June 2009: Full Contact Project Management


June 2009

Full Contact Project Management

Masonry Magazine

project management

What Can a Scottish Singer Teach a Bunch of PMs?

Okay, all of you who are leaning on your shovels, pencils or keyboards, have you heard who’s all the rage in Great Britain and the United States? Everybody’s going crazy over a video making the rounds on YouTube: some singer!

Now, the singer is not just any singer. Her name is Susan Boyle, and she seems pretty darned unlikely to succeed as a singer. But there she is, wowing crowds on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Why is she unlikely? Well, many would say that she doesn’t look like a popular singer should. And, for whatever reason, singers and actors who are extremely popular usually have the great looks to accompany their talents. I’ll put a link to this on my Web site for you at

Coach Gary says::“This year, you take the initiative. Don’t let the prejudices of your clients and your teammates get in your way. Head them off.”
Coach Gary says:

“There is always a sales transaction going on out at the jobsite. Somebody is buying, and somebody is selling. Are you always the buyer?”

Coach Gary reminds:

“Own the right tools, so you can use the right tools. Use a system!”

Picture this: You’re sitting at a weekly project meeting with the owner’s representative, some subs, the GC, and maybe a couple of bureaucrats. You’re half-way through this months-long project, and have been absorbing a bunch of changes in the scope of work. You want to be seen as a good guy (or gal), not someone who rocks the boat in this turbulent economy by asking for change orders.

Your job was bid really lean, and you needed to get this one. Now, something else crops up, something that the owner just expects you to “help him,” again. And, he expects this, because you’ve always helped him with these things, often, for nothing!

You know what? Susan Boyle was that way all 47 years of her life. She didn’t sing much in public. But when this unlikely looking woman walked out onto the stage and began singing, she owned the stage and the audience.

There’s a serious challenge out there today: survival as an individual, a company, or even a country. Are we going to be content to be buyers only, or will we be doing a little selling? And, if not now, when? When is it going to be any more important than it is today?

Susan decided, after several decades, to do some “selling,” as unlikely as that might seem, and looking as unlikely a saleswoman as there ever could be. She has some God-given talents, to be sure. Maybe your PM talents are not God-given, but you have access to a proven system that, when you implement it, and walk out onto that “stage” in the construction trailer, will have that audience in the palms of your hands.

Coach Gary’s Corner:

Step onto the stage! Get the free report on using video to improve your bottom line, and the five-part report on using RFIs. Consider joining a team. The best athletes and their teams use coaches, and continue to use them, even after they become great. You need a process. How about one that’s pretty darn simple, but extremely effective? Masonry readers get this for free! Go to my Web site,, and click on the link near the top of the page. Also, you can get Coach Gary’s book “Get Paid for a Change,” and his new CD, “How to Become the Leader Your Team Needs!”

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