Speaker 1 00:00:11 This is Carolyn ing, Welcome to the Quick Getting Screwed podcast, where we talk about everything related to contractors, the construction and information to help you run better businesses.
Speaker 1 00:00:23 Hey guys, welcome back to the Quickening Screwed Podcast, where we talk about all the ways not to get screwed in the construction industry. Uh, and today I have, um, honest speaker about a very interesting topic of leadership, employees, how to find the right team, how to keep the right team, um, and someone who has lots of experience in the industry. So I have Jordan Smith of Smith Company and Mt. Copeland, which t Copeland, if you don't know, is a great training videos. And I teach classes Ont Copeland as well. So if you haven't checked that out already, please check that out. But welcome to the podcast, Jordan. How are you?
Speaker 2 00:00:59 I'm doing great. Thanks so much for having me on.
Speaker 1 00:01:01 No, thank you so much for being here. So tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got, um, started in the construction industry and you know, you, I know you've owned several businesses, how that got started, how that's going and your current project. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:01:14 <laugh>. Yeah. So my background's in engineering. Uh, went to a, a small engineering school up in East Texas called Lano and got a materials joining engineering degree, which is a very niche, um, degree, and ended up working in oil and gas, um, as started as a welding engineer and then moved my way up through different companies to where I was finally managing a, about a 40 million a year, uh, manufacturing plant in Houston, building offshore oil rigs. And that was fun. That was great. But I've always been entrepreneurial and wanted to start my own thing. But as you know, being out there in Houston, um, the, the barriers to entry on large manufacturing are big. I mean, you need, you need a million dollars just to, just to get started and that can go in a few months. And I didn't have a million dollars to start with and, uh, nor nor a few months to lose it in.
Speaker 2 00:02:12 So we were looking at, my wife and I were looking at different things and we had built our own home, our last home, and we had remodeled three or four before then completely gutted. And we were like, you know, this is what we like doing. This is what we're spending our nights and weekends on anyway. Like, why don't we just do this? And, uh, so we did, we, I worked with a big home builder here, well big, um, big on YouTube, Matt Risinger and builds really high end homes here in Austin, Texas. Worked with him for a couple years running the steel crew, the steel and carpentry crew with my welding background. That was a good fit and something that they needed at the time. And so I ran his subs or his, his employees, but the, the doing the, the trades of carpentry in architectural steel. And then, then a couple years of that. And then I broke off and started my own home building business, uh, Smith House Co. And now we are doing design builds for, you know, just really cool people with really cool projects. Um, that's our, that's, that's, that's what we look for. And then I'm also the head of education, as you alluded to for Mt. Copeland. We're a training for the trades, um, website to where we have video training specifically for trades, PMs, painters, carpenters, The list goes on.
Speaker 1 00:03:30 That's awesome. So, um, how's, how is the design build in Austin, Texas? I hear that's a very hot market as of late
Speaker 2 00:03:38 <laugh>. It, it is a very hot market. Um, you right now, as we're recording this podcast, it's gonna be interesting to see how the market shifts. We've sort of gone, we've sort of gone plateau and you know, honestly, in my humble opinion, it was too hot. It was just, you just couldn't get into a house. You couldn't get a lot, you couldn't, I mean, just everything was just moving at break neck pay. So I'm sort of happy that it's, it's slowing down. I'm a small enough builder that we really choose our clients and our projects selectively. Um, so volume doesn't really affect us. When people talk about, man, it must be really busy out there, it's like, yeah, but we're not scaling up to chase it cuz we don't want to scale down afterwards. We're, we're sort of carving out our niche and, and keeping steady.
Speaker 1 00:04:24 So tell me about your favorite project that you've built so far. I'm just curious.
Speaker 2 00:04:30 Favorite project that we've built so far. Well, there's two of 'em. Um, the one that we're doing right now is probably my favorite just because it's a complete design build from the ground up. And even before that to the, they had 40 acres completely raw in and they're like, Here's what we want to do. We wanna put a pond on and we want this house. And, but they're, they had, they knew sort of what they wanted, but they didn't have like a clear vision. So clients like that are great, where they have the money, they have the desire to do something really special and they let you play. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we've spent two years designing this and doing, um, doing land development. Now there's an eight acre pond on it and it's fantastic. We're using, uh, glue lamb beams. So these big, it's like mass timber lights I guess. Wow. Or, or timber frame with, with, uh, engineered wood. And it's, it's just beautiful 20 foot tall windows that are 60 foot or 30 foot long and an l and another 30 foot. So yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty nice.
