Oct. 21, 2021

Brian Winningham Born and raised in the Field


Are you ready to start embracing lean construction principles and processes as a leader in construction? By adopting lean construction principles and processes in your construction projects, you will enhance everyone’s experience and work as an integrated team.

In this episode, we have Brian Winningham, Field Driven Lean owner, and has over 20 years of experience estimating, planning, managing, and leading construction projects. He is very passionate about sharing the benefits of Lean Construction. Brian describes his construction career journey since he was 10 years old and how he shifted his business during the 2020 global pandemic.

Listen in to learn how to let go of the fear of making mistakes and instead be vulnerable so you can learn from those mistakes. You will also learn about the lean coffee meeting technique and how it effectively connects people than typical meetings.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

●       Brian describes his career in construction that pans out almost his entire life.

●       He explains how his love for fieldwork influenced his company name now “Field Driven Lean”.

●       How making many mistakes has helped Brian grow and excel in his work.

●        Learning how to be vulnerable and unafraid of making the wrong decisions.

●       Brian on why he’s targeting to coach people at the project management level and below.

●       How to customize and conceptualize processes and ideas that build your people’s capabilities as an organization.

●       The potential of liberating structures in answering your questions and finding solutions as a team.

●       The importance of being calculated with your responses to ensure you’re truly listening.

●       The meaning of the lean coffee meeting technique and why it’s richer than typical meetings.

Get in touch with Brian at:
https://fielddrivenlean.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/fielddrivenlean/

Get in touch with us at:
https://www.learningsandmissteps.com/

Resources:
https://www.liberatingstructures.com/

Transcript
Jesse:

So Brian, you mentioned earlier, uh, saying, I don't know, how long did it take you to build that practice of, of just saying, I don't know

Brian:

what time is

Jesse:

it

Brian:

I'm working on it, still working on that one. I mean, yeah. You know, it's, it's tough. Like you don't know. I mean, you know, like Renee says, you know, we get that in our brain where we think that people think we don't know what's going on, you know, and you know, we feel like people might lose confidence in us, you know? And it's, uh, it's tough thinking that you always have to be right. Jessie here and that strange voice you just heard in the opening is my good friend, Mr. Brian Winningham. this gentleman has a deep connection with the field, so. That he's named his company field driven, lean in. And I think by listening to this episode, you're going to get a sense of how much he really appreciates his upbringing and, and the men and women out there that are doing the work executing, the building that we deal with on the regular. And true to form. We're going to get into some touchy feeling stuff. We talk about how he overcame, uh, dealing with the fear of being wrong, which of course is, seems to be, uh, the number one thing that Renee has been studying, Brian also shares the ingredients that he used to, to pivot when the pandemic hit and keep his company growing and thriving. And of course, we got to give some nuggets for our cerebral process minded, uh, L and M family members. And Brian does not disappoint. He brings it where he talks about his experience with liberating structures, which is an online resource that I think anybody can access. We'll be sure to leave a link in the show notes so that you guys can go there right after you go and follow. Brian and field driven, lean on LinkedIn and all the other places. And of course go to our YouTube channel and subscribe and tell everybody how much you like it. Brian's also like an expert on. Facilitating group sessions, virtually I've stolen many of his secret ingredients and applied them to my practice. He talks a little bit about how he got deep into virtual facilitation of lean coffees. Yes. I said coffee. For those of you that have never heard about lean coffee, It is yummy awesomeness. Check it out. There's a local cop somewhere that you can get ahold of it. Look it up online. It's really good stuff. And like I said, Brian's got, Brian's got game when it comes to virtual facilitation and facilitating teams Okay. You probably tired of me flapping my gums. Here we go. Mr. Brian winning.

Jesse:

What's going on L and M family we're back. And Mr. Rene dude on his here again, he's backed from soaking up all that overtime. I love it, Brian. He, um, he worked so much overtime that he bought me some super cool

Brian:

gifts.

Rene:

Yeah. Um, they're they're still in the mail. They're still in the mail. You haven't received them yet.

Brian:

Social distancing.

Jesse:

Love it. And so we got Mr. Brian Winningham with us this morning or today, uh, owner operator genius behind field driven, lean. Um, Brian, how are you? My

Brian:

man, I'm doing great, Jesse. It's good to see both of you folks again. Uh,

Jesse:

likewise man, it's super excited. You know, hometown San Antonian the all three of us. You're in San Antonio

Brian:

today. I am. I am we should've just met somewhere and had some breakfast together. Instead of doing this, you've been a lot more fun. Yeah.

Jesse:

As I'm saying, I like, damn man, we could have had some really delicious tacos or something and we're dammit. Let's see. I don't think, I don't think too far ahead usually.

Brian:

Well, we need to get you a studio set up Jesse, where you can have been studio guests and do this lot, you know, since we're about through this stupid endemic thing, that's a good idea.

Jesse:

I like it. And

Brian:

you see, ah, AGC,

Jesse:

you have some sound things, but

Brian:

maybe not that one, there there's one spot in that room where you echo, regardless if that is true. Just thing. I dunno if they meant to her. Oh, have you

Jesse:

there's that spot like kind of near the middle at the entry where if you're standing there, the sound hits you at

Brian:

different comes back at you. You say something just in a normal voice. And it's like, oh my God, what is it? Just freaks me out every time I like I've walked through that, had that happened to me. Well, I'm presenting and it's just weird. Yes. It's it brings me out the first time it happened to me. I'm like, what is going on?

Jesse:

Yeah. The price of entry will be delicious tacos. I like, I mean, easy peasy will be set and I

Brian:

mean, you can't get better breakfast tacos, and you can get in San Antonio. You just, it's just

Jesse:

not possible at all. I'm telling all my friends up in Minnesota, like they don't even know some. I got to figure out how to take some tacos from Eddie Stockwell house with me to Minnesota and maintain the freshness. Right. Like, it's tough, but man, if they only knew it would, it would

Brian:

be freeze, dried process for that.

Jesse:

We've got to figure it out. So, so Brian, we've known each other. I think we established since like 2012 ish. You mentioned AGC. I think that's where we met. So the local San Antonio AGC chapter that does a lot of amazing things and connects us with amazing human beings in the industry. Um,

Brian:

yeah. You and I started delivering classes together three pretty quickly after we, uh, the seen lean classes together before we ever tested or anything like that. Wait. Right at right at the very beginning of anybody even knowing what that was in San Antonio. Anyway. Yes. The cm.

