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Play Like the Champs

Hello once again. I am writing this month’s column on the heels of one of the most thrilling conclusions to a baseball season in quite some time. As some of you know, I am an unabashed promoter of all things St. Louis, and especially our beloved Cardinals—2011 World Champions!

I am also an unabashed supporter of the wall and ceiling industry, especially when it comes to promoting education, information, interaction and involvement in our industry. Frequent readers of my column will have noticed that I have a penchant for drawing parallels between news headlines/events and our industry.

The Cardinals’ are a case in point. As many of you know, in late August they were 10.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for a playoff wildcard spot. Some fans in St. Louis were already looking toward next year, but not the Cardinal players and management. General Manager John Mozeliak made a couple of trades to bring several new faces to the roster, and future Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa manipulated game-day lineups frequently to get the best from his team. The players worked hard and believed in themselves and each other. Twice in the sixth game of the World Series the team was one pitch away from losing but went on to victory in what may go down as the most exciting game in World Series history.

I draw an analogy with the Cardinals and our industry. The economy is in a recession, construction is in a depression and what are we doing about it? Have we given up? Are we fighting to survive, or are we quietly and patiently planning and working to win? As management, have we evaluated our team? Do we need to make adjustments or “trades”? Have we given our team the information and resources to win?

As field supervisors, have we manipulated our personnel or “lineups” in order to put each craftsperson in a position to succeed? As craftspeople, have we trained or practiced so we can produce under pressure? Do we work hard every day and believe in our team? Does our team have that quiet confidence of a winner? If you can answer yes to all those questions, you will be successful.

If you have answered no to some, your association can be of assistance, and a good place to start might be the AWCI Academy in Dallas, Jan. 23–26, 2012. It will feature a session on management practices geared to project managers in addition to four Doing It Right seminars for supervisors, managers, estimators and quality control personnel. It could be a great way to start off the New Year.

Anyway, thanks for reading and until next month work hard, work safe, play hard and have fun!

In addition to being the 2011–2012 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Wies is president of T.J. Wies Contracting, Inc. in Lake St. Louis, Mo.

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