The lights dimmed three times and the crowds obediently headed towards their seats. The orchestra was still warming up, playing its own pre-concert composition. They had rehearsed this composition for over a month; one of Beethoven’s most famous and complex symphonies, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, also known as the Choral. They each knew their part. There was no room for error in front of this elite gathering.
The conductor walked in wearing an elegant tuxedo with long tails. His long white hair was carefully swept back over his shoulders. He bowed to the audience then turned his full attention to the orchestra. Tapping his baton on the podium three times the crowd hushed. Instruments were raised. All eyes were on the Maestro. His arms raised high in the air, and then, with a sudden flourish, the music began.
The first movement started – Allegro ma non troppo – steady and strong. He directed each instrument at the precise moment it was to play. The stringed instruments and the percussion section played with absolute authority.
Then the second movement – Scherzo: Molto vivace – a quick paced piece with fast-moving orchestration with the entire orchestra participating. The Maestro became increasingly animated. He seemed lost in his world.
The third movement slowed to a sweet, mellow pace – Adagio molto. The audience seemed to relax and smile as the conductor weaved his way through this exceptional movement.
And finally, the fourth movement – Recitative – an unusual movement with soloists and a full chorus. As they approached the finale, the entire orchestra seemed in a trance. The conductor, no longer concerned with his coiffure, was madly directing each musician, seemingly all at once. He gyrated and gestured as would a mad man. And then, all of the sudden, it was over. The auditorium was silent for a mere second – then the crowd erupted into almost fanatical applause. The Maestro turned and bowed. His work was done. He had guided his orchestra through the complex piece with commanding authority and grace.
By now you have either quit reading, or are scratching your head, wondering if this guy has gone off the deep end. This is supposed to be about remodeling. What does a symphony have to do with remodeling? The answer is – absolutely nothing. But the conductor has everything to do with remodeling.
He is the leader, and without his careful guidance, the music would not be the same. Some musicians would have played louder than they should, or at the wrong time. Others would interpret the music differently than their peers. Without wise leadership, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor would have been a complete disaster.
If we were to look at the similarities of conducting an orchestra to that of running a project, it would look something like this:
The crowd in the lobby would be the owners and all their friends, who have no problem giving advice and suggestions to the owners how their project should look and feel.
The orchestra are all of the participants in the project – your team. Their “warm-up” is the RFQ’s, WO’s, PO’s and the Pre-Construction Conference that occur before each job.
The project is about to begin. The “crowd” retreats and grows quiet, carefully observing the procedure.
The conductor enters – the owner of the remodeling company or the job supervisor. He has trained his crews carefully for this moment – the project start-up. Over the years he or she has gathered the cream of the crop – the best plumber, electrician, HVAC service, sheetrockers, painters, and tile setters. He has written precise processes and honed them to perfection. They all know what to do. Each has submitted their quotes and have been admitted to the project. They know exactly when to start and what to do – the conductor has been sending updates to them for several weeks, and they respect and honor this wise leader. They will be on time and they will give their undivided attention to the project.
The project gets underway. All eyes are on the conductor. He will orchestrate the project, getting the right people on the job so that the project is carried out with the greatest efficiency and quality. The demolition phase is finished quickly, then the rough-in. Finishes are applied. The project slows. The owners wonder why everything was so fast at first, and now it is moving at a snail’s pace. The supervisor is well aware of this approaching ‘remodeling fever’ and advises them that this is normal and everything is on schedule and not to worry.
And finally it’s over. The finale is carried out in a complete frenzy, as every trade is brought in to trim and eliminate any of their punch list items. The project is a complete success. The best job they’ve ever done.
The owners are ecstatic. Friends and family are invited over to see the finished product. The supervisor has their undying gratitude. Bow. Exit Stage Right.
This is what makes a great remodeling company. Great leaders who know what to do and the best way to do it. Without a great leader taking the reins, the project would stall, errors would be committed, owners would react, profits would suffer, and unnecessary stress would dominate. The sooner you learn that you are a conductor, and your job is to orchestrate a project, the better off you, your staff, your team, and your clients will be. With greater efficiency comes higher margins. Yet it’s not only the money that’s important. Understanding that you are the leader, and guiding your team through the project procedure carefully and efficiently is just plain fun.
So quit worrying about your hair and conduct like a madman!
Last week the good folks from PME 360 had me on as a guest on their PME 360 Business Growth Podcast show. You can listen to the conversation on their site, or on RemodelerBiz.com. During the podcast I spoke of some of my past experiences and, of course, how systems are the only way to have a really successful business. Enjoy.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
Randall S Soules
Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator
My one-on-one coaching will take your remodeling business to new heights!
This article was written by Randall Soules, creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you easier ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse, click here.
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