Jesse:

I remember that because there were a few people, um, that were asking me like, Hey man, I'll hardest the test. I'm like, I don't know. I never took it, but we were teaching it. Um, but, and that's because of. Because we're practitioners, right? We've been practicing and banging our head against the wall of, uh, for many years before this certification came out. Since then, I promise I did take the test. Actually. I need to submit my continuing education credits so that I can maintain the certification, but people I'm not a fraud anymore. I took the test. I now have those certifications. I

Brian:

promise I'm still fraud in the middle of giving a class right now. I'm finishing up unit seven right now with a, with a group virtual.

Jesse:

Yeah. Nice. Is that eight three thinking or that's

Brian:

the, all the, all the different tools that other than last planner system that we talk about? The same thing. Yeah. It's a fun class. The one that you and I used to have a lot of fun doing together. Yes.

Jesse:

Yes. Ma'am.

Rene:

Question. So you say you guys, you guys met and at this AGC, so what is, w I've never heard of this? What is

Brian:

this association of general contractors? It's a national organizations sort of, uh, like, uh, oh gosh, it's just a trade organization for general contractors. It it's, uh, there, there are, you know, American sub-contractor association, ASA, there's ABC American builders, something ABC associated builders and contractors associated builders and contractors. Uh, so like up in Dallas, uh, ABC and AGC are together. Most places they sort of compete. Uh, but they're, they're one organization up in Dallas, you know, other places too. I'm sure, but it's, uh, it just, it's an organization that sort of supports countries.

Rene:

Ah, okay. So like, do you guys just meet up at these ADC meetings and in party or what are you

Brian:

barbecues and safety barbecues and stuff like that. I mean, some of the, I mean, pretty much every time I've been there, I've gotten fed. So I can't say it's not a party. Right. I mean, I can't think of a single time I went there and there wasn't food of some sort. So I called it a party probably is not too far off,

Jesse:

but they do deliver, uh, certifications and training and, and advocate for

Brian:

the, you know, advocate for, for general contractors. They're there, they have, uh, uh, uh, oh gosh, whatever it is that people do in Washington that go and, and lobbyist lobbyists. Yeah. They have lobbyists and stuff like that. And they, you know, they don't always come down on the same side I necessarily do. But for the most part, they do. Yeah,

Jesse:

end up providing a service. They provide services to the local building community and that's, that's really the important part of

Brian:

it. They recognize local, you know, they have, you know, best projects locally and stuff like that. And they do it on a national level also. I mean, everything feeds up into a national organization, so.

Rene:

Okay. That's cool. Who can, who can come to these kinds of

Brian:

meeting any one? I guess I don't know of anyone that they would turn away. I mean, we've had manufacturing, people show up, we've had all kinds of different folks show up for some of our classes anyway, and they do other kinds of classes. They do safety, OSHA 30, and those kinds of things as well. A lot of that kind of stuff. So that, I mean, they're, you know, they're, that's kind of what their job is, I guess, or what their role is in the industry is kind of help train and advocate for, you know, general contractors. Now they don't advocate necessarily for all the trade partners, but.

Rene:

Uh, and do people leave with certificates and stuff

Brian:

sometimes. Oh, okay. That's cool.

Jesse:

Yeah. Like, like the cm lean course that we're talking about, that you can get a certificate if you take the test. Got it.

Brian:

Yeah. You got to go 35 hours of training also, but yeah. Oh man, that's a simple way, Jessie, for you to keep up your, uh, your, uh, seeing lean credits that you need to L all the time, you know, you're continuing to start the class. Yeah.

Jesse:

I'm going to try and finagle in these podcasts, um, and see if I can get them to count like the live streams that I'm doing with Jennifer, that you've been on Brian on 5s in relationships, we'll

Brian:

see based improvement stuff should work to a hundred percent,

Jesse:

a hundred percent.

Brian:

And it's all self-reported. So I don't they're they're not going to sign you. Right.

Jesse:

All right. But it's about, you know, keeping the knowledge going in connecting. Yep. Keeping it fresh. So with all of that magical background, Brian, what should the L and M family know about

Brian:

you, sir? I don't know. That's a hard one. Uh, you know, my, my background I've been in construction since I was 10. I started, I started working. My mom decided when I was 10, that I didn't need to hang out during the summer and play with all my friends. I needed to go hang out with my dad and work. So I did, um, my dad managed a little lumber company in a small town in Arkansas where I was born and raised. And, uh, they did everything from fix appliances to sell screws and nails and carpet and linoleum and wood and all that kind of stuff to build houses and, and built like a whole like, uh, uh, development, uh, you know, so it, it, it was a lot of stuff like that. You know that they did. And I got so much exposure to everything. You know, I worked for a plumber for a while. One summer I worked for the electric folks one summer. Uh, I did all the installation on every house they built. It seemed like, cause you know, it was the crappiest job and I was the youngest stupid. Uh, you know, so, uh, you know, I learned a lot of stuff, you know, just that's been what I've done almost my whole life, you know? And then when I was 17 or so I started pipeline with my dad. We moved away from Arkansas on. It's hard to pipe. Well, not from Arkansas, but from our hometown, but it started pipelining everywhere, you know? So I did everything on that too, you know, started as a labor and ended up operating equipment. Uh, I did some stuff with dynamite, which was a lot of fun. That's cool. Yeah. Yeah. He

Jesse:

has an article about that experience.

Brian:

Yeah. I worked with this guy whose name was lucky. Um, lucky was a failed country in Western singer. He was a pretty interesting guy, but he was just kind of an a-hole to, uh, you know, but he, he didn't have any, any construction skills whatsoever. He was a good singer, but his choice of songs was just horrible. I mean, just this horrible, but he had a really nice police. He really did, but, uh, Find the local watering hole or wherever that was wherever he was working. And he had 45 box of 40 fives in his truck of all his songs. And he would take those 45 scenarios, talk to the people that own the place and get them to open up the jukebox. And he would put his records on the jukebox. Okay. And then when he would go in there, he would go in and he would play a little bit of a Waylon or something like that, just a couple songs. And then he would play every song that he had on there. And he would put them on repeat, you'd put like 10 or $15 in the jukebox. Yeah. Everybody's just like, stop.

