Project managers' creed: learn it, live it

The health and safety of those I'm in charge of takes precedence above all else, including my own personal health and safety if need be. I will be aware of all their current chronic and temporary medical, mental and physical conditions, and make allowances and adjustments if necessary. A safe jobsite is a productive and profitable jobsite. A healthy work environment makes for a more stress-free work

The health and safety of those I'm in charge of takes precedence above all else, including my own personal health and safety if need be. I will be aware of all their current chronic and temporary medical, mental and physical conditions, and make allowances and adjustments if necessary.

A safe jobsite is a productive and profitable jobsite. A healthy work environment makes for a more stress-free work environment and saves the company more in real dollars than any minor upfront incidental costs.

I will, as the saying goes, “always be the project manager.” I will never start a day on the jobsite if there is the least bit of fear, uncertainty or lack of focus on my part for any reason. If such doubts and trepidations creep into my mind during the day, I will stop my activities immediately and deal with whatever issues are distracting me until they are resolved as best as they can be. While being comfortable within my mantle of duties and never hesitating to use my authority for the best interest of the company, I will do my best never to deliberately disrespect anyone at any time.

I shall always maintain a comfortable and relaxed attitude of living in the moment when dealing with employees, colleagues and superiors at all times. Respecting previously agreed upon limits and boundaries as set forth by those who sign my checks, I shall allow myself the freedom of creativity to exercise my prerogatives and responsibilities at all times as I wish. My rationale providing the crucible where we all can focus on is the bottom line objective — getting the job done on time and under budget.

I will never be afraid to be myself, and I will answer all questions directly unless doing so involves a prior breach of stated or implied promise of confidentiality given to a third party. Honor is not an ideal, but a way of living.

By sweating the details, but not the little stuff, employees under my aegis shall be encouraged to be at ease with me within their chosen role as I am at ease with them within my chosen role. Strength of character from my field technicians does not bother me or threaten me, it delights me. Personal resolve and self-confidence from those whom I lead does not diminish my appreciation for them nor in any way harms our company, it strengthens both.

Each of my field people and other members of my company, no matter what their role, will be given absolutely equal respect and necessary attention at all times. All within the company shall have equal access to my time and attention, according to their respective needs.

Humor and good cheer being required for a life truly well-lived, laughter and happiness shall flow from my heart at all times. Work shall manifest from a sense of peaceful contentment and quiet prayer, taking care of the business with a firm and steadfast purpose to make an honest profit, but never forgetting that in the end all but the memories of the honorable way we lived our lives will eventually be forgotten.

Punishments and negative consequences of ill-done actions or nonfeasance shall always be tempered with patience and moderation before being administered. I will always remember that my choice of both method and application of disciplinary actions will say far more about me than it does about the original offence in question. That said, outright thievery and betrayals of trust when discovered shall be dealt with immediately and justly.

Neither knowing or having done it all, I shall continue in perpetuity to self-educate myself at my choice and discretion, so that I may become a better project manager and person. While on a road less traveled, I won't hesitate to stop and ask for directions.

When asked, I shall carefully and judiciously consider teaching and passing on what modest amount of knowledge I've gained to others, remembering that the teacher usually learns more from their students than what students learn from their teacher.

I shall humble myself to no one, and I shall humble myself to everyone, true humility being simple recognition that true leadership and management of someone else always begins and ends with learning first how to come to know and accept your own identity and personage. Sublimation of ego frees one's soul to learn more about oneself, and with that comes increased self-knowledge, an even greater understanding of why one is the way one is, and from that is born a better project manager and person.

Kent Craig is a second-generation mechanical contractor with unlimited Master's licenses in boilers, air conditioning, heating and plumbing. You may contact him via email at [email protected].