10
07
20

A great deal of chatter out there today about virtual. Also so much bad video out there which is giving the entire medium a bad name.

Buyer beware and a good question to ask as someone tells you how good they are at virtual is “tell me about your gear list?” Not saying mine is the best – but you will notice a degree of quality, stability and redundancy.

Primary System

Hard wired internet
Panasonic – HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Flash Memory Camcorder – Black
Dell Inspiron for primary output to internet
Chromebook for backup and display
LG – 49″ Class UM6900PUA Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV

45 inch Sony Flat screen
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher
Adjustable DJ Laptop and Projector Stand
IPad Tripod Stand for Teleprompter
Ipad tripod stand for Whiteboard
Ipad tripod stand for alternate camera angle
Manfrotto – Compact Advanced Smart 65″ Tripod – Black
Fovitec – 3-Light 2500W Fluorescent Lighting Kit for Photo & Video with 20″x28″ Softboxes, stands, Boom Stand, & Carry Case
Ring light for fill in
Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone Omnidirectional
Insignia™ – Omnidirectional Lapel Microphone
Green screen
Enterprise Zoom account for up to 500 attendees (with scaling option)
4×8 white board
Flip chart with dedicated camera
Desktop for dedicated powerpoint display
Primary Backup System
Samson – Meteor USB Microphone with Noise Cancellation Software
Logitech 920
Secondary Backup System
Iphone 11 Pro on cellular

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

Keynotes, Live Workshops, Interavtive Virtual Learning & Personal One-On-One Coaching.

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09
28
20

Do you invest in the careers of your employees?

I know, you said yes. But do you really? Or are you only investing in skills that will help you today but not them tomorrow? At this point I hope your definitive YES is now a..let me think about that for a moment…

Here is why this matters – 94% of employees state that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.

Pretty strong percentage there but it takes a long-view and it takes the chance that you might develop someone and they may leave.

Just got off the phone with a construction recruiter and he mentioned a firm he targets all the time to find people to present to firms looking for people. The punch line on this – I can never get anyone to leave there!

94% of employees state that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
21
20

The Marines have another super cool commercial. Of course, that motivates the heck out of me.

Here is the link…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaKiL_hc2FI

I am sending this to you because of how it speaks to the next generation and what they, and all people really, are looking for.

Watch and listen to the first 30 seconds or so and ask yourself….Does my company provide this? What can we do differently to provide meaning and belonging?

If you aren’t sure, give me a call. I continue to interview the Top 150 contractors to work for in the country and there are some clear themes and actions you can take.

Not everyone wants to be a Marine but everyone wants to belong.

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
20
20

Actually we should always be in learning mode but in the coming months the construction industry will see many conventions, conferences, annual meetings, and the like.

Live or virtual – how do you know you are getting any ROI for the person attending the event? I think this is even more true if the event is virtual since it was cheaper than the live and maybe (wrongly) carries less importance.

The single best answer I know of is to have the person attending the meeting present a summary to the team when they return. I know A FEW (but not many really) that do this and it creates an expectation in the attendee and they pay attention more than they might have.

I am not talking an hour review, something like 15 minutes to summarize key points and maybe some suggestions for how the company or people can use the learning. This also helps people develop their presentation skills.

Education should not be a paid vacation, it should generate ROI for the time and money spent.

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
11
20

Organizations depend on leadership. But what happens when the current leaders retire? According to a Deloitte survey, 63% of Millennials believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

But many firms say these people aren’t ready for development yet, or for fear of investing and people leaving they don’t develop…why would people stay at that point.

It has been a cliché for years that we need more leaders, now it is a necessity. From front line leaders to those getting ready to enter senior leadership, we can support you.

Call and kick the tires on what this could look like for your company….

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
06
20

Since 2003, FireStarter administered DISC assessments to nearly 10,000 construction professionals. All trades, all areas of the country, and all levels of the organization are in the sample. I chose to divide my sample in half, and this got me to 2012. Running the analysis, I had my suspicions that there would be a difference pre- and post-2012.

We read so much these days about the importance of corporate culture. This is a standard subject in my many recent interviews with Top Contractors to Work For. We know that working in an elementary school is different from working on a job site, but what does the data say? And what are the implications of that data for you? Is construction different?

For the sake of simplicity, I define culture as “an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior.” Narrowing our focus for this conversation, we will consider behavior. Although it is dynamic, it is also observable, and elements can be measured. A simple tool for measuring behavioral preferences is The DISC model. Based on the work of psychologist William Marston in the 1920s, it is a popular, straightforward, standardized, and relatively easy way to assess behavioral styles and preferences.

The DISC classifies people’s behavior into four types (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) by looking at their preferences on two scales: Task versus People, and Fast-paced versus Moderate-paced. This tool is used in many leadership-development programs and is a wonderful entry-level assessment that many construction pros are familiar with.

Since 2003, FireStarter administered DISC assessments to nearly 10,000 construction professionals. All trades, all areas of the country, and all levels of the organization are in the sample. I chose to divide my sample in half, and this got me to 2012. Running the analysis, I had my suspicions that there would be a difference pre- and post-2012.

See for yourself:

Prior to 2012 Post 2012 General Population
D 61% D 60% D 53%
I 29% I 27% I 45%
S 28% S 29% S 30%
C 60% C 63% C 51%


Before you comment that this is more than 100%, I am looking at people who score with any of these dimensions as high. So, a person could be High D and High I, for example. I wasn’t looking for the highest score; I was looking for evidence and preference of a behavior.