Jesse:

Get him outta here. Step away from this jukebox.

Brian:

But, uh, lucky had gotten a bunch of DUIs to, well, I don't know that he got arrested, but he'd wrecked a bunch of trucks driving home drunk from the bar a lot of times, like, and they kept, so he went to high school with people that own the company and it was. Sort of a pet project for them, I think, or something because they kept him way past his effectiveness, which was pretty much nothing. But, uh, you know, lucky had wrecked a few trucks and every time he was with a crew, they would just get mad at him and run him off and like threatened to whip his butt and stuff like that. Um, but finally, you know, he'd wrecked enough trucks. So he's in the worst truck that this company owns. It's like, awful. Like the heater works all the time. You can't turn the heater off even during the summer, it's just beat to crap. And you know, it's just, it's been hit and not just on a job on a construction site. Well, and this is a right of way. So it's not like you're not trying to be. Anything flat or anything like that, you're putting it back like it was before. So you're driving over rough terrain all the time. It's pretty, pretty terrible. But, uh, I was working on a crew where once we would make a change in direction, a lot of times when the dynamite, uh, pattern wouldn't blow out correctly there, and we would have to go back after the machines got in and dug that dirt around and positive and broken. And we were, you know, 90 pound jackhammers, the whole deal worked all day and it was on this really important corner where we were going more than one direction, you know, and having to take off from different directions. So we up there and we get all the dynamite loaded and we're using like, Jesse, these, these dynamite sticks were 16 inches long by two inches. Some of our gates, this was for sewer and water. So some of our ditch was 35 feet deep. It's in the mountains of Northwest Arkansas. Um, and. You know, that's part of the reason why some of these patterns didn't blow all the time. Are you familiar with what a gamma goat is? Negative piece of equipment. It's just two tracks and a boom and it pulls a compressor and it basically runs the compressor helps it run, you know, helps the tracks run. It runs off air. And that's, that's what used for drilling, which used to use for drilling the holes for the dynamo too. Yeah. We were using two by 16 sticks of dynamite with lots of fertilizer tamping, all that it, uh, so it was pretty interesting. I was 18 year old kid doing this. Uh, yeah. And, uh, I was running a group and, uh, you know, our group had gone back and we'd gotten everything voted, worked all day. Uh it's the end of the day. It didn't dark yet. And, uh, lucky it never lit off any dynamite and we weren't using electric caps or anything. Just fuse, just, you know, you light it with a lighter. So lucky had never lived any off and wanted to. And, uh, so we let him, we're all sitting at the top of the hill, looking down at where we'd been working all day, but, you know, 200 yards away or so, and lucky backs his truck up right to the ditch where this is dynamite, where we'd put all this dynamite and left it run and left the door open and went down there and he picks up the fuse and he gets out as big and starts lighting. And when you like dynamite fuse, it's a little bit weird. It kind of starts to spit at you when it finally does light. And you, you know, it's just kinda, it's kind of shocking, you know, cause you know, what's in the ground is kind of scary to think about, right? So, and it's burning, oh God. Now, you know, what's going to happen next. So he, he, he does it. He likes it. If it starts spitting at him and he throws it down, he runs, he jumps in the truck, throws it in reverse and back right off in the ditch on top of the dynamite. And it's not a real deep ditch or anything, but he's sitting there and he's trying to rock that truck out, trying to rock that truck out, trying to get it out. And then he looks behind him and he sees that fuel tank. That's sitting there with all that diesel linen behind him in the truck. And he like jumps out of the truck. And so I didn't really describe lucky, but lucky was one of these old time Cowboys. He wore cowboy boots, Pearl button shirt, and buttoned down to about the belly button underneath all the hair showing and a Mr. T starter kit. This is the eighties. Yeah, like seven, eight cha gold chains on. And you know, he's running up the hill with his cowboy hat running away up towards where we are, his cowboy hat flies off his gold chains or just a swing. And, and then it boomed and then it went off. And, uh, I don't know how in the world that lucky wasn't hit by any rocks. Or anything because there was stuff up in the air flying and coming down for a while. Uh, I think he probably couldn't hear for two or three days, but he didn't get hit by any rocks. He wasn't hard. And he was okay. Uh, and it blew the axle off that truck. So like killed one more truck for that. After that, that didn't give him enough. That was it. So that was, that was one of my introductions to construct, I guess. So

Jesse:

you worked, you were doing insulation because you love, you just said, man, that worked looks so challenging. I want to learn how to be an expert.

Brian:

Yeah. I also wanted one summer, I spent working in addicts and it was when we had 115 degrees. I mean, it was like the worst heat wave we'd ever had. We had the highest temperature in the nation one day in my little hometown. Yeah. And everybody needed new air conditioners during that summer. So I was the one that got to go up and all the addicts to 15 baby.

Jesse:

Oh man, the sweat, sweat that out. So with all these mix of excitement and adventures that you were having at such a young age, what were your, what were your earliest career aspirations?

Brian:

I wanted to work out in the field. You know what I mean? That was, I don't really enjoy it, you know? I mean, it was fun. Uh, you know, I, I liked having people work for me, like working on a crew and then having boats work for me. So, you know, I, I really didn't have a lot of aspirations pass there. Just go get a job, you know, and work and do something you love. I mean, Jesse pipelining, I, you know, at 17, 18 years old when I was pipeline and I was going, I was homeschooling and going to school at night, but I was working so many hours that at $5 an hour, I was carrying over $500 a week. Well, yeah.

Jesse:

Hey, they ain't no sleep time in that.

Brian:

And that's kind of the way pipeline was back then, you know, it was 14, 15 hour days, seven days a week. And, you know, fit range, you didn't work, but

Jesse:

right. So when the get is good. So what was it about working in the field that, that Le that helped you say, man, this is what I want to do.

Brian:

I think a lot of it was just getting to go be with my dad, you know, and just, just hang out with him all the time, you know, from being a kid, you know what I mean? That's and I mean, you know what, boy, doesn't, you know, especially if your dad does something like that, what boy doesn't want to go do, you know, hanging out and all that stuff. So, I mean, at 10, 11 years old, I was getting to wait on customers in that store and, you know, learning, you know, all that stuff. So yeah, it was great. It was amazing, you know, learning all that stuff and it's almost something new every day. Yeah.

