5 Takeaways from Archery for your construction business
My first venture into the world of archery took place while I was still in high school. As I recall, our PE teachers chose a variety of sports and activities to keep those of us who were in our senior year interested. I chose the archery segment thinking it would be a lark, never once thinking it would be something I would be interested in after the 6-week venture. Yet it was.
What follows is a light-hearted look at what joining an archery club can do to inform your management skills in your commercial construction contracting business.
Construction Business Lesson One
As a sport, archery requires skills of:
As a business, construction contracting requires . . . well, you know, the same set of skills.
On one level, when you send a crew to a jobsite, they must understand the basics of measuring precisely, controlling their actions, focusing on the task at hand, repeating their set of skills over and over, and having the determination to get the job done.
On another level, you as the business owner also have to bring it. The precision you bring to your managerial and leadership role sets the pace. Controlling the long-term plans as well as the day to day activities of your team is important. You must maintain your focus concerning where you are and where you plan to be in the long run. Building good business habits and practices require repetition on your part. And, you bring determination to the table with each new project and each new day.
Construction Business Lesson Two
When a person joins an archery club the oft stated club goal is “to help participants reach their individual goals while fostering a supportive team environment with a focus on safety, personal growth, and positive attitude.”
In order to present a winning team within your commercial construction business you do well to follow the same principles. It is as if you can make a checklist of the items in the archery club goals.
- Encourage employees to reach their individual goals
- Foster a supportive team environment
- Focus on safety
- Aid your team in their personal growth
- Maintain a positive attitude
Construction Business Lesson Three
My next step to the shooting line came while in college. Archery was offered. I was interested. I took the class. It was there I learned of a few ways to protect my ever-wayward left arm from maintaining a permanent inner elbow bruise. The first step had to do perfecting my stance thus keeping my elbow out of the way of the released string. The second (back-up) step was to purchase an armguard which was not only larger but also sturdier than the flimsy guards we’d been offered in high school.
Maintain the proper equipment.
A bow and some arrows – what more could any archer need? Right? If you are an archer or have at least dabbled you know there is much more to it. The right type of bow, (recurve or compound) the correct set of arrows, (determined by draw weight and length) and the sight are just the beginning. Then, it is time to consider the armguard, quiver, and some type of release aid like a finger tab or a mechanical release. Plus, all this stuff has to be stored properly and repaired as needed.
Storing, repairing, and replacing the equipment your team needs requires diligence. Creating systems for everything from vehicle loading to maintenance schedules makes it easier to protect your valuable equipment.
Construction Business Lesson Four
After leaving college I still had a hankering to pick up the bow and arrow, see the target and release. Joining an archery club seemed like just the place to be. Besides the opportunity to hone and improve my skills, there was the competition, as well as the camaraderie.
Building a great team in the construction field takes time. Yet, when done well . . . the rewards (gold medals not withstanding) are worth it. Consider:
- Encourage those who may not have thought of construction as a career choice.
- Make friendly competition part of the “game.” For example, gamify getting legible timesheets or POs turned in on time.
- Reward safe delivery of the on time, under budget projects. Something as simple as an after-project dinner may be all that is needed.
- Encourage and praise individuals as well as the team – often.
- Offer classes and training, emphasizing the potential for personal as well as professional growth.
Construction Business Lesson Five
In each of my “archery phases” I had teachers as well as mentors who applauded my successes and gave me instructions concerning the areas where I could improve.
Here is a list of my personal take-aways which also work in the commercial contracting field.
- Set the parameters of what is allowed and what is not
- Teach safety at every juncture
- Build ways to improve technical skills
- Express and reinforce proper strategies (in the field and in the office)
- Look for patterns which can be improved
- Be consistent
- By example teach your employees to flex their patience muscle
There you have it. Next time you see a target, think of all the examples archery gives to inform your management skills in the construction contracting field.
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