Jesse and Felipe (Host of The EBFC Show) are at it again, this time covering the topic of Visual Communication on the construction site. They cant keep themselves from telling their personal experience with both the great and not so great applications of Visual Communication. There is plenty of value for all stakeholders in the Construction Industry, especially for those on their Lean Journey. Tune in and let us know how the ideas from these Lean Maniacs have contributed to your day.
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Lean Bldr Chapter 2
Away from sunset. Go have fun with your friend. They told me yesterday, like, oh, you're going to have fun with your friend doing your little book study. Yeah. They woke up and they heard me like yelling and doing sound effects and the wrap air horn. And in the last episode, and they were like, that doesn't sound like work at all.
I'm like, that's pretty much my life. Exactly. You're listening to the learnings and missteps podcast, where we intend to change the image of careers in the trades. We celebrate the real men and women who have built careers in the construction industry by bringing their personal stories straight to you.
I began my career as a plumber's apprentice in the late 19 hundreds. Over the last 26 years, I've had the fortune of meeting some of the most resilient, intelligent, and inspiring people who happen to be. Construction workers. My career path as a plumber has provided me with experiences and opportunities I thought were inaccessible.
And I want you to know that the trades are a place where dreams can come true. These stories are brought to you by three brothers who share a mother. I am Jesse, your host. Our in-house writer is earnest, AKA Lavos. Hello? And our cohost Renee would y'all ready? Yes, sir. Oh yeah. You made it back for collateral session.
Number two, between Phillipa engineer Manrique is host of the Eby FC show and myself, we're going to be going over chapter two of the lean builder. And I'm dealing out some trade partner and through that conversation, you're going to get our perspective on respect. And as we bounce back and forth from the book and from our ideas, we serve up some tactics that you can take and apply right now.
And even though we do all the talking Phillipa and I do have some experience facilitating. So naturally we, we sprinkle around a bunch of facilitator tips. So strap in. To get your notepad and enjoy the show. And one last thing, we've set up a Patrion account for those of you who want to further contribute to our mission of changing the images of careers in the trades, signing up at patrion.com/learnings and missteps.
We'll get you access to exclusive content and your names and the opening credits of the video versions of these episodes. Yeah, you heard me, right? We got that fire for you, baby on YouTube love y'all. And here we go.
Smoother. Welcome to the studio. As soon as junior, the last quarter,
somebody was saying the other day about kids get in trouble in school. What do they grow up to become? Hello? They grow to become us Jessie, 100%. I have a lot of friends that I went to school with. They have children now and they're like, I get to see their kids. And they're like, man, they're just like you.
I said, hell yeah, they're going to be kicking butt. At some point I was a pretty okay kid in grade school. I got, I hit my mark in high school when my parents threatened to let me work with them when I got out of school. And that's when I was like, all right, I'm gonna go to college. Yeah. Yeah. But, um, one of the kids that I was tutoring in like fifth grade or fourth grade, He made it through high school, but barely became an entrepreneur because he just had a lot of trouble listening to other people.
He became a multimillionaire, like in less than five years. Yeah. I don't know. I'm sure there's research on this, but my theory is that the students that get straight A's of what I feel like that conditions people, not everybody puts a bunch of them to like a heavy need for direction. And so they will follow direction very well.
And they absolutely have to have the right answer. And the, the kids like me, you know, the CS or whatever, all I need to do is pass to play. They just kind of figure out what needs to be done to get to where they want to get. And after you get out into the real world, that skill of being able to figure things out and test things and put it into action and deal with the consequences is a huge skill.
So my elementary school education. Really BS and CS. Some A's high school straight A's, straight A's high school, valedictorian college, back to BS and CS. Yep. College, my, but it was, uh, it was tough. It was, I did six years of hard time. That's like in your apprenticeship for real. I mean, I've got, I've got some credits from night school and you actually, I did better go into night school than I did high school, but in high school it was, you know, my goal, my primary goal was to finish first.
So we're taking a test and that means I win either way. So if I finished the test, first I beat everybody. And then if I got a passing grade or the highest grade, like I spanked them double time. Yeah. And then after working for a couple of decades, I went back and got my masters and I was like, back in high school mode, just getting perfect grades.
I wanted to win two super competitive. It was like, I wanted to know what the teacher. When we'd all the people I'd tell my wife the other day, some people are obsessed. Like our friend, Jason, he's obsessed with eliminating variation. I'm obsessed with appreciating variation. And my obsession is enjoying the learning, helping people enjoy their path as they're learning this stuff, because conceptually, it always sounds great.
Right? You go to the seminar. I'm like, yeah, that sounds awesome. We need to do that. Uh, but the actual application of it is not as, as shiny. My obsession is that it's meeting people where they're at and walking them through it. And it may take longer, but they're going to have more fun, nothing wrong with that taken long.
Oh man. Only you can only go at the speed that they can go. I was thinking for this one, because you never know how people are catching these episodes. Some people are methodical. They'll go in order. Some people are going to be random and then they'll complain. And, you know, they might even leave a negative comment.
You better hit me hard, baby. You want me to kick it off? You should go first since you're older than me. Oh, wait a minute. Hold on. Hold on. Wait, go ahead. Go ahead. Old man. I'm only 41. Oh shit. Okay. You're right. So aging beauty, before you think I'm 43, I'll be 44 in December son of a gun and then to be, oh man, look at that.
I'm blessed. All right. So Jesse Hernandez here, I'm a host of the learnings and missteps podcast accomplish of Philippe engineer Manriquez, and kind of a lean maniac. Well, I like that, Jesse. My name is fleet engineer. Menriquez host of the EPFC show and accomplish of Jesse. Definitely also put myself in that category.
A lean maniac. I liked that. I really like that. Jesse. He's a mad man here. Oh, sorry. Yeah. We're we've got some obsessions, like respect and folks. Oh yeah. Addiction to learning. That's why we're up early reading a book. It's not a child's book either. It's not bedtime stories. Kids on tuck yourselves. Cause this is not for children.
Yes. We are mainly, uh, addicted to learning. But I think back my 18 year old self would beat me up to wake up on a Saturday morning to read a book. It's very contradictory to who I was back in the day. Why are we here? Yeah. So we're here to talk through the, the, this awesome book. The lean builders. Simple, easy.
You got to do it, but we want to talk about, I guess for two perspectives, what I am attempting to offer the audience is the perspective of a trade partner. Having been a plumber from 1995 to. I dunno, what was it? 2000. Yeah, 18 to 2019. That was on the plumbing side of the business. Um, and love to hear the perspective of the general contractor.
Thank you, Jesse. I've been a general contractor, recovering general contractor since like 2000. So it's easy math for me. Oh honey. 21 years, roughly 22 years. If I throw in some internship time, it's funny how we did chapter one, but things that we see and have in common to me are just fascinating. And I even wrote, I wrote notes as I go through this.
Like, Jesse's got something good here. Those are the kinds of notes that are in my book. I marked my book up. I've got post-it notes all over it. I penciled it up. Cause, uh, this is my copy. So somebody ever find this copy of my book in the future, they'd be like, wow, this guy is kind of weird. All his the way he, yeah.
Yup. They don't need the evidence. Yeah. So yeah. Today we're covering chapter two, visual communication. Both our hero is Sam. My hero is his mentor, Ellen Phillips shout out to my Takeo. That's what I told Joe. He didn't deny it, but he didn't. He didn't say it was true either. I want to thank Joe and Keon for putting together such a wonderful work for Jesse and I to spend so much time with.
I think we, we have more than the two hours of recording on chapter. We thought we were going to do two chapters. We'll see what this one does to us. I, so I got to listen to that episode of you interviewing Joe. I will bear witness that Joe silently agreed. That Allen is named after you. Yeah. I basically made that joke to Joe and he just looked at me, had a slight little smile and then just, we moved on to the next time.
I know what that silence means, Joe. It means yes, all day, every time. Cool. Do you want to kick us off? Yeah. You know, we're on visual management, right? And he, he starts off, you know, reaching out to Allen because he's struggling. He just rolled out daily huddles and you know, the honeymoon phase is over and they're having some, some challenges.
The one big thing that stood out to me, it's not explicit in the book, but the one big thing is every single trade partner, they refer to them by name, back to what you said earlier, right. About respect. You know, I've been the duration of my career. I've been the turd herder, third herder, you're up turd, herder.
