Aug. 12, 2021

Sophisticated Transparency with Kevin Chase


Get to know Mr Kevin Chase an exemplory Construction Professional and father. He will walk you down his career path which helped him hone his skills of introspection and humility. If youre looking for some powerful examples of leadership behavior and breakthroughs for leading change, Mr Kevin Chase has got your flavor. 

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Transcript
Jesse:

Kevin, before you got into the industry, did you think that these next level types of skillsets would be exercised on a job site? Did you think people out on a construction site had the capabilities or even the need to see things through this type of lens

Kevin:

now? I don't know, cartoon depictions of construction workers. It's, you know, the stereotypical big, broad shoulder animalistic person with a gruff beer and a cigar hanging out of a rice out of their mouth. Being very loud and boisterous and not yielding at all. So when you enter an industry like that, you assume that's going to be the norm and not to say that there aren't those individuals. Sure. But there, there is a degree of sophistication that wasn't transparent to me too, we get into the industry and then it's. It's like when you get there and you're like, duh, you're building, you're building a 50 floor commercial tower in the middle of New York city in Herald square or times where you got to manage a workforce of 700 to 800 people, depending on how big that job is, of course has got, gotta be a level of sophistication. Of course has gotta be a level of being engaging, being thoughtful is a leadership behaviors that we don't intuitively assigned to the construction industry.

Jesse:

Oh, yeah, that is the voice of the eloquent and sophisticated Kevin Chase. He's a father of two and a phenomenal representation of construction professionals. It's interesting. He sorta just kind of landed in construction and you're going to get to hear more about that As well as Kevin school in us on the value of vulnerability and introspection, then we get all riled up. Then there's a call to action for all of our trade partners out there that are working to find their way through this industry and their place in the community. W we we've got some work to do. And by the time you are listening to this episode, we will have broken past the 2,500 download milestone. That is 100% due to you. Thank you, L and M family. There is no way we would have reached this milestone without you. So thank you for the hours that you've spent listening to my voice, the hours you've spent listening to Renee and the hours you dedicated to learning from our guests. For sharing with your friends. That's super meaningful. Thank you for the reviews for the feedback y'all are sharing. You make me feel valued all I can say is thank you very much. So before I get on teary-eyed, here we go, baby. Mr. Kevin Chase. we have the soothingness voiced in the country coming from Mr. Kevin Chase. What's going on,

Kevin:

Kevin. So Jesse, how are you, man?

Jesse:

it was fun connecting with you earlier this week. You are officially the best-looking RLM internally.

Kevin:

No, I've been waiting for this day. I love it,

Jesse:

man. So thank you for taking time out of your morning, man. It's Saturday and you got stuff to do so thank you. And we will jump right into it. So for the LNM family out. What would you like them to know about Mr. Kevin Chase?

Kevin:

Well, first I'm a, I'm a dad. I got two boys, 12 and seven years old. And they are, they are my heartbeat. Everything that I do is, is really for them. And it's interesting children as much stress as they can cause they actually are probably the most cathartic thing that we are. We have that to come home and let them talk about their day or just a random hug or joke on the car ride home, relieves the stresses of the day. So I enjoy it thoroughly being a parent. I am in the construction industry. You've been in the construction industry for a little more than 18 years. Currently serving as a Regional Lean manager for a large GC specifically my role is in New York. And what that affords me, the opportunity to do is to do a thing out of the month, which is contradictory to my natural behavior. I'm naturally an introvert. I don't, I'm sure you would not have known that. So being in this industry forces you to, to work and be think outside of the box. So in order for me to kind of sustain just my own career progression and just to be generally happy, I had to learn to build tools and behaviors that will contradict my natural inclination to just work alone. So that, that actually has made me a better person by working in this industry where you're forward facing interacting with people, helping solve problems all day has actually is really made me a better person, made me come out of my shell. So I enjoy what I do most days the days that I don't enjoy it, or they it's like, we all have to not, they're not enjoyable. But. The good days far outweigh the bad. So I'm happy to be here. I'm really excited about our conversation here today.

Jesse:

10, four, so 18 years in the construction industry. where did you start?

