Ten Things I’ve Learned as An Award-Winning Superintendent: Part 1

With our last email/blog we began a new series based on expert insight from one of our team members who has been recognized as an award-winning superintendent. We began by providing a video interview of one of our satisfied commercial property developers who has worked with our General Superintendent, Ed Coke.  In part one of this series, we provide the first 5 of 10 insights that Ed has gleaned from his many years of successful leadership.

Peter Saladino, President, Charter Construction  

Ten Things I’ve Learned as An Award-Winning Superintendent: Part 1

By Ed Coke, Charter Superintendent, Seattle 

In this article I have distilled the many lessons that I have learned over the past 29 years down to ten key elements that I find to be most important.  

Know the job inside and out, before you start the project. For me, this means taking the time to read all job related documents in their entirety. By doing this, I identify discrepancies, take notes and ask myself “What’s missing?” Additionally, it’s critical to participate in developing the estimate and scope clarifications to ensure a thorough understanding of the project costs. Once I have completed this process, I can formulate a plan of attack for scheduling the project. During this process, I ask myself “what’s the big picture” and “what’s important to the client?” Remember……start asking questions early, don’t wait!
Build a solid relationship with the client. One of the best ways to do that is to build trust. Trust occurs when you do what you say you’re going to do. Trust also happens when you are patient and you place yourself in your client’s shoes. Ask yourself, “What’s most important to the client.” Also make an effort to understand the client’s expectations for cost and quality, and help them understand that they are both related.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
One of the most important parts of any relationship…. (and this is a relationship) is to communicate well. Communication is not only about relaying your thoughts well, but most importantly, it is about listening. Also, try to respond promptly to your client and when issues arise, provide solutions to those problems.

Understand the expected quality and deliver it.
One of the best ways to deliver a successful project is to understand the owner’s expectations and communicate them to the building team. Helping our subcontractors and crews to achieve their best work starts with setting a high benchmark for quality. This process continues throughout the duration of the project.

Be honest and open with owners, consultants, subcontractors, and coworkers.
This might be difficult, but “be accountable”. And this means to take responsibility for your actions. When you make a mistake, admit it and provide a solution.  If possible, share your wisdom and experience with others, and allow them to do the same for you. And remember…… be humble!

In our next email, you’ll see a video of a custom home owner I had the pleasure of serving.  Following that, our subsequent email and blog will provide the final 5 insights. Click here (see video here) to see and hear a developer/owner’s perspective on a high quality working relationship. Charter Construction has performed Repairs, Renovations, and New Construction for 34 years.  As always, if you have any questions regarding your home or building, our seasoned team of professionals is prepared to assist you with your construction needs.  

Please contact our Team at 206-382-1900 in Seattle or 503-546-2600 in Portland. 

Very Truly Yours, 

Peter Saladino
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