Speaker 1 00:05:30 <laugh>. That's amazing, man. Ah, I'm, I wanna reach that point in my life where I said, here, here's, I have the, you know what I'm saying, <laugh>,
Speaker 2 00:05:37 I know. Seriously. That's what they, they don't have, they don't have any kids. And I was like, you know,
Speaker 1 00:05:42 <laugh>, maybe
Speaker 2 00:05:43 We might, we might, we might be out here after the project's complete just to check on things, you know, every, every other weekend or so, make sure everything's working right in the house. Me and my, me and my whole gaggle of four kids,
Speaker 1 00:05:57 You know, the four kids that I had instead of having a place like this, you know, I know
Speaker 2 00:06:01 <laugh>. Exactly. Exactly.
Speaker 1 00:06:03 Priorities. Priorities. I gotcha. I know I have, I have three, so <laugh>. Yeah. Um, so what do you wish you knew about organization and team management before you started your entrepreneurial journey and all
Speaker 2 00:06:16 Of this? Oh, I think, I mean the list, the list, the list is ongoing <laugh>. Um, but I think that my biggest, my biggest thing that I learned, and it was actually before I started my own business, is when I was acting as a plant manager. Cuz I had a lot more employees at that time. You know, I was running, we were running seven days a week, um, two, two shifts, sometimes three shifts when it got really busy. So, you know, we had, I had a lot of employees. My boss was up in, uh, Wisconsin, so it, you know, I was running the ship as a early 30 year old kid, <laugh>. And I didn't know, I didn't know what, I didn't know, um, about anything. I mean, it was just the, what I didn't know was, was massive. But what I didn't know about management was how to be, how to be a firm, fair, steady leader that doesn't over articulate the, the why.
Speaker 2 00:07:16 And I think being a parent has helped me with this. And this is not to belittle employees and call them children because everybody's the same way, but having a leader who knows where they're going is able to express it succinctly and then the conversation is over and everybody has the same direction. And if they don't like that direction, they're welcome to find other employment or, or, or, or whatever. Um, instead of just sort of this open door policy of, well what do you think and what do you, you know, you just sort of, people actually, even though it sound sounded like at the time, the more empathetic way of leading it gave people the feeling that, man, this guy doesn't really know what he's doing. Like if he's, if he's that open to input, like there's a difference between somebody saying, Hey, have you thought about this? That's a great idea. Versus them coming in just sort of whining about things and you listening to him and just, it just, it, it's, uh, it's a tricky one to articulate, but just the, the, the succinct leadership is what I'm gonna, is what I'm gonna call it.
Speaker 1 00:08:18 Yeah. Cuz I know like the why personalities that people with the very big picture, like I am, have a really hard time with the details or even articulating the details that's required. So do, do you stay a lot up here and then let, and then give them and then give your team a lot of leeway? Or do you like lay down a little bit of the rules or tell me kind of what your style is? I'm curious.
Speaker 2 00:08:42 Yeah, so I'm, I'm definitely, I'm definitely big picture, um, in my business right now, Veronica, my wife, um, keeps me out of jail, right? <laugh>, she, she makes sure, she makes sure that our, our taxes are paid, our insurance is up, that all of our subs insurance is filed. And, you know, she takes care of all of, she's very, very detail oriented. And I, I struggle with that. It's not that I think it's beneath me. It's just like, I really can't do that type of work. Um, conversely she has a hard time just pulling up and looking at the bigger picture. You know, she's very concentrating on the next or the current step and maybe one step ahead. But if that's all we looked at, we would get that step done and then look up and be like, Okay, well what's, what's next? So it really, it really takes a team to be able to look at both that big picture, Here's where we want to go and have people who are able to do the details to get you where you want to be. I don't think that either, either strategy on its own is gonna be successful in the long run.
