founder and sales manager.
Rich Von Alvensleben also contributes to Del Oro High School and other volunteer activities in his Northern California community. Currently residing in the Sacramento area, Rich Von Alvensleben enjoys outdoor activities with his family. Rich Von Alvensleben’s hobbies include hiking, bicycling and camping.