Maybe I’m a Stoic

Maybe I’m a Stoic

I am wondering: What if we approached our jobs and what we do every day a bit more like the Stoics?  To summarize Wikipedia, these ancients thought that happiness comes from accepting our lot in life and consequently, enjoying what we do. (Well, at least most days.) To me, this means not allowing too much push [Read More]

Visual Noise at Work

Visual Noise at Work

It seems the idea of  “just right” office space is always evolving. When we designed our office, we carefully weighed the benefits of open space, closed offices and everything in between. In the end, we landed on our own unique hybrid. I’m glad we steered away from a completely open office, as I’m now hearing [Read More]

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

This last week, I made my annual pilgrimage to the ICSC Recon convention in Las Vegas in support of our retail group. At any convention, I have always found one gets as much out of riding in a taxi or a visit to coffee shop as one gets on the convention floor. This year was [Read More]

Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride

I’ve held a few titles over the years, but this weekend I’ll have a new one: “Father of the Bride.” My oldest daughter is getting married Saturday, and has chosen our place and barn for her reception. Today, the barn is filled with florists, caterers and others getting it ready. I wish I had something [Read More]

Wisdom and Experience Traveling Hand in Hand

Wisdom and Experience Traveling Hand in Hand

This week, a couple of us were reviewing an article about a building contractor that let things get out of control on a large high school project. The Board of Education had just announced the school would not open in the fall as planned, delaying until December. (Every surety’s nightmare.) We then started discussing large [Read More]

Not Yet.

Not Yet.

When I was younger, things seemed more black and white. Like many at that age, my answer was either “yes,” or “no,” and not much in between. Over the years, I have learned that there is also the right place to say “maybe, but not yet.” To me, learning to be direct and definitive is [Read More]

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

Fifteen years ago, I was officially broke and near bankruptcy. The good news was that only our CFO and I knew it. It was a perfect storm. My marriage was breaking up, my business partner wanted out, and the company had a negative net worth. The bank called me and told me they did not [Read More]

Conducting the Job Site Symphony

Conducting the Job Site Symphony

In our industry, it’s common for project superintendents to start as carpenters, earning their positions as managers through years of hard work. Many of our guys advanced this way, but we do have a handful of folks who took a different path into construction. For example, one of our superintendents was a music major in college, [Read More]

Sitting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Sitting Outside Your Comfort Zone

You have probably seen the PSAs on television, the ones that show a child sitting alone at lunch. Years ago, when my parents moved our family to a new city, there were times that I felt a little bit like that boy. While everyone was certainly nice to me, they all had their buddies of many years [Read More]

Character Counts

Character Counts

I was talking with our CFO this week about analytics, technical knowledge and soft skills, and we both decided a close partner to these should be “character.” It’s something we look for when we hire folks, and also something we try to figure out with prospective customers when talking about a new project. We ask [Read More]