Jesse:

Yeah. And so how much, like that experience of, of having a deep connection and appreciation for the. How much did that play into the name of your company

Brian:

now it's over all, you know what I mean? It's, it's everything. And it's, it's always been everything my whole career, even to the detriment of my career. I think, you know, at times, yeah. It was just, yeah, that's more, that's the most important part. So when you

Jesse:

say debt to the detriment of your career, what do you mean?

Brian:

Uh, just, I always built a, more of an affinity with those folks, I think, than I did in the folks in the head shed.

Jesse:

Got you. So created some conflicts

Brian:

between, I just didn't always think like the folks in the head shed did about stuck.

Jesse:

Got it, got it. Yeah. Oh, I agree. Um, right. The feeling is mutual I've I've had that struggle where come on, man. Like this work that we're putting out there does not serve. Like we can do better for them, for the men and women out there that are

Brian:

doing and for our clients too, if you don't treat those people in the field, right. Then you're not doing right by your clients either. You're just not, because you're not, you're not going to get the best job if you treat people like crap. Right. All

Jesse:

right. You know, and there's, there's, there's just too many people that are, are, I'm going to say distracted by schedule and budget, even though I know how important it is, but a healthy schedule and budget are outcomes of treating people appropriately.

Brian:

That's the agenda for Licey. We can't do any of it without the people. Boom.

Jesse:

Mike drop. Right, exactly. Right. You did

Brian:

none of your medicine piece of paper that Nope. That that has no purpose or meaning, unless you have people doing that.

Jesse:

Um, and we got to make, we got to change our behavior, such that we indicate why people matter. Right. We, we gotta help people understand that. And then that's a long, long damn road. Um, so along along your tracks, because you've have a breadth of experience, you're a veteran as well. That

Brian:

correct? Yeah. Third ranger, battalion, watch

Jesse:

out. We've got a ranger in the house. Rene, don't be slacking. He's going to get you.

Brian:

I'm old and fat and broken. So you could probably run me pretty easily, even if I wanted to get after you. But you know, if I caught you, I wouldn't know what the heck to do with you. That'd be better.

Jesse:

So in your Trek, Ryan, what's the most meaningful learning you've had as a result of a painful misstep and, and just a war, a heads up this, this piece will be fans only content. So that's kind of a, that's kind of a shout out to our people out there but I know that you've got tremendous wisdom and knowledge and all the things that you've done and all the people that you've interacted with. And so I'm curious, I imagine that it's pretty significant, you know,

Brian:

you know how you get a lot of knowledge and wisdom, right? Tell me screwing up all the time. That's how that works, right? I think, uh, if you, if you don't ever mess up, you don't ever really get that knowledge, you know, beat into your head. The brain probably sticks to the best. Oh, God, it's just, you know, it's funny what we do to ourselves, Jessie, I, and I think that's probably my biggest, biggest thing is just, you know, the, the, the, the many ways that we No, and here is the part where I interrupt the flow of the conversation to talk about patriarchy and how you can support us to continue being commercial free. Check us out at patrion.com/learnings and missteps. By signing up to one of the tiers. I think they call them tears. Cause you know, it's a fancy word by signing up for one of the tiers, you're going to get access to exclusive content that only our Patrion members get access to. One of those things is early release of the YouTube version of these episodes. You'll be able to see the wizardry and all my planning and note taking in preparation and post production of these episodes. patrion.com/learnings in missteps. Love you guys. And here we go.

Rene:

I feel like a lot of us believe that and I think it's untrue, but I think a lot of us believe that when we're starting out and we're making decisions, uh, for other people, we gotta make the first call and we make a series of calls that are not right, that we gain this reputation that we don't know what we're doing. Uh, and that kind of instills like this fear in us that we gotta make the right call

Brian:

that's in your mind. Not everybody else's, that's not necessarily the case with everybody else. You know, it's, it's just not, and that it's our own. We hold our own sales back way more than anybody else ever, ever does anything to us. You know, fear and anger and those kinds of things. I mean, those are just, those are tough ones, especially for me, you know, I mean, I, you know, traumas sucks, but you know, we all have it. And if we can remember that and kind of work from that, that sort of place. And I think, you know, maybe, maybe we can be brave enough sometimes and do it. I mean, I, I'm not brave enough every time not.

Rene:

Can you remember like a time when you, you mentioned earlier that you were, you were running a crew when you were like around 18 years old, can you remember a time making a bad call and it not being so bad?

Brian:

Renee, you have to remember where I worked and what time period I worked in, when I told you we got 35 foot ditches, there was no ditch protection at all at all. And this was shot ditch dynamited ditch. This wasn't just someone dug it. This, this, this, I mean, think about this. We were using great big sticks of dynamite, as well as fertilizer, you know, the stuff that they used in the Oklahoma city bombing that, that fertilizer. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. So yeah, that didn't go bad. I'm still here.

Rene:

So there was no benching or shoring or anything.

Brian:

Yeah, there was benching. Yeah. I mean, th the good operators did bench. They knew they didn't want, they didn't. Yeah. They didn't want to have to take somebody out. They, they knew what, what the heck was up. And they did. Uh, and usually the ditches I was in were ones that my dad had dug. So I, you know, I mean, I, not that he is Superman or anything, although I didn't seem fly once. So we were in Oklahoma. And I, I started out pipelining oiling for my dad. That's what I started doing and oil or works on pieces of equipment and make sure that they're kept in, in the, it's not a mechanic, but if you keep everything oiled, you keep all the dirt, you know, out of the tracks and whatever, you're just a gopher, you know, I mean, you help the operator and, and hopefully you get a chance to sit in the seat and learn, learned, operate if it's a good operator now, ledge. Uh, but I started out as an oiler for my dad and, uh, I watched him one time. It scared the crap out of me. Uh, but they, they had this low board cause you always had low DS. And he was on a, in a link belt about 4,300, which was the biggest one they made at the time. Uh, and uh, he was going to, to put the link belt up on this low boy on lowboy trailer. And it picked up the back of the truck and the trailer brakes were not working on this trailer and it picked up the back of the truck and they run it. And you, you back the piece of equipment up onto the low boy, and he's already got his tracks up off the ground. So now the thing is starting to roll down the hill with him halfway on. So he's got that bucket, just he's slamming that bucket into the ground, try to stop that truck. And, and I think we had to pry that, uh, seat cover out of his rear end when he finally did stop, you know, and got to the bottom of the hill and stopped rolling. But, uh, it was, uh, that was pretty interesting day to, you know, I mean, I, there were some interesting folks that worked there at, you know, I've watched a guy turn a rubber tarred backhoe website, or I didn't watch him turn it over. I saw the backhoe after he had turned it up, but he turned it all the way completely upside down. Didn't even turn it off, just got in his truck and left and went home for the T.

