Less than 25% of the time, a good lead carpenter is a good project manager. I’ve found that the talents that enable a person to excel as a carpenter differ from those required in a project manager. And since people’s personalities are hard to change, if they don’t have certain qualities before you offer them the job, they aren’t going to pick them up later on.
Therefore, when you’re looking to fill a job, select a person based on his or her character. What causes that person to jump out of bed each morning eager to work? How does that person think, make decisions, maintain relationships, and assume responsibility?Recently, I asked several counterparts to rate on a four-point scale the qualities that they believe are important in a lead carpenter. The following all scored an average of 3.5 or above:
- Competence: A desire to build expertise in, and ultimately master, a subject.
- Ethics: The ability to discern right from wrong.
- Responsibility: The personal taking on of a commitment.
- Problem-solving talents: Particularly with regard to the physical challenges that come from working with wood.
- A take-charge attitude: An ability to take charge at a jobsite.
I asked the same individuals to select the qualities they regarded as vital in a project manager. The original five made the list again, along with the following:
- Be an achiever
- A drive to be of service to others
- Focus in setting and achieving goals
- Conceptual thinking
- Business savvy