Construction Managers – 26 Things to be Thankful for at Work

A – Architects
A picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine building anything of significance without plans and specifications.

B – Baselines
Imagine what a project is like without them.  Everyone would be on time, within scope and budget, for there would be no standards to which they may be compared. At least until the company possibly goes out of business.

C – Contracts
Lump sum, cost plus and various contractual forms. Managers that know and understand what was agreed to and follow through know the value of it in a dispute.

D – Deliverables
Tangible or intangible and yet definable.  Produced or provided as a result of a process. Without them, we wouldn’t be accomplishing much at all.

E – Education
Many of you are in management today as a result of the training, both formal and informal, you have received.  Today, thank a mentor, instructor, or coach who helped you and remember that “The day you stop learning is the day you die.”   –Michael Scott

F – Friends and Family
They love and support the “whatever it takes” attitude in hours and commitment to excel in the industry, as well as the many dominant personalities present in it.

G – General Conditions
If we didn’t have the minimums, how would you manage the maximums?

H – Hardhats
You may or may not walk a site every day, but when you do, you’re  much safer.  Interestingly, they didn’t come to enter common usage until 1919. Today, you can even get them with built in fans.

I – Inspectors
Yes, those people who check the work of those whom you manage. Imagine everyone relying upon you alone.

J – Joint Ventures
Like a marriage for papers, joint ventures are formed to provide resources and risk management when bringing something to the table you don’t have. Be thankful for joint ventures.  Although not always for love, they serve a purpose.

K – Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
Net profit, RFI Response Time, Project Awards or other items you track.  Be thankful someone is taking the time to measure these, for otherwise disaster would ensue.

L – Lead times
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Lead times are given and vary. You can be thankful for having time to plan or hate them if you failed to plan.

M – Management Software
Ask someone who remembers what it was like to push paper and move file cabinets around. Not to mention trying to recreate lost data or correct a typo. Whether one is proficient or in need of practice, be thankful your company invests in technology.  It brings more good than bad for a company. (insert link

N – Negotiations
Imagine life in construction without negotiators and their work.  Be thankful for something to negotiate, the ability to do so, and the discernment to know who you want to win or lose.

The occupational fatality rate in the US is now an average of 14 per day, with construction ranking as the highest. Let’s be thankful that someone is regulating the industry, for without rules, the rates would probably be higher?

P – Payroll
You might be on the preparing and approving end, or only receiving end.  Whether received weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, be thankful your name is included.  Ponder that.

Q – Quality Control
Although “level 5” is referred to more in luxury settings, what would the light reveal about the quality of the projects you lead? Be thankful for the ability to lead others to give their best.

R – Reporting
Be thankful for those who do it every day, as real time reveals the road to come and the records protect you from hearsay when it’s merely your word in defense.

S – Stakeholders
Everyone involved in the project, whether internal, external, limited in scope or governing agency, has his proper role. Thanking them for the part they do helps the project, all the better, come together.

T – Three Point Estimation
Best-case scenario, worst-case scenario, and most likely scenario.  Although time consuming, this is a valuable method to be thankful for when wanting to be more accurate in forecasting.

U – Unknown
Be thankful for the contingency that covers them.  Can you imagine being expected to know everything?

V – Value
If you are still breathing, you have the opportunity to create value for others, which in turn creates value for you. Be thankful you are in a position to do so.

W – WIP reports
The tool in your toolbox when used the right way can help prevent profit fade. Something to be Thankful for.

X – Xenoglossy
The ability to speak a language you’ve apparently never learnt. We call it jobsite dialect, and somehow construction managers “supernaturally” get their point across even with a foreign exchange. Thankfully.

Y – Yesterday
Every new day in construction is a day we can be thankful for new mercies and new beginnings, and the opportunity to see how far we have come, instead of just what is missing.

Z – Gen Z
Also known as post-millennials, they are our next generation of upcoming managers in construction. Be thankful they have chosen our industry despite all the opposition out there to do so.  Learning from each other is a win-win.

Wishing you, your family and associates a healthy, joyful and delicious
Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. 
We are thankful for all of you in Construction.

Suzanne Breistol and the FLCC Team!

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