The consistency between the two samples was a surprise. It certainly felt like the industry was seeing less of the D behavior, but maybe that was just the clients I was working for. There was some truth to that influencing my perception, as a closer review showed two newer clients are heavily S and C with nowhere near as much D as in the general industry. So, yes, the industry does have a D and C (Dominance and Conscientiousness) culture. With this confirmation, let’s discuss implications for you.


First, play the odds. The odds are very high that the person sitting across from you has either Dominance or Conscientiousness as their dominant profile. They may even have both. This means that starting the conversation with relationship-building and unsolicited small talk will annoy them. They may be quite blunt, but it isn’t personal!


Hallmarks of the D culture are quick decisions, direct answers, and a competitive atmosphere. Results matter, and trust is given to those who are direct and straight-forward. People who thrive in this culture are hard-driving individuals who relish challenges and the thrill of victory. Reading is a contact sport for them! Interpersonal communication will suffer in this culture, and those who are less assertive may feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. The closer we get to the field, the more D we see.


The C culture is known for quality, order, and accuracy. High-standards, diligent analysis, and diplomacy come first; all else is secondary. Perfect results are the expectation. Cynical to new ideas, you earn trust with this group by doing the job right, in their eyes. If one decimal point is good, then three must be better! This group can miss opportunities as they gets mired in detail, and growth may suffer for fear of lowered execution during the growth phase. Many engineers are high in the C dimension.

Another consideration is diversity of thought and behavior. Too many contractor organizations are peopled by clones who think the same way. The nature of the work does reward the D and C behaviors, but leaders have an opportunity here. This task-focused group-think leads to less-than-optimal decisions and outcomes. It may also create culture where people are not the most important asset.


Conflict is more likely with the D and C approach as the relationship is secondary. Understanding, listening, and collaboration are important for successful team development and project execution. But we all see unnecessary conflict on jobs all the time. Much of this is simply a default reaction based on personality rather than a thoughtful response based on self-awareness.


Knowing the industry culture, you are now able to calibrate your expectations as you deal with people. But shaping your team and company culture is where you gain competitive advantage. There is no one best style. All can lead, all can learn, all can make money. The key is to bring people together, in whatever proportion you are faced with, and set goals and expectations that all commit to.

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
06
20

Recent headline – 30 to 35 percent of COVID positive Big 10 athletes heart muscles inflamed

OH MY. Troubling for sure…but where is the rest of the freaking information. This is the hype that is causing anxiety and depression…

How many athletes were tested?
How many tested positive? What is that percentage?
How many were asymptomatic? Percentage?
What are the characteristics of those testing positive?
What are the characteristics of those testing positive? Are they all white offensive linemen? or is there no pattern?

We need to dig deeper and ask questions to understand our world. Whether that is COVID or job cost. The importance of questions designed to increase understanding to enable better decisions, to empower critical thinking, is higher than ever.

Too bad most folks settle on the first answer which is usually not the best answer. Learning to be more inquisitive will make you a better leader. I used to say any study on communication was worth the effort, I am adding learning how to ask questions.

What will you do with this information?

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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09
02
20

While you are fighting in the trenches everyday, others are thinking longer term…disruption, innovation, excellence in human capital…

Here are some things you can do to improve….

By investing in your most important asset – people
By developing leaders through a mix of interior and exterior instructors and coaches.
By improving productivity and reducing costs through streamlining and automating project and subcontractor management processes
By increasing control and predictability throughout the enterprise to drive better more informed decisions sustaining higher project margins
By adopting modular or offsite construction delivery methods
By exploiting new technologies such as BIM, automation, robotics and IoT
By actively managing risk to avoid surprises and delays
By becoming the most predictable, innovative and trusted contractor, commanding higher contract values and increasing pipeline and opportunity win rates
By Re-using design elements from one project to the next, collapsing the early stages of the timeline while increasing quality
By Increasing revenue by offering maintenance and facilities management contracts
By Improving brand, pipeline and bid win rate by having a world class proven predictable project delivery model that demonstrates your company is an innovative market leader
By being a successful, innovative employer, you can attract the best young talent and maintain high staff retention that shields you from impending skills shortages coming due to the aging workforce

In case you were looking for something to do….

Author:

Wally Adamchik

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Developing Construction Leaders is What We Do.

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08
31
20

Simon and Garfunkel recorded the powerful “Sounds of Silence” in 1964. Writing this I learned the group Disturbed did a version of it a few years back.

On a recent hike in Death Valley I experienced a deafening quiet. No noise, just silence. Check out this short video https://youtu.be/aA3iY8vpFdY to see and hear it for yourself while I comment on how valuable such moments are in our increasingly noisy and device filled world.

Leaders must find the time to think. For the past few months, totally in react mode, most of us have been working IN the business but you need to find time to work ON the business. Also need to find time to recharge your batteries. The economy is not likely to recover quickly and even if it does are you ready for it. Your people are worn out. So are you.

Find time to recharge and then to think…..

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Wally Adamchik

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08
29
20

YIKES

There is no question that people are profoundly affected by the major events that occur in their lifetime. People who lived through the Great Depression have different tendencies than those who did not; those who grew up during the Vietnam War have a different outlook than those born postwar. It is to be expected that modern-day society will be shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edwin Fisher, a professor of health behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill remarks.

Because it’s ubiquitous, because it’s everywhere, because it hits us 24/7, we tend to lose track of the effects of COVID on our daily lives, mood and consciousness

YIKES

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Wally Adamchik

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