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Law of Victory – Leadership for Contractors

The Law of Victory

 

Welcome back again!  Let’s get right into it!  In today’s Construct-Ed podcast, we are continuing to look at John Maxwell’s book – the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  We are looking at how these laws can be uniquely applied in the construction and remodeling industries.  We are providing these podcasts to help you build your leadership toolbox.  Every good contractor has a big tool box filled with tools that help them get their jobs done.  Our goal and mission here is to help you fill your leadership toolbox.

If you are listening to these podcasts through our blog, you can actually find these same lessons as part of a free course on Construct-Ed.  The course explores all 21 laws as laid out by John Maxwell and how those laws can be used to build better team members, better crews and better companies in the construction and remodeling industries.

chris jurin profile 200pxMy name is Chris Jurin and I am the instructor for this course and your guide through these podcasts.  I am the CEO of Construct-Ed.  My mission is to add value to you and help you build your leadership abilities in your particular industry.  I am a trainer and coach with the John Maxwell Team.  I am also the president of a commercial roofing company as well as the president of a roof consulting firm.  

 

Taking a Look at the Law of Victory
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The Law of Victory is a great law – one of the best to study and implement when it comes to the construction and remodeling industries.  Every time we take the field in construction we are facing adversity.  It is only through leadership that teams are able to overcome those adverse conditions and achieve a victory.  Take leadership out of the picture and the team falls.  Insert leadership into the picture and the chances for victory increase significantly.  

In my life I draw a ton of inspiration from movies and sports.  Most movies that are inspiring take you through trials and adversity and leave you doubting whether or not the main character is going to make it.  Great movies inspire us to go further in our lives by helping us experience the adversity that the main character has to overcome and then allowing us to share in that success.  

A movie that shows adversity and then success is Amazing Grace.  It is the true story of William Wilberforce – who is credited by some with abolishing the slave trade in Great Britain.  Throughout the movie, he continues to work towards the abolition of the slave trade but is thwarted at every turn by the political establishment of the time in Great Britain.  At the same time he is working for his cause, he suffers from physical ailments as well as his own awakening.  

Wilberforce was a close friend of William Pitt, who became the prime minister of Great Britain during Wilberforce’s time in the British Parliament.  Together, they outsmarted the establishment in Great Britain and through a loophole that they found they were able to impair the slave trade and bring it closer to being a thing of the past.  Eventually Wilberforce saw the end of slavery in Great Britain, and then died only three days later.  

Throughout the movie, William Wilberforce never lost sight of the goal.  He worked tirelessly to see the end of the slavery in his Great Britain.  He found loopholes.  He used technicalities.  He practiced the Law of Victory.  

 

Exploring the Law of Victory in Construction

In the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, author John Maxwell explores his 15th law – the Law of Victory.  He builds this law on the thought that “Leaders find a way for the team to win”. Simply put, leaders find a way.  They find a way to get a project done.  They find a way to make the project safer. They. Find. A. Way.  

Construction companies, construction sites and construction crews all face a lot of headwinds throughout the day.  Turbulence and headwinds are expected.  They are not an odd occurrence.  They are a normal part of flight.  

As Henry Ford said – “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  

Construction crews run into material shortages.  Teams find hidden conditions – too much rock, bad decking, wood rot.  Whatever it is, it’s construction turbulence.  It is to be anticipated and it is to be addressed.

But how do leaders address these issues.  Do they look at their teams and expect them to solve the problems on their own.  Or do they jump in and work with the teams to help them resolve their issues?  Leaders stay in the saddle to help their teams be successful and find victory!

Can you think of an example of when a leader did not help secure the victory on a project?  What happens when a leader is distant and is not in touch with the problems their teams are facing?  Chances are that the team’s success is cast in doubt.  Leaders need to remain in touch with their teams and when problems arise, they need to be there to help them resolve the problems.