Speaker 1 00:09:40 A absolutely. Cuz I, you know, I, I can look back at my earlier years and trying to manage and if I was not very good at telling the why, I knew, I knew I wanna go help people, I want to do this. But telling what my vision was and how to get there and with people who are very, how oriented this is what it, it was not, it was not a good fit, but we're, we're definitely working on it. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:10:02 Yeah. And working with your spouse is a terrible idea. No, we, it was, it was, it was our goal. It was our goal. We said, Wouldn't it be great to work together? And it has been, I anybody who wants to and can, that's a lot should. But if you, if you can't, I mean, it is constant because you already have, you already have this difference of worldview, of, you know, the, the immediate detail. How are we doing this? And then you've got the big picture dreamer that really doesn't know how we're going to get there,
Speaker 1 00:10:30 But like, that's where we're headed. We
Speaker 2 00:10:31 Gotta figure it out. You couple that with kids being together all the time and just the drop, just the dropping of that pretense with like, if you and I were working together and we had a disagreement, there's gonna be a very cordial way of working through it that we
Speaker 1 00:10:47 Can leave at the office. It takes
Speaker 2 00:10:48 A lot of work to keep that. Yeah. It takes a lot of work to keep that professionalism up with your spouse because, you know, it's so, so easy just to, you know, get right to the point, like you would your spouse instead of like, Wait, we're, Yeah, we're working together for the long term. Let's,
Speaker 1 00:11:05 Do you guys ever talk about anything else? So like, I know our, my husband and I work on projects together and it's like, do we, like, when you're together, all you're talking about is the business, Right? Maybe kids too, but a lot of it is
Speaker 2 00:11:18 <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of it, a lot of it is business and trying, So I'm out here, I'm out here in my studio right now, and this is where we work. So she'll work here, she'll work here as well. And that gives us a, that gives a separation between, you know, we have the, the, the ritual of going to work in the morning. I take the kids to work and she starts early and then she goes, picks the kids up. And, but we've got this ritual of like, now we're at work. And when we're in the house now we're, we're not talking about work. Well,
Speaker 1 00:11:47 We're trying That's
Speaker 2 00:11:48 The general one.
Speaker 1 00:11:49 Exactly.
Speaker 2 00:11:50 It'll bleed over.
Speaker 1 00:11:51 But when we're excited about projects or whatever, you know, it's, you know, I get, Yeah. All right. So tell me about the Sharp framework. What this idea is just generally the big overview of it.
Speaker 2 00:12:03 Yeah, so we came up with this acronym, Sharp, s h a r p, Self starting, honest, adaptable, results driven and positive. And we actually, I came up with this when I was the plant manager in Houston and we were trying to hire, and we had a very bad strategy of hire and fire. Right? We'll hire 'em and if they work, then we'll keep 'em on. And if not, they're out the door and we'll just churn 'em through until we get this great team built. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it didn't, it didn't work. It didn't work. Morale was, uh, it just, it two things. One, morale wasn't great, and then two, like you sort of had this sink or swim as a new employee. I look back and sort of cringe about the experience for a new employee coming in because they, everybody has the attitude like it's sink or swim.
Speaker 2 00:12:56 And if they screw something up on day two, it's like, I don't think he's gonna work. And it would just be, you know, So he might have been, uh, he might have been a great employee. We, but we never knew because, you know, the culture was just this, we're going, we're gonna churn him out. Um, and it didn't work. And, and so we, we stopped about two years in and we're like, Look, this, this isn't working. We're growing so fast, we're hiring so many people. We've got to figure out some way of, of identifying people who we want to work with. And so what we just made a list of employees that we had and peers that we had that we really like to work with. And we just listed 'em on a whiteboard and we said, Okay, Cynthia, she's really cool. Like, she's great. We love working with her. Why? Yeah. Right. What does she have that makes her fun to work with? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and then we just went through and, and as we were, as we were dissecting it all, we came up with, with a few attributes. Um, we, I tweaked, I tweaked some, some of the, what we called them so we could have a cool acronym. I used to call it HARs. I say, Cuz if we all do this, we'll be in heaven, like angels, you know, you
Speaker 1 00:14:06 Took it the wrong way, like harping on them. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:14:08 Yeah. Yeah. It, it was, it, everybody rolled their eyes. So I just moved the ass. I was like, Oh, sharp sharp's, way better. Um, so yeah, so, so sharp. So it's not in order of like importance. I'm not that clever <laugh>, but it is, it, it is the top five attributes that we came up with. And you notice things like, um, punctuality aren't on there. Yeah. Right. Things like, like being really smart isn't on there. Because to be honest, if, if it was just being really smart, I probably wouldn't get very many jobs. Right. I, I work really hard and, and I, and I see things through to the end and that's my sort of my superpower. But if it's just like I'm the smartest guy in the room. Well, you don't always want the smartest guy in the room. No. Cuz they could be jerks. Right? Absolutely. So, so it's, it's very much framed around who we want to work with. That that old a that old saying of hire for attitude and train for skill, I learned it's like maybe, but maybe can we train for attitude too? Can we just hire somebody who's willing to learn? Yeah. And then train for attitude. And so that's where this acronym sharp came from.
Speaker 1 00:15:18 Okay. So tell me what self starting looks like to you? What is someone who is truly a self starter?
