Co-Founder’s Corner: Where’s the “I” in TEAM?

If you go to Amazon and search under “books,” and enter the key words team building, you get over 47,000 results.  Is it really such a complicated subject?  My personal opinion is that team building is a topic that all of us need to hear and read about often as we are all born selfish creatures.   Each of us continues to remain selfish and fall back into selfishness at times unless we consciously put ourselves in the place of those we interact with before we respond.  Jane Austen once said: “Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.”

In addition to an innate tendency to be selfish, we are all born as individuals and no two of us are exactly alike.  Not even identical twins have identical personalities.  By nature, we all tend to bond best with those who have traits similar to ours and also to those who consciously make an effort or appear to gather input on a decision that might affect us.

For those of you who don’t know exactly what I do on a daily basis, a good share of my time, (in addition to my matchmaking services) is spent coaching individuals and company leaders in our industry.  I spend one-on-one time with individuals, listening to the challenges they are facing.  These challenges are always tied to others but usually have fairly direct solutions. The success of implementing the solutions always lies solely with the individuals I am engaged with and their ability to think beyond themselves.

What do I mean by this? Let me give a couple of examples:

[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title]Issue[/tab_title][tab_title]Typical Response: [/tab_title][tab_title]Path to Resolution: [/tab_title][tab_title]Resolution: [/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]Project is behind schedule.[/tab][tab]Bad team. Exec/company owner steps in to manage the job, thinking this is the only solution, when, in reality, he doesn’t have sufficient time to dedicate without other areas of the company suffering, and he doesn’t want to be there/replace staff/he or she makes excuses to owner/ride subs, etc.[/tab][tab]Full team communication– all members on the project team should be able to sit in a room and openly provide insight to solutions and count on the exec or owner to trust and provide the team with the tools and financial resources to achieve the goal without chastising team members for being behind schedule. Reality is that any industry experienced project team (remember, they are industry experienced since you hired them) will not want to fail as much as you don’t want to fail, and whatever they are asking you to spend for resources (additional help, consultants, technology, etc.) can’t cost as much as your time and possible delay claims and relationship issues.[/tab][tab]Map out a game plan with everyone’s buy-in and clear direction to share with all stakeholders, including the owner, bonding company, etc. This way the owner or project exec retains the ability to measure progress and lead without jeopardizing his other company responsibilities.[/tab][/tabs]


[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title]Issue[/tab_title][tab_title]Typical Response: [/tab_title][tab_title]Path to Resolution: [/tab_title][tab_title]Resolution: [/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]Can’t get a job in construction, or I get a job, but no advancement or stability.[/tab][tab]On-line sites suck/company hiring doesn’t recognize the right candidate for hire or promotion when he or she is standing right in front of them/companies or recruiters don’t respond to my applications/I am perfect for that job/they don’t want to pay me what I am worth/my resume tells it all/I can do anything/the market hasn’t really picked up/there are no good jobs or employers out there/they want the young guys as they don’t want to pay for experience, or they think they can control the younger guys…[/tab][tab]Better understanding of where your skill and credentials rate in the current construction marketplace and understanding which companies and jobs are matches for you,  or being willing to learn new skills, get new certifications or change the way you approach hiring opportunities.  You need to learn to identify the companies who are hiring individuals with your skill and credentials and understand how to present yourself to those companies and the people making the hiring decisions. It is like dating!   We all want the 10 because we think we are a 10, but in reality, it is more like going to the beach.  There is always someone who looks better and someone who looks worse; it is how we unpretentiously arrive that makes our day a good or bad one.[/tab][tab]Remember, skill can be taught; experience, attitude and aptitude can’t.  An employer is much more apt to hire and pay for experience if the individual has a positive attitude and the aptitude and willingness to learn what they don’t know. Your years of experience are only part of the equation to get hired.  Put yourself in the employers’ shoes and realize that when they are making a decision, they are considering many particulars beyond just the job you are applying for, including, but not limited to: existing team members and the cross over, company culture, project owner and dynamics, location, budget, and training.  Don’t be too proud to ask for help, but ask from those who really know (not necessarily your buddies) and be humble, thankful and ask for feedback from an employer or recruiter who takes the time to make contact with you.  Just like dating, you may have to go on few bad dates before you get to the one that you want to commit to, but what you learn along the way can be invaluable if you see what you did wrong. Sometimes just agreeing to go out with someone when in your heart you knew it wasn’t right to begin with, can be a learning and enriching experience.  As you focus on what you can do better, you become stronger and more attractive to those seeking to match with you![/tab][/tabs]


This month, you have the opportunity to read and watch some terrific submissions from our contributors.  We hope the take away is to help you see how your communication skills and attitude affect so much more than just the moment you are in and how they play into a much bigger picture and affect so many others.

Along with the more than 47,000 books about team building on Amazon, there are other ways to learn more about your personal communication style and, more importantly, how you react to other people and their communication styles.  Take a minute to watch this video and click here for details on ordering your assessment.  We at Construction Connection also offer you feedback when you make a request regarding your profile and tips on finding the right job for you, and we offer Consulting Simplified for business owners and leaders who want to work with us and our heart for understanding the challenges you face every day in our industry and finding solutions that work.

Amazon, in total, has over a half million different book selections on topics from A-Z, but the best selling of all times has a passage in the Ecclesiastes chapter that I try to remember. “Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work.  If one falls, the other can help his friend get up.  But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up.”  It goes on further to say, “Though one person may be overpowered by another, two people can resist one opponent. A triple-braided rope is not easily broken.”

In the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon states:  “A wise man hides how much learning he has, but the heart of fools makes known their foolish way.”

So, where’s the I in TEAM?  It is each of us when we forget to make a conscious effort to see things from another’s perspective and communicate effectively, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to wear that title. What about you?

We’re here to help if you need us!

Suzanne on behalf of Kent, Suzanne and the Construction Connection Team!

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