July 08, 2013 Energy Air Share this post I had lunch with a client recently and was surprised when an old pal walked out of this particular contractor’s office to join us. We’d lost touch for a period, but our history goes deep. As the conversation over lunch progressed, we both realized we’ve been in this town way too long. But it’s a good feeling. While sometimes it feels like it might be time for this old dog to go to sleep, it’s also a great feeling to have been a part of all the history in this city, and it’s exhilarating to think about the major changes that will take place in the coming years. It feels good to know that I’ve been a part of so many successful projects, and it feels even better knowing that it’s because of the relationships we’ve developed and maintained throughout the years. While I’ve known this for a while, it made me really think about how construction isn’t all about materials and schedules, or equipment and drawings. Those are important parts, sure, but it’s also about those intangible things – the things beyond nuts and bolts, scheduling systems and budgets. As I was thinking about those intangible things, I came up with the five things I can attribute to each project’s success and listed them below. 1. Loyalty – a fierce faithfulness to commitments and obligations is required in construction. When people see this quality in you or your team, they know you are committed to them. This is a great value to incorporate into your company culture. 2. Respect – To get anywhere, you have to show regard and consideration for people. There are a lot of hot heads and egos in construction, so this may be hard at times, but it will always net good results. 3. Trust – People have to be able to trust you. They need to be able to be confident in your ability to follow through with commitments and promises. Set realistic expectations, because a reliance on expectations is not only important in construction, but in life in general. 4. Integrity – A strict adherence to honesty and moral and ethical principles is a must. This isn’t the business for dishonesty. 5. Humility – This one’s a little tough, but you have to be able to suck it up sometimes and admit when you’ve screwed up. It may not have been you, but if someone on your team is in the wrong, you have to swallow your own pride and own the situation. It’s ok though; when you admit fault and immediately make it right, it helps establish the loyalty, trust, integrity and respect mentioned above.