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]

Find a Passion First

Find a Passion First

This week, I was talking with a customer of ours who is half of a pair of successful brothers in real estate, who have built upon what their grandfather started several decades ago. We got to talking about jobs and what makes one satisfied, and resolved that many of our contemporaries go after the money, [Read More]

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]

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]

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]

Staying On (Or Off) the Wagon.

Staying On (Or Off) the Wagon.

I was recently traveling down a main street, when I came across what I call a “beer wagon.” You know what I am talking about: it’s a self-propelled vehicle, where people sit on a stool with bicycle pedals, around what looks like a conference table, drinking beer. Everyone is supposed to be peddling to help [Read More]

Take A Walk

Take A Walk

I’m a morning person, so I usually come to work all fired up. Then lunch time hits. As the afternoon progresses, I sometimes go from turbo to first gear. I have found a walk outside around our place, even if it’s only 15 minutes, can move the gear up a bit. Here’s my quick value [Read More]

Looking Ahead for Commercial Real Estate

Looking Ahead for Commercial Real Estate

I was recently invited to a dinner as a guest of Alan Fuller and my daughter Chappell, both of Alliance Real Estate, to hear Alliance’s thoughts on what is happening in the CRE world along with those of Suzanne Mulvee, Director of Research for Costar Group. It was nice that they chose the mountains of [Read More]

A Problem Half Solved.

A Problem Half Solved.

One of our jobs in Somerset, KY is set to turn over soon. Because it is a new prototype for our customer, I went to visit this week and to meet with our project superintendent. He and I talked over dinner about problem solving and management skills. I was lamenting that sometimes it’s hard to [Read More]

Trouble in River City

Trouble in River City

Earlier in the week I was meeting with an equity firm we’ve partnered with over the years. They are experienced, and just solid folks. We have worked on several projects together, where they provide the equity to the developer sponsor, and we build the project, sort of like a 3-legged stool. That morning, we were [Read More]