What are you working? Like, I didn't have a name GCs. Wouldn't call me by name. And you know, it's something I get to witness when coaching teams that are early, you know, early on in their path is they don't learn the names of the people. They'll call them by Sparky or 10 bender. You know, they just don't know people's names and wonder why aren't people engaged, right?
They're like, well, hell you don't even know their name, fool. Like call them by their name. That's important. You know, listen up, Gerald contractors, stop acting the fool. Jessie's dropping down the first gauntlet. Amman, baby. No there, no, for real like you're spending, hopefully you're, you're going to be spending less after you practice some of this stuff, but you're spending 10, 12, 16 hours a day with these human beings and you don't know their damn name.
I mean, I know you got responsibility, but you ain't that damn important because if you fall out, guess what? You're getting replaced. Quick cheat code, put names on people's hard hats. That'll help you learn their names. You know what I mean? Do something, baby. Jeez. Yeah. I liked that cheek. I didn't think about that.
She'd code it worse. Yeah. A friend of mine who's worked for a general contractor to a small general contractor, but they're way down the lean journey, the handout name, tags stickers for every meeting. And they're always calling people by their first name. And that was something that I learned from her.
Shout out to Melanie melt, powerful Melanie. Yeah. Melanie had that, that practice and made a massive difference. And I could tell you Jesse, like you'll be shocked or maybe not shocked. I've been to. Probably over a hundred design meetings. So it's just all the white collar folks, professionals. It's the same thing.
Architect, electrical engineer, mechanical, structural. What do you think? I was like, structural is what is that? It's not a person I was at, uh, helping a team. They were having a problem and they're like, just come to the meeting and, you know, try to help to facilitate. We've got all the professional folks.
And then we have a couple of design assist partners from, from the trades and I'm listening to how people are calling each other and they're just all calling each other by the name of their company. Yeah. And I started saying, hold on a second. What's your name? Okay. And I told people in the beginning as a facilitator, I'm going to use your first name so that you know, that I'm actually talking to you when I first did, it was totally by accident.
We used to have multiple people come from the same company. So you couldn't just say. You know, the, the GCs name, because the GC had like 15 people in the meeting. So just out of a necessity to talk to people individually and call people out. And a lot of the times in the feedback, people say, I like it, that you called us by name.
And I was just thinking like, okay, good. But when you mentioning it now, it makes me realize, I started thinking back in my mind, what you're describing as normal. Like, we don't call people by name on, on the normal. Right. And one of the things Joe said until he had that transformation himself, when he learned about lean, he didn't think to call people by name either.
So the system we grow up in, when you think about your first job over the span of your career, did it ever switch the whole time you were in plumbing or did it not switch until you switched? I can answer that this way in my career. Before I left the trade partner and changed over to the dark side, working with the GC, there were two jobs, three jobs that I ever worked on.
In my entire career. So since 1995 to 2019, what is that? 24 years. I'll do the math for you while you tell yourself, like, if I had a measuring tape, I could do the math, but I don't have it with me. Um, there were three projects that I worked on that I felt respected that had flow and that we had fun on three and as a, as a trade partner.
And I was, I was on five to six projects a year twenty-five years. So doing your math, that's a hundred projects, roughly twenty-five years, a hundred projects, less than 3% is where you got your name used. Well, and, um, and on one of those projects, and I think it was a term of endearment because he was a retired superintendent and he came out of retirement to do this project as a favor for the project manager.
He never called me by my name. Uh, but he ha I had a special name. He, he, and he wouldn't come. He just scream out of the, out of, we were on a mov uh, rent, uh, finish out. And so it was just this big, long shelf space. And he'd roll his dad, his chair out of his desk and screen out, Hey, you have a set of a pitch.
And he knew he was talking to me, but he and I had a, yeah, we had a relationship and it was warm. It was warm. It was warm exactly now, but it wasn't disrespectful. Right. I mean, it may sound disrespectful, but we communicated that way. It was cool. The other two, again, it was Jesse, how you doing, man? Like, are you the plumber here?
I remember specifically, he's like, I know you're a plumber, but I, it seems like you're doing something different. I said, yeah, I'm the superintendent. And so what that meant was I was responsible for supporting the plumbing, the HVA, the duct work and the piping. And so I'm like, no, man, like I'm in charge.
Like I'm the guy that you get to yell at forever. He's like, okay, cool. Even better convenient. Yeah, exactly. Um, but w he just saved me two, two names, Jesse. I don't have to, I don't have to learn two other names. I'm thinking another weird thing was when they knew my name, like on those three jobs, I got a lot of phone calls from them to contrast that the other projects, you know, when I was a foreman or superintendent, that they didn't know my name, they didn't bother to learn my name.
I didn't get a whole lot of phone calls. I got a lot of emails and the rest of the damn world was copied on those emails. So there was a lot of like unnecessary chaos. And with the other folks, the, the three gentlemen that I got to work with, yeah. They called me all the time, but they didn't add drama to the damn situation.
They just call me and say, Hey man, we're, you know, we're slipping on sheet metal. We're supposed to be here. What's going on? Okay. I'm on my way. Let me assess the situation and do what we need to do. Uh, so, you know, yeah. It started with the name that seems like a small thing, but really, you know, they respected me enough to trust me and not bring in the whole entire world to small baby situations, which reinforced that positive relationship.
Right. You know, we got those keyboard warriors out there that man they'd love to use very strong language and copy the world. Like people you've never even met. And all that does is, is add an it's just waste. It's just, it's waste. It's static. It ain't even worth it. And their bravery seems to go up Jessie after work hours when you're not there, you don't notice that those keyboard warriors, they come to life when the work is over and people have gone home and you can't defend yourself kind of like the same tribe as the people on the internet that make anonymous comments on people.
Yeah. Yeah. That's what I have two sides of that story. I've met people like in-person after receiving those nasty emails from 'em and I'm like, you ever seen Roadhouse Patrick Swayze and they say, man, I thought you'd be bigger. That's exactly like, I thought you'd be bigger. You're like my size, geez. Get outta here.
And this is a real thing, right? This is not to say that everybody's a jerk because they use email. But email, you know, it doesn't matter. You can text email, and there's just words. And they, I, you know, most of the time I'm almost all the time. I'm smiling. So when I send a message via email or texts, it's a happy one.
But you know, people have a tendency to fill up the blank space with their, with their assumptions and their insecurities. And then they get offended. So one person met me and they were like, man who's is fricking, has Seuss guy. He's a pain in the ass, man. He's a smack talking son of a gun. And I'm like, I like, yeah.
And he showed me the email. Well, that might, most people know me as Jesse, but my email signature is, has Seuss. Jesse D at an undoes junior. I like that's me, dude. He's like, oh, he's like, we'll do, why are you being like that shit? No, man. There was a follow-up like we had this discussion today on site, I'm going to do X, Y, and Z.
You committed to do w that, that was just a follow-up he's like, yeah, but it sounded harsh. I'm like, okay, now that you know, it's me, how harsh is it? He's like, yeah, I guess you're right. Like, uh, so I would give him, you know, little, little practice of April, I'm going to send a up email. Are you okay with that?
Yeah. Yeah. That's good. You know, just, just to kind of buffer that kind of weirdness, because, you know, you don't need, we don't need that. The work's hard enough. We don't need the, the personal relationship challenges that we add to them. That's so true. Jesse, talk to people know who it is first, so you can get their tone.
Yeah. And it goes back to that trust, like in the book here, when Sam is, he's talking to Alan at the beginning of this chapter about how things are going, he's reluctant even to tell Alan that it's not going well, and Alan knows, cause he can just read his face. Cause he knows. Right, right. If he, if he sent them an email, I think he did actually send him an email.
So we need to meet. And that didn't convey like where he was, because it's just not a rich enough channel of communication. Absolutely. And we're, I mean, we're social creatures and we, so we, we need connection as much as we want to deny that we absolutely need that connection. And what's a good way to connect by name.
Yeah. Dale Carnegie was onto some magic when he wrote out on friends and influence people. The most magical sweetest sounding word in the entire English language is the first name of the person you're talking. I think that's pretty smart. I should have written a book bills onto something. Yup. Yeah. So it's that book too.
Oh man. Jason dude, that guy, he, she shared with me a list of books and I was like, I was like, oh yeah, I'm sure I read them all. No. I mean, I read a whole bunch of the books that he recommended, but there's some books in there, like, Ooh, okay. Ready to add that to the list. And that's, that's, what's awesome about, you know, building relationships in the industry.
