Remember the times, when you were a worker? Of, course you do. Who doesn't remember working for someone else, especially, when you hated your job, because of the way you were treated by your supervisor. I hope most of you have opposite experience.
What is the difference between leader and boss? It seems, like both words are just synonyms, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just think about it, what is your first though when you hear a word “boss”, and “leader”. I am pretty sure, that word “leader” raises more positive associations in your mind, than word “boss”. Boss tells you what to do, and he doesn't take any aspects of employee’s personality, experience or possibility. Communication is simplified to: commend - expected result. In effect, people are doing what they supposed to do, only when boss is around. You can't build respect and trust on fear. Your employees are not as effective at work as they should be when they feel fear. How you can provide certain level of service, when you can not relay on your employees? It is impossible, to be with them all the time, especially in this industry, when you have to be in few places during one day. People, who doesn't respect you as a human, doesn't respect your business as well. Because they do not feel as a part of this organization, they separate your business from their work. So, the question is, what you can do to change your behavior? The answer is simple, became a leader. Lead your employees to your goals and make your goals their success. Don’t be scared that being good will cost you your authority. You have to understand, that you can’t control everything, and everyone all day long. Give your employees a chance, prepare your team for future project, this is your job, or your project manager job, but everything starts with you. If you feel deep inside, that your employee is not able to do what his position requires from him, I am asking you: why you made this mistake and you made decision to hire him in a first place? And this is the boss issue; boss always blame someone else, but in fact, most of the problems is caused by his/her disrespectful attitude to the knowledge. Admit it, you are human being, you weren’t born with knowledge, this is something you have to gain, during process. And that requires self- discipline from you. If the tree has poisoned, or week roots, it will not produce good fruits. Do as much you can, to become leader, and do it consciously. Leader leads people to the success, by being good example for the team. This kind of supervisor is always willing to help his/her crew stay in the good path and is always ready to explain every task step by step. How leader has all this forbearance to explain everything to everyone more than once? Because leader understand, that results will became common success or failure, and she/he can easily explain it to the team. That’s why leader earns respect. Just, think about it: you don’t want to disappoint person you respect. You will get what you will give. If you want respect, show respect. Do you know anybody who can say: “I love the way my boss is yelling on me during morning meetings?”, I am sure, you don’t, because no one likes to be humiliated, especially in from of other workers. Remember that, when you will think about screaming at someone, just be human for others. Always try to see the situation from your employees’ point of view. No one is going to work with intention to do something wrong. Usually, people are trying to do their best. If not, that’s your job to change it. Because this is your business, and you are the one who is responsible for everything at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to price your employees for their achievements. Trust me, they will pay you back. This is human nature, when you see someone appreciate your effort, it’s more possible that you will help him again, or you will be more willing to work for him/her even harder. You will try to give as much from yourself, as you can, to show your leader, that you appreciate his support, and to prove you are reliable. As a supervisor, you don’t have to punish people for what goes wrong, because usually person who deserve to be punish is supervisor. That is your job to keep your team well informed, and knowledgeable. The same is with communications, you have to be clear with your expectation, because no one will know what you are thinking of, so always try to clarify scope of work and time frames. Team should always be informed about due dates, because they are people too, and who knows better their possibilities than your employees themselves? Thinking this way, you can avoid potential issues, before issues occur. Also, you can avoid chicken syndrome. I am sure you have experienced this syndrome many times. Due date is coming, and it is steel plenty work to do. At this point, is so obvious that your company will not be able to perform all scope of work in the time frame of the project. Everyone gets nervous, you, project managers and usually all blame is put on the employees, so all crew starts running in circles, talking about what else is to do, instead of planning all work, basically at this time your company looks more like chickencoop. People are running, but they don’t know where energies should be directed, and at the end nothing is done. You, as a leader are here to avoid this kind of pitfalls. You should take care about communication, so it is not only about what you are saying, but also what your employees wants to say to you. People are usually scared to talk with boss about potential problem, because they are scared to be judged by you, and to be punished. They don’t want to admit: “boss, I believe we are not able to perform all work in this period of time, can we consider bringing more people to this project?”. But they will be willing to talk like this with a leader.
M. Aurelius once said: “The quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts”. So think about your attitude and behavior first, stop for a second and try to understand yourself, what is driving you to the specific reaction? How you can change your bad habits? If you want to have good life, and successful business, you have to start build your character, change what needs to be change, because your final goal is to become better version of yourself, become a leader who is the authority for the team. Never stop learning, remember that self-development is the key to the happiness and success. If you will change the way you think about yourself as an owner, you will become more organize, and what is the most important, you will gain your employees respect. Therefore, you will never loose more time to fight with your team. Outside world gives you enough battles to fight in, you do not have to bring fights inside your organization. Think about yourself, your employees and the company as one body. And body needs inner harmony to function properly. You are the brain of your business, so use it wisely. Develop yourself every day, and you will notice after short period of time, that to use full potential of your business, you have to discover your own potential first. To be a leader, you have to lead yourself first.
Ask yourself, who are you at the end of the day: boss, or leader?
When you are running construction business you understand, that getting paid from contractors is a real challenge. Of course, you've tried hundreds of ways to get paid on time, unluckily, in vain.
To avoid this kind of situation, in the future, you must start to prevent it at the stage of creating contract, or even bids. The same problem, is also duplicated with any change orders. It’s hard, and sometimes impossible, to get approval for change order.
Creating a precise Proposal is fundamental in this situation, but as you know sometimes it's not enough. Contractor will always look for objections to the scope of work, and of course, payment, because everyone wants to save as much money as is possible. Eventually GC budget is limited too. If we already know that, we can be step ahead of the contractor. All we have to do is create solid foundation and arguments, which will defend our Proposal and Change Orders. You can prove, that requested amount is not taken from nowhere your first . From the other hand, most people remember better, when they see graphically presented information. That’s why we suggest sending a quote with mapped drawings. All work listed in proposal is reflected on drawings, point by point. World is changing, so what is the point to practice old school estimating? Nowadays, we have plenty software’s dedicated for estimating process. New technology can make your work easier.
One of our favorite tools is Bluebeam Revu’18. This software is powerful tool, so you can create great detailed take offs and mapped drawings. It also great, when it comes to the drawings notes. After work is done you can easily save your work as a pdf and send it to your cell phone. Sounds great, isn’t it? You can have needed data all the time with you, and what is the most important, you are always ready to talk about scope of work. Creating Mapped Drawings has more advantages than you think. It is possible, that you didn't realize, that mapped drawings can be useful in your daily work, because it's not used frequently yet. But it's just the matter of time. To meet market requirements, construction business needs new solutions.
Below we have some of advantages of using Mapped Drawings for daily work: