What are the results of your hard work?
A result is a consequence, effect or outcome of something. So, if you had to analyze the results of all your hard work over the years, what would your result be?
So how can you build a name that will deliver results? There are three key factors to help build your name.
Reputation: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.
Someone of strong character:
Integrity: Doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Honor: Fulfill an obligation or keep and agreement.
Strength: the emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with situations or events that are distressing or difficult.
Willpower: the power by which a person decides on and initiates action.
Credibility: the quality of being trusted and believed in.
The quickest way to lose credibility id taking credit for everything, being humble is critical to having people trust and believe in you.
If you want people to follow, you need to be well organized, have a plan, execute the plan, and take action when needed and above all help others be successful.
Performance: the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.
Try to follow through and execute everything on time and accurately. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish this week, when it needs to be done by and see if you can get it all mistake free.
Help implement the process and procedures your company has setup, and treat them like a living document: timely and accurately.
Showing up and just doing the job isn’t enough. Everyone on site is doing just that. You need to go above and beyond. Earn the reputation you want! Your results and your name will be remembered.
I want to give a big thanks to this weeks Guest Blogger Nate McMillin, who gives us his perception of the importance of mentoring. A great read you don't want to miss!!!
When you think of a mentor, what comes to your mind? You might think of someone who is a teacher, leader, someone wise, or a parent perhaps? The definition of a mentor is: “An experienced or trusted advisor.” Mentoring can be empowering to a person. A mentor helps you hone your talent, abilities, and skills. They bring out the best within you. They inspire you to do better then you know how. Whether you’re a mentor, or a student you’ll get out what efforts you put in. Having a mentor can be a shortcut to success. As a mentor, you can rise by lifting others. Mentors don’t have all the answers but shares knowledge, and lights a path. A mentor can make or break you. It’s crucial to find the right mentors. Finding the right mentor can be easily acquired with some effort. If you surround yourself with people who are successful, then you’re on the right path.
Some of the mentors throughout my life have been my father, co-workers, supervisors, and friends. My father mentored, and molded me into who I am today. At work, co-workers mentored, and taught me how to hone my production, skill, resources, accuracy, quality, knowledge and strengths. Surrounding yourself with passionate and successful mentors who are willing to share knowledge, will help sharpen your skills. We’ve all found ourselves at work with the people who are at work to make a paycheck. Then there are those that are passionate. More then likely those individuals there to make a paycheck are in the same position, or are no longer employed. But the passionate individuals have moved up the ranks. Surrounding yourself with the passionate individuals, and having the right mentor is a great way to succeed.
One of the rules of heroes is they usually have a mentor to help shape and mold them. Instilling them with a strong moral code. For example, Spidermans “With great power comes great responsibility.” Mentors teach heroes how to become the hero they are destined to be. It’s the same principle in any trade. A mentor teaches you to become who you are destined to be. Mentors are used in many areas of life including goal setting, physical fitness, weight loss, stress relief, financial planning, marriage, and education to name a few. Mentoring is a great tool to be used in any industry whether its construction, a sport, and can be used in many aspects of life. Sharing knowledge and expertise as a tool is beneficial for individuals and corporations alike. That’s why the “Importance of mentoring” should be embraced and practiced, not just in life, but also in construction trades, to broaden our skills, and knowledge.
Learn More about Nate by Clicking the Link Below
Hopefully you are noticing a reoccurring theme with a lot of the Constructorator blog posts, we can’t stress enough the importance of the planning portion of your job. As a supervisor it’s your responsibility to plan for all activities your crew will be performing and your crew is responsible for executing the plan.
I am not trying to sound like a broken record, but it’s the most important part that gets overlook the most often. The continuous planning is the first task to be neglected when we are feeling pressure either from schedule challenges or overrunning budgets. We feel the need to “jump in and help” or we just get caught up in moving from one fire to the next.