You've recommended several books to me that, that have added value. Uh, Jason's recommended some books that have added value. You know, some people, a lot of people recommend books, but they don't always land for me the way it landed for them, you know? So I kind of filter by the source. I always consider the sources recommending this book.
Oh, Philippe. Alright. I'll check it out. Yeah. And you know, Jesse, I tend to cause people ask me for book recommendations constantly. Yep. And I always tell people, like, I don't know, you all have to recommend a book yet. Cause there's there's, there are still books that I've read on my bookshelf behind me, Jesse, that I've yet to recommend to anyone because I had just haven't met that person that that would land with sometimes it's a little further than what.
What they're ready for what they may even be interested in, but you know what, I'll recommend a book too. It does builder. Uber caught me by surprise.
You're on the same wavelength, baby. This is a really good book. I'm proud of Joe. Yeah, it's, it's great. The industry needed it badly. So they filled a real gap that that's going to help a bunch of people. Well, men now have anchored on your, your percentage of jobs over your career in plumbing, where people actually treated you the way that Alan and Phillip are trying to do in this book, Jesse.
And it sounds, it sounds dreadful, but thinking back of my career too, and I mean, I got a, I used to get made fun of all the time for being so weird and a different, but where that came from and in construction for me is that. I went to school for electrical engineering, and we're working on jobs where you're primarily dominated by civil engineers.
And now lately the last decade, it's been a lot of construction managers. So like I've never fit in. I've been unlike an outsider all the time. So it's an outsider. You come at it a little bit differently to survive. So I was like, I was just lucky that I was an outsider and I didn't come at it like so many other people that had all these other environmental things that they just look at, click into it.
I didn't, wasn't aware of those. So you bring a good point. It may sound like we're bashing or that I'm bashing general contractors. I completely understand that it's a, it's a function of conditioning. It's an environment that they came into young and the accepted, or rather the behavior that was being displayed is exactly what you're going to emulate.
That's just, that's how children. They mimic or muck, whatever they see. And so it's the same, it's the same situation. So for a lot of folks, it is a difficult, painful switch to transition from, I must know all to, Hey, let's build this plan together. That's, that's a scary place to go for a lot of people. So what I would offer is first of all, you can't know everything.
And secondly, you don't have to let us help you outsource, you know, people out there that feel the immense pressure to know everything and to always have the right answer. And that's a self-imposed pressure. You don't need like, let it go. You don't have to. Uh, but that's, again, that's a matter of the conditioning.
It's a matter of the environment that, that the industry is mostly, I think you and I have the fortune of working for some amazing organizations and the type of work that we do. Allows us to experience some, have a very different experience that is not the norm with both of these organizations were there too.
It was a shut up and get it done. Absolutely. It wasn't even here in the book, you can see in Sam, as he's talking to Alan, when they give him a little bit of inner dialogue, he is really concerned that he doesn't know how he's going to get this job turned around. He doesn't know how he's going to make up time.
And he's not even thinking to ask the people that he's hired to help them achieve it. It doesn't even cross his mind. Never does it cross his mind believes it's his. Yeah. He talked about, I guess on page 29, third to last paragraph, he talks about, he has to do most of the talking and people sit down and their phones come out.
I've seen that. Right. I'm guilty of that. I've done that too. I mean, I've done it to the point where I'd go to meetings to these, you know, huddles as a, an assessment with the team, with my foreman, right. The foreman for each trade and say, oh, okay, this is, this is one of those, but chewing sessions or the superintendent whose schedule was at the tip of their finger with daily would say, you're working here.
You're working here until after that, I'd tell the guys like, okay, y'all, don't have to come to this meeting anymore because you're not getting anything out of it. And we need to get work done. I'll come to the meeting and take the lashings for us. But the thought I had right here, Sam's having to do all the talking and, and yes, people are disengaged.
And I think that's a, an opportunity for ownership. That's what I wrote down. What's your part? Yes, everybody's contributing to the problem, but what is your part in that dynamic? If you've never asked a question and you haven't set expectations and never created a venue for people to speak, why would they speak?
They want it, then you're saying, well, you know, trade partners just don't. They just don't want to talk. No, believe me, after that meeting, they're going to go out inside the trailer and they're going to work it out like without you, but you just don't, you don't create the space for them to talk collaboratively.
It is an, a behavior that everybody has to learn. That's what. Yeah, and this, this chapter is all about visual communication and that meeting with foreman. That's one of the things that I look at when I go engage with teams as well. And if you see the superintendent just grandstanding and soap boxing, or any one trade as well.
Exactly. Sometimes you get some strong leadership in the trades and they can kind of take over an entire meeting to the detriment of everybody else. That's got to, you know, work in before them or after them. That's the part that people don't see, like how interrelated they are. One of the very wise old superintendents that I work with.
And he was, you know, he'd had probably 40 years of experience. And he, he used to say this thing to me, he's like, you're so smart. If he ever heard anyone complain, he'd say you are. He's like, you know what? You are so smart. You're so smart. You hired that person. So every time he would turn it around on you, Jesse, if you could try to complain about one of the trades who remind you, that you hired that trade.
And he used to say, he's like, it's a race to the finish line. He's like accepted. You're playing the wrong kind of race. You think that you have to cross first. He's like from the owner's perspective, you don't win the race until every person on the team crosses the finish line. Right? It's not us against them.
It's us. We'd complete this together. You, you, you, you said something a little while ago that reminded me of awakening. I had as a result of practicing the last planner system and the awakening I had was I didn't understand. That we were interrelated. That was like the furthest concept or furthest idea from my mind, you know, after a couple of iterations, a couple of jobs of like seeing the general contractor do it because we were, when I learned it, we were doing it internally.
So mechanical contractor, plumbing, piping sheet metal, we would do pull plans, create our whole plan using the last planner system. But it was, it was in-house. It was just us, whether the GC was doing it or not. We just knew that it was going to provide a lot of value for us so that we weren't tripping all over ourselves and looking like goofballs.
But when we started doing it with GCs and you know, I, all of a sudden is like, oh, wait a minute. Here. I am trying to win the race by myself. Yeah, and it's hard, but if I take into account, you know, the electricians and the framers and the drywallers, that's actually going to help me smooth things out. And so it was a big awakening for me, like, oh, okay.
We can help each other be better and have more fun. It took a little, it took. And when I say a while, I mean like a couple of years, like I had the awakening, but I still had that. I'm going to get ya. I got here first. Right? So it took a couple of years for me to break that habit and start really planning and throttling back whenever I needed to.
And what that did was it created the space for me to amp it up whenever I needed it to and have better results. Right. Minimize rework and minimize moving material. 3000 times it was magic. Just like Alan. He listens out to everything. Sam says he doesn't tell him, like he's doing bad. It doesn't say anything really negative, which is nice.
Cause you know, and they're in this coaching relationship and Sam was in the he's in a vulnerable state. Sometimes Jesse people with the knowledge come at you with the right knowledge. But the way they come at, you turns you off. Oh yeah. You've seen that. Huh? Oh yeah. I've done that once. Once, twice, once or twice.
Yeah. At times it's very, it's very delicate when you're in that situation, especially when you know something and like, like you and I, we've had a lot of learnings from manufacturing. So we see things and flow that that is not as obvious to people in construction because there's not this like clear as day assembly line.
You can step back once you recognize how to see flow or lack thereof. You'll see things that pretty much everyone else on the. Can't see, cause they're in it. Yes. They're in it too close to see it. This is where I think Allen is like really encouraging. And instead of like putting a big, giant plan on salmon in describing anything, he just says, I'll see you at your job, right?
He's like, I'll see you at your job. I've got something and doesn't even preview nothing. He was just like, I'm just going to come. And I'm just going to show you because telling you is not going to be enough. And I thought that was a great transition, visual communication. Like I can use a bunch of noise with my mouth or I can just show you that I'm talking about this book.
That's a great book. We ought to recommend it to some people. Yeah. If you're out there, I think especially project managers, project managers, if you ever had a disagreement with the superintendent, this is a great book to get in their head with. So you can understand their perspective because I think, you know, there are probably in the world, Jesse, they're probably more project managers and superintends.
I would agree. There's there's, there's a bunch. Yeah. I've been on some jobs where there are like five PMs at one superintendent. I'm like, wow, that superintendent is impressive.
