The Cost of Consistency

Success in the construction industry result from the ability to focus, study improvement needs and to preparation

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With the match-up of Super Bowl teams in 2021, the discussion on every sports talk show relates to the special talent of the two quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes for the Kansas City Chiefs and the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The two could not be more polar opposite in style and movement, but they share a very interesting common trait.  Consistency!

The consistency I’m referring to is the consistency to prepare and plan.  As most of the better performers in any sport will attest, most of their success resulted in their ability to focus, study their own improvement needs, and to prepare for their success.  What is true in the sports world is just as viable for any construction leader.

But there are costs to being consistent as a contractor and crew leader.  Consider what any construction leader must be consistent about preparing.

  • Studying the project file as if it were the opposing team.
  • Lining out the steps or phases of completion that will be most successful.
  • Assessing his or her crew power; “Who do I have to do specific tasks that will bring us the best chance to ‘win’?”
  • Confirming that all the needed equipment, tools, materials, components, safety cones/barricades, etc. are available and in working order.
  • Confirming the location of needed material plants, supply stores, legal and most safe routes to and from our yard, etc.
  • Do we clearly understand the projects’ scope of work, customer expectations, etc. and are we on the same page with the estimator who won the work?
  • Do I believe we have the allowed labor hours and quantities of materials to complete the job as estimated?  If not, what will it take?

For the experienced field leader, these questions and concerns are simply part of the regular process of preparation.  But even the most talented of leaders can let up in consistently working through the same process of thinking and preparation.  And there in lies the secret of any “G.O.A.T.” (Greatest Of All Time), they look at every game, match, meet, race, etc. as requiring the same disciplines toward ensuring their best chance for success.

You can bet that both 2021 Super Bowl QBs, Mahomes and Brady, will be executing consistently each and ever preparation discipline they know works for them.  The cost of consistency is the personal cost to be disciplined, to perform every detail step, consistently, so that mind and muscle retention begins to develop.  The difference between Brady and Mahomes?  Brady had been consistently preparing his mind and body for several more years than Mahomes, like about eighteen more years.  But from the looks of things, Mahomes has made advanced progress in establishing his own consistency processes to success.

Briefly, here’s what any construction leader can and should do when developing consistency to lead.  Incorporate the following actions:

  1. First, study your job folder and look for every detail that you can confirm and record what concerns or questions you have.
  2. Upon studying your job file, schedule a “pre-con” meeting with the estimator and make sure you both are clear as water on every issue, conflict, question, or concern you have.
  3. Line out the process you will follow to execute the project.  Include who will be doing what tasks, who will be adding support, what safety actions will be needed, and who will be leading the same.
  4. Ensure that every detail about materials, what producer will be used, and how will the material be received.  Ensure also that you schedule the incoming materials, even if your company is transporting the materials, to arrive “just-in-time” to be placed.
  5. Schedule an AM Crew Huddle and PM Crew Huddle to set the day’s agenda in the morning and to debrief the crew in the afternoon.
  6. Before leaving the site, or your yard, “stage” your trucks and/or site, for the next day.  Getting ahead today can put more productivity into tomorrow.
  7. Upon completing the project, try to conduct a “post-job review” as soon as possible, while all the issues, corrections, wins, etc. are still fresh on your mind.
  8. Give your crew accurate feedback on their performance.  If it was great…praise them.  If it was not great…discuss what needs to be done differently and or better.

The cost of consistency is primarily a mind and time challenge.  When you realize, like Brady and Mahomes have obviously done, the benefits of being consistently discipline to plan and prepare before executing, then you will see a return to your own Super Bowl form showing up job after job!

Here’s to paying the cost of consistency!  Be a G.O.A.T.

Brad Humphrey is the Vice President of Human Resources & Employee Development for Pavecon, a full-service pavement maintenance contractor based in Dallas Texas with offices now spreading to nine locations.  Brad can be heard on The Contractor’s Best Friend PodCasts, sponsored by AC Business Media and Caterpillar throughout the year.  For literature written by Brad, simple check out his books on  Brad is speaking at this year’s National Pavement Conference LIVE.