Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

#1 Small Company ‘It’s How We Interact With Others’: CBI Values Contributions of All Coworkers to Company’s Success

May 11, 2022 05:29PM ● By John C. Stevenson

Creative Builders Inc. CEO William H. “Will” McCauley III is focused on making sure that all of CBI’s more than 80 employees know they are valued and valuable parts of the company. The first step for McCauley is recognizing those people as “coworkers,” not “employees.”

“This is kind of a big deal for me,” McCauley said. “I do not like that word – ‘employees.’ I work with everybody. I don’t need to be their boss. We’re all just coworkers.”

With that kind of attitude emanating from the company’s leader, it should come as little surprise that Creative Builders has been honored as the No. 1 small-business workplace in South Carolina. McCauley, who took over the family-owned company from his father and CBI founder William H. “Billy” McCauley II, noted that the entire CBI team is responsible for the company’s success over its 51-year history.

“That’s not a cliché,” McCauley said in a recent telephone interview. “It’s 100 percent what our core values are written around. Creative’s success is 100 percent because of our coworkers. Without them, (Creative Builders) is just a name – it doesn’t mean anything.

“No company is a company without its coworkers,” he continued. “If you work for yourself, then you’re only as good as you will take yourself to be, and when you add someone else, you’ve got a second opinion. When you can get everybody on the same team and rolling in the same direction, that is a powerful, powerful place. We’re just fortunate that we have amazing, incredible team members at Creative.”

CBI is a general contractor that currently has a range of construction projects in the five Southeastern states in which it is licensed: the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee. McCauley said the company’s success is based not so much on constructing buildings as it is on building relationships – both within the company as well as with clients.

“We’re focused on the relationships,” McCauley said. “We’re a service provider, (and) we’re in the business to work ourselves out of a job, every day. As soon as we get a job, it’s ‘how quick and how inexpensive can you build it for me,’ so it’s critical in every project: When can we get it done and get them in? The companies that focus on just building the building, they’re missing the mark. I actually don’t want to even say that because that’s the secret sauce. It’s about the relationships, and that’s it.”

These guiding principles are even outlined on the company’s website,, where it lists the core values as:

All-In Teamwork.

Building Lasting Relationships.

Creating Extraordinary Projects.

Developing Successful People and a Sustainable Company

Being “focused on the relationships and the value of that, that’s what got us through the downturn and how we’re blessed right now,” McCauley opined. “And this (the Covid-19 lockdown and resulting business downturn) is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s crazy.”

McCauley assumed the leadership role at CBI after graduating in 1993 from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in construction management. While he has continued to build the company’s success, he said he has not stopped working to strengthen CBI internally, as well. As one example, McCauley said a third-party company is currently working with the team at Creative Builders to learn about “lordship and leadership.”

“We talk about the ultimate relationship, and that’s ours with Christ,” McCauley offered. “That’s what our executive team is going through; it’s basically like a Bible study once a month. We have a consultant who comes in, and it is basically lordship and leadership. We realize that we need to serve each other, and it doesn’t work in reverse. My coworkers are not there to serve Will McCauley or make Creative Builders better for Will McCauley; they are there as a team for what I view as (being) their company.”

Beyond building a successful company, McCauley said it’s important to think about our relationships – both personal and professional – and how they can impact our lives, for better or worse.

“Outside of health, which we can’t control, there’s only one thing that can wreck your day, and that’s the people we’re around,” he said. “We either have a good day or a bad day based on how somebody treats us. And I screw it up a lot. But truly, when you had a great day, it’s because you had fun or a good interaction with somebody … truly, either good or bad, it’s how we interact with others.”