BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
Southwest Scaffolding
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” - Herschel Walker
“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” - Herschel Walker
May 22, 2013 7:00 AM CDT

Leading when no one is watching

Full Contact Project Management


This is the time of year that drives people crazy, especially if you follow sports. As I write this column, not much is happening in that world. What’s a sports fan to do?

Let’s put it another way: The roar of the crowd is in the background, for the most part, so times are a bit lonelier for those athletes in our midst. Guess that means the contenders for next season are just kickin’ back now, taking things easy, eating donuts and watching TV. Not!

First, and as I’ve mentioned a number of times over the years, Coach Gary believes in having coaches to help his own game – so I do. And it’s amazing: Despite the number of coaches on which I rely, all from a variety of cultural, ethnic and demographic backgrounds, their advice runs like this, because there are three main points that they seem to make:

  1. Throw off what hinders you so that you can win the race. Said another way, lighten up, in order to get the prize. For me, it means to watch what I’m eating and how I’m exercising. But not to slack off in discipline and training. And, it means something for you and your team. This advice has stood the test of time, and dates back a couple of thousand years.
  2. If you’re serious, you must always press on toward that prize, even if the race is weeks or months away. And, to do that, it means zeroing in and pressing on.
  3. Ultimately (and this is the biggie) you’re a winner if you never quit.
What does this mean for you and your business? It means opportunity. Think of it this way: Your competitors still are hibernating right now. Their mindsets might be that they are going to crank things up in the spring or summer. The way you win is to already be in mid-season form when they are just getting into spring training.

I don’t play golf, but I really do appreciate the game, and it always amazes me to watch one of the truly great players demonstrate strength, physical control and a winning mindset, even when things look bleakest – when they are stuck in some kind of a sand trap or under a bush, and need to hit the shot of their lives in order to stay in the game. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
- Coach Darrell Royal
And then, to my amazement, they perform, and sometimes it is the shot of their lives. But how did they do that? How did they get that good? How did they ever become lucky enough to enjoy the adoration of the crowd and the financial rewards of winning?

Athletes like Tiger, Lefty, Broadway Joe, Babe, Wilt, Peyton and the rest made the sacrifices, and put up shot after shot, putt after putt, swing after swing, pass after pass, when there was no crowd around, and nobody cheering them on. They got good. They applied themselves. And then, they got great.

Your “team” needs to play the same way. Your competitors should know that you are going to give them a run for their money, and they will know that you expect to win. You never give up. You’ll take on the toughest jobs. You have the best team.

MCAA is a lot like that. They are the resource that never has an off season. Every month, and almost every day, you can count on them to be out at practice, doing everything they can to give you a better opportunity to win. Sometimes that means offering training and coaching to its members, and, sometimes, it’s being physically present in the offices of legislators and industry groups, advocating for you, and doing the things that you might really not like to do – but you know must be done.

Sure, it might be the dead of winter, but there are things you can be doing, right now, to get yourself in shape and up to speed for the coming season. I wish this did not need to be the case, but it is most certainly true. In the end, it all comes down to discipline, not donuts.

Your 2013: Expect more!

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


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