Speaker 2 00:15:24 Yeah. So to put it in construction terms, it's somebody who, when they don't know what to do next, either A goes and finds out from somebody, Hey, I'm, I'm clear. What, what should I do next? Or B, that person's not around to tell me what to do. I'm gonna pick up the broom and sweep cuz I at least know that I can do that. Or I know that we're gonna be putting these doors in tomorrow. What can I prep? Can I prep packaging? Can I pull 'em out? Can I stage 'em next to the opening? What can I be doing to help the process along? Even if I don't know exactly what we're doing next or what I should be doing now, There's always something that I can be doing that will help the team move the, move the ball down the field. Um, so it's just taking the initiative.
Speaker 1 00:16:12 Yeah. Unlike my middle daughter who hides every time we have to do chores, <laugh>. Yeah. You know, the whole
Speaker 2 00:16:19 Restroom. Exactly. The post, the post dinner dishes, restroom break. That's,
Speaker 1 00:16:25 That's my favorite. We call that the Uncle Ben. We have an uncle that does that. Anyways, <laugh>, everybody's got somebody do that. I, I think the next one, honesty is kind of, is kind of, um, you know, self, self explanatory. But, um, tell me me it
Speaker 2 00:16:40 Is, and it, and it isn't, um, because honest, like, don't lie, that's pretty straightforward. If you're just like, you know the truth mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you're not telling the truth, that's lying. And it's not, don't lie. It's be honest, which is the same, but it's so much deeper. Like, I tell my kids a story all the time. When I was a kid, um, I was at a basketball gymnasium, the girls were playing and we were coming up next. And so I'm in my little basketball uniform and we're sitting there at the edge of the gym just wasting time. And there was a Allen key on top of the light switches for the gym. And I intentionally grabbed that Allen key and dropped it in the top of the, uh, of the electrical box and it shorted the whole thing out. And like, all the lights in the gym just goes down <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:17:32 And I was like, Oh no. And of course I'm the only one, I'm the only more on next to the light switch. So it's like, not like I could say it wasn't me. But then when I was retelling the story the next day in the principal's office and like how it happened, I was like, Well, you know, I saw and I was just like rubbing it up and down that the top of that, that uh, light switch box, and then it like got caught in the hole and it fell. And it, and it, and they're like, Oh, well that's stupid. Don't be it moron. Um, but I had a track record, so they believed me. Right. <laugh>, they like, but I did, I didn't get in trouble because it was like, oh, it was an accident, you know? But here's the thing, that was a lie.
Speaker 2 00:18:06 So that wasn't honest. But as I told that story over and over and over again in that way, the same way that I told the principal, the memory changed in my mind. Like, I have to actively remember what I really did versus what I think I did because my mind will just rewrite it's memories based off of what I'm saying. So this be honest is a very reflective, like, okay, something went wrong. First of all, admitting that something went wrong, if that's what you're being honest about. And then why without this, without this posturing and without this blame game, like just yes, a really contemplate of like, what part did I have to play in it? How can we do this better next time? How can we avoid this? How can we fix this? You know, it just getting to the, getting to the, the details of personal accountability helps, helps everybody move so much quicker away from whatever went wrong and a way to fix it rather than all of this, you know, don't, don't put the blame on me. It was really somebody else.
Speaker 1 00:19:14 Yeah. And it's like, how do you deal with defensiveness? Like, like people that won't admit that they, that did anything wrong. And I'm like, I'm not trying to write you up. I'm not, I'm just, this is wrong. Can we just agree that this is wrong? It's not a personal thing. You have any keys or ideas on how to work with that? <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:19:31 U usually, usually my go to is just a humble, a humble slash firm. So, so a humble admittance of like, where I messed up as a leader, like to allow whatever, whatever's happening, say in this situation, it's an employee. Something didn't go right. Like owning my part of it too. Like, man, I, we didn't train, I didn't train you the way that, that you should have done. You didn't really know how to use that piece of equipment. You've, you've done that the doors a few times, but like, we just threw you in too deep. Like that was, that was the wrong, that was the wrong move. Starting with my own failures in the situation opens it up to be a safe place where hopefully, and, and it's not everybody, again, this is why we're looking for people with these qualities mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but hopefully that sets the table for other involved parties to be like, Yeah, you know what, and I could have done this, or I should have done this, or after it happened, I should have done this. You're right. Just, it's just, it's just more of everybody's on the same ti side of the table looking for a solution to either move on from the mistake or make sure that mistake doesn't happen in the future. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but owning your part of it is, is a really big, is a really big part of, of getting them to feel comfortable owning up to their part.
Speaker 1 00:20:49 Gotcha. I understand. That makes sense. All right. Adaptability, What does that look like to you?
