He’s not a fat plumber… he’s a construction athlete.

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Tom Peters, business guru and author of In Search of Excellence, frequently screams at executives (literally) about their search for, management of, and leadership over talent.


Talent is as important to construction companies as it is to the New England Patriots.

Talent… is your brand.



This sports analogy is helpful.

Once you acquire talent, you have to ensure it remains healthy.



In sports, what do all athletes do before practice?

They stretch.

They get flexible.

They warm the body up.





So they don’t get hurt.

So the talent stays on the field.


Now what about construction?

What do these guys do before starting their shift?



OK… coffee and a donut.


Then they simply start working.


This isn’t very smart.


If all athletes stretch before work, why wouldn’t your construction athletes do the same?



I see.

They don’t look like athletes.


Some workers have guitar-shaped bodies.

Others resemble a cello.


So what? 

In sports and in construction, talent comes in all shapes and sizes.


What about offensive lineman as a whole?

Or Andre Smith, in particular…




Remember The Big O – Oliver Miller – on the hardcourt?

400 pounds is a lot even on a seven foot frame…


John Kruk was a career .300 hitter and he routinely hid chocolate-covered danishes in his mitt.


Don’t even get me started on golf….



In sports and in construction, talent comes in all shapes and sizes.


So lead the site in a bit of stretch and flex.

Buy t-shirts for everyone on the job with numbers on the back.

Make it a team sport.

Treat them like the athletes they are.


Construction athletes. 


Last summer the manager of my son’s little league baseball team was leading our team in stretching prior to practice.


The kids were flexible and energetic.


The coaches – me in particular – were not.

I was groaning.

My body was making strange noises.



Acknowledging the inflexibility, the manager said, “My high school baseball coach said something to us everyday during our warm up.  He’d say, ‘Boys… Good flexibility is the key to good living.’”


That’s insightful.

Flexibility in body – and mind – is helpful.


Keep the talent on your jobsite athletic.

Get them loosened up.


Tom Peters is right.

Your jobsite is only as good as the talent on it.


In the NFL, coaches can cut a player for being out of shape.

In construction, that’s a lawsuit.




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.    

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Categories: Construction Spanish, Jobsite Leadership

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