It isn't. Yeah. You know, uh, you're gonna, you got me all spun up with that word. So the project manager, yes. Yes. The word manager, right. Or the combination of those words. And again, I talked a little bit about conditioning and now we're talking about project management. And so those two words together suggest plainly say my job, my role is to manage the project.
And if I think about the people that on the career path, and now they're at the project manager level, at some point in their career, they were solely responsible for processing and managing things. As you elevate. Now you're responsible for. Developing or guiding people, but the skill set required to do either.
One of those are extremely different. And so you get promoted because you're very efficient at processing things. And now you're dealing with people, then you try to be efficient with people. And it doesn't work that way. That's like a real tripping point for a lot of people out there. I see them in that role and man, they're smart, right?
They're sharp. They know how to make things happen. But when it comes to dealing with people, they got a long way to go practicing lean stuff. Absolutely is going to help that. But I think organizations, especially in our industry can make an investment towards, okay, how do we develop their capabilities around, uh, or develop their emotional intelligence because they're not managing things right.
They're managing they're there there's people that they've got to lead and guide. And since you have five of them on the job, how about taking one out every month to help them build that skill? Yeah. How about it? How about a Joe and Keon? We're a third of the way into the book and there's not even a, a hint of a project manager yet.
Unconscious bias. Yeah. Joe Cook. Sometimes I make jokes because the last thing I did before I flipped into this role, Jesse was I was a project manager and I remember having a senior project manager above me and directors above me multiple times. And a lot of times they'd be like trying to tell me, because they're so used, like you said, managing a process, they see something is not going well in the field.
And their knee jerk reaction was issue a delay letter to the trade cause that helps. And I would, I would always be like, hold on a second. I said, I'll, I'll write the. But is this letter going to be the first time that they become aware that there's the issue? Have we talked to them face to face yet?
Right. And like, we don't have time for that issue. The delayed letter, we want to get their office to pay attention. I was like, why do I know their office is in here building it? Right. We're not going to cut you. It, I was so annoying Jesse differently. Right? I mean, you, you understood the human component of the work.
Well, I told you like, environment is really important when I first started, I was doing punch list. So I'd be out in the field six to eight hours a day with the trades, signing things off, either making lists or signing lists off in preparation for architectural mechanical punch. And so I was just like, I got conditioned by the trades.
So they had a heavy influence on my thinking and, and my parents were, they were blue collar. My dad, my dad was, uh, actually a union steward. Okay. Uh, the UAW United auto workers union. So we were empathy. Yeah, I could, I could think I was thinking of them like, like family, it wasn't, I'd never had the us versus them.
Like you, and you see that struggle here in the book. Like even here in the, in the daily huddle, when Alan is telling him about just getting the chairs out of here and making them stand up, he's just creating an environment and he's relating it to football because he's because he's in Texas. I mean, obviously they love football.
So I mean, he, he moves makes the move to make it from the daily meeting to the daily. Yeah. The little Jedi mind trick going on there and stand up, like removing the chairs. That's a big deal. And don't just stack them on the, on the wall, in the space, get them out of the damn room because people will grab a chair, get them all the way out, man.
Nobody wants to stand around forever. So that will absolutely cut the time of that. Unless it's me and you on the show. And then I stand for the whole recording. Cause that's how I roll. Uh, no, I got to sit down. Um, if I'm standing up, I got too much energy and you know, last time we almost broke the internet with all the glory shining from our faces.
I didn't want to have that problem again today. Dial it back. Yeah. They're not ready for all of it. So Allen shows up with a magical tool, right? He has this, what is it? What do they call it? Laminate to put over some plans so that people can, I mean, the word I use, cause I'm simple, right? It's point in touch, put something on the wall where we can point and touch to it.
Point a touch point of touch so that we know what we're talking about. Have you ever met those people that give directions this way? You go down the street and where you see the big tree, that's kind of hanging over to the left, turn a right. And then there's a, there's one house. They got a dog house and there's usually a dog.
He extends on top of the dog house there. You want to turn left. So some people, they think of their space in monuments. And if you give that per person directions, as in north, south, east, and west, you're speaking a different language, man. But if you can point and touch you, you, you short circuit that breaking communication.
That's the value of putting that stuff up on the wall point and touch don't make any assumptions. This is exactly the space that we're talking about. What do you think? No, I totally agreed. Like, you know, for people that with good memories, they've been trained them to think about a mind palace. So you think about a structure in your mind and you imagine with high visual, because that's how we think visually.
And we're out there in the real world trying to make something happen. We're taking, you know, an idea, some words and making it real. Why not use pictures and make it easy. We process images far faster than we process words. Right? We could see a picture of it. Boom done. We like to put things in words, have you ever struggled, typing up an email that offered directions on how to access something in a file folder on a drive somewhere that's like, that's a 10 minute email and you already, every time you edit it, you know, two or three people really aren't going to understand that.
So then you reword it and like, damn it. I lost the other five people. So I, I started, uh, you want to hear a little hack that I started? Sure. I started recording videos of that. So I'll pop, open my teams and I'll walk through the drive. And as I'm walking through, you know where to click and where to go, I'll speak and say, okay, open up this folder, click on this file.
This one has instructions. This one has dah, dah, dah, dah, dah has cut my phone calls and okay. Further explanation via email by 80%. Oh yes. Time-savings huge. Huge time-savings and you know what? My email time zero, I don't even write the email. That is lovely. No. When you said that, uh, Allen shows up with the tool, I was thinking of the picture on page 32, and I just love how Joe and Keon had this illustrated with the teacher has the power tool and the grasshopper, the young grasshopper just gets to hold the laminate to the wall.
Doesn't actually get to do anything. It's like, listen here a little Sam, you're not old enough to use this power. So what comes across to me is he's introducing the concept, the tool, the idea. Via they're having a different conversation. And Sam probably does it. He's like, oh, we're talking and this guy's putting something on the wall.
And so he's helping them integrate into the idea via conversation while also physically interacting with it, which for construction workers, we're tactile learners as we interact with it, physically, that experience anchors in our mind and we can take it forward. Now you mentioned that I didn't even realize he's getting Sam to buy into this right.
By making him part of the installation. So now it's like, it's not Alan's laminate on the wall. It's it's Sam's and you know what? This happened to me once Jesse, I was on a job that were struggling for time and I offered in my goody two-shoes helper mode. I'll come and hang I'll hang all the, the boards that you'll need for last planner.
I'll come in and with my own tools, my own screws. And, uh, I did all that and it, it didn't work with the box. I thought, because that was their excuse. Like, oh, we don't have room in our trailer, are you sure you do? Yeah. I was like, Hey dude. I was like, here. I was like, what if I do this? And I just told the superintendent, I'll do this for you since you're busy out there firefighting, and then you can just use this stuff and it's not effective.
I should have been like, you helped me install this or I'll help you. Like, I'll get the material. You're a master carpenter. How would you install this, sir? No, that's powerful. Right. Make them a part of the, or include them in, in the creation of the thing. Uh, so here's a, an idea that I practice it really just for me, it's contingent on, on where the person's at.
You know, I think about when I learned how to turn tie my tennis shoes at first, my parents had to tie them for me. So they did that for a period of time. And then they. Tie them with me, right. They'd guide my hands or, you know, correct me when I was off or whatever. And then they let me tie my shoes by myself under supervision.
And then they just told me, tie your damn shoes. And so, as a, as a coach, we got to understand where people are at. Sometimes we got to tie their shoes with them, for them, but we got to make the expectation clear. I'm tying your shoes for you right now, because you've never done it before. Right here in the very near future.
We're going to tie your shoes together. So pay attention. Uh, I think that's, uh, for me anyways, it's it served me well. Uh, but, and it's also eliminated kind of, you alluded to it earlier back, right? Right out of the gates. When I, when I really thought I was coaching people, I was the dictator do this. I'd show up.
Nope. You're doing it wrong. Here's the, here's, here's a five page packet. Read it and do it that way. Duh that didn't like, can you believe that didn't work very well? Oh, I'm shocked. I didn't, I didn't get invited back to the party. I didn't get invited to the top up parties. I didn't get the craps and the shirts.
I was like, why? Like, why don't people love me? I'm helping them. No, that's a good point. Like now I'm doing it like Alan, like you bring people involved and your rights. Do you know some people and sometimes like some teams get frustrated. Like I was with the team, they had 40 people on the team, Jessie, and we're going through there.