Jesse:

Okay. I'm done for the day,

Brian:

but he was still

Rene:

operated to the next day. No, they

Brian:

fired him, but they brought him back. I mean, this was a small company. It was like that, you know, I mean, everybody got fired at least once by Dan. That that was the way. Okay.

Jesse:

So Brian, you mentioned earlier, uh, saying, I don't know, how long did it take you to build that practice of just saying, I don't know,

Brian:

what time is it still working on that one? I mean, yeah. You know, it's, it's tough to look like you don't know. I mean, you know, like Renee says, you know, we get that in our brain where we think that people think we don't know what's going on, you know, and you know, we feel like people might lose confidence in us, you know? And it's, uh, it's tough thinking that you always have to be right.

Jesse:

Yeah. Where do you think that.

Brian:

Oh, God, I know exactly where it comes from. All

Jesse:

right. Tell me, let's go.

Brian:

Uh, my mom was mentally ill and a perfectionist and, and, uh, you know, all kinds of things like that. So yeah, lots of, lots of childhood trauma. Gotcha.

Jesse:

Got it. Well, and you know, I see that same behavior in our industry, like rampant, where, where people as they grow in their career and their influence and responsibility expands, they also have the same fear of saying, I don't know.

Brian:

And, and we don't do a good job of training folks. Once we, once we get those really good foreman or superintendents or project managers, and we want to move them up to that next level. Don't tell them how to even do that next level. We just expect them to already know, even though it's a completely different skillset. I mean, if you're going to go be a project executive, that's not the same as being a project manager, but we don't tell them anything, anything more. We don't train them any different. We just throw them in psych, go figure that out and expect it to go really well. And it doesn't people might get treated well. I mean, that's,

Jesse:

I've been able to observe that coming up as a plumber and then working in the space that I work now, you know, now what, uh, what I've been able to see is especially like that, that engineer, field engineer, project manager, project, executive track people get really good at managing things.

Brian:

Right? Um, anything about how to deal with people,

Jesse:

you got it. And then they get to the PX PM senior PM, P X level. And now they're responsible for guiding and developing a team, but they do it like they're managing, uh, things. Right. And so there's this it's, I think it's an enormous market to, to go and maybe offer some value where they progress, progress, progress. They get to this spot where now all of a sudden they're not treating people very well. People aren't growing and developing around them. So now we, we hire a, uh, executive coach, like, okay, now you suck. Let's teach you these skills.

Brian:

That's a VP level. Jessie. That's not at the project manager level. It's like, you're split, you're on your own. Figuring all that out until you get to a point where we really like you. Yeah.

Jesse:

And then we're going to try to teach you the

Brian:

skills to treat people like already been this way in your career for 15 years. Exactly. What do you

Jesse:

think about that? I think that's stupid.

Brian:

Is it. No. So, you know, one of the things that I'm doing, you know, when the pandemic hit, I, I, my business went to zero all the way to nothing, because I was not 100% traveling on the road, going places and all of that in no travel people weren't bringing me in. Um, you know, there was nothing. So, you know, I've slowly sort of figured out different ways and, and, you know, want to do different things and do more, more different things. So I'm doing some CN lane, I'm doing a full cm, lean, uh, virtual course, you know? Yep. I'm doing that again next year, also for tech. So, uh, at the beginning of the year, but one of the things that I've started doing sort of, uh, is just, I've got a little small cohort and that is the best thing that I'm doing right now. It's six folks and it, I purposely targeted people at the project manager or that level of. Yep. Uh, because they don't get access to coaching of any sort, uh, ever, you know, and, and this has been so amazing. Uh, it's just, uh, Adam hoots will tell you he's in, he's in my cohort and it's just been more than I ever could have imagined. So we meet for two hours once a month. Okay. And, uh, I'll do maybe 10, 15, 20 minutes of directed learning, just something, you know, something that I've seen in the months since I've talked to them and say, you know, here it is. Uh, and, and, and we talk about, and then we just problem solve for the rest of our time together and they bring their problems and they all saw her. It's pretty easy for me. I just sit there and kind of help facilitate. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and, and, you know, they're, they're developing relationships between each other and, you know, it's just, it's the best thing I think that I'm doing. Uh, and it's really hard to get people to understand.

Jesse:

Yes. I

Brian:

feel you a hundred percent. I mean, I would love to be doing, you know, three or four of these a week or month or whatever. Uh, you know, and, and it's, you know, I've got some, some folks who see the value in it, you know, two or three or four folks who are ready to sign up for that next class. And it's just understanding how to tell people what it is. I mean, it's my, my fault, you know, uh, if I could figure out how to get it explained well enough that people understood what they get out of it, then, you know, I think it'd be easier. So how do people

Jesse:

let's say right now we got some L and M family members saying, oh man, I think I could, I need some of that juice. How do they

Brian:

reach out to me? Yeah. Yeah. I, um, I don't have a, I'm getting ready to set up the next class. I've got a couple folks lined up already and several that said they are interested. Uh, but just reach out to me. I, you know, I'm looking to do, like I said, three, four or five of these things. Okay. And it's a year long commitment from the folks. So we meet once a month for two hours every month. Um, I sent them a nice little care package, so they got nice little, uh, field driven lane shirts and some other stuff. Uh, do you send a

Jesse:

hat your, your whose baby had there? Oh, there we go. Nice,

Brian:

nice driven lean hat. But, uh, this, this is special. They don't,

Jesse:

I love it. I think you're, I think you're providing a fabulous service, Brian, because it is a gap out there. And to your point there organizations don't have a system set up to serve or fill that gap. Uh,

Brian:

