Oct 28

E575: Building Your Beliefs

Believe fully in what you do and where you want to go.



  1. Thoughts are things, beliefs make them so, and action solidifies the belief (JB Glossinger @ morningcoach.co)
    1. We have goals, trajectories, and wanted accomplishments
    2. We take action to move towards are goals
    3. We can become discouraged if we lose our belief
  2. A secret to success is believing in your goals and taking the necessary action
    1. You have to believe in what you want and the actions you take
      1. Without belief, we stop taking action
    2. A farmer plants a seed in Spring and harvests a crop in Fall - all along he takes action because he  believes that he will reap the harvest
    3. It's important to constantly build on our belief
  3. How can we solidify our beliefs
    1. Learn and read about other people's successes
    2. Accept the flow of life, don't oppose it (Ekhart Tolle - The Power of Now)
    3. Take action to make small steps everyday towards your goals
      1. A 1% improvement every day equals a 3,800% improvement in a year

Oct 26

E573: Project Paperwork

Project paperwork can be a full-time job.


  1. Projects have a lot of paperwork
    1. Daily reports - just the start
    2. More things like certified payroll, LEED reporting, and other items
    3. All can take a huge effort
  2. Plan your paperwork
    1. Review during estimating
    2. Make it part of the project plan
    3. What is required from subcontractors and suppliers
  3. Complete and track the paperwork
    1. Create a tracking list with what's required and when
    2. Put one person in charge of tracking
    3. Get it submitted on time

Oct 26

E574: Communicating with Your Vendors

Create solid relationships with your vendors with good communication.


  1. We rely a lot on vendors
    1. Suppliers, subcontractors, equipment dealers, etc.
    2. They support our business and help us grow
    3. We need to communicate with them
  2. Three key areas of communication
    1. Invoices, payments, etc. - the accounting stuff
    2. Project specific information like changes, schedules, etc.
    3. Issues and problems
  3. Communicate with your vendors just like your clients
    1. Create a communication plan - who communicates what and how
    2. Track your communication
    3. Create good, lasting relationships - you never know how they may help you one day

Oct 25

E572: Qualify Your Quotes

Review your quotes before submitting your proposal.



  1. Part of our estimate includes quotes
    1. Supplier quotes
    2. Subcontractor quotes
    3. Equipment quotes
  2. During estimating we reach out to vendors for quotes
    1. We typically provide them with the information
    2. Some review that information and some don't
    3. They provide us quotes and sometimes for the wrong thing
  3. Protect you estimate by qualifying your quotes
    1. Qualify each quote you plan to plug into the estimate
    2. Call the vendor to review and ask questions
    3. Have them revise and quote what is correct

Oct 24

E571: Ask Coach – Good Project Scopes

Complete comprehensive "scopes of work" for your projects to avoid disputes.


Q: What's the best way to make sure my project scope is clear?

A: Write a detailed scope during estimating, review your contract, and have a scope review meeting with your client.


  1. Project scope can be very complex
    1. Not everything is clear in the contract documents
    2. Our client may have a different interpretation of something
    3. Prime contractors often rely on catch-all phrases to make us perform things
  2. We need to protect ourselves with a clear scope of work
    1. Include a detailed scope of work with your estimate
      1. List your inclusions and exclusions
    2. Review you contract to make sure it matches your scope of work
    3. Have a scope meeting with your client prior to signing the contract
      1. Review line by line and make sure you both agree on what each line means
    4. Make all adjustments before signing the contract

Oct 21

E570: What Do You Focus On?

Shift your focus for a more fulfilling and joyous life.


  1. Our minds are amazing machines
    1. Constantly processing and analyzing data
    2. It takes in thousands of stimuli per second
    3. It processes that to deliver information to our conscious mind - both good and bad
  2. What do you focus on? This can have a huge impact on our state of mind
    1. The good or the bad?
    2. We want to shift to focusing on the good - at least 51% of the time
    3. Move from energy-draining emotions to emotions of power
  3. Don't just accept what your brain tells you
    1. You have options, learn to process the results
      1. Just like Google - you get thousands of results but not all provide you what you need
    2. Become an observer - step back in ask "does this thought/emotion serve me?"
    3. Use this exercise when you get emotions and thoughts
      1. Accept the emotion/thought
      2. Ask "Does this benefit me?" - if yes, great - if not..
      3. Ask "Can I let it go?"
      4. Ask "When can I let it go?" - if now, great - if not repeat the exercise

Oct 20

E569: Employee Compensation Packages

Attract and retain the best employees with creative compensation packages.


  1. Compensation packages
    1. The pay plus benefits
    2. Common benefits like healthcare, vacation, retirement, etc.
    3. Creative benefits like flex time, break room snacks, discount programs, work from home, etc.
  2. The traditional approach makes us ordinary
    1. Most companies follow the "keeping up with the Jones" approach
    2. They base their pay rates and benefits on what others do
    3. If that's all you do you end up competing with everyone else
  3. Elite organizations go beyond the traditional compensation
    1. Studies show top performing companies are often the top paying in their industry
      1. The real performers go beyond traditional pay rates
    2. Get beyond your pay and benefits and find ways to compensate your employees
      1. Flexibility / time off / work from home
      2. Industry training and advancement plans
      3. Wellness programs
    3. The key is to make your employees feel they are part of the organization and they have a future

Oct 19

E568: Pre-Phase Planning

Boost your quality and productivity with pre-phase planning.


  1. Pre-phase planning is a great quality control tool
    1. Part of the Army Corp of Engineers QA/QC program
    2. Not pre-task but pre-phase
      1. Phases are typically specification sections or groups
    3. Project team reviews each phase; develops the outline and meets with installation team
  2. Pre-phase planning extends our project plans into the details of each phase
    1. The PM reviews the contract documents in detail
    2. Checks materials, schedules, and coordination
    3. Develops agenda for the preparatory meeting
  3. The key feature is the preparatory meeting
    1. The project management team holds a meeting with the field staff / leads
    2. Complete a review of the specifications, drawings, etc.
      1. Pay close attention to execution part of the specs
    3. Use this meeting to make sure everyone understands what is expected

Oct 18

E567: Supporting Your Community

The benefits of community service extend far beyond the bottom line.


  1. I witnessed some amazing community support over the last few days
    1. Three local restaurants opened after the hurricane to feed the workers and those stranded for free
    2. Local grocery stores gave out free ice and water - local businesses volunteered to help hand it out
  2. Why is this relevant?
    1. To build an Elite organization we have to give back to those that support us - our community
  3. Community involvement helps in many ways
    1. Boosts employee morale
      1. Studies show that employees that are allowed to give back are 47% more satisfied
    2. Gains customer recognition
    3. Gains community support
      1. You never know where you next superstar employee or customer may come from

Oct 17

E566: Ask Coach – How to Manage Small Tools

Small tools can become a large budget line item if not managed properly.


Q: How can I better control small tools on my projects?

A: Create a management plan and make everyone responsible.


  1. Create a small tool management plan
    1. What so your crews need to perform their tasks
    2. How are the tools distributed, stored, and managed
    3. Who is responsible for them
  2. Managing tools on the project site
    1. Control storage and assignment of the tools
    2. Create an inventory of all tools and accessories
    3. Review the tool inventory daily
  3. Incentivize your teams to manage the tools
    1. Create a small tools budget for each project
    2. Share the savings with the workers
    3. Solicit feedback on what is needed and how to manage

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