Building Community

Building Community

  A couple of weeks ago, I had dinner with David Baker, one of the leading Bay Area architects. Over the years, his firm has designed a number of award-winning projects, but after my visit with David, it seems his passion is multifamily urban projects. He has designed everything from lofts, to market rate and affordable housing, to micro units and senior [Read More]

Ending Up Where You Are Headed

Ending Up Where You Are Headed

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu Have you ever seen a picture that sticks in your mind? One that does not make much sense when you first see it, but when you “get it,” you cannot erase it from your thoughts?  This happened to [Read More]

Just Ask.

Just Ask.

About a year ago, a senior project manager of ours was having lunch in a local BBQ joint and happened to be sitting next to someone he had not seen in many years. As he was leaving, he reintroduced himself. They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Three months later, the almost forgotten friend came into [Read More]

Re-Writing a Motto

Re-Writing a Motto

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…” I would argue that postmen don’t have anything on construction superintendents. This week, I received an email from one of our project superintendents building a job with us in Kemah, TX, about 40 miles [Read More]

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

If you drive near the east end Birmingham’s CBD, it’s hard to miss Sloss Furnaces, a designated National Historic Landmark. For almost 100 years, the site operated its blast furnaces. Today, the site is still in operation, but now as a historic park. The grounds are home to various artists in residence and to Slossfest, a [Read More]

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

I’ve sat on the hiring side of the desk for some time now. Many interviews ago, I was always taken aback by the lack of the simplest soft skills from those fresh out of college or technical school graduates. They probably don’t have interview experience or haven’t thought through the details of their delivery. Maybe [Read More]

Try As You Might.

Try As You Might.

You win some. You lose some. But when you get really close to winning and still have to walk away empty handed? That’s especially difficult. A few weeks ago, as I watched the final holes of the British Open, I could not help but feel for Matt Kuchar as he walked up the 18th fairway. He played great, and by all rights [Read More]

How to Cancel With Class

How to Cancel With Class

As much as I try to avoid canceling commitments, it happens on occasion. We accidentally double book a lunch appointment or fail to calendar a meeting. Unexpected deadlines pop up. It happens. This week, I missed a meeting. Not good. I was in Houston and just did not get back in time. Worse, I failed [Read More]

Code Switching and Real Connections

Code Switching and Real Connections

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about “code switching,” where one adapts a “fit” to a conversation or meeting. I have done this most recently when I was having lunch with a customer. As he leaned to the center of the table to make a point to the two of us sitting there, I then [Read More]

The Canary’s Successor

The Canary’s Successor

We are ramping up for construction of the new headquarters for the Alabama Moving Image Association, the non-profit that produces Birmingham’s nationally acclaimed Sidewalk Film Festival. Their space is located within and below the recently redeveloped Pizitz building and near The Lyric Theatre and Thomas Jefferson Tower, projects we recently finished in the city’s theater [Read More]