Kevin:

With the company I'm with, or just in general? Just general. Yeah. Yeah. Great, great question. So I I've told this story before. It's completely by accident that I ended up in the industry. It started, it started in high school, junior year in high school. I was actually maybe junior high school is what puts, what put me into that, that situation. And the junior high school that I went to, it was a specialized school, so I was able to take high school courses. So I was, I was kind of ahead when I started out as a freshman it's by the time I got to my junior year in high school, I was really taking AP courses. I was taking some full courses, but a lot of electives just to fill up my day. So I got to junior year and I had pretty much exhausted all of the electives that my high school had to offer. And my guidance counselor gave me two hours. For junior year electives, he said, you can take at a science called keyboarding. So, which is tight writing, a tight writing class or a mechanical drafting class. In junior high school, I did a whole, my eighth grade year was typewriting. And it was the most painful experience that you can give to a 12 or 13 year old. So of course I went to mechanical drafting, not really knowing much about it other than this is the skill that architects learn when they're drawing, making their details creating their plans for buildings, et cetera. So I gravitated to that again, just because there wasn't really any other choice, but. Probably the best decision accidently that I ever made where I got into the class and had a really great teacher. she triggered this passion that I didn't know I had. Right. So when you, when you think about like growing up and as a kid, and for me in kindergarten, my favorite time of the day, it was building blocks, right? That 30 minute or 40 minute time in the center of the kindergarten classroom. And you get to just do so that, that rekindle kind of that, that feeling by creating something from scratch, something that was in your mind and then making a concrete by T square and mechanical pencil building something that was in your mind and making it real. So from there I continued on in a course load, so it went through the end of my senior year in high school. And, and during that period, I decided that I wanted to go to school for architecture. Just because I wanted to continue that feeling of being able to create something. what was, what was really interesting. It led me to the path of the organization that I live now, I would say the beginning of my senior year, my professor, so I had an inclination was good at it. He said, you know, this company offers a scholarship as both an internship and a scholarship for four years, I think you'd be great at it. I'm only allowed to give one scholarship application for the entire school and I'm going to give it to you to to, to submit. So thankfully I submitted, I was, I got into the program, et cetera. I ended up going to CUNY city college here in New York and majoring in architecture. And I did that for two years. So freshman, freshman, and sophomore year. And I realized by the end of my second year in architecture, architecture has a degree is really rigorous as intensive. I spent a lot of hours in studio drafting, plus your own course work. In my case, I had, I was in the honors program. So I had Alan was doing like 18 or 19 credits, just schoolwork plus two, four hour sessions of studio every week for architecture. So there wasn't a lot of sleep those first two years. So I suffered a bit of burnout and then I realized that. Once you graduate with a degree in architecture, you got to go do this three-year internship. You're making $35,000 a year. And for the next 15 years of your life, you're sitting behind a cat station drafting details. Hmm. That did not appeal to me. That's not recess. No, no, not at all. Not at all. Not at all. So thankfully I had, again, another, another counselor that said you might be happier in construction management at another school with still within the CUNY system. So I took a semester off because frankly I was burned out and I just didn't have I didn't have the maturity to figure out how to just push through at that time. So I recognize that at 19 years old, and I'm not mentally strong enough to just figure this out on my own, I need to, to, to do a reset. So I took that year off. I ended up working for a reproduction company, you know, literally. Like taking companies who had files and papers. So like we worked with the the sewer company here in New York city. We went into their office and they had books and books of these old maps and drawings that we digitize for them, just so that they had, you know, able to access their archives without having to open up these old dusty draws. So did that for, I don't know, four, four or five months. And then I was able to reconnect with the organization that I'm with now. They allowed me to defer my internship and the scholarship because I started in architecture. After that two year period, and then my semester off they said, yeah, of course you can come and you can do your internship. And I ended up with this organization pretty much the rest is history. So just, it's interesting just by taking a chance on myself and being naturally curious about something so mechanical drafting. I had no idea what that was. And then having a conviction to say, no, this isn't for me. Actually put me on a path and that's something that I want to be able to just instill in my own kids. You know, sometimes we force them, we force children as parents to do things that we have done or the ways that we have experienced things. But that wasn't my model. My model was I was allowed to be curious and to say, I'm not saying I didn't have challenging discussions with my mom. There was definitely like, what are you doing? But I, by allowing, you know, she gave me the space to come. Develop beat, become an adult, kind of at my own speed. They made those decisions. And I'm truly thankful because of the put me on this path where I now have an opportunity every single day to spark curiosity within my team, within my own team. And then within my own organization, by asking questions, challenging status quo, making folks a little bit uncomfortable. So again, that pathway, I had to go to that pathway to end to where I am right now, because that skill set that was developed is, has helped me. And I think is having an impact on the folks that I kind of interact with on a day-to-day basis. Oh