And what I'm seeing Jesse with that is that it's also the great, a great way for people internally. If you wanted to start this sort of program internally, it's a great way to grow lean champions within your organization. Ooh, tell me more. That sounds interesting. So that's, that's sort of the next step I'm seeing this is taken this sort of to customers and larger customers probably, but one organization in particular that I'm working with that I'm thinking about doing this with, but you know, they're, they're a nationwide organization, have people all over. I'd rather that they, the folks didn't work together in the groups because I think that could maybe keep some folks from maybe participating as freely. Right? Uh, I don't mind if they work for the same company, as long as they're not like on the same project or in the same department or whatever dynamics can cause what stays in Vegas, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. We make sure that that's. One of the rules, you know, I mean, that, that has to be, you know, a trust has to be earned and built over time. Yes. Uh, so, you know, that's what I kind of see as a way. And that's what I've seen work really well for organizations to start finding those people who are interested and then start to give them some knowledge, you know, and, and let them meet together and sort of grow that, that interest together. I mean, man, the stuff that bubbles up there, it's just going to be so right. When that, when do you do that? Yeah. Create

Jesse:

the space for people to share their thinking, share their problems, because the reality to your, like the spirit of your questions, Renee, the question of am I making the wrong decision and what side what's that going to? How's that going to impact my, uh, credibility. Everybody has that question. Brian, you mentioned the word, um, imposter earlier. Uh,

Brian:

everybody.

Jesse:

Has that, that, that, well, I'm going to say 98% of the people I know have that concern. Like, do I even belong here? The 2% that don't, they're, they're not my favorite kind of people. Well, they

Brian:

might be a little bit psychopathic. I mean, if you, if you don't have any empathy for somebody, there's a word for that and it's called psychopaths. So, you know, I mean, that's, you know, that's kind of where I see that, that companies could do the best, you know, and then they could, they can figure out what works for them out of that group, you know? And that's, that's where you grow those processes, that work for your organization, that you get to start making it perfect for me.

Jesse:

Yes, customized contextualized for the peop for the people.

Brian:

And the great news about that kind of thing. Jesse is they don't need me continuing on forever and ever holding their hand that they can start growing that capacity right away very quickly. And I can, I can bow out and go to the next folks very soon when that happens. Nice. What do you think, Renee?

Rene:

You, that sounds like a great

Jesse:

idea. Yup. Yup. That's what it's about sharing that knowledge and experience, uh, with, with the rest of the folks

Brian:

out there. Yeah, because I mean, that's what it's about. Jesse Wright is building coaching capacity within the organizations, you know, so that, you know, coaching happens up and down. Yup. Yup. Like you

Jesse:

got to have that feedback loop, right? The feedback loop. It's not a loop. Most organizations are set up such that information goes up and now

Brian:

you got it.

Jesse:

How eloquently

Brian:

stated. And so field

Jesse:

driven, lean.com. Is that the way people can like go in and dig in and see what they're interested in. Uh, see what, and thank you, by the way. I know you have our podcast up there as a link, so appreciate the support Mr. Bryan. Um,

Brian:

I don't mind sharing other coaches. I mean, I, a rising tide lifts all ships, you know, and there's, there's other people doing God's work out there too, and I'm not the only one. And if I was acting like that, then please don't hire me. Cause I, I, I don't, I don't have any, any idea what I'm talking about. If I'm the only one,

Rene:

I'm an expert

Brian:

expert

Jesse:

expert. Oh man. That's a whole other interview. Um, so. What footprint do you intend to leave on the world? Brian? I mean, you've have a lot of reach out there.

Brian:

Uh, so one of the things that I use in my practice all the time is liberating structures. And I think this is probably a good place to talk about that because liberating structures are, they are, I don't even know how they're game-changer for, for just about anybody. Uh, they were a game changer for me. I, the moment that I was introduced to them, I saw the potential for what they could help me do. Okay. Um, they are based in complexity, science. They are small structures that anyone can learn. They're fully devoted. All the instructions are there. When you go look for them, it's on the website that help you, uh, facilitate and manage and, and meet and have better, uh, interactions with people. That's, that's really what they help you do, you know, groups of people, uh, although you can use them alone by yourself, it's pretty, pretty interesting. Uh, they, they, you know, because they are in complexity, science, there's, there's, uh, you know, you go from a, to B, to C, to D you know, and, and doing the instructions on them, but they're really simple. So just the, the, so the, one of the structures is 1, 2, 4, all, and that, that structure is meant to help you get, uh, everybody involved in whatever the challenge or question that you're working on is in the way 1, 2, 4 all works. And the very first one is the most important one, I think is you get one minute of silent reflection. We ask people questions way too many times as coaches, without ever giving them an opportunity to sit and think about what we just asked them. And this, uh, this puts that in there always, you don't have to be a lot of time, but one minute of silent reflection on the question or challenge. And then after that one minute you get a gong or timer or whatever you go find another person. And the two of you talk about whatever you discovered during your silent reflection on the question or challenge, and you get two minutes for that. So the one, two, and then after two minutes, the gong rings again and you go, the pair of you goes and finds another payer and the four of you together. Discuss what you discussed in pairs, but noticing what is the same for all four of you and start to find those similarities, you know, where everything is kind of the same and you bring those, those, whatever, bubbles to the top, that's what the all brings back to the group. And, you know, you can very quickly, you can crowdsource a question or a problem or anything and get a lot of answers very quickly and have, you know, a way to go, what to move forward very quickly with everybody participating, which is pretty awesome. So one to four, all is foundational in that a lot of other liberating structures will use it as part of the structure as part of helping do some of the work in those structures. So,

Jesse:

yeah. So when you pose that first question or challenge and with the instructions of spend a minute in silence, reflecting, how, how do people react to that? What, what are you see. It's good.

