September 2015: Full Contact Project Management

Words: Dan Kamys

Donald Doesn’t Care; Maybe You Shouldn’t Either

By “Coach” Gary Micheloni

Gary MicheloniLove him or hate him, everybody knows him: Donald Trump. The Donald. Even the name sounds big, doesn’t it? He’s self-assured and confident, even to a fault. He may believe what he says, or he may not – but he does say what he means. Seems funny to me that I would, again, write about this man. I first did this, right here in Masonry, more than nine years ago. You see, in June of 2006, I was not at all complimentary, and was critical about his “Apprentice” TV show, and the tasks on which he had his “project managers” competing. My complaint was that he surrounded himself with “yes” men, and they always agreed with his take on things. “Yes, Boss! Good decision.” How different it is in the real world: People are not always in agreement with me, I find, and you probably find this to be true, too. We have differences of opinion, we work to iron them out, and then we move on. It’s a strategy, and most of us use one version of it or another. Unfortunately, too many contractors are not confident in the capabilities of their field and office teams. So, when they get some kind of a complaint from a grumpy construction manager or city inspector, they start looking for hoops that they can volunteer to jump through. We forget, sometimes, that good contract documents should spell out quality and quantity, time frames, and so on. Our task is to complete the contract in accordance with the specifications. That’s what you bid. That’s what they get. If they want more, you can make it available, but at an additional cost. My point is a simple one: You don’t throw up your hands and just give in, simply because the superintendent for the large general contractor your company is working for thinks you should consider it an honor just to be working there. Do it too often, and you may no longer have a business. So, you need to protect yourself. After careful consideration, you may decide that you need to give more, but not because you were bullied into it. Bullies sense fear, but fear strength. When you’re right, it’s your call to decide what to do, not theirs. That leads us back into the Trump thing. There is a lesson here for all of us, regardless of political stripe – love him or hate him. Here’s the scene: Trump made some comments that many took as inflammatory. Again, you can agree or disagree on their nature, but we all would agree that the comments were certainly noticed. Those on the “left” side of the political spectrum, and many on the “right,” as well, called for him to apologize. He didn’t. Everybody was astounded, because usually, once a group of people or media types begin to complain and bring pressure, people are expected to give in. Trump didn’t. In fact, he “doubled down.” People screamed louder still. He maintained his position. As of the date I’m writing this column, that’s where he stands. The lesson is in standing your ground, if you think you’re right. But you must be willing to defend your position, and not run away from it. That’s one of the reasons that the MCAA is so valuable to us. There are standards and expectations. But there is also encouragement and help when you find yourself getting backed into a corner. Good coaching comes into play here. The MCAA has it available to us. Coach Gary certainly recommends it. And I suspect that The Donald has the ear of some pretty smart people as well: coaches who have the freedom, off-camera, to not only say “yes,” but “no,” sometimes. Copyright 2015 Gary Micheloni

Coach Gary’s Corner:

Need some coaching? Write Coach Gary at Gary Micheloni is a construction company marketer, working project manager, speaker, author, consultant and coach.
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