EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Husqvarna Construction Products N.A.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Southwest Scaffolding
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
May 26, 2010 7:22 AM CDT

Lessons From ‘Friday Night Lights’

Without a vision, the people perish


Project management lessons from ‘Friday Night Lights.’ © itsallgood / PhotoXpress LLC
Project management lessons from ‘Friday Night Lights.’ © itsallgood / PhotoXpress LLC

I’ll admit it: Coach Gary seems to have gotten hung up in 2010 on sports movies! I like them, since they usually illustrate a great point for our business success. But here’s a promise: no movie this month. Instead, I’ll be using a television program.

Let’s talk about why you should pay attention to “Friday Night Lights.” If you’re not familiar with it, the show is structured around a high school football team. And, the team is not located just anywhere, but in a small town named Dillon, Texas – the perennial, statewide hotbed of high school football that dominates the thinking and the culture of its local towns. In this series, Coach Eric has been successful, with the team having just won the state championship: the town’s own Super Bowl.

But there’s a twist: Due to some local politics, the coach has been reassigned to a new high school, East Dillon, on the “other side” of town, and with no facilities – just about hopeless. So, there’s a huge job ahead of him and the team he is to build. Some would say his job is “hopeless.”

Coach Eric needs to have a vision that he can sell to his team. To do this, he has to have a global perspective of the situation, so he can come up with a plan. That plan leads to a vision, which leads to a sale.

Let me explain to you about what The Plan is, and why you need it. And I say this, knowing that you have faced, will face, or are facing, an “East Dillon” challenge of your own. Every company owner or project manager has to deal with these. Sometimes, it’s just an out-of-control project; sometimes looming financial disaster; and sometimes a general, depressed economy. It’s like a cosmic law: We all are going to endure these challenges at some point in time.

So here’s what we do: We begin with a plan, the same plan I want to give to you. In this case, it’s as simple as a picture. Actually, it’s kind of a graphic or flowchart that shows you, at a glance, what you have to do to add revenue into your current project. Download this badboy (find it at, and stick it on your wall. The Plan is simply getting paid for all of the extra stuff that comes up on virtually every job.

Here’s the deal, Team. When all kinds of stuff seems to keep coming at you, every day, and it all seems to be costing you extra money and time, you need to focus. You need a vision. How do you do that?

Well, with a football team, everyone knows his job. It’s all been pre-planned, no guesswork. When properly planned and then executed, a great defensive scheme can completely turn around a game that is almost out of control, and still get a win.

It takes leadership. It takes vision. It takes a plan. Coach Gary is offering you, without cost, The Plan that has never failed him. It’s exactly what to do for your project whenever disaster looms on the scoreboard.

Coach Gary's Corner

Want The Plan for 2010? Plus, get your free, five-part report on getting paid for changes on your project. Go to, and click on the link below the arrows. The report is free; not knowing the info is very expensive! Readers get The Plan and this report for free, along with free video tips from Coach Gary. Go there now.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.

About the Author

Gary Micheloni is a working project manager, speaker, author, consultant and coach. He has severals years of industry experience, including a background as a licensed general engineering contractor. For further information and insight on the Full Contact Project Management approach, write Coach Gary at

Copyright 2010 Gary Micheloni


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