They were like, it's a big team. And that's just 40 people in the GC squad. There's still like another, you know, there's 400, 400 trade partners on that. And I, and I said to them, let's understand what you guys want to do. They didn't have an answer 40 people. So I was like, okay, I can't dictate a solution.
We've played together for a week. And at the end we made some, we made some tweaks and changes and one of the people said, why didn't you just come and make us do last planner? So. Actually said it, like, they were kind of disappointed that I just didn't. I was like, I've done that and failed with people.
And it's just like, in this book, like one of the first things, so that team was doing play of the day, which is like a, a spinoff variation of the daily huddle. Right. It's, it's kind of like what we're seeing here in this chapter with having the visual and having people point and what'd you call it point and show didn't touch baby.
Point of touch. It's kind of like the point in touch and, and one of the things, cause I'd already read the lean builder. I was watching how this play of the day was unfolding before my eyes, as I'd seen it so many times before. And it was invented by general contractor, which I will not name, but they have mandatory Saturdays.
So for those of you in the general contractor community, there's only one that has mandatory Saturdays. When you first start working only the superintendent was allowed to point in touch Jesse. Oh, by design. How do you think the engagement? Wasn't it. Horrible. Yeah. And I was like, I've talked to the Sumatran afterwards.
And like, these meetings are probably really frustrating aren't they he's like, yeah, people don't talk they're on their phones. And I said, you know, you asked me to tell you something that I saw. I was like, one thing that I saw is I never saw you ask a question and the superintendent was just like,
wow, questions are powerful. So you can hand them a marker and say here, why don't you show me and let them come up. You call out the order that you want to go in the flow. So you're still in control of the order. Cause you're, you're got that higher level. You're looking at the entire flow of all the jobs.
You see all the interconnections that some of the people don't see. Right. So they're too close to work. I was like, why don't you just have them come up in order, give them, hand them the marker and let them point and show people where they're at. Try that and see if that's different than what you're doing.
Enough. If you want. I was like, or you can just get pissed off every day at two 30 in the afternoon. Yeah. You can keep doing it the same way. If you really liked that pain, you're free to continue. You know, when you said you didn't ask questions, I almost choked, uh, because I'm guilty of that also. Right.
Even when I, my point in sharing this is it's very easy to get stuck in, in our comfort zone and what we've practiced for so long. Um, there's times where a facilitator I'm engaged with the team. And then at the end, I'm like, man, I didn't get a lot of, I didn't get a lot of interaction and every now and then I'll record it.
I'll catch video of it because everybody gets to watch me. And I like to be able to have that opportunity of watching it too. Now I'll review. To mostly listen to it, to kind of find my little ticks or the weird things that I want to improve on the next time. Sometimes I'll say something really smart, which is abnormal, but I want to remember it to say it again.
Um, in a one, one, well, not one, a couple of times where I was kind of pissy that, man, I didn't get a lot of interaction. Well guess what? I never stopped moving my damn mouth. So whose fault was it? It was me or I would ask the question like, so what do you think? Okay, well, let me answer that for you. Like, I didn't even give them space to answer, you know, fantastic point.
If you're not asking questions, you're not inviting people into the conversation. Why would they join? They won't as a facilitator, I learned early on, uh, uh, watching some really masterful facilitators and then recognizing that when the thing is like in flow with everybody in the conversation, the facilitators barely talking, they only talk enough to get people.
To talk and engage. That's a skill that takes some practice back to the book. You know, they're up there with markers, highlighters. Everybody has their own color, which is phenomenal because it's clear. We know who's, the colors are assigned. Everybody's identifying where they're going to be working that day.
People, we get an understanding rapidly. It reminds me of that one superintendent super skilled, super experienced sat in the meeting the whole day, folded his eyes. It wasn't him. It was a debrief. It wasn't the whole day of sharing my observations and my recommendations to see what they would be willing to commit to doing.
And he just sat there with his arms, folded the end. He's like, you know what? I don't know what the hell they pay you for. Uh, but I think all of this kindergarten bullshit is just a waste of time and it kind of left the like, you know, Yeah, that level of that level of direct communication, I value immensely.
Me too. Jesse, you can react to that. Yes, please. Don't nod your head and then go leave the room and say, you're not going to do it. Let's just talk about it right now. But what stuck with, and that ended up, that was a beautiful story. Things ended up really, really great for that team. We had a good time out there, but what, what landed that stuck with me is the kindergarten comments.
So after I was like, let's say, you said kindergarten. I thought, because I was maybe, um, my tone was, uh, like I was talking down to them and he's like, no, dude, like you have all these colors and stickies, like, it reminds me of kindergarten. I was like, oh, got it. You know, when I think about trade partners, the discomfort of going to the board for their first time and drawing on the wall, I've got to take that into account.
It does. It's extremely abnormal and it feels extremely juvenile to, to do this. But you know, once they break through that discomfort, of course you, you and I both know it's like gold, it's automatic. They, they wish they do it on every project pays dividends. Once you have the experience, you can't go backwards.
I've been to some big rooms where the teams have, like the walls are just plastered with stuff and it's like going to a museum or like going to an art and you just, you're looking at all this cool stuff and you can get a really high sense of what's going on. Like in seconds, like, I don't even have to even ask that many questions just to get my head and where the project's at.
And then you go to some projects and you're like, oh, nurse a crutch. It's not going to let you put anything up on the walls. Like it's just locked down. It's sterile. And there's just nothing. There's not even like you look at people's desks and you can't even tell that they're. That they're human. It's just like, there's nothing of, of any kind of remote signature of a real person, right?
It's not, it's not because the people don't want to it's because they can't, it's discouraged. I've seen jobs. Well, no, let me take it back. Uh, as a trade partner, we started, like I said, we were doing, at some point, I transitioned from superintendent to, uh, trainer, right in trainer that I had put some training together.
It was transitional training to transition people from journeymen, lead men to foreman, and then transitioned foreman to superintendents. And so naturally last planner system was built into that. All the foreman, it was talking about expectations, the expectations of the role and showing them how to use it.
And, and because we were having a lot of success with it, the organization invested in iPads for all of the foreman and all superintendents. Now that's a regular thing. Back in back when we were doing it, it didn't happen. I mean, GCs were like, you guys have iPads, I can't even get myself an iPad. Right. So it was, it was, it was a thing.
And then, you know, some of the , they didn't like it, the paperwork, right? They didn't want to fill out the paper. You want to know why they might've been a little bit like me. Like I made a decision vision to begin a career in the construction industry, because I didn't want to read anymore. I didn't want to write anymore.
And I sure as hell didn't want to touch a computer. And now all of a sudden they've elevated in their career to a point where it requires them to write and read and use these devices. Anyways, the way I started with them is first on paper. And then the complaint was, well, we bought them these iPads, aren't they using these iPads?
It's like, guys, I need to get them there. Right. We can't jump from simple addition and subtraction to calculus. Like let's get comfortable with the process. And then let's introduce the, the technology we ended up getting. Uh, there were, you know, there's always a leader like the early adopters, those early adopters, we started getting them, okay.
Now use your iPad to do it this way. Dah, dah, dah, dah. And that was good. And then all of a sudden it stopped the form and like, didn't want to do it. And I'm like, why don't y'all want to do it? I was trying to understand. So I went out to their projects and started watching their meetings and I discovered they were fine doing it, but the project manager or two or three of the project managers would beat them up about spelling.
They would beat them up about reformatting the cell size, like grammar. And I'm like, God, hold time, time the hell out. Like that is not the value. That is not the expertise of these people. And you, if you want them to learn how to format cells, like you really don't understand what we're here to do. We're here to build this damn building.
Nobody cares about the stupid format that gets the point of all that is, you know, we got to check ourselves, we got to create a space leaders, right? Foreman, superintendents, project managers for trade partners. You need to create the space for those people that are learning these new techniques to do it wrong, to do it messy.
They're going to get better. They're not here, like, okay, you want them to go ahead and be a master cell formatters and grammar and stuff. While they're doing that in the trailer. I need your ass to go out there and rough in that water heater. How's that going to work out? Let me think about that. Oh man. I almost got, uh, I almost got punched when I was an intern, Jesse, on that very topic.
Really? Yeah. One of my jobs I had to take the daily reports. They're all handwritten. This is back in the nineties and I had to take those dailies and then type them into our, our system. It was part of like the, you know, project records, retention, and the dailies are used for all kinds of things. Mostly nefarious, mostly not for good.