Speaker 2 00:20:56 Uh, the opposite of that's not my job. Gotcha. Right. <laugh> there, it's just, it's just so frustrating, especially in building uhhuh remodelers especially, you're running such a small team that everybody's got to do everything. I mean, that's the only way, that's the only way for it to work. And even running, you know, running a business with 50 to 75 employees, there's going to be times now a well run business should have clearly defined roles. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I'm not saying it shouldn't, I'm not saying that every day you show up to work, you gotta figure out what am I doing today? And I've gotta be adaptable. But at the same time, there's going to be times, a lot of times where something doesn't fall neatly within your job description and it just has to be done. So being adaptable to be like, Hey, I can do that.
Speaker 2 00:21:48 I mean, I'll give you an example from the, the Mc Copeland world. Um, we're on a sales pitch or sales, um, sales campaign. That's why you call it, I'm not a salesperson <laugh>, um, sales campaign right now. Right. So we're just, we're just calling people and spreading the, spreading the word about what we do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we're not shooting video right now because we're, we're selling and we're a small team. And if everybody just sat back and said, Well, that's not my job, then none of us would have jobs. It's like, we, we, you know, I mean, it's like, that's true. That may not be your job, but if that's not your job, and that's what we're doing right now, to have a job, like that's everybody's gotta be on the same, on the same side, pulling in the same way. So being adaptable is, is definitely a key.
Speaker 1 00:22:30 I, I think so too. And in, and in any place, Right? Cause like here I deal with that, the title issue, right? Like, I'm an attorney, I shouldn't have to do that. And I'm like, No, no, no. If I'm willing to do it, whatever it takes to get the job done, I, if you're sending out certified letters, if that's what's gotta be done, that's what you gotta do. You know, it's just like, Yeah. And do you, like, do you see that if you name somebody's supervisor, have you, you know, do they have that same attitude? Like, that's no longer my job or I'm just curious?
Speaker 2 00:22:55 Usually, usually that's not where I see it. Usually if you've been, if you move up the ladder to a supervisor, you sort of get that you like, you understand that it takes the, the adaptable where I mostly see it as like highly specialized skill workers, so, Gotcha. Uh, man, carpenters, <laugh>, I'm not, I'm not ragging on anybody here, <laugh>, but, but like finished carpenters, you know, cabinetry guys, um, uh, welders mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the, in the manufacturing side, the welders, machinists, you know, people who have a skill that not anybody, they're not easily replaceable. Yeah. Yeah. And they know it. The the ones that I hate working with are the ones who sort of double down on that and just like, well, I'm not, I'm not pushing a broom. Like, that's not, that's not my job. Like I do, I do this thing so well, don't, can't live without me.
Speaker 1 00:23:45 Exactly. That's just a bad attitude in general. <laugh>. Oh, yeah. Yeah. <laugh>. All right. So results driven. What does that look like? And how do you measure that?
Speaker 2 00:23:56 Yeah. So results driven means you're not just doing work to do work, right? I mean, it's, it's, it's so easy to be busy, especially in today's world where you can send an email every minute, <laugh>. I mean, you can just, you can just be doing stuff. There will never be an end to the stuff that you can be doing. And obviously at the top of any, any company or any organization, you've got to be able to clear, um, you've gotta be able to make the distinction between urgent and important, right? That grid of, in the, in the top left corner, there's not urgent, not important. And then there's urgent, not important. There's an urgent important and, uh, not urgent and important. And you want to be moving towards that not urgent important. That's, as a leader, that's where you want to try to spend your time.
Speaker 2 00:24:49 But it's so hard to stay there because the urgent stuff always keeps hold you pulling us back. And it takes, it takes a mentality of, is this the most important thing that I can be doing with my time at this moment? And from the top, that's a great, that all business leaders are taught that as they're doing their, as they're learning, learning the ropes. But I find it important to tell people all throughout the organization, be working on what really matters. Maybe it's an easy thing for whatever role you're in. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you're a trim carpenter, you know that it's more important to be installing trim than it is to be, you know, I don't organizing your toolbox, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But on the flip side, maybe on Friday afternoons you organize your toolbox because that makes Monday through Friday morning so much more efficient. Right? So it's just being able to take your stuff out of just like, man, I'm just always busy. I'm always busy to thinking I, I do need to be working diligently, but am I working on the things that are going to make the most difference tomorrow, a week from now, six months from now, or a year from now? Gotcha.