Brian:

They want it, Jessie. They really do. They really do now. I mean, if there's a question, sometimes I'll just extend, it I'll go longer than me. I don't care because that's really the most important part is giving folks a chance to have that time to think. I mean, we were never given any chance to think, you know, we always have to have to have those answers now. Yup. Yup. Yup. And that's stupid. It's not the right way to go about it. You know, we really should take a minute and you know, I mean, I, before I respond to my wife, the way that I respond to her, sometimes I really ought to take a darn minute and think about what I'm about to say and maybe figure out how I'm going to say it. And maybe if we moved that practice into our personal life and just into our life in general, not, not always having to say something right away, you know, I mean, I'm terrible about. Um, you

Jesse:

know, it reminds me because it's such an uncommon behavior. Like we're just conditioned, right? Question, response, question, response, thought response, and only have five seconds. Right, right. Ryan Tingey, who was awesome. I worked with him previously, uh, one day he's like, Hey Jess, you know, are you being completely transparent and open with me? I'm like, well, yeah, of course. Like what makes you think on that? He's like, well, you, when I ask you or we'll, we're talking, you there's always a pause. Between what I ask or say and what you respond. And I'm like, yeah. And that, that is a skill that I've only begun to develop, I guess, a new thing. Uh, and, and like, yeah. Okay. He's like, well, it kind of makes me feel like you're just filtering your words and being more calculated about your response. I was like, oh, well, that's interesting. I was like, what? I appreciate the feedback. Um, but the reason behind it is to your point, Brian, let me rather than respond in an emotional state. I want to process what you just said and make sure I'm understanding what the, the intent of the question and respond in such a way that it, it serves you in serves this conversation, a

Brian:

respect with respect. It's more, more respect Jessie, when you think of. Answering quickly is not as respectful as taking time to hear what somebody is saying and think about what they said and formulating an answer, a thoughtful answer. You had way more respectful and

Jesse:

just off the hip. Yeah. Off the bluff. But again, It made them feel weird. Like, what do you like? What, what was my I'm like, dude, I'm not that smart to be like, calculating stuff. Like I'm just talking, I'm just trying not to be rude and be a jerk. Like that's all I'm trying to do here. And he's like, oh, okay, good, good.

Brian:

If you think I can calculate past about this mini maybe

Jesse:

sort of like reminds me of when you ask a kid, how old are you this many. Oh man, this was an awesome conversation. And for folks out there view don't know, um, Brian is also a skilled writer. Uh, he's got, he's got some poetry out there.

Brian:

He's got trouble right now. I don't know what's going on. They, uh, my, my medium site is blocked right now. I've got to figure out what's happening there. Really? Yeah. Here. Yeah. When I go on there, there's a banner across the top, since this account was under invited, under investigation was found in violation of media rules. Oh, nobody can get to it right now, but we'll, uh, we'll edit this part out, but anyway, it should be good to dare to I've I've emailed him now. So I'm not sure what I did. Okay.

Jesse:

No, no worries, man. But I'll make sure I put some links in the show notes so that people can access it. Um, is there anything that you wanted to cover or bring to, to our audience that we haven't touched on? Oh man. That's awesome. So listeners, y'all got to go to the YouTube version of this episode to see all of the super cool hats that Brian Brian's like. He's got a costume party

Brian:

going on. So very early in the pandemic, I started holding lean coffees for LCI, uh, and anybody else that I had linked coffees with one other person in a virtually Jesse, I did like any or anybody anywhere, just learning how to do stuff virtually. And, uh, I had some hats. Uh, my father said the rifle up there behind me. My father-in-law mailed that to me from Afghanistan. I got it via ups from Afghanistan. Wow. It's uh, an 1867 British infield rifle. It was a trade rifle and it was given to the Afghanis. Marked up and got some nice, neat stuff on there. It's actually fireable. We could fire it well. Yeah, but, uh, he sent me some neat hats. I've got a couple of really tall Afghan hats and some other, other stuff here. I have this, uh, really legit crown. Yeah. And I don't know, it just kinda morphed into a thing while I was doing lean coffees. I would send people out to breakout rooms. And when they'd come back, I'd be wearing a different hat or, you know, a funny hat or something, just kind of morphed into a thing. So now I'm the hat dude threw the hat, but the Eagle means a lot to me. Okay. In 1983 on the same job that I was on with lucky at the same time, uh, in Northwest Arkansas, I rescued a juvenile Baldy. Uh, on the 4th of July, no way I did. Yes. I did meet a friend, uh, on the 4th of July. We're driving down the road and we see this thing in the middle of the road, out in the country. And I know what it is. Uh, my dad's dog is with me. We'd been swimming that morning at the lake and my dog's going crazy. So I grabbed him up, throw him in the, in the cab and grabbed some towels that I had in the, in the cab. And we go in and it's a bald Eagle and I don't know why it couldn't fly because it had its adult feathers. And usually when they have their adult feathers, they can fly. Uh, so we got it, grabbed it up, took it to his, his parent's house, where he lived and, uh, put it in a little kennel and got some water. Got it. Some, some, uh, raw hamburger meat. I don't think they slept for the next two or three days. Cause that thing just hollered Martin and all of that. Yup. Uh, but game and fish showed up and were kinda mad at us for messing with it. But I mean, it would have been dead if we hadn't have rescued. Yeah. Yeah. They didn't believe us when we told them that we had a ball

Jesse:

yeah. Them and

Brian:

told them, yeah, got it. They'd only been reintroduced to the area, like in 1979, this is 83. So they'd only been around for a few years and I don't know what was wrong with that Eagle, if something was wrong with it or whatever, but it was definitely dehydrated. And

Jesse:

well, you touched on, uh, lean coffees and I'm wondering Rene, do you know what a lean coffee is? No, it's

Rene:

that?

Brian:

So a lean coffee is a great way to have a meeting that, uh, is doesn't have an agenda when you start. So, uh, it was, uh, Jim Benson and Jeremy light Smith in Seattle wanted ways to sort of spice that their meeting. So, what you do is you come together and you all sort of nominate topics that you'd like to talk about and put them on sticky notes when we do it in person. And, uh, usually you can have like a unifying theme if you want to, but you don't have to, it could be wide open about anything, and it's a way to have an unstructured or an, a structured meeting without an agenda. So you create the agenda as you go. So everybody puts whatever topics they would like to up on the board. And then everyone gets a chance to go up and vote on those topics in two, three votes or whatever that is and whatever the highest vote getting topic is, you, you grab it. And as a group, you talk about it for eight minutes, and then you decide if you want to talk about it a little bit more, and then you, you, uh, ask everyone for takeaways on what you know, on the conversation and you gather those up afterwards and go onto the next hop. So

Rene:

that's

Brian:

cool. So it's a sort of a. Crowdsourcing, you know what you're going to do, you know, what your meeting's going to be about. And they usually result

Jesse:

in very deep, deep, meaningful conversations and, and the most important, or in my head, the most valuable piece is everybody's going to talk about what they want to talk about. And because everybody had a say in it, the, the dialogue is much richer than what a typical meeting would be, where one person's the talking head and everybody's there just kind of listening. Um, it's a great way to connect with people, for

Brian:

sure. I've become very anti-China for meetings for myself. I know, you know, the things that I might want to accomplish. And I don't mind having that, but having a full on blow full step-by-step agenda, we're going to spend five minutes on this. It's just so rigid. It doesn't allow us to really solve anything. If we're having a meeting and not solving things. And why are we having a meeting?