They had, we start coming to the form of meetings, this part of my development. And they went around the room, they came to me and they're like, do you have anything to add? And I said, yeah, If I can't read your daily report, I'll come back to you and you're going to rewrite it until I can read it. Go baby, come on.
Yeah. Funny. I was so mad because they're like 50, I was doing 50 something dailies a day that I type in and the, the superintendent said, stay back after the meeting, like in a, in a ugly tone and everyone was
and y'all was in trouble. And he sat me down, close the door. He's like close the door. And I was like, Aw crap. And he said, he asked me, he's like, what do we pay them to do? And I said, install work. And he was like, oh, what's the date? What's the value of the data report. And we had a conversation about what was important and it's it wasn't until 15 years later, Jesse, what I learned.
That that's a necessary waste. A daily report is a necessary waste from the client's perspective yes. Of a building client, a daily report means nothing to them when they need to operate a building. Right. Those dailies do not add value for them. It's a necessary evil and we should minimize it and make it as frictionless as possible.
Yes. That was the lesson that took, you know, 15 years to really understand well. So would you categorize that as incidental or, or have maintained the distinction as necessary waste? No, it's necessary waste. Cause if you're right, if you're doing the things right, if you think about jobs that are successful, no one ever goes back to the daily reports as a reference.
And if you're communicating appropriately with people, you never look at a daily routine. You only look at a daily report. Typically, you know, people listening to the show, tell me, tell me otherwise, but typically only when you're going into litigation, right? And if you're going into a claim situation, I guarantee you, it's not because of the grammar of the daily reports.
That's just adding context for people that aren't there to see what's going on on the job to see that you're not clearing obstacles. You're not removing impediments that you don't have good flow. Your schedule is probably jumping around. There's a whole bunch of things that go wrong. When people start to complain in the daily reports, Jason Schroeder, shout out to Jason, Jason, when he goes to a job, one of the first things that he does, Jesse is he goes to the bathroom and he opens up the porta-potties and he just looks to see how much graffiti's there.
And that's like, I was, I thought like, man, the port-a-potty is like another daily report. Yep. Cause if the job's going poorly. People who are going to write down in the dailies stuff that they don't like, what's going wrong. You're in my way, you'd set out should be here. It's not ready. You see that type of language in there.
That's a breakdown in communication. That's a warning sign. That's a visual indicator, Jesse, but your job is in trouble. Visual job site. I agreed. Here's another amazing thing. That's just come up, you know, there's COVID and the, the re not recent, cause it's not recent. The social justice issues that have been on the forefront of a lot of people's minds lately on the jobs that I get to walk on.
Graffiti has gone to here. Wow. Zero, right? Yeah. We've put where, where you've made changes due to social justice. I mean, when you say social justice, we're talking about racism, right? Those of you that don't speak all the fancy words that Jesse's using. Yes. Thank you for that. Yeah. We tell him about racism until we put measures into place committed resources.
To kill that that is no longer acceptable. And if it does happen, there there's significant consequences to the entire project. And it didn't occur to me how desensitized myself and the rest of our trade partners have become to it. Right. Because I'd see it all the time. And, and sometimes it'd be like, okay, let's go.
And let's see what the, the, what I used to think of is funny, but like the rudest, most dehumanizing comments I could find on the port-a-potty wall. And even though we've adapted to that, and like I said earlier, be com desensitized to it. It's still like, I didn't know how much of an effect it had on me until now I use port-a-potties that don't have anything written on the wall.
And it's like, it's peaceful. Right? That's not to say that nobody has, you know, that type of thinking, but it's no longer okay to display it. Without consequence. And it's a huge thing. Our trade partners say it I'll talk to him like, Hey man, what can we do? What's something we can improve on. And you know, they'll give me some stuff like, okay, so what do you, what do you really, what are we doing that you appreciate the most, or that makes you feel respected almost every time.
Bathrooms, bathrooms, the bathrooms. So that, that Jay money, Jason trailer is on the something. Yup. He's he knows what he's talking about. Just like another one of my superintendent mentors was a guy named Jeff and this is super early. I was just a young little PM in training. And Jeff told me he's like, Philippe.
I know you're a project manager, but you can still learn things too. He's like the two most important things that you need to know about a job is how are you getting material in and out? And he'd actually like he took, uh, a floor plan. And he said, look at this floor plan and you know where this building is, how's this stuff coming in and out.
And I had to draw with a pencil on his floor plan, second, most important thing, arguably, equally as important. Where do you put the Porter? John's is like, where are you putting the bathrooms here? He's like, you need to know how many bathrooms you should have for the crews. And how often should you clean them?
And I was like, I don't know. I never thought about it. And he's like, you need to find that out. And he's like, you can always call the company, the portajohn company. And they actually have formulas and they have, and he's like, people figure this out. Yeah. Oh yeah. It's a smart people out there more often than you keep these clean, you're showing respect to the people doing the work.
He had it so that we had a, a Porter John on that job, we did not have a special indoor bathroom. And he's like, we're doing this. He's like, we're all in this together. He's like, you gotta use the Porter, John, just like we have to use a port. That's phenomenal. That is rare. I've had the privilege of working one of our project executives in Denver.
It, and again, it was just a different world. I'm in the trailer. I'm like, where's the, where's the, where's the bathroom at? And she says, Jesse port-a-potties. I was like, really? And she's like, they use them all day. There's no reason why we can't use them all day. I said, ten four, thank you. Ma'am like, that's real.
That's a big deal. It's a small thing. But they, the team recognizes it more importantly, it creates that team environment. Like we are one team. We have the same facilities. There's no divide, small thing, but big impact. So that's a book. Yeah. I was going to say like, that's some good visual communication too.
We can talk about Porter, Giannis all day. I like hear that they try and something you, and it's just not like automatic work. Yup. It's like stuff's balling up in Sam's face. And I think, you know, some of it is, he's just. He's not making the shift. Well, um, I'm at the parking lot point, so I'm like always on my head right now.
You want to fast. So that's the one that stood out to me because again, new behavior, but using that parking lot, like, okay, meeting's over. If you got something on the parking lot, hanging back back to the respect thing back to making it visual, the, the, the act of writing it on the wall, writing the issue down for everybody, even though you have a, you know, steel trap memory, the, the physical act of writing that down on the wall, as they tell you that there is an issue is another measure and sign of respect.
I heard you what you said matters so much so that I'm going to write it down here so that we all can see it. And we make sure we don't. So that's powerful. The other end of that is it lets everybody else go back to work because they got, you know, I hear a lot of times, like, you know, you gotta keep these meetings short because you know, you're going to lose the trades.
The attention span is short and make sure, but you know what? They got a shit ton of work to do. No, hold on a second. I'm going to, as a GC, I disagree with that. Okay. I don't think the trades have a short attention span. I think the meeting suck and they're boring. Thank you. So let me just call a spade, a spade then four.
Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. There they suck. They're boarding. They're not providing any value and trying to blame it on the trades. That's just a scapegoat. You're just lying to yourself. Yeah. You're just not a good meeting facilitator. Maybe you're not. And if you know superintendents out there, I've seen some of the better ones that recognize, you know, where their communication is more effective often one-on-one they might bring in.
Heaven forbid, a project manager out of, away from his computer or her computer and come and talk and help facilitate the meeting. So the superintendent can stay engaged with the people. When you have to run a meeting and facilitate a meeting and take notes, you're trying to do three things all at once.
Jesse it's too much. No, you need to have a scribe best practice, have a scribe, have a driver, have a facilitator and have a subject matter expert. Like those roles. If you can get to that point, your meetings are going to click. You have a team. It's not a, it's not a solo sport. It's a team game. Another thing, if you're it that I would recommend selfishly, you know, if you're starting this, these practices early is bringing in, um, an impartial, maybe a neutral person.
It can be from your organization. You don't have to go spend a whole bunch of money, but I do know. I do know some consultants out there that would do a great job, but I think you know him too, hopefully. Yeah. So some of the added value that, that you really don't know until you experience is they don't have the emotional connection to the job.
They don't have all those stresses and pressures. So in facilitating a meeting many off or often times when you're the superintendent or project manager, you have a deep connection to the job and the success and the failure and the flow and all of those things. And so that can betray you. And if you have that objective facilitator, they're just seeking to serve the team to get closer to where they want to be.
