Owen, Project Manager for a civil contractor in Battle Ground, WA, told Session 4B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“In 2008 I was working for a masonry sub-contractor on the construction of a large grocery store in Puyallup, WA. As the walls got higher, we began asking for information on the roof truss inbed elevations so we would have all of the information we needed on time to make the correct structural setbacks. Eventually, we were given an 11″x17″ plan page that showed ALL of the inbeds for the entire building. There were approximately 300 inbeds with various sizes and a lot of the numbers were so small they were unreadable. We were faced with a decision of leaving the job, stopping production until useful, readable information became available or to come up with a plan on our own. We had already been asking for several weeks for information and hadn’t received anything so we decided to come up with our own solution.
“That night on our way back to our motel room, we bought a magnifying glass. I asked two others of our team to help me and we went through the drawings and wrote down the numbers that we could see, and then compared notes, relooked until we all agreed. We then planned a line from the points we knew through the unknown points and went with it. Then we held our breaths while the steel erectors began working at setting in the trusses. We hoped the risk we had taken with the measurements was going to pay off. No one ever said a thing about any elevations being off, so it was a success!
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to have confidence in myself and when I don’t get the information I need to move forward, to take matters into my own hands. Come up with the solution needed to keep things moving!
“The action I call you to take when you don’t have all the information you seem to need is to explore all of your options – get any extra tools you need, put your heads together with your team and keep moving forward.
“The benefit you will gain is your projects will come in on time and you will beat the budget.”
Owen had the perfect excuse to stop moving forward. It is usually pretty easy to find excuses, but instead of falling back and blaming the architect or general contractor, he found a way to keep things moving. Follow Owen’s example and you will be a winner.
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