Jesse:

Exactly. You gotta send a damn email

Brian:

or just don't even talk to me if we're not solving anything. I mean, it does need to do we need to be here, you know, and that that's, that's something that I think we've gotten way too, too much of during the pandemic, because it's so easy to jump on a zoom or a teams and, and waste time when one of my clients is instituted not, I love the policy is that every meeting, every 30 minute meeting is now twenty-five minutes. Every hour meeting is now 50 minutes and you've got, you know, you've got that 10 minutes before. Yeah, get through

Jesse:

it. And now we can process, identify action items, get it on your calendar and prep for the next, whatever the hell it is. You gotta do. That's a solid, solid practice.

Brian:

Well, probably still not enough, but still,

Jesse:

oh, it's a, it's a move in the right direction. It's a move in the right direction.

Brian:

100%. Well, and they, you know, they, they also instituted a policy that it's okay. If you feel like you don't need to be at a meeting, still go.

Jesse:

Yep. You know, that's always a question I have and I don't like first

Brian:

in my

Jesse:

head, what am I, what am I, what is my purpose? What value do you seek for me? And what value am I going to receive? If I'm not, if I can't add any value, I don't need to be there. Uh, and if I'm not going to receive any value to selfishly, I don't really want to be there. You know?

Brian:

Liberating structures has this. It's very lean coffee asker, but it's called open space. And it's, it's a structure outside of liberating structures also, but it works a lot like a lean coffee where everybody comes together and sort of decides the topics that they want to talk about. But it, it, you talk about all three or four, you know, you choose the top three or four and you allow folks to choose which group they want to be a part of in open space. And you can do this with a small group or as large as thousands and thousands of people can do this. Uh, but what's neat about it is that it uses this thing called the law of two feet. So if you find that you're not contributing or learning, use your two feet and go someplace else.

Jesse:

Oh yeah. And for, well, Brian, appreciate you giving us your time this morning. Uh, and I appreciate really sharing your wisdom with Renee. Yeah. I was one of the. Peripheral benefits that have turned out to be pretty darn enormous. We didn't, I didn't understand how much Renee was going to benefit from this. And every time we, we close the conversation, he's like, man, the wisdom that all, all of our guests bring really help him in, in his life as a father, uh, as a husband and, and professionally, I just wish it would make him a better little brother.

Brian:

Oh wow. He's so far ahead of me and you, man. They'll

Jesse:

lie. That is, that is cool, Rick.

Brian:

Yes, sir. You know, I mean, at his age, understanding that, that there is something to know other than figuring out, you know, everything. Oh man. Cause I couldn't, I don't know that anybody could've fit any knowledge in my head much more unless it was with a two by four. I mean, I learned some things, but I was in the army, so I learned them the hard way.

Jesse:

Oh yeah, definitely. So again, man, thank you for being gracious with your time and imparting your wisdom and point of view for a baby brother there, Renee and for the L and M

Brian:

well, and tell Ernest, I said, hello, we were supposed to hook up sometime here pretty quick. Uh, your other brother is not here today, but, uh, uh, we, we both share a love of writing. So we, uh, we, uh, talk to, so not the only, uh, Hernandez that I hang

Jesse:

out with, sir. Right? You've got, you got all of us, man. You understand too many people that can deal

Brian:

with that. So Renee, I'll let you know when that next to the level of the program's called level up with Jean again, our level up with lean again. That's thanks to, to uh, uh, Jennifer Lacy. She, she, she gave me the name. So, uh, you know, shout out to her, but, uh, I'll let you know Renee, I mean, is that sounds like something you'd want to do. Maybe we figure out a weekend, one something.

Jesse:

Yeah. Okay. Good. All right, Brian, you be cool. My man. All right, Renee, will you just got to meet another member of the L and M family? Mr. Brian Winningham who has had a significant impact on me and the industry? Um, what'd you think about the conference?

Rene:

Um, fantastic conversation. I really appreciated the authenticity of Brian Winningham. I appreciate the wisdom and the conversation we had on, fighting the imposter syndrome. I think there's a lot, the LNM family has to learn from this, uh, interview and, uh, I think we have a shout out to do.

Jesse:

Yeah, we do have a shout out. So the shout-out is for Mr. Fe blend, who we've connected through LinkedIn and the live streams that we've been doing, the 5s in relationship live streams that we've been doing with Ms. Jennifer Lacy. And so phase says it is always a pleasure. Nothing matches the zeal to want to be a better version of one. Just as a process, improvement is vital for a startup with great vision. Continuous personal improvement is also vital for everyone who desires a better life. You and your co-host, he's not talking about you. He's talking about Jennifer, uh, give insights and that is like the fuel needed to continue on a journey of personal empowerment. I celebrate you Fe we celebrate you. My man, uh, he is a fierce supporter and those words, man, like, doesn't that make you feel like, oh, you good now? Doesn't it help fight the imposter syndrome? What do you think?

Rene:

Yeah, for sure. It's very reaffirming and you know, all the fancy words make me want to stick my pinky out, drink my water

Jesse:

goofball. And so here's some feedback for you, Renee. I missed you. I didn't know how much I missed you on these interviews. I love the vulnerability in the way that you ask questions. And I need to tell you, man, and for the rest of the L and M family out there actually Walker lot, uh, mentioned he's I do what happened to Renee? Where's he at? Like, what's going on? I said, dude, he was, he was making all that money he's back. Um, but I want to tell you your comfort level at asserting yourself and asking questions while we're having the conversation, but nominal. Good job, man. I applaud you. I love you. And thank you for showing up and. Not playing small, being vulnerable and just bringing it the way that you bring it. Man you are one dedicated listener, sticking with us all the way through to the very, very, and please know that this podcast dies without you. And we invite you to share how the episodes impacting you along with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. You have been gracious with your time. So we added social media links in the show notes to make it super easy for you to connect with. Be kind to yourself. Stay cool. And we'll talk at you next time.