In his book, The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time author Jeff Sutherland discusses how to use a Scrum format for managing a business.  Teams are organized and report progress on their assigned projects using a scrum format.  Each meeting requires each participant to share what they accomplished since the last meeting, what they are working on currently and the areas of waste or hold-up that they have.  

The scrum leader is required to focus on eliminating the waste factors for their team – with extreme prejudice.  In scrum, the team members have to share their hang-ups, and then the leader has to get rid of the waste.  This is the Law of Victory.  The scrum leader has to find a way for the team to win!

Apply this to construction – imagine that you have a team huddle each morning.  The team members share what they completed yesterday and what they are working on today.  And then they share what is going to keep them from accomplishing their goals today.  The leader’s focus should be all over that waste issue. Get after that waste – get rid of it.  Remove the impediments from your team so that they excel.

As John Maxwell shares in the Law of Victory – the best leaders rise to challenges and work to insure victory.  They adopt the view that leadership is responsible, losing is unacceptable, quitting is unthinkable and victory is inevitable.

It starts with leadership and ends with victory.  

How is victory achieved?

John shares three components of victory in the 21 Irrefutable Law of Leadership.  Let’s take a look at how these apply to the construction and remodeling industries, as well as business in general.

 

  1. Unity of Vision – where are you heading?

Teams want to know what they are being asked to accomplish.  This can be on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis.  This can also be project specific.  Define what the team is going to accomplish is as much detail as you can project.  The more detail that is defined, the better chance the team will be able to work towards accomplishing it.  And always be willing to adjust the picture.  There are conditions that are beyond your control and as a result the picture may need to be adjusted to overcome the conditions that you find yourself in on that particular day.

Always be able to define what victory looks like.  

 

  1. Diversity of Skills – who is doing what?

Not everyone has the same skills.  Foremen on projects may have specific technical skills or may be better leaders.  But they are not capable of doing everything well.  Companies have financial managers who are not estimators and estimators who are not financial managers.  This is for a good reason – every company, every crew – needs to have diversity in their skill sets.  Staff the weaknesses of the crew, the department, the company in order to give the team the greatest chance of finding success.

 

Always be able to define who will play what role in achieving victory.

 

  1. A leader dedicated to victory and raising players to their potential – who is leading and is their lid high enough?

In order for a crew, department or company to be successful the leader of the team must be successful.  As the Law of the Lid says, the overall success of the team will be limited by the leadership level of the team leader.  Is your team leader – are you – actively raising their leadership lid so that they can grow and build others?  Or are they keeping others from coming up and growing.  Leaders who help others grow will find a way to secure victory for their team.  Those who avoid raising up others will always be playing multiple positions and develop a mediocre team.  

 

Always be certain that the team leader is working on developing themselves and others.  

 

Closing –

No matter your position in the company that you work for – owner, vice-president, department head, foreman or frontline employee – leaders at all positions find ways for their teams to win.  They achieve victory.  

In the movie, Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington who played Coach Boone states that “I am a winner, I am going to win.”  Coach Boone found a way to win, despite the adversity that was facing him, his team and the community.  

Leaders look for creative ways to win.  They anticipate the next few moves and are ready when those conditions occur to support their team.  They teach their crew members about what to anticipate and they look for teachable moments to grow their teams.  

Define victory.  Adjust your team for victory.  And grow your team to sustain victory.

Thanks for taking your time to talk about the Law of Victory.  It is my hope that you realize the importance of victory and how it affects the momentum of the organization.  We will be looking at the Law of the Big Mo in the next podcast – these two laws knit together very nicely.  

The John Maxwell Team has outstanding resources for helping you develop your leadership skills.  These skills can be developed in a way that will help you in both your professional and personal lives.  I would suggest that you look at resources including the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  You can access the online store for order these resources 

Click on the Products tab which will take you to the John Maxwell Team online store.  Search for the content on the site or take time to browse the online store.

Check out Construct-Ed for more training and education resources related to leadership in construction.

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