And they don't get blindsided by their, by their own personal connection to, to the outcomes just jumped right over this guy. Elmo that's right. Elmo. Just, they actually used it. Yeah. I got the Elmo here for you. I got the fattest Elmo. I could find, well, you know why I jumped over him. Right. Cause you'd been hit by almost before.
Can you believe that? Is that surprising to you? If I, if I sent this elbow to Renee, how many times was the show? All the time I get in my, in my preacher mode and the eyes, they need to do something about the eyes. Cause if they hit you just right. Yeah. Does he have those solid eyes? Put their stuff with something hard?
It could be reportable. Yes. If your eye meets his eye, you're going to be in pain and they're rough too. They'll take some, some skin off of your, a cornea for sure. The first time I got hit with the Elmo, it was the owner's rep through the Elmo for a shoe. She was standing at my side, which is like, I'm going to demonstrate this elbow.
So she. I don't even see it because it's out of my peripheral vision and it hits me like this bam knocks my glasses right off my face into a parking lot. Cause we were doing a stand-up in the parking lot. I looked at her and I was like, thank you for demonstrating how not to throw an Elmo at people, but that does make things fun.
Right. And it gives people a mechanism. Like I know listening to people's grandstand. It causes me to feel some kind of way about them. And then I see them and they open their mouth and I'm rolling my eyes like, oh man, here we go again. Right. And so it creates, it starts eroding the respect I have for the individual and me calling them out doesn't help.
Right. Cause that's kind of an, and when I say calling them out, I mean like in Jessie land, what I would say is like, dude, cut, cut it. We've heard your crap before. That's not respectful, but that's the language I speak. But if I hit him with the Elmo, like all of a sudden I have a mechanism. To act on whatever's not good for the team.
It's a playful way. And guess what? I don't think less of him anymore because I was able to do something about it live in the moment. Right. And Elmo is an acronym because we love acronyms and construction. People have termed it enough. Let's move on. And they hit you with another, with a smile and a laugh and everybody laughs.
But it's reciprocal. You can be hit with the elbow, but you can also throw the Elmo levels, the whole playing field, like we're all in this team thing. And it's okay to throw a stuffed toy at people. It's okay. Just don't hit him in the face. Yeah. Don't knock my glasses off Heather. Oh, let her out. Come on here.
There, you got to wear face shields to that meeting. That's a meeting baby full contact huddle. You lost zero sex appeal. No, it can't be lost. Jessie, when you have this much choosing, you know, you can't, you can't diminish despair, but I liked, I liked here we're, you know, in the book, they talk about that parking lot.
And because Sam is just starting out the parking lots, just in his notebook, it's not that high visual parking lot, but he's going through the right process. Like he's stepping into the process, like he's telling Roberto, you gotta come back. Cause we want to on park. He doesn't even say on parked cars, but I say often let's unpack the cars.
We parked a bunch of cars. Let's unpack them with the people we need to so that you can keep moving. But like you said, next level, next level parking lot is put it visual so people can park their own cars. Yes. And with, thanks to co sometimes we're using collaboration boards digitally and I'll tell people as a facilitator, like that's a great point.
Can you put that in the parking lot so we can come back to it at the end. I don't want to lose that. Let's make sure we get to that. And we'll make sure we own park. It got to do it. You can't ignore it. I mean, I've done it before where I wrote stuff on the parking lot, ended the meeting and just rookie mistake.
Right. I forgot to go back to it. And luckily the, you know, the relationships were deep enough that one of the team members had aid, bro. Like, why the hell did you write it on the wall? If we're not going to talk about us? Oh, damn it. My bad. Right. Let's come back. Let's go back to the back parking lot.
You're so excited. You're so excited. Your timer went off and you're like, yes, everybody's free to go. It's definitely a discipline. The pressure of time. Right? 15 minutes. I'd love it for me. And you probably experienced this being a coach. It would be great that the end of the meeting, the scheduled time really meant that you were done and you can go do the next thing, but it's never done, right?
Like you finished the meeting and there are those side coaching conversations, a little bit of debrief, a little bit of follow-up a little bit of exploration, deeper understanding. And so before, like, I didn't know that at the time. So we're like, okay, 15 minutes, boom, peace out. I'm done. And I wasn't done.
So now obviously I'll block out an extra hour or two, depending on the situation to just be present so that I can continue the conversation. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, you're blocking that time. If you're with those people and you're physically with them, I'm going to test your job.
You're talking to somebody and your cell phone rings. Do you pay, answer it or B just let it keep ringing. That phone does not ring because I turned the damn thing off. I've had many, many conversations over the past five to eight years about men. You never answer your phone, right? Or my favorite one is a sarcastic one.
Like, man, if I'm drowning, I know not to call you. Yeah, bro, like call 9 1, 1 food. Don't be calling me.
So what I explained to them is, you know, when you and I are talking, how do you feel? Like, what do you mean? I was like, well, when you and I are in a meeting or we're talking right now, how do you feel? Am I giving you the attention that you need? Do you feel like I'm focused on you? Do you feel like I'm listening to you?
Like, yeah. I was like, okay, do you see me distracted by anything else? Except for you. Oh, it's okay. Do you appreciate that? Like, hell yeah. That's kind of why I come to you often, because I know that if I talk to you, you're gonna give me the time that I need. Awesome. I do that with everybody. And so what that means is I'm ignoring everybody else in that moment, even though I could tell myself, like, okay, I'll leave my phone on just in case that phone ringing, it's got a powerful gravity man.
And so I will get pulled to it because if it rings the few brains I have one or two of them is thinking about, man, I wonder what that was. Who was it? Just turning it off. I don't even know what's happening. And I I'll check my stuff. Once I jumped in the truck and head to the next place, it's helped me out tremendously.
I do get my hand slapped every now and then for not being as responsive as, you know, the emergency that was happening. And there's this other funny thing that happened. When I call them back, somehow that emergency has gone away. It's magic man earned that damn phone off. It'll help you focus. And I found the more focused I am, the better quality I produce, and that's a good, another great visual indicator of the people you're talking to.
Jesse, just like here in the book, things start to fall apart. They're using the visual communication board to plan the work and talk about where they are in the field now. And then they have a field issue. And my very favorite electrician, Roberto is getting pissed off in the field because the Hank is bearing some of his work.
He's jumping ahead with good intentions. He's like, oh, this area is open. And because we're coordinating at a higher level, now I was able to get ahead on this area that I had planned. It was going to take longer because I'm not used to getting areas ready for me appropriately. Right. So he's jumping up to another floor and Roberto's like, I've got home runs to Ryan.
And I'm not going to be able to, I can't get to the ceiling now. And he starts getting upset and Sam, I think Sam hears it and doesn't actually have to even get involved. He just hears it and that like, they worked it out because Hank acknowledges. Yes, Roberto, I, you know what you're right. I remember seeing you say that you were going to be at this level.
My bad I'll have my guys take the duct down and Roberto is just like frozen. Like he couldn't even react like my bad. That's a freezer. You never hear construction often. Have you heard somebody say no? Yeah. I've heard it so often that every time I hear somebody tell me, oh yeah, you're right. I'll act like I can hear my, well, I'm sorry, you broke up.
I didn't hear you. You're right. What do I call it? Let me hit record speaking to this microphone. Just say it one more time, please. And then Roberto says, you know what? You don't have to take it all down, get it to this point. I can work through it, but let me get ahead and then we can continue forward.
That's the, those are the outcomes that you can achieve by practicing and learning how to do these things. And I say practice because it's likely going to be very new to at least 50% of the people involved. Or if we just use your statistic, Jessie, 97% of the people. Thank you. You like that? I love that stat man.
I'm anchored on it. And I think in the same, in my experiences too, I haven't done the math yet and I can't do the math and talk at the same time. Cause I can only do one thing at a time. I'm probably somewhere around there too. And they worked it out. There was no fights in the parking lot. There was no cussing, no graffiti, right?
No bad mouth in, in the port-a-potty they worked it out and, and kept working as a team. And that's where I went. I made a note in my book to ask and you just beautifully delivered all of those things that you said there were no in traditional projects, that's the things that happen next. Or you have people damaging each other's work.
You forgot to mention that with Jess. Oh man. So I've heard stories, never experienced that at first, a friend from a friend, from a friend of, you know, taking the control boxes off of their scissor lift, unplugging their scissor lifts, taking the keys out of their equipment. So. Uh, devious behavior out there in retaliation for that sort of thing.