The first step always is to create the plan - schedule, manpower, materials, logistics. That part takes some serious effort, but if you slack off on your planning you will pay the price later. After you plan the work it's time to execute and maintain the plan. The continuous planning and plan maintenance are often not given the attention needed. We all know that in construction with so many moving parts and prerequisite work that needs to be completed before the next trade can start, we need to be flexible. This means we need contingency in our planning, nothing will ever go exactly as planned we need to be ready for a breakdown in the plan and react to it accordingly. You should always be adjusting the plan, don't let the hard work of creating the plan go to waste when a hiccup occurs.
What does the word empathy mean to you? Do you associate it with weakness? In the construction industry we tend to be "tough guys", or at least pretend to be. Empathy is the last thing on most of our minds during the work day, but what if it wasn't?
The simple definition of empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else's feelings. How on earth could this help a construction worker? Think about it, how many times a day do we find ourselves dealing with others in a one on one conversation? Have you ever stopped to think about how you are being perceived? How do you make others feel when you speak to them?
If you want the most out of your people you should strive to build them up not tear them down. How do you treat people, do you speak down to them or as equals? Remember we are all fighting the same enemy(budget and schedule), you are on the same team. The next time you have a conversation about re-work, slipping schedule, or any other topic that could cause you to get heated think about how you're coming across to the other person and what will the outcome be? It is perfectly fine to show emotion and to be upset, but how can your reaction help the situation? Can you learn from it, can you teach from it?
In the last blog post we talked about how to hit the ground running in a new supervisory role. I thought in this post we would dive a little deeper into a couple of the points we made.
It obviously starts with getting to know the team, but how much effort do you really put into this task? If you’re anything like me it’s easier said than done. I’m a bit of an introvert, so it takes me more effort than probably most people to really get to know the rest of the team. You should be looking to build relationships right off the bat, the quicker you gain trust in others and visa verse the more effective the team will be. Be sure to get to know the whole team, not just your superiors but also your subordinates. Depending on your role you should also look to build relationships with your vendors and suppliers. It is during this process of building relationships that you should be getting a good sense of strengths and weaknesses.
When thinking about our own strengths and weaknesses we really need to be completely honest with ourselves. We all know it’s almost a prerequisite in the construction industry to have an Alpha personality type, but don’t confuse confidence with a character flaw of being overly prideful. If we can’t admit we need help with anything we are destine for failure. We aren’t building alone, everyone one your team has something to offer. We as supervisors need to find out what that is to make sure we have the right people doing the right jobs, and that we have the support needed to overcome our own weaknesses. I have seen this over and over again, the supervisor who "knows it all", the guy who has the my way or the highway attitude. In this day and age that management style just doesn't work anymore. We also need our team to be open to constructive criticisms and weak spots in their fabric. Maybe you have a good communicator who isn't the best planner, if you pair them up with a good planner who isn't the best communicator you will have a stronger team. Just remember it all starts with honesty.
Moving into a new role as a Supervisor, or switching companies can be overwhelming. There is always that feeling of needing to “prove yourself” when entering unfamiliar territory, which can hamper your productivity by adding unnecessary pressure on yourself. We all know that we are the most effective only after we find our comfort zone and routine. We are going to look at how to hit the ground running and hit full efficiency as quickly as possible. Here is a checklist of the first things to look at when facing a new job as a Supervisor.
• Get to know the team – Who are the key players and contacts? Every leader has a right hand man, it shouldn't take long to find yours. Relationship building is key at any transitional period of your career; don't be afraid to show your human side. First impressions are hard to change, so think about how you want to be thought of during your first interactions with your new team.
• Know strengths and weaknesses for yourself and of your team – Play to everyone’s strengths, if someone on your team is better than you at some particular part of the job let them run with it. Don’t think you can do it all yourself; we all need help with some parts of the job. This will also help build the team, showing trust and delegating only helps show your leadership abilities.
• Scope – You need full comprehension of schedule and budgets. This should be on top of your priority list. The faster you have this understood the faster and more accurate your upfront planning will be. Find the holes in both, are they realistic? How much manpower will you need etc.
• Clear understanding of responsibilities - Make a list of all of the duties associated with the supervision and delegate them appropriately. This should be done in a formal meeting with all of the Supervisors, so there no confusion as to who is responsible for what.