Jesse:

my goodness. Okay. So when you were developing this skill of, of introspection and, and standing firm on put what you felt, because there's no case study to go against, it's what you're feeling and what you're experiencing in the moment when you were developing that. Were you aware that you were developing a new skill or a new muscle, or did you, were you able to put your finger on that in

Kevin:

hindsight? Yeah. No, I that's. That's something I can probably reflect on now, as I'm talking to, as you're going through it again as an 18 or 19 year old, you're just, you just know that you're unhappy or fed up. And you know, that I, at the time, I just felt like what I was doing just wasn't making me happy any longer. There wasn't a self-awareness on why, what was happening around me, what's happening, how that I contribute to that situation. Could I have done something differently? It was more just like I'm 18, I'm 19. I'm just going to do it. And just not, not recognizing whether it was a good or a bad decision. And it was just like, I just need to do this today in order to feel better tomorrow. That was, that was really my mindset. I don't think I was smart enough or intelligent enough to, to be that aware of what was that?

Jesse:

You saying you weren't intelligent enough, but I'm going to challenge that because what you described in your academic career before university was, it sounds like you were like hella academically inclined. Sure. and my observation I have is, you know, the typical school format or formula. Is for some folks can be less than what is necessary. I mean, if you're taking electives your last two years of high school, right? Like there's, there's a challenge there. But also the environment and it's you mentioned your mom. Yeah. And. It sounds like your mom created the space for you to do that exploration. Was that a, like a typical element in your environment as you were coming up?

Kevin:

Absolutely not. So my background is I was, I was born in Barbados and my whole family is from there so deep west Indian roots. So for those that maybe don't have insight into what family life and academic pressures are like in a Western Indian environment. It's very intensive, very strict. And my mom was a single mom as well. So she had to, she had to wear a few hats. So giving Eight child from it through our perspective freedoms to do anything was not in her makeup. And he also got to think about like when and where I grew up. I'm from, I grew up in Brooklyn. I was in Barbados. I left there when I was two, I've lived in Brooklyn, my entire life after that. And I'm an eighties baby. So late eighties, early nineties in New York city. Yeah, it was a rough place to be, right. There was a crack epidemic. There's a heroin epidemic. I don't live in the greatest of neighborhoods. So given, given a child a freedom in that arena was not an option. So she was super, super strict. And I would have said before high school, a lot of decisions about where I went to school, the things I was interested in, any accurate extracurricular activities she was definitely heavy handed and in, in that environment, but I, I do believe that she recognized that there's a transition from being a child to being an adult. And in order for an adult to really sustain again, any environment that I was ready. You have to be thoughtful. You gotta be allowed to understand your actions have repercussions or consequences. So I think it was intentional now that I'm sitting here thinking about it, that she allowed me to navigate that space because I think she realized how heavy handed our, our relationship was. And I was not going to have that crutch throughout life. I had to learn to be a man. Allow me to kind of say, I'm just, I'm leaving school and I'm just not going to go for a semester. At least was something that she said, okay, if this is something that you feel you need to do, that's fine. Don't ask me for a dollar. You gotta, you gotta figure it out. You gotta go find a job. But if this is what you feel is necessary and important for you, then go ahead and go do it. And there was, like I said, it was, it was, there were tumultuous conversations. Definitely oversimplifying the nature of that conversation. There was some tough language for sure. But in the end she did allow that to occur. So there was some maturation on her part as part of being a parent and recognizing that there is times where you kind of just gotta let go and let your child experience things. And I think I'm learning that that's something that's truly powerful, impactful to sound. So you've got to intervene. There's times when you gotta be a coach and it's time, you gotta let folks fail. Cause sometimes we let folks fail. They, they now. I have a deeper appreciation of kind of this external voices, objective voice to say, Hey, that was wrong. Let's mourn that for only a moment. Now, are you ready to have a discussion about, you know, what are some real potential opportunities on pathways for whatever you define a success? And it's actually surfing plow. Let's feel like this is a therapy session. This is literally literally everything. I just talked about all of the tools that I, that we, that I use today. I get in our interaction with friends, family, colleagues, peers, et cetera.

