I’ve been in the construction industry for nine years. I started working as an apprentice in 2007 and I’m currently a Flatwork General Forman for a large commercial company. As an apprentice I set two goals for myself; work hard and learn something new every day. By improving myself task by task, I quickly became a journeyman. As a new journeyman, I took pride in taking on the “hard tasks”. I wanted to be the person who the crew looked toward when times got tough. I soon became frustrated by not moving forward in my career. So I decided to start a concrete company and ran it on the side then eventually ran it full time and quit my job.As an owner of a new company it made me start thinking differently. I realized how difficult everything really actually was. From estimating and having to sell myself to working with the customer & completing the job. Sometimes the actual work was the easiest part.
Creating His Own
My company was successful for four years. The identity of the company was quality. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best finishers in the state and wanted to take advantage of that. Although, I may think of the company as a failure, I learned more from that experience than I could from anything else. To me, failing is just a part of the learning process. It’s way more difficult to try and fail then to never try at all. I’m always willing and wanting to try new things whether it’s in my career or personal life. Even though my company wasn’t the highest success, I did learn some very essential lessons. One thing I’ll take with me is how important it is to ask questions and trust others input.
What's Jake been up to lately?
As a General Forman now, my responsibilities have increased and include: managing multiple crews and projects simultaneously. Improving the skills of myself, and the crews to help eliminate "rework". Through the knowledge of some great mentors, I've learned how to train, produce quality work under budget, and looked ahead to eliminate mistakes.
What does Jakes crew say?
Jake cares, he really takes the time to know and understand the members of his crew. By doing this simple act his crew’sattitude and respect noticeably changed, individually, and as a group. Not only does Jake know his crew personally, but professionally he has a strong understanding of each crewman’sstrengths and weakness, this is vital for building a strong crew;he uses both traits to make a great team. Jake also regularlyteaches using hands-on methods, by doing so he is able to demonstrate new and better techniques, keeping his crew and the company abreast on the latest trends.
Jake is able to keep things simple and straight forward, whether he explaining an idea or reprimanding. He can easily persuade and lead people to his way of thinking. Does this mean everyone agrees with him all the time? Of course not, but they trust and respect his judgement. He doesn’t use his position to glorify himself, but instead recognizes and acknowledges his crew’s hard work and strives to build them up in the eyes of others. He’s goal oriented and driven, Jake is constantly comparing himself and his crew to the best out there in an effort to become the best. Jake has been a key player in regularly producing a good product and has even broken some world records along the way. These are not only skills that he practices at work, but in all aspects of his life .
- Mitch Barnhurst
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” – Albert Schueitzar