In sports when an athlete is playing their chosen sport at their highest level, it is referred to as “on top of their game.”
Thesaurus.com lists synonyms for “on top of your game” as going places, on top of the heap, on cloud nine, on top of the world, and prosperous. Related words mentioned are strong, thriving, top, triumphant, unbeaten, undefeated, victorious, and wealthy. I believe and have witnessed in the workplace that gaining wealth and being prosperous comes to those who make an effort to be “on top of their game,” whether an athlete, construction manager or any other profession. But obtaining wealth and being prosperous doesn’t just mean monetarily. Those who strive to stay “on top of their game” in the workplace gain favor with others, peace with themselves and opportunities that others are not afforded, unrelated to monetary gain.
IMG Academy, a world-renowned boarding school and sports camp for athletes located in Bradenton, FL gives credit to the traits that lead to success in their blog “The Top 12 Things All Successful Athletes Demonstrate”. Those 12 traits include self-confidence, motivation, self-discipline, optimism, acceptance of criticism, poise under stress, focus, resiliency, competitive spirit, natural leadership, humility and passion.
When I read this blog, it aligned with the things all successful construction executives and managers possess. Those “on top of their game” not only possess these 12 traits for success listed in the blog but mirror what the leadership coach in the blog mentioned about the athletes.
“Of course, having talent is impressive, but coaches are looking for student-athletes who show pride in their team, are supportive, and put others before themselves. Those athletes who are seen as leaders are the ones that know how to control their emotions, learn from their mistakes, and give it their all even when things are not going their way. These types of athletes understand the importance of their character and how it will go beyond their sport and into everyday life.”
This quote could easily read for our industry: “Of course, having talent is impressive, but Construction Owners and Executives are looking for Construction Managers who show pride in their team, are supportive, and put others before themselves. Those Construction Managers who are seen as leaders are the ones that know how to control their emotions, learn from their mistakes, and give it their all even when things are not going their way. These types of Construction Managers understand the importance of their character and how it will go beyond their projects and careers and into everyday life.”
Beyond the aforementioned attitudes and emotional intelligence, below are a few little things that also accompany the top performers in our industry:
- As a top performer, learning proper terminology and professional communication skills are key. Items specific to the position you hold and the market segment of the industry you work within are an expectation for you to know and understand.
When we interview candidates who want to advance their careers, we look for proper terminology and professional communication skills as they describe their experiences. In this way, we can determine whether the candidate will be a good fit for the A-rated companies we represent and the expectation for them to be able to knowledgeably converse with professionals at all levels of the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction).
- As a top performer, studying the plans and associated documents to be able to best do their job is a must. At all levels, we hear from managing executives that someone on their team did not study the plans. If you are a rookie in the industry, learn to study the plans for your project inside and out and ask questions. If you do, I assure you that just like in baseball, in the game of construction when the second string gets called up, they need to be ready, and if they are they will stay in the big leagues because they were ready. If you are ready, you will stay in as a first-string player but if you are not, you might go back to the dugout.
- A top performer completes their projects. They need to stay on the project with their team until they can break to take a new opportunity without jeopardizing their project and relationships with their associates and the company they are exiting. Employers, note that if you keep moving someone that values “being on top of their game” from project to project to do clean-up from those that were not “on top of their game,” they will eventually resign to play on an “A-team.”
How many of the top twelve skills we listed do you have? Do you know the players on your team? Do you know the nuances of the plans? Can you commit to the expectation before you in the workplace?
If you answered yes, then you are “on top of your game!” Prosperity and wealth will follow if it hasn’t already.
Keep Up the Great Work,