Jesse:

I'm going to see some. I dunno what the word is, a coupling here. You, I want to vet that out. You talked about being an introvert and the role that you serve in is absolutely contrary to introverted behavior. And when you were talking about that, you've mentioned that you built tools and behaviors to compensate that. And as you're talking about this experience with your mom and, and the decision you were making about your education and your career path, there was a, from me also having come from single mom, family, it like it's real, they don't play, they don't got time to play. My assumption is that there was some degree of non-conformity how are those things related to non-conformity stepping outside the lane and building those tools and behaviors to cope with your comfort zone?

Kevin:

Yeah. So it childhood that the rebellion didn't exist. I didn't the environment wasn't conducive to being rebellious. When I throw word heavy-handed is multi-functional and I'll, I'll leave it at that. No. Yeah. So the, the, the, having a working thing outside of the box really happened when I started to work for the organization that I work for now, where. It was forced upon them. Right. Working in the construction industry. It's a very tough, very dynamic, very boisterous, highly interactive environment. Where if you are meek, you get swallowed up. If you're a meek, you don't have an opportunity to have a voice. And there were instances very early on in my career. I don't know. Am I allowed to curse on here? Yeah. So I'll just give you one example. I promise I won't use profanity throughout the entire conversation, but I think it's impactful where I was interning for this disorganization and my boss really, really smart, intelligent guy who was John or young PM at the time, maybe in his late twenties. What he taught me a lot and I guess he realized my inclination to just be quiet. Was not going to serve me well. So I was sitting at my desk. It's funny. I was sitting at my desk and he gave me a a list of names to called God contractors. Cause we were working on trying to reconcile some change orders. And he'd give me this, you know, I felt was busy work. Callie's cold. These list of five contractors, get them on the phone. We need their current change on the large. I need to buy in the day. But as an introvert, I don't know. Maybe I was scared to pick up the phone. This is still relatively early on in my internship. I was probably scared to pick up the phone because like I'm gonna pick up and talk to some rough gruff person on the other end of the phone. And here's this, I think I was 21 at the time. It was a 21 year old trying to get, convince you to give me something that my boss says that I need. I just, I wasn't able to do it. So it was like two o'clock in the afternoon. And he came by, he says, how, how do you do, what how'd you do? I was like, So it's like, show me what you got so far. I don't have anything. So you said, so what have you been doing all day? I was like, well, you're not, I made a couple of calls and they said they would get back to me and I just have to call them back yet. He says, but that was eight o'clock this morning. Have you caught them back? Did you tell them how urgent it was? Well, they said they're going to call me back. So I'm just going to wait because my inclination is I don't need to interact you. Like you told me you to do something you got to do with, and he said, pick up the fucking phone right now and call them and you don't get off the phone until they get you. Will you be you walk off from that moment on? I said, if I don't get my shit together today, if I don't deliver against us, if I don't make my voice heard and interact and demand what I, what I need. This is not going to be it. I already shifted careers in my mind once or twice already does. I don't, I don't know what I'm going to do after this. This is what I feel passionate about. So from that point forward, I recognize that you've gotta be able to do things that you are uncomfortable doing in order to get to where you feel like you need to be. And I was, that was a jarring experience. It took me 15 minutes to collect myself. Honestly, I was shaking. There was probably a couple of tears at the time, just because no one had ever spoken to me like that. You know, I was a golden child growing up, so no one, no one, no one's house like that pushed me like that. So it was just, it was really, really eye-opening. And I think that experience, it was very intentional for him to speak that way, because he never spoke to me like that before, or. Ever and I probably had a relationship with him professionally for like two years and he left the organization. And it was always supportive coaching, but in that one specific moment, he knew he knew I needed that in order to do what needed to get done.

Jesse:

Okay. So that, that was one of many indicators that said, Ooh, I got, I got to play a different game here because these people respond to different types of communication.

Kevin:

Right. And then what what's so interesting is this one hour, I'll never forget it because I, so I'm relatively close to this one trade partner today where I called him. After that, I might've called him four times in 45 minutes saying where's the stuff. And I remember a month later, he went to my project exec and he says, if you don't hire this guy. I will. project exec said, w Y how do you even know him? He's an intern. How do you know him? And he was like, anyone that could pick up the phone. And he was the owner of the company. He's like anyone that could pick up the phone and be as diligent and persistent as he was, regardless of his skill level, as acumen and construction. That's a person that I want working for me. He says, there's not a lot of people that he has within his own organization are like them. So hearing that and hearing him say this in front of my, my boss's boss's boss, that's when it that's when it clicked, like, oh shit, I gotta, okay. So, okay. Being an introvert, isn't going to work being this other way is the pathway for me to be successful here. Let's figure out how much more I can do that in a respectful way. What else can I actually do? Because that, that is something that folks gravitate to.

