The use of the “F” word is historic in war and construction contracting. Here are the “F” words to use in successfully managing your construction firm.
Friendliness – Relationships and people grow in a friendly atmosphere. All people do seek friendly atmospheres and turn away from unfriendly ones. Let your place of business have the air of positiveness and not the tension of negativity.
Your managers and supervisors will certainly look forward to coming to work. They are half-way to wanting to do a good job for you. See the other four “F”‘s below.
Frankness – It pays to be frank. Although, it is uncomfortable for all people in the first half hour or so, the healthy discussion of what happened and why makes your people better performers. Of course, be friendly in the process.
Fairness – don’t play favorites. Always seek “what is the right thing to do” versus “who is right”, this keeps all your employees and other people you work with treated equally. They will always return the favor to you and treat you fairly.
Faithfulness – Always assume that your people and business partners have the intent and capability to do a good job. Do this until you are proven otherwise and then be frank. After that discussion, forget the past and turn the page to a blank one.
Of course, if they don’t have the intent and capability to do a good job, look below.
Firmness – Have minimum standards of performance including behavior and quality that apply to all people. Use the other four “F”s to communicate this. Long term, you will polish your reputation and performance, although in the short term, you will have some late nights.
For more information on this critical subject, purchase a copy of my McGraw-Hill book, Managing a Construction Firm on Just 24 Hours a Day. We offer a bundle with Excel templates that are featured in the book and 5 on-line courses to help teach construction business concepts. Go to www.stevensci.com and click on the book link
Our workbook companion with 10 case studies is titled, The Business Managment Workbook for Construction with Case Studies is now available.This text is focused as an assist for Colleges, Associations and Contractor Training Programs that teach the business of construction.
My next book, The New Business Model of Construction Contracting is planned for December 2007. Its focus concerns the changing construction environment and what processes address those changes.
Matt Stevens is President of Stevens Construction Institute, Inc. A management consulting firm which works only with construction contractors. Learn more at www.stevensci.com. Take a free course at www.constructioncbt.com and sign in as a new student.