February 2010: Full Contact Project Management


February 2010
Full Contact Project Management

Masonry Magazine
project management

‘Blind Side’ and Project Management

Last month, I had the audacity to tell you that you can learn a lot about construction project management by watching the “right” movies. Here’s what I have for you to help sharpen your PM skills: another movie.

Here is a synopsis: Leigh Anne adopts Michael and provides a family structure and education to him — a kid from the ghetto. As Michael’s grades improve, he is able to go out for spring football practice, even though he has never played the game and doesn’t really understand it well. He’s been too busy just trying to survive, and has never had a reason or time to learn a game. The take-away line from the movie: “Michael, this team is your family. When you look at the QB, you think of me, and how you have my back. Michael, are you going to protect your family?”

The rest is history, and Michael Oher goes on to star in football and eventually makes it into the NFL as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Here’s the application, directly related to our construction industry. We all have at least one Michael Oher on our team. He’s the kid that might only have raw talent, lots of energy or strength or speed. He has the ability to develop into a valuable employee, if you just invest the resources in him, give him a chance and see what he can do.

But how about your management team, including superintendents, foremen and project managers? Does the “Blind Side” message work for them, too? Sure. You are playing Michael, and you are a brand new project manager. You just inherited the position, and know nothing about it. Say, your family or your neighbor is having an emergency and needs you to help out. What do you do first?

How about you start here:

  • Your company — your team — is your family
  • Your job is to protect your family
  • Make sure they don’t get hit from their own blind side.
Coach Gary says:

“Protect your team’s blind side, so that it doesn’t take a hit in the backside, because the upside is survival and the downside is unacceptable!”

Look, you long-time readers know that I’m a big fan of asking lots of questions before I agree to take on any work that is not in my scope. Go to the Web site and get the report on using RFIs and change order requests, and use it to protect your family.

Times are tough now, and they might stay that way for a while. Make this the year that you get your winning record back. And, if you are thinking about moving into more commercial and industrial, or even into public works, then you really need to know how the big boys play the game. Let me tell you, they definitely look out for their own families. Why wouldn’t you do the same for yours?

I may be prejudiced in my viewpoint, what with me being a construction coach and all, but there is no doubt in my mind that having the right coach down on the sidelines can make or break your game.

The key to success in 2010 is good people and good coaching.

Coach Gary’s Corner:

It’s the year 2010, and things are still tough out there. Learn to play with the big boys. Get free reports you need for your own business. Go to The reports are free; not knowing the info is expensive! Masonry readers get this report for free, along with a free video tip of the month from Coach Gary

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