April 2012: Full Contact Project Management


April 2012
Full Contact Project Management

Masonry Magazine
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No April Foolin’ – We Win

It was 7 a.m. as I was driving down I-5 on my way to a jobsite, and I realized that I was shouting at the radio. Then it hit me: We win!

As to the reason I was shouting aloud at the radio: The host had a guest, Aaron Negherbon, who is the leader of Troops Direct, a group of volunteers. Their mission is to send to frontline troops the equipment and supplies they need – now – to help them in the combat zones where they are deployed. I sort of dismissed the conversation, thinking it would be all about getting people in this country to support our troops by sending cards and cookies. And, as a veteran, once stationed in a far-off country, I know that cards, cookies and letters are valuable, and I am so glad that folks in our country do a good job with that. But that thought is not what made me shout.

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

– Anonymous

What just about caused me to jump out of my seat was when Aaron explained that their mission was not about sending cookies, but about sending emergency medical and personal care items, things that are requested by the unit commanders out in the boonies. Things like stretchers, ballistic eye protection, tourniquets, soap, toothpaste, protein bars, and even syringes and canine supplies. Or, how about this one, which set me off again: powdered chalk to mark locations of improvised explosive devices, to help save American lives. I screamed again, louder this time.

I was incredulous, but I also realized, we win. We win, as a people, simply because we are all willing to do what is right, to pick up the ball and run with it to meet a need.

You see, the people at Troops Direct assemble a team so effective, their packages get to the troops faster than the military supply lines can. Pretty amazing.

“Teamwork is…the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

– Andrew Carnegie

This may well be the April issue of Masonry, but there’s nothing “foolish” here. Teamwork makes our communities and our nation work. As I write this, many in our country have been impacted by tornadoes. The devastation, at least from the video footage I’ve seen, looks like it could have come out of Afghanistan – rubble and debris everywhere. But also everywhere: teamwork! No sooner had the storm passed through than volunteers began appearing at the various disaster site locations, eager to help. From fire and police departments, to churches, the Red Cross, community service clubs, and individual citizens.

In our country, a team of people always will arise to meet a need. U.S. citizens can’t stand the thought of our military being deployed to a primitive area on the other side of the world without its members being properly equipped. Likewise, in the wake of the tornado damage, folks will not stay in their own comfortable homes, when they know their neighbors are in danger or suffering. Americans get up and help. Whatever it is. Whatever we can. Wherever it’s needed.

Believe it or not, the same thing holds true for our industry. For several years now, the economy has devastated our building industry. Not to make light of war and disasters, but a lot of people and companies are feeling like their businesses are in a war zone or have been crushed by “unnatural disasters.” We begin wonder where our team is. Well, the answer is quite simple: It’s right here!

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is.”

– Vince Lombardi

The Mason Contractors Association of America is the team that has been assembled to help our businesses, in good times and in bad. There was a need. Like-minded contractors, suppliers and manufacturers banded together, realizing that a group can accomplish much more than individuals.

Our industry is doubly blessed. We have well-meaning folks who understand the value of teamwork. We stand upon shoulders of the founders of the MCAA. As bad as things are now, or were in the past, they could have been worse without our association. Be a member of this team, as well as those teams supporting your community and country. Support your teams. Help them win.

And can I encourage you to do one other thing? Reach out half-way around the world, and give a protein bar to a Marine, or a packet of body wash to a soldier on patrol in 130 degree heat. Go to to offer a bit of support. You can pledge as little as $1 on a monthly basis or make a one-time gift. Join Coach Gary over there, and we all win!

Copyright 2012 Gary Micheloni

What about 2012? Public works or public relations on your mind for next year? Coaching will help you get there in less time, and with more success. Ask Coach Gary to speak for your group, association or convention, or even to coach your company. Go to, and click on the links for the resources (below the arrows). The report is free; not knowing the info is expensive! “Get Paid for a Change!” is available at And, get free scheduling help from, so that you can enter public works contracting. Go there now.

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