Jesse:

Ward there is the respectful way. Cause I I've done dealt with people that man, it, I just don't want to talk to them because they're jerks the rooms. They're inconsiderate, but persistence absolutely necessary. And when it's respectful, you can't help. But appreciate that. So you're, you're leading a team. How many folks are on the team there?

Kevin:

Oh, his fluctuates, I think right now there are five of us in total are four other team members. Okay.

Jesse:

And I know because I've had the privilege of spending time with you and talk to one-on-one and outside of the workspace and also in the workspace, you role different, you show up differently than the status quo. How, I guess it's a two, two questions. How do you impart. To your team members and also how do they respond to

Kevin:

it? Honesty and transparency. From the time that I I'm in a position that I'm in now from time I got that position, it was important to me because I was, I was following a legacy person. So in, in our organization, specifically in New York, there was only one other person who had held my role before. And this person has a very senior person within our organization that very respected brilliant, intelligent, thoughtful, emotionally intelligent. Like you said, he has a presence when he fills a room and that presence fosters this immediate amount of respect in the reference. So there was tremendous shoes to fill in walking into that. So my first conversation with my team was, I'm not him. I won't, I won't be him. I have flaws. There are things about this job that I'm supposed to be, tend to be proficient at that I'm just, I'm not because this wasn't my world. I grew up at, grew up in, in our organization through operations. So in our construction family, and this role was very specialized. So you all have been in this position. Domino on average, maybe two years. And I have to not learn this on the go. I'm going to depend on you, frankly, for teaching me on how to do my job. So I'm always going to be honest with you. I don't know something I'm going to tell you. I don't know, something. All I ask is that you be patient with me. And in return, I asked her that same level of honesty and transparency. If you're struggling with something, I can help you with managing conflict and dealing with people, how to be generally organized. I can, I can help you with that. So that's the partnership that we're going to develop as a team where it's not so much as Boston subordinates. It's. I have a strength you fill in these gaps, or I have a weakness you're filling these gaps or vice versa. We're going to build a true team environment where we look at each other as partners, just going to be instances where as the boss, I'm going to say, we have to do this. And I, my expectation is that we do it, but that's not going to be I'm, won't be heavy handed with that. I think it's more important when you are building a team or when you have not even a team that you're responsible for. But I think any team, if you have these moments where you allow for freedom of thought speech people feel empowered to be challenging, to be contradictory. Those are when you're going to have the most successful experiences, but you can own, you can only get there if you set up these values, being honest and transparent. Just, just tell the truth because when we solve a problem and it's based in something that is fact is based in your own truths, we're actually going to solve the right problem. Those things are things that. We reinforced within our group consistently. So sorry, imparting that. I try to be as genuine as, as I can. I'm not political at all. Maybe has been a little bit of my downfall. I'm not walking around and trying to make these external relationships just for the sake of self-improvement, I'm really intentional about the relationships that I've built, because I don't really have time, you know, at work or outside of work to have things that are just surface. Like if I'm going to make an investment in you or in a group or on a team I'm going to, I'm going to do it in a really genuine way, because I want to get something out of this relationship and hopefully you get something out of it as well. That's kind of just a general tone that we have in our group. And I think it resonates because they are all like that where they'll, they'll sell to a job site now. And they'll say like, I have it's so interesting. I had a new hire to our organization. he didn't know anything about construction at all. And he struggled maybe for the first six months. I said to him, don't feel discouraged. Let's change your bureau approach where you go to a job site and you're there to help them about Lean and how to identify waste and how to talk about behaviors or collaboration. Maybe you start a conversation. I was like, Hey, I don't know how to build a masonry wall. I've never done one before. Can you talk to me about what that means? Can you talk to me typical day looks like for you? Can I just spend two days and walk with you as a superintendent and go walk with you and just see what you see and understand what you see from the premise of that I've never experienced before. So I just want to be able to understand. There is something magical in our industry. I can't really speak about any other industry, but when you engrave shaped yourself to someone else, and when you present vulnerability and in an environment that's so tough and so rigid people gravitate towards that. And it, presents us being genuine. So you're able to foster those relationships. So I bring as example of specifically, because now a year later he's completely valued. I can send them to a team he's like, he's working with a team right now where the environment there. The project manager, the project exec typical in your face, moving fast kind of aggressive. And he can stand his own too, because he walked in and said, I don't know shit about what you guys are doing, but , I know what your problem is. Let's sit down and build up a plan to help solve your problem. And then you can feed me, how you want to build your job. And he, they gravitated to him right away. He's, he's 24 years old working with folks who've been in the industry 25 years. Right. So they're like, that's that, that development can only happen by gaining, by being humble, by being vulnerable. And then automatically you create this bond. We create this environment of respect, which allows you just to be really good at your job. So he, whenever he leaves our group, maybe in the next year or so, he's going to be so ahead of the curve relative to his peers, because he's developed a skill that isn't, isn't something that's focused on an industry. That's just caring about the person next to you being respectful and being humble. So I'm, I'm really excited for his, his future specifically. But that's a microcosm of the kind of dynamic that we like to create in