These are a list of steps to take to fit into your new role as painlessly as possible, but every job is obviously different. The faster you hit your stride, the better off your crew and the job will be. Remember there is a reason you are the Supervisor, don't become intimidated with your new situation and focus your efforts on the most important parts of your duties early.
Teamwork, what does it mean? Its definition is- A cooperative or a coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interest of a common cause.
I’m sure all of us at some point in our construction career have experienced the people that try to play hero, or want to build the whole job on their own. When this happens the moral on the crew and the attitude of the guys that work around this person go downhill. When your crew has a bad attitude or low moral things tend to slow down and the quality of work suffers. All this can happen from the one person thinking that they have to do everything them self. Typical the person trying to do everything themselves think it makes them look good to the boss, which on some jobs the boss thinks that without this one person they wouldn't have been able to get it done. When in some cases there might be other workers who can do things better and faster than this one person.
I was on a job fairly recently where there was a guy that thought he was the only person who could do everything but the work that had no glory. And the guys that were doing all the little stuff that nobody thinks about that much were better at this certain task. I’m not saying that the guys that knew more should have been the only guys to do this task, but if this said person would have worked together with these guys the job would have been faster and the quality of the work would have been better. It wouldn’t have always been a mad panic on the mornings of the pour to try and get the wall buttoned up possibly sacrificing the quality of the work and safety.
This is why teamwork on a construction crew is so import, if we all don’t work together things can fall apart real quick, the schedule could start to slip behind, owner/architects unhappy with the quality of the work being performed. Driving people on your crew to be unhappy and quite, these are all things that could happen unless we all choose to work together as a team.
A special thanks to Ryan Dalton for writing this weeks guest blog!
Click here to learn more about Ryan
Human nature is to fear the unknown, it is the path of least resistance to "stick to what we know". Don't get me wrong, we should strive to perfect what we do in our current roles weather it's carpentry, place and finish, layout, crew oversight, or project oversight. But if we get too comfortable in that role only, how are we going to advance? Our industry typically gives us little preparation and formal training to take the next step in our careers, few and far between are the leaders who separate themselves by learning the skills needed to advance. If you step up and take the initiative you will be noticed. We should all try to learn new technologies that will help us be more efficient.
How do you know what tools you need in the next role? If you aren't being mentored, you need to be vocal, ask what you need to be working on and learning, ask to be mentored, and or course ask us, Constructorator was built for this exact purpose! Reach out to us if you have questions we haven't answered in our existing content.
I can tell you first hand the labor shortage the industry has been predicting for the last few years is real and it's here. The opportunities are there, the whole country is in need of qualified field leaders. If the advancement you have your sights set on seems out of reach in your organization, I can almost guarantee someone is looking for a person with your skill set and ambition. This might be the hardest part, overcoming the fear of the unknowns in leaving your company. I know it can be scary, but how will you know how far your career can go if you limit it to your comfort zone within one organization? I'm not telling all of you to put your two weeks in tomorrow, but ask yourself if you're on the right path for your future career goals. We will never improve unless we push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
As a supervisor, whether a Foreman or Superintendent, your overall goal should remain the same. You need to create and maintain common purpose. Everyone on the site should be working toward the same goal. The unity needed to accomplish the job on schedule and within budget will only happen with everyone involved in the project buy-in.
Every team needs a leader, someone calling the plays, and making sure that the focus needed is maintained. The most important part of the title and position is Accepted Leadership. As a leader of the job(Superintendent) or of a crew(Foreman) the same applies, you need to gain trust from those that work for you. The quickest way to gain trust is to prove yourself as a leader. This is accomplished through the following skills-
Think of your construction career as a game of chess, where one move can win or lose the game for you. Where a sequence of moves will earn you a promotion or one wrong decision can take you right out of the game. We have all witnessed the downfall of a coworker or from personal experience from one mistake. For example, if you had an argument with the wrong person and let your emotions get in the way using words you can’t take back or one decision that cost the company money and you a job.
So how can you play the game to your advantage?
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