My son is six years-old.
It’s a fun age.
Witnessing your progeny develop original thoughts on shared topics is a trip. He is starting to mention girls he thinks are pretty. He can sit through six innings at Wrigley Field (you try sitting through nine sober Cub innings…), and we are watching some classic movies together.
Indiana Jones (the snakes were scary, but we made it).
Star Wars (the original 3 + the annoying one with Jar Jar Binks).
Dumb & Dumber (right in his wheelhouse).
Top Gun (fast-forwarded a few parts…).
Goonies (…down here is our time!)
During Jurassic Park – which, by the way, holds up incredibly well 20 years later – a certain scene got me thinking about the jobsite.
The tour has just begun. The weather turns for the worse as the archeologists, scientist, lawyer and grandkids roll up to the T. Rex exhibit. The predator is MIA.
Not to worry… this contingency was planned for.
A mechanical contraption lifts a tethered goat into the lair.
The T. Rex is being fed in an attempt to present a show to the audience.
Rex isn’t going for it.
Dr. Alan Grant speaks up.
“T. Rex doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt.
You can’t just suppress 65 million years of gut instinct.”
You know how the rest of Jurassic Park turns out, but Dr. Grant’s observation holds true on the jobsite.
Your workers don’t want to be fed, they want to hunt.
They don’t want to show up to work and be told what to do.
They want to be challenged.
They want autonomy.
It’s in their nature.
This doesn’t mean they ignore the blueprints and go rogue with a nailgun.
It means they aren’t sheep (or goats).
Their DNA is more like the T. Rex.
You ever go up to a good foreman and say, “Hey man…. I’ve got a real s***show on my hands. I need your help.” ?
His ears perk up.
Fingers feel for a pencil.
He digs in for more details.
Do some answer, “Nope. You don’t pay me to think.” ?
Personally – no.
I’ve never experienced this.
But I do know some think that way.
Those I work with are proud of their expertise and creativity.
They wake up in the morning ready for interesting ways to lead.
Did they simply want to be told what schedule to hit by some redheaded thirty-something?
Of course not.
They want to hunt.
This hunter attitude transcends age, race and language.
It’s in their DNA.
Just like it is yours.
As you manage and lead your jobsite today, consider the value these hunters bring to the table.
Outline the vision.
Show them the prey.
And then get out of the way.
These guys don’t want to be fed.
They want to hunt.
And you both benefit from following the script.
Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.