Jesse:

our group. Oh man, that's amazing. What you're talking about is like next level stuff, right? People are researching it. There's all kinds of books of different components and elements of it, but like you're doing it and you're doing it with through a simple formula that has served you well, And it brings me back to like the purpose of the podcast is to elevate the image of careers in the trades and for, our L and M family out there, even new listeners. I want to, I want you to hang on to, to Kevin's answer to the next question so the question is Kevin, before you got into the industry, did you think that these next level types of skillsets would be exercised on a job site? Did you think people out on a construction site had the capabilities or even the need to see things through this type of lens

Kevin:

now? I don't know, cartoon depictions of construction workers. It's, you know, the stereotypical big, broad shoulder animalistic person with a gruff beer and a cigar hanging out of a rice out of their mouth. Being very loud and boisterous and not yielding at all. So when you enter an industry like that, you assume that's going to be the norm and not to say that there aren't those individuals. Sure. But there, there is a degree of sophistication that wasn't transparent to me too, we get into the industry and then it's. It's like when you get there and you're like, duh, you're building, you're building a 50 floor commercial tower in the middle of New York city in Herald square or times where you got to manage a workforce of 700 to 800 people, depending on how big that job is, of course has got, gotta be a level of sophistication. Of course has gotta be a level of being engaging, being thoughtful is a leadership behaviors that we don't intuitively assigned to the construction industry. Like it's, it's almost a disservice, like I think I spent the first year doing a lot of like, wow, wow. Like the conversations that you have are so thought provoking where they're really, really intelligent people. And you just, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what I thought you just, you just think about is, you know, the, from the hood and they just show up with hammers and carpenter's belt and they kind of just show up one day and they put it together based just based off experience. And I think that was the most eyeopening thing as a young man in the industry that these introspectives, that you're referring to this general, self-awareness this, these conditions of having again, really, really thoughtful conversations where folks spend way more time on problem solving and being collaborative. Versus just thethou shalt mentality. Right. And it was, it's still eye opening to see. And what's interesting is that as an organization, that that shift has even taken the next step. Right? So that culture has been there, but it was massed by that stereotype. It was mass by just the frenetic pace that you don't, you don't get to see all the planning and work that gets done behind the scenes. Now folks are starting to realize, okay, we're consistent in our behaviors about being thoughtful and engaging and collaborative. We actually have better outcomes if we shift away from the vowel shell or do, as I say and more about, Hey, I don't know how to build this. You do, because you've built this for 30 years. Can you tell me what's important to you? What are your values? And we can build a plan around that. Can you tell me what you need to be successful? Then I can clear your obstacles. Like that's a very different dynamic. Go build it. I don't give a fuck how you build it. Just get it done by the 31st versus, Hey, we need to be done by the 31st. What can I do to support you to clear the deck, to make sure that when you show up to work, all you're worried about is building it. That's very a few word difference, but it's a very different approach to building. And I think we're starting to see a success and it's, it's when I say I enjoy most days for what I do is seeing those light bulbs go off on even some of the most grizzled folks in the industry where you, oh, you want my opinion? Like that's, it's, it's it's real. Yeah. Yeah. It really, really is. It

Jesse:

really leaves. So I'm going to say this and Jesse speak. What I just heard you say is that construction isn't just hella sexy. It's also pretty damn sophisticated. Sure. But, and we don't. You know, the, the media, maybe not even media, just the general view or idea that people have about construction is that big, broad shoulder cussing, yelling, dirty construction worker. But again, L and M family, if you can't tell just by his voice, this man is sexy

Kevin:

and sophisticated.