Speaker 1 00:26:00 Absolutely. And positivity. I love this one. I love that this one is on the list. So what does that look like? Yeah. And have you seen the opposite? I'm curious, what does the opposite look like too? <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:26:10 Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely see the opposite. Um, that's why, that's why it's on the list, <laugh>. Um, so positive people are just more fun to work with. Um, there's a, it's a harder one to measure to your point. Like, there's not a positivity. Well, there probably is. I, I haven't, I haven't identified or given anybody any kind of
Speaker 1 00:26:32 Positivity test <laugh> or
Speaker 2 00:26:35 Something. But just a, just a sense of a sense of like, we are going to figure this out. We are going to, we are going to succeed. Right. An an optimistic outlook. Um, another thing, and I, I wish Veronica was here so she could defend herself, but that's one of the things that Veronica and I, we, we, she's a very, she keeps me out of jail. So like, when I'm saying like, This is going to be awesome, she's like, Yeah, but what if about this, what about this? What about this? So there's an opposite of positivity and just like blind optimism. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and, and, you know, make believe world hopium, you know, we're gonna make a million dollars next year. Well, how <laugh>, Cause we want it. It's like that's not a, that's not a plan, right? So I'm not talking about blind optimism, but I am talking about even when saying, you know, this could go wrong. This could go wrong, this could go wrong. She's not saying it from a, this probably will go wrong and this probably will go wrong. Right. She's identifying risks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But she's not doing it in a way of that says like, now let's not do anything. It's like, here's the risk we need to identify and keep away from, but let's get it done. Let's move forward. Let's, let's make a difference. Right. So this this positive attitude about like, we, there's challenges, but we can overcome
Speaker 1 00:27:52 'em. Yeah. And so, like personally, I've had the situation where the negativity, the, the problem comes from the negativity. Like just being amongst the employees and nobody ever coming to management being like, Hey, here's an issue. They would rather stir the pot and get everybody. And have you successfully dealt with that? Cause I have not <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:28:14 <laugh>. It's, it's, it's so hard. The bigger the organization gets, the harder it gets to. And, and the more layers of manage or Yeah, I guess management. Um, so in my, in my small home building company, it's usually pretty easy to identify like, something's not going right. Like, what's going on? What's the, what's the scuttle, but what's the, you know, and it's a small enough team that we can nip it in the bud. Gotcha. Um, pretty early. But man, when the teams get, when the teams get bigger mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, we have a saying, uh, when I was working in manufacturing, if it's good, you can tell anybody you want. You can tell your coworker, you can tell people under you. You can tell your boss doesn't ma if it's good, you talk about it to whoever you want. If it's, Yeah. Yeah, exactly. If it's bad, it goes up.
Speaker 2 00:29:03 Yeah. Like if it's bad bitch about it, Sure. But do it to your, do it to your boss. Let your boss know, Hey, here's what I'm seeing, and here's, and then if he can solve it, he's gonna solve it. If he can't, he'll take it to his boss. And if she can solve it, great. And if not, she'll take it on a and and by, you know, that's what I would always joke. I was like, but time it gets to me. Like everybody in the plant should have thought about it as hard as they can and haven't came up with a solution. And now that's why I'm involved and I'm happy to be involved. Yes. But it's bubbled up the, the food chain instead of just this, this bitching and moaning out on the shop floor about, you know, just intangibles. Right. And that's, and that's part of the reason that this positive is on there is because a bad apple can spoil the whole lot. I mean, you just have fast, you have one person that's just stirring that pot and then it's contagious. Oh
Speaker 1 00:29:57 Yeah. Absolutely. Everybody's like, Oh, this is such a shitty place to work. I don't get by an office. What are you talking about <laugh>? Like, dude, really? Where is that in the rule? Yeah, I know. And did you not never told me that was did
Speaker 2 00:30:08 You, did you just show up to this place before? Like you didn't interview here, You didn't see what the, like,
Speaker 1 00:30:15 And that's another thing, how big in just general is how big is having clear expectations or how and how do you do that?
Speaker 2 00:30:24 So I'll say that clear expectations are huge and they're difficult. Um, especially with an entrepreneurial team. Um, something small and you're growing, that's why that adaptable is on there is because, you know, today we're design builders. Last year or several years ago, we were builders, right. And we've added the design element and we're wanting to move towards, um, development. And so things, things are changing and roles are changing. What we try to do is have clear, not only one year, one of year reviews, but clear check-ins on a quarterly basis. Yeah. With our employees of just like, Hey, here's what, here's what we're doing. How's things going? And, and you're making that, you're making that connection. And then yearly we like to look at job descriptions just to make sure that like, Hey, here's something that's taken up a lot of my time. And it's not on the job description.
