To be a construction manager one must be professional, courteous, diplomatic, caring, shrewd, persuasive, assertive, creative, understanding, responsible, slow to anger, adaptable, a Sherlock Holmes, a motivator, up-to-date, pleasant to look at, have a good memory, acute business judgment, emotional stability and the embodiment of virtue; (but with a good working knowledge of sin and evil in all it’s forms).
A construction manager must understand insurance, chemistry, selling, contracting, claims, law, medicine, travel, warranties, freeway closures and construction delays, Mother Nature and human nature.
In order to be a construction manager you must be a coordinator, role model expert, resource, an educator, supportive of all workers, subcontractors, an advocate for the employer, the employee’s advocate and intermediator.
The construction manager must be a mind reader, able to predict the future, an optimist, a realist, have physical stamina, have a large bladder, must be an expert with machinery of all types, construction processes of every kind. He must know each new product, it’s application costs including labor and material, and it’s alternative as well as the next generation of products with their release dates.
A construction manager must know the current and future costs of everything from a nail to a blueprint copy, an asphalt driveway to an articulated shower head, and be able to communicate this information with accuracy and efficiency, as well as know what the low bidder’s profit margin is. Needs to know the groundwater depth everywhere and how to anticipate or regulate the weather.
A construction manager must know all, see all, and tell nothing without the proper inspection sign off. They must know each inspector; their family history, their idiosyncrasies, their knowledge level, and their donuts preference.
The construction manager must know all Uniform Building Codes, each cities unique codes, upcoming code changes, and have a thorough understanding of all 3500 pages of codes.
A good construction manager must be familiar with all types of employment, know the real relationship between the employer and the worker, know the subcontractors relationship with their employees, the difference between union, non-union, and signatory. They must know who has the right to do what work in what jurisdiction while keeping them all working at 110%. The description of light/ moderate/ heavy duty as it applies to people/ products/ weather. The manager must be able to address all work issues, provide all documentation, approve all changes prior to their need, schedule all activities anticipating any location situations, equipment needs and length of needs, arrange repairs, replacements, education, and monitor compliance and project outcomes while remaining on budget and on time.
The Construction Manager must know and work well with all the providers in all areas of work. Their addresses, phone, fax, cell numbers, and emails. Also needed is an understanding of geography, mileage, speed limits, location of rest areas, gas stations, catering trucks, and where to buy anything and everything wholesale immediately.
The construction manager must carry a fully charged and operational pager, cell phone, laptop, and PDA. Must be able to dial, drive, take notes, drink coffee, listen and be eloquent at 70 mph. Of course with a clean truck, a full tank of gas, windshield wiper fluid, and an inflated spare tire. The manager must have a full toolbox with every tool imaginable, safety glasses, hardhats and hankies. Must be properly insured and learn not to leave the keys in the ignition.
A construction manager must meet everyone’s priorities, demonstrate excellent judgment, deliver exceptional customer service, and make everyone really, really happy. The manager must be able to communicate clearly, be computer literate, use proper body mechanics and ergonomic awareness, type well and always use perfect grammar and spelling. Never ever curse, yell, stomp your foot, or pretend to understand the one word sentences you hear.
The construction manager must be a time management expert, accounting for all time spent on each project accurately, a diplomatic delegator, be able to finish all projects on time demonstrating evidence of quality products, cost saving for all, and an accurate determination of reserves.
All construction managers must exceed their own expectations and everyone’s requirements: the corporations, the homeowners, the accountants, the designers, sales, marketing, finance, legal, OSHA, the subs, and the inspectors making sure that all federal, state, and local bureaucrats are satisfied.
The professional construction manager must be to work on time, rested and prepared, be a team player, dress professionally and appropriately, participate in meetings, and be available at all time and accountable for everything.Above all the construction manager must possess a sense of humor.