Modern Day Heroes

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by Coach Rob Balfanz

You do not need superpowers to be a hero

Coaching a team or running a small business is one of the most demanding yet rewarding jobs you will ever encounter. In addition to the highs and lows, moving from project to project, or moving from season to season, you have the opportunity to play an influential role in the development of your team, both mentally, physically and in their “off the field” lives.

As a skilled tradesperson, you can be a hero for a lot of people, no superpowers required.

“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.” – Commissioner James Gordon

Not all superheroes wear a cape

The role of a good coach or leader is far more than a symbol on a cape, a title on a piece of paper, a sign on the door or a signal flown high in the sky.

Coaches and leaders fill a variety of roles in their team’s lives above and beyond the day to day. The role of a coach or a leader comes with a significant amount of responsibility, as your team will look to you for so much more than work-related challenges.

Here are some tips on how to engage with your team, especially during trying times:

  • Build a “want to” versus “have to” company culture.
  • Build a “get to” versus “need to” company attitude.
  • Be empathetic, listen to your team rather than always being the one talking.
  • Provide other reasons to come to work other than money, such as getting involved in the community or volunteering.
  • Know your team, know their partner’s and/or childrens’ names. Know what their hobbies are and what interests them outside of work.
  • Learn why they are doing the work they do, and then act on that by helping them improve for a better tomorrow.

As a contractor, your company logo/brand is your cape, so wear it proudly.

“The strength of this country isn’t in the buildings of brick and steel. It’s in the hearts of those sworn to fight for its freedom.” – Captain America

You are much stronger than you think

No one is asking you to be perfect; they are just asking you to lead them. The key is to train your team, provide them with the tools and resources they require, allow them to be themselves and then move out of the way so they can get the job done.

You are only as strong as your weakest link, and more so what you are willing to tolerate. As a tradesperson or contractor in the skilled trades, your people are your strengths, so prepare them as such.

“I need a day when there aren’t twenty crises to deal with, but I don’t see that day coming anytime soon.” – Iron Man

Trust the Process

The skilled trades were, and still are, “America’s Backbone.” Each one of you reading this blog post is a superhero – or soon will be to someone. Are you prepared to accept that challenge and responsibility? Are you ready for the new “Opening Day?”

If you are ready, willing and able, it starts with being the best modern-day superhero you can be. Remember, the best superheroes:

  • Are the first ones in and the last ones out
  • Are the first ones on the job and the last ones off the job, so plan your jobs successfully, and the team should know your expectations
  • The first ones to team meetings, and the ones asking questions, facilitating the dialogue, challenging the team and igniting the passion
  • The ones sparking fire and confidence inside of each team member
  • Are motivational and inspiring
  • Provide hope and opportunity
  • Are tough yet empathetic, and want to be part of the process, not just the outcome

It all starts and ends with being a good superhero and making a positive impact on your team, both on and off the job.

A good superhero can change a game, but a great superhero can change a life.

So, to all of you modern-day superheroes out there who are ready to take on the new construction and remodeling world, thank you for all you do – our industry appreciates your efforts.

“I wear a mask, and that is not to hide who I am, but to create who I am.” – Batman

To your success,

“Coach” Rob Balfanz