Speaker 2 00:31:24 Not from a whining about it standpoint, but from a, like, you hired me to do X. Yeah. I'm spending a lot of my time doing y we either need to find somebody who can do X while I do Y or we need to find somebody who can do Y while I do X because I can't do, I'm not, I'm not being able to do my job well when I'm split across. And a lot of times as management, you're just sort of, you know, nobody thinks about themselves more than I think about myself. Or you think about yourself. Like there's nobody who, who's assessing the current situation more than the employee. Like he or she knows exactly what they're struggling with. So checking in with them, they're gonna be able to tell you so much easier. Like, I'm not, I don't feel like I'm doing a good job here because I'm doing that.
Speaker 2 00:32:08 And it may not have ever occurred to you cuz maybe they're doing such a good job that you didn't even realize, they didn't feel like they weren't doing a good job. And then two, there might be something that's slipping through the cracks that is, you know, the, the consequences are coming. You, you're just not aware of it yet. You haven't seen the, the big crash. But checking with the person whose responsibility that is, they can help guide that, that roles and responsibilities and expectations a lot of times better than, better than you can on a micro scale. Obviously you're setting as the business owner, you're setting the, here's where we're going. But like you said, the how we're getting there, two brains are better than one. And Exactly. The whole team of 'em is better than, than one for sure.
Speaker 1 00:32:48 Absolutely. So, um, can you tell me how you've used one of these ways and how you addressed it? Like with an issue with a team member? Um, how you pointed it out, like a specific example.
Speaker 2 00:33:00 Yeah. So my favorite way of using Sharp is to do it on the interview process. And it's, you know, I'm not, I'm not very good at I, cuz you can only, well, we'll get to the interviews maybe here in a second, but it's, it's, it's, it's hard to interview. It's just hard to interview. Like if you asked pointed direction, like, are you positive? They're like, Yeah, I'm positive, I'm positive. You know. Exactly. Um, but, but at least going through, it's like, here's how we hire, we're looking for sharp people, self starting, honest, adaptable, results driven and positive. Right? That's what we're looking for. And then you hire them and if, you know, the bad attitude crops up or they're defensive after something goes wrong or maybe, maybe they said that they were really more competent in something that turns out that they're not so much mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 00:33:54 <affirmative> and they're, and they're defensive about it, you've already set that groundwork like, Hey, remember sharp, that's what, that's what we're all striving for. None of us are perfect at this. Right. Everybody's got areas of weakness. But if we're all striving for it right now, I don't think that you're being honest. I don't, I don't feel like you're, I don't feel like you're owning up to your, you're part of it and it just, it, it sort of reiterates or it brings back to a common belief system of common core of, you know, they told me when I was hired on that this is what they were looking for. And usually in those conversations it will usually in those conversations, it, it, the, the attitude is, is resolved in that I've only had, I've only had maybe one case that I can think of offhand where like his attitude was so bad that even as I'm going through this and trying to coach, you know, it was just, it was, it ended with him saying, you either gotta fire my boss or fire me, and so he got fired <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:34:59 But, but you know, at some point, at some point some people aren't or don't want to be sharp and, you know, it's not my job to force them to be okay, but it is my job to make sure that everybody on the team is sharp. So we can either do that through coaching and identifying when, when anybody, myself included, aren't being sharp. Um, and if somebody just doesn't wanna be sharp, it's also my responsibility to make sure that they find something that they can be sharp at and it's just not going to be with our team.
Speaker 1 00:35:29 Yeah, absolutely. And that's the hard thing about being a boss. And like, you would hope that they take you at your word in the interview if that's not them, that's, even if I make you an offer, you don't have to accept. Right. Why I put out, it's painful for both sides going through something like that. I don't want to have to keep having these conversations and you don't wanna have to keep con having these conversations, you know, if you're really here to grow and learn, I think that's a great place to do that. If you wanna get better at these things, I'm all about it. But if you're just be like, there's nothing wrong with me, it's all you, then I'm not interested. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:35:56 Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
Speaker 1 00:35:58 So what would you give, what advice would you give to a new business owner and leaders and about their teams in the construction industry just generally and, you know, somebody's starting. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:36:08 I think,
Speaker 2 00:36:09 Yeah, so as a, as somebody's trying to grow a team, people, people leave when they don't feel like they are being valued and invested in. Right. And that can look a lot of different ways. Um, the easy thing that we think about is always money. It's like, ah, you know, if we give them more money, they'd be happier. Or usually it's from the employee stance point, it's like, man, if I only made a dollar 25 more an hour, this would be, I it'd be so, so perfect. It's not, it's not why people leave and it's not what makes people feel satisfied. Obviously you need to be paying a fair market, you know, fair pay for fair work, right? Both sides of that equation need to be in balance. But the reason people leave isn't because they're not getting paid enough. It's because they're not being invested in, There's a lot of different ways that that can, can look.