Jesse:

Oh yeah. Stuff, man. And was bringing us. I love man. Kevin, I, you know, the here's the thing is, you know, I'm a plumber. Yeah. I know it was a lot of time. That I spent really living or embodying the stereotype, the cussin shit talk and cat calling all that mess. So I didn't do a good job of representing our industry. And it took, it took a good decade or so for me to take responsibility for that. And, and now you know, having a relationship with you and, and being around you, like, I've never seen you do anything other than represent us well. And so that's a call-out to all of the trade partners out there, like man, pick up the game because we're here to support each other. If you're acting a fool, like you don't have to, like, we know the depth of your intellect and the drive and the passion that you have within yourself, you don't have to be showing out and being a big dummy, like you can be you and we got you now, we've got a long way to go in the industry to get there. But we got to do it, man. To roll with you, man. It's, it's a big deal for me. It means something it's really, really important. So that takes us to our here's the hard question. It's hard. You know, looking at the learnings and missteps, the title of the podcast was a reflection of a reflection I had on really how I got here and where I'm going. And it's through a series of learnings and missteps. Right. I done a lot of done dumb shit. And I learned from it and it's translated into how just you and I being here having this conversation, which is an Americal in itself. And so for you, Kevin, is there a particular learning that you've had that was a result of a very painful misstep?

Kevin:

Yes. So, so I don't, I don't want to sound cocky or arrogant. Okay. So my first so I was an intern with my organization beginning in 2003. Oh, man, just when it was getting good. Yep. It's me again. Here. Pedaling the LNM backstage pass. If you want to get the rest of this juicy goodness. And it's a really damn good lesson. That Mr. Kevin shares with us. Hit us up on Patreon.com/learnings and Missteps appreciate. Y'all putting up with this little irritation. And back to the show. That was like my hallmark moment. through my career, like I said, what I learned in that period has really served me well, whenever I'm struggling, I see myself getting a little bit upset. I know sometimes we talk and I don't think you think that I can get upset. I do. I internalize a lot of my anger. I'm a raging lunatic on the inside. But in those moments where you feel like this person just isn't, isn't getting it. I stopped when I just say, okay, just let's talk. And I listen. When you allow those moments, you get the value that you're looking for.

Jesse:

So surrender to vulnerability and, and first principle lean identified customer value. And I can't identify that if my mouth is moving. There was a couple of things or something I see consistent. You mentioned that you, you were on this pendulum swing, the opposite end. So you came in introverted meek and they helped you see like that that's not going to serve you well in this environment. And you went all the way to the other side, brash and, and proud and loud. I'm sure. And then, you're, you're a big dude. So that just amplifies that and, and you talk about was auntie Kathleen. Yeah. So she came in in a very difficult environment, which there's no excuse for it. We just need to do better for ladies coming into our industry and she has multiple layers of skin cause she is fighting for so many different battles. So she swung to the opposite end of what may be contrary to her nature. What would you recommend to people to get back to center? Like to get away from the extreme?

Kevin:

I think it was just points of reflection, like to you, do you take opportunities to really be critical about your behavior, your speech, how people feel when they talk to you? When people talk to you? Yeah. Do they seem like they're telling you the truth that they're give you what's really bothering them? Or did they give you one or two word responses? Like those, those are points of reflection and say, there's something about the dynamic of this interaction that this person doesn't feel comfortable being comprehensive in what it is that they actually need. So there's gotta be something that I'm doing. That's not creating that actual environment. That's a major, major indicator. If folks are not always happy to see you and if you are emotionally intelligent you can feel when there's tension in any interaction, whether or not you choose to acknowledge so sensing that tension, there's something dynamic that you have built that is Allowing that to manifest itself. So in those moments, you've got to, you got to be your toughest critic and outpouring and say, what is it, what is it that I'm doing that potentially is contributing to this situation? And frankly asking others, like it's a hard thing to do. But sometime for just self auditing maybe somebody that don't have the best relationship with us, I'll walk in and say, Hey, you know, can we go down and go have coffee or have lunch and then say, Hey, is there something that could be doing a bit better? Or like, what is your perception of the work that we're doing fortunately folks have been relatively honest with me throughout my career, which is giving you those, kinda mom markers to, to let you know, okay, there's still more work to be done because. Even though I might have been now working on being more inclusive and being a better listener. I still have this experience with this person's perception of me. Isn't reflective of that. They only know who I am today. They don't know what I've worked on. Right. So there's, there's, there's a point. There's a point where you gotta say, I thought I'll becoming a better listener, but this person experienced is it that they don't see me as such. They don't know where I started. They don't know how arrogant I potentially was in my past. So there's more than I, that, that, that needs to be done. But you've gotta be, you've gotta be a self auditor and you've gotta be willing to hear that news. You gotta take your ego out of things. And I think it's really hard for people to do that. Because again, in our industry having that a little bit of bravado is something that we think is necessary and being vulnerable with sometimes put that as a point of weakness. But as we, as I'm, I've, I've learned that vulnerability is actually probably paramount for success.

