The Happy Empty Nesters – 2005
Welcome back for another post of moodyspeaks. We have 8 more post until the 25th anniversary of C D Moody Construction Company. Wow, I can’t believe we will have made 25 years in business and we still love being in business. I must admit in 25 years of owning a business, I have wanted to throw the towel in more than a few times.
Before I start talking about the other key people on the project team, I want to talk about a major change that took place in 2005. In 2005 our daughter graduated from high school and the house was now empty. It was very strange for Karla and I to now have an empty house. Our son was going into his junior year at Morehouse College and our daughter was starting her freshman year at Spelman College. Karla at first had a hard time adjusting. She now wondered what would she do now and what was her worth now that the kids have now gone to college. I looked at her and said what about me, am I chopped liver, you can take care of me now. That didn’t go over to well. I realized for a mother, this is an emotional time when all the kids are gone. I felt a little strange for about 6 weeks. I realized this was a new phase of life. Our kids were now gone and if everything goes right, they would never live at home again. Karla and I were turning 50 the next year in 2006. I guess I realized I was half way home on this journey of life. Once Karla and I got adjusted to this new phase of life, we became the happy empty nesters. Some advice I give young couples with kids: make sure the spouses stay close, keep doing things together, and work to keep your relationship strong. This is what Karla and I had done during the more than 20 years of being involved in the kids lives with school, sports and other extra curriculum activities for the kids. Plus trying to build a business and building Karla’s nursing career, which kept us all very busy. Once the kids leave the house, if the couple is not careful, they can become ships passing in the night. Fortunately Karla and I stayed close and worked to keep our relationship growing during those years and we were prepared for the next phase of life, happy empty nesters.
In 2005, all departments were working well performing their duties, but we still had work to do to get all departments working smoothly together. Everyone got along well, but departments still needed to learn to be as one as a company. Construction is one of those industries that has a lot of distrust but I have seen it improve over the years. Often architects don’t trust contractors, contractors don’t trust architects, sub contractors don’t trust the general contractor and general contractors distrust subcontractors. Then if you have a project with a program manager that is the owner’s representative, nobody on the team trust them because we often feel they have no risk in the project and often can slow the job down. A good program manager however, can help keep a project moving and keep information flowing between all team members.
This is why the general contractors project manager is a key team member to a project’s success. The project manager is the glue that holds everything together on a construction project. The project manager is like a great utility ball player on a baseball team. They can play many positions and play them well. An excellent project manager, has to understand contracts, scheduling, accounting, construction, architecture, estimating and engineering. A top-notch project manager has to be able to keep information moving between all parties and see the future. They must be able to anticipate problems and gather the information to solve the problem before it impacts the project. One of the key abilities I feel a project manager must have, is the ability to fill in temporarily as a superintendent when the superintendent is out of work for vacation, illness or some other personal reason. I feel any person that wants to be a project manager but only wants to work in the office will not make it as a project manager in construction. My feelings are, the project manager must love the field and the action. Another important person is the project engineer. This person is in training to be a project manager. I call this person the grunt of the project management team. They keep the minutes for projects, logs in the drawings, writes the request for information to submit to the architect,and keeps all project logs. The project engineer must learn over time, contracts, scheduling, accounting, estimating and construction. The project engineer has to be a fast leaner, and have the desire to work hard and learn.
Construction is a profession that has many moving parts and people must work together. Documentation is key in construction. There are so many changes to drawings, specifications, and the schedule, that requires incredible record keeping. The project management team of a project manager and project engineer must constantly make sure weekly all files are up to date, and accurate. The project management team and the project superintendent have to communicate daily and provide information to each other for a successful project. Most project managers and project engineers, have a degree in engineering, architecture, or building construction. Many great project managers have no college degrees but plenty of field experience. Some have degrees totally in unrelated areas to construction and excel in construction. Construction is about the love for the profession and willingness to learn construction.
This week I am out-of-town between Arizona and Nevada in meetings and checking on my parents. Please enjoy the pictures of the beautiful mountains, nature from 2013 and my family from 2005.
I am so blessed and thankful for my life, family, friends and business. Keep going for your dreams.
See you next week