Speaker 2 00:37:04 I know for when I was running the bigger, the bigger crews, um, we would have monthly, we'd have monthly barbecues, right? Just we'd, we'd, I'd supply the food and I'd give, um, his name was, uh, his name was, uh, Huo and he was the, the Grill Master. So I'd give him that morning off, not off. I mean, he was on the clock, but he was on the clock grilling for it. It was like fajitas, man. It's, it is fantastic. Um, and like that, that just gave everybody the chance to catch up with, you know, as you're dispersed across several build sites, it just gets, gives everybody the ability to come together and it's a team building exercise to where they really feel like they're part of the team. It's also a great time to talk about Sharp or to talk about whatever corporate thing that us as a group of people are wanting to accomplish. Here's where we're at, here's where we're going. And it just gives everybody that, that check in, that check in point. Um, and then I, I had a second one, but I can't, I can't think of it right now.
Speaker 1 00:38:04 No worries. You wanna take a second and tell us a little bit more Aboutt Copeland and, and really kind the kind of classes they offer. That's
Speaker 2 00:38:11 Where I was going. I was is it gonna be a beautiful, is gonna be a beautiful segue into
Speaker 1 00:38:15 Yeah, we're on the same, we're on the same five here. I got you.
Speaker 2 00:38:18 Yeah, Thank you. The, uh, the second, the second important thing of filling valued is, is being that feeling like you are growing in your, in your craft. You're, you're growing, um, your skill set, right? Um, and so training is a huge part of not only doing better as a company, right? The better trained your team is, the better work that they'll do. It also is a great way of making an employee feel valued, feel like, man, they trust me enough that they're willing to spend this much money on training and give me this much time to get this training that they know that I can handle the extra responsibilities or the extra workload or whatever will come with this. And eventually, as everybody gets better and the company becomes more profitable, you know, a rising tide, uh, a a rising tide floats all boats.
Speaker 1 00:39:11 I
Speaker 2 00:39:11 Grew up in the panhandle of Texas. We didn't have tides, we didn't have sea, we didn't have water. So, you know, I hear, I've heard about this Tide thing, I've never actually seen it. Um, but yeah, as, as, as everybody gets better through training or through an investment in their skills, um, the company does better and the employees feel more valued as well. And that's what Mt. Copeland does. We are a video training platform for builders.
Speaker 1 00:39:37 And I can tell you the new generation is less interested in pay, more interested in PTO and adding value in training and getting better at their scale. It's not, it's, you know, I think my generation's, the ones before me was all about money, right? It's not that way anymore. It's, you know, you have to be more flexible then I've been, as a boss, I mean, especially if you wanna keep good people, it's, it's, it's always a learning experience even as a leader. And so, you know, I'm trying to always lead and learn, learn new things. And like I'm reading John Maxwell's book, The 12 Laws of Leadership, <laugh> the 20, Right? This 21, I forgot. Cause the
Speaker 2 00:40:10 21, I'm
Speaker 1 00:40:12 Like, I'm not good at half of them. So, you know, I was trying to improve <laugh>. All right. So where could people find you if they wanna learn more about the Sharp Method and more about you?
Speaker 2 00:40:24 Yeah, so, uh, we actually have a course on Sharp and it's geared towards it. It it's the, the course is just like I would walk a new employee through Sharp. So I go through all of the attributes, what I'm looking for and what it means to have those. So it's a great, it's a great course to give new hires, new employees, um, especially in the younger generations. Um, just to, just to sort of set expectations and you can do it in a way that doesn't take up all of your time to, to do that. You can talk about it broadly, but then you have the video work, um, and then the, the, the list goes on of all the different courses that we offer. But that's at t copeland.com. Um, you can reach me at [email protected]
Um, and then we've got an Instagram and social media stuff as well as mt dot Copeland at wherever you're looking at. Gotcha.
Speaker 1 00:41:21 Yeah, when I checked out, you had some really nice work out there. Great job. Yeah, Great job. Thanks. All right. Well thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it.
Speaker 2 00:41:30 Yeah, thanks for having me. Awesome.
Speaker 1 00:41:32 Thank you for listening to this episode of Quit Getting Screwed. I hope you found it helpful. If you like what you hear, please like us and follow our podcast. If you want further information, so you can find [email protected]
We're also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon. Thank you.