Jesse:

Absolutely. It's courageous to be vulnerable and, I haven't come across a wall that, that vulnerability doesn't knock down. It's probably out there. I just haven't found it yet dropping Jan's baby. All right. So we're coming up on time and we'll get into the last question and I suspect this is going to be pretty damn enormous, man. So the question is, what fingerprint do you intend to leave on the world going forward?

Kevin:

That I care genuinely about Others' success. I care genuinely about my impact on those that are around me. And I, I want to be able to leave a legacy where it's not about me, but I'm not the center of the story. I don't want to be the protagonist. Like one of the, one of something that you and I talked about, one of the most rewarding experiences that I have to this day, is not being the smartest person in the room. I can be, I can be the smartest person in the room. The most rewarding experiences that I've had is being able to ask, or maybe naive, maybe a curious question, but asking a question to the smartest person in the room that they may, they may be struggling with and watching their mind work and the light bulb lyrical off on top of there. And then finding the answer themselves see you, that person kind of stripped down whatever that, those perceptions that they may have had about the problem that we're trying to solve together. And then thinking outside of the box, just based off of, and seemingly innocuous point that was made and there's watching them kind of elevating use that intelligence that they have that high acumen as a whole performance to really come up with a really sophisticated solution. That that is what I want to be known for. And that's actually the behaviors I would love to see others kind of adopted where it's not about me because in almost every circumstance in our industry specifically, It's team centric. So if you have the ability to make those who are around, you really realize and capitalize on their potential, you're going to have a really high performing team. You may not have the, a plus players on your team, but if each one of those individuals realizes their maximum potential, whatever that potential is, you're going to have an eight plus team. Regardless of that, I want to continue to build behaviors where I can continue to be the catalyst for that kind of thinking that that kind of adoption and that kind of performance. I don't care about accolades. I don't care that that seems off the problem. They say, Kevin is the person that got us there. I care that you all now, your lives are easier, better than you get to go home at five o'clock instead of going home at seven, trying to navigate through the bullshit if your work, your day is easier and I've had a little bit to do with that. Hopefully I get my wings over, down here. That's that's that's, that's where I'm at with it.

Jesse:

Damn it, man. Oh, I love you, Kevin. I mean, real, you are an amazing human being brother. I just, the depth that you bring in and the character, like it's, it's always been evident to me. Think the first time you and I met in person was in Fort worth at the all hands meeting, the very first all hands meeting we had, I think you were like pretty damn fresh to the role. what, the way you carried yourself. I liked this guy. Like, I'm not sure exactly why. I mean, looking back now, if you didn't show up with the expert hat on yeah. You showed up with the learner hat on and you weren't scared to just, I don't know. This is new to me. Like there's a lot of stuff here that I don't know, man. I mean, you may not have said it that way, but I was like, okay, he's got, he's got a different kind of sauce. And I liked that sauce. And you know, over the years we were able to connect. So dude, thank you, man. Thank you for your time and thank you for your wisdom. Cause I know it's going to help some people out there. there's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to get some feedback from somebody that listened to your episode and that it's going to give them permission to be vulnerable. Without a doubt. You, you are going to have that effect. So we'll wrap it up. My man. Did you have fun?

Kevin:

Yeah, it was awesome. I didn't realize an hour had gone by already. So it was, it was, it was tremendous. Tremendous. Thank you for having me. It's been a privilege. So it was, it's always great to talk to you about, but I deeply appreciate the opportunity to get some things out that I didn't realize I needed to get out. So a little bit of therapy session. Hopefully you don't charge me a fee for this, but I appreciate it. I appreciate you for sure. 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.