And as a plumber, dude, you don't know how many Gatorade bottles I've found in my pipe. And that like, that doesn't happen by accident. You know, those, all of those things were a result of the way we treated each other. The environment that we were in was, was combative. And, and guess what? I like it it's, it's very, it's, um, learning to get used to being on projects.
I mean, almost, not almost, I'm also jealous on the projects that I've been able to see here in the last few years. Like people they're friends, like they eat lunch, like different trades eat lunch together. They know each other's names, they know their other Stolyar right. Like they're their Cheeseman at home.
And I'm like, man, why didn't I have friends like that? But it's a, it's a function of the, it's a function of me being a big old jerk head. Right. But also a function of the environment. The environment is such that it facilitates that people aren't losing controllers off of their scissor lifts or their, their forklift is out of diesel or, you know, all of those things that just kind of happen on a, on a tough job.
Those things don't happen anymore. Right. That's one of the things that Joe said on the podcast when we were talking about the book and he said, I used to be a jerk that sets the whole tone for how the site's going to operate. And I've had a lot of conversations with owners too, and owners reps. And I said, you know, if you have a bad day on the weekend and you come to, to the, your project and you bring that bad day with.
You bring that drama to the site that drama infects the entire site. And it's very hard to overcome that. Like if you're, so I'm not, I'm not defending GCs, but if the owner of owner is being brutal to you, which is very, very common for owners to just crap all over the project management team, the superintendents included that kind of is super easy to just trickle down to the next level and people are going to get that same treatment.
So I tell owners, like, if you want to have a, a happier job with the results that you want, you need to first treat people with respect. Like, don't forget owner. If you could have done it yourself, you want to hire it off.
Yeah. Yeah. Back to that statement you made earlier, right? Like you're complaining about. But you hired them, you hired us. Our number was just so pretty. No, you're right. I think it's hard. I mean, it's something that I've been trying to be conscious and aware of is my words, my tone, my attitude, my energy is magnified by my responsibility and position.
If I think outside of myself, same thing with project managers, GCs owners, foreman, like all of the above, and it's hard to come to terms with it, right? Because you know, a lot of us have the imposter syndrome. We don't feel like we're quite adequate to be at the role that we're in. And that's fair. But guess what?
Everybody else around you believes 100% you're there because you got it together. You got it going on, you know what you're doing? And so the attitude, the energy that you portray though, it may seem miniscule to you. To everybody on the job, that's further downstream, closer to the work. It impacts them tremendously because it's magnified by your responsibility, your authority and, and your title.
I mean, you just brought me to page 40 to close out the chapter after over an hour and a half of talking about one, one chapter do not disappoint Jesse. Uh let's do you know Sam? We've got, uh, that quote as Roberto and I think it's Hank. Yeah. Roberto and Hank, they go short of just hugging each other in the field because that would be awkward in front of their crews.
I don't think they'd be able to no, they'd never, they would never come back from that ever. No. Or live that down. At least they smile. They appreciate each other. And Roberto apologize for losing his temper and Sam finally experiences some joy and he didn't have to get in the middle and ref. And then Joe and Keon, give us a little bit of nuggets of how the, the meetings are getting smaller.
They're they're ending on time and people are starting to cooperate voluntarily on their chow. The final thing is still Sam thinking that as of negative, he's thinking things aren't perfect and where this expectation of perfection comes from. I have no idea, Sam, but I've seen many, a superintendent, many, a project manager think that it's going to be perfect or fall in love with their plans and think that their plans are perfect.
And I'm like, plans are a model of the terrain, a map at best. It's not the terrain. It's not the project fall in love with the actual thing, not the representation of the thing. Yes. It's kind of contradictory to this chapter, but we use those visuals to help us. Get out there. Some people even take it a step further and go do some of these meetings at the site.
If, and especially if it's, if you're early on and it's just a couple of trades, why would you drag people into an office when you can just be in the field and talk about it at the spot? A perfect example of that. I was on a call Thursday with a team from Dallas, man. They're freaking killing it, right?
They, they beautiful job. Everybody loves each. I mean, it's a, it's an amazing environment. And they put a lot of effort to getting there. And one of the things he was talking about is they did exactly that. You know, they had a little office space that was, you know, you had to walk about half a block to get to, and they used to have their huddles and constraint meetings in there, but they've decided to relocate in the building.
Cause guess what? Now all the work is happening on floors four, five, and six. Where's all the workers. there's three people in the office. Let's let's go the other direction. The issues that usually take a day or two to resolve are getting resolved on the spot. And when issues are getting resolved on the spot, what are we getting?
Speed. You got it, baby. You got it, man. It was beautiful to hear that. Love that flow. You ever seen the last dragon? Of course I have. Okay. I was going to say, please tell me, you have, when you have flow, you may not know it, but you got that glow baby and that's perfect. Uh, transition Jesse to the next chapter.
Just foreshadowing, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for hanging out with us for this time. We're going to talk about the eight wastes, the things that impede in hinder flow, because if you can't see it, you don't know what's holding you back. Yeah, the most dangerous waste is the waste. We do not see.
Looking forward to it. My friend, me too, shout out to all the people, listening to the show, subscribe, and we love you. Subscribers people that just jump on and don't subscribe. Listen any way. Love you too. Just as much Jessie. And I love all the comments. I love the comments that you all give learns and missteps, and Jesse gets to shout them out.
I would like to get some comments too, to, to shout out to folks and the best way to get my attention is LinkedIn direct messages, dude. Anyway, right? LinkedIn, uh, comments on apple, YouTube, put it on the port-a-potty. Don't get in trouble, right? Yeah. Put it on the porch and probably take a picture and send it to Jesse.
That would be, well, maybe I might get in trouble for that one. Like I I'm sure you feel the same way. Philippe. The comments that I get are, are super meaningful. They really mean a ton to me. Like the fact that people are even taking time to listen to what I whatever's coming out of my mind. Right. That's a big deal.
And to be able to have the opportunity to interact with the folks is what I'm really looking forward to. Right. Getting that comment is fantastic. I'm like, okay, like, look, mom, I'm doing good. It helps put fuel, put gas in the, in the tank, but like LinkedIn, man, preferably if you could hit me up on LinkedIn and start a conversation, tell me I'm full of it, whatever that that's beautiful.
I mean, y'all already heard me say I don't have a lot of friends, so please, please give me a comment. And actually I got a screenshot from a friend. Who's an executive at one of the companies that used to work at Jessie. Can you send me a screenshot this week? He's like Philippe. I turned my car on and Amazon music was recommending my podcast to him.
Yeah. He didn't know that I had a podcast and I was like, that's because you don't call me. Cause if you'd call me within five minutes, I'm gonna say, Hey, did you check on my pocket?
He can't help it. Right? Like you just want to help people. Yeah. I finally got my mom to start listening to the show. Jesse. It took me two seasons. I got mom listening to some of the shows now. Yeah. Mom listened to it right out of the gate X. And here's how I knew shimmy hall. You don't have to cuss that much.
Listen to the show. I mean, thank you. But Devin, I got in trouble. I got cut. Yeah. We love the comments. We love the feedback. We do take it to heart, Jesse. Don't we? And we make the show better. 100%, especially the, the tough feedback. Right? Cause that's what helps me get better. And the skeptics out there thinking that this stuff's too hard to implement.
You're right. It's too hard.
10 fold scared, man, you can't win. You do it by yourself. You can get some inspiration from a book. I know even Kian and Joe, they respond to comments on social media as well. They've got the well pump out the lean blog. Again, there's a lot of stuff on the lean blog. People have contributed to the lean blog and shared things.
There are resources out there. Shout out to Steve who's working in, uh, in Texas, not too far from you. Jesse works at a small, uh, GC company, less than 30 people. And, uh, he actually had, he told me he had breakfast with Joe and I said, I'm not surprised that you and Joe had to eat something. And he said that Joe actually helped him and gave him some advice and some guidance.
And he was just beside himself. And the people that are into this type of stuff, we are happy to share our experiences with you. What I'd like to achieve is just leave the place better than I can. If I can do that with you. That's great. If you baby, that's it. So this is the part of the show. We say, cue the music, get the show closed down and get ready and recharge for the next episode,
man, you are one dedicated listener, sticking with us all the way through to the very, very end. Please know that this podcast dies without you, and we invite you to share how the episodes is impacting you along with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. You've 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 us because to yourself, stay cool.
And we'll talk at you next time.
Here are some great episodes to start with.