Is Your Team Built for Speed?

Rapidez (rah-pee-DAYS) Speed

I feel the need for speed.... Do you?

Speed, Quality, and Price. Pick any two you want.

This Triple Constraint of construction is uttered more often than “Measure twice, cut once” but not quite as often as “Your scheduling sucks.”

It’s nestled somewhere in between.

Yes, Price is critical for winning new jobs. Obviously. The market is hyper-competitive. Margins are razor-thin. The pricing mantra these days is, “Thin to Win.”

But within self-managed teams, Speed is the order of the day.

After all, jobs are on the line.

Do it.

Do it NOW.


Yes, I do feel the need for Speed.

Do it faster.


But what is Speed?


Yeah, besides Keanu Reeves, Lightning McQueen, and your mid-term cram session “helper.”


Speed – what is it?


Speed is a relatively simple equation. It’s the amount of Horsepower in your stable divided by the amount of Drag saddling your horses.


Speed = Horsepower / Drag


Well, you and your teammates represent Horsepower. Maybe your team is like the Budweiser clydesdales? Maybe you are Secretariat and you share a stable with a bunch of Shetland ponies?



Add up your collective smarts, ambition, focus, drive and motivation… add in a dash of incentives – and you’ve got your Horsepower.


What about Drag?


Drag = the things slowing down your horses from running full speed.


Drag is the personal/corporate bullshit stopping you from doing what you/corporate wants you to do.


The meetings to review updates from other meetings?

That’s Drag.


Changing strategy every 90 days?

That’s Drag.


The new thing requiring you to undo the thing you just did?

That’s Drag.


The mandate to juggle multiple BIG initiatives simultaneously?

That’s Drag.


Checking your Inbox twice every hour?

That’s Drag.


Eliminate Drag, Increase Speed.


What activities are creating Drag for you on a daily basis?



Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (, a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He likes Keanu Reeves (in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and the Budweiser clydesdales. He loves Shetland ponies. Read Hartmann’s recent article on Shrinking the Communication Gap here:–Shrinking-the-Communication-Gap/10FCP21128

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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