The long haul

Slowly hand out responsibility. You have to be patient with people. You can’t expect too much right off the bat. You have to limit their authority so that they don’t make any mistakes that get you in trouble. At the same time, you have to give them some freedom so that they can make mistakes and learn from them.

There’s a fine balance there of how much authority you can give them so mistakes don’t have a severe impact.

There are some givens within our management group, [like] our management duties that you don’t let the assistant project manager handle. We categorize the work from experience as to what is safe to be handled, what needs to be reviewed by senior project management, and we just assign those tasks based on that.

Slowly, as people prove themselves, you start to increase their responsibility, increase their authority and, eventually, increase their job description.

It’s the comfort level from the way they’re handling their assignments and feedback we get from our subcontractors, owners, representatives of our clients that we work for. It’s a combination of gut feeling and customers.

Look at employees’ track records to determine whether to promote someone. Look at the success of the employee, the success of their projects, the success of their tasks.

I am not a tenure person. I strictly respond and promote due to their success, and depending on a position, that’s measured in so many different ways.

There are criteria that you have that are completely different than someone in an estimating role or an administrating role or a superintendent role. There are separate criteria that you (use to) gauge their success.

How to reach: K&S Associates Inc., (314) 647-3535 or