Union ApprenticeThe other day I was speaking at a JAC meeting when one of the committee members asked, “So what you really teach is leadership skills right”?  It was a great question, and I had think about it for a minute because I am not really a “leadership guy”.  There are a ton of leadership experts out there, but to be perfectly honest with you…I am not one of them.  My short answer was “No, I am not teaching the apprentices leadership”.  Here is my long answer.

Leadership is all about leading a group or an organization.  What I attempt to instill into the apprentice is the idea of self-leadership.  Self-leadership involves integrity, and character; doing what is right regardless if anyone is watching or not.  Just about anyone can be taught the basic principles of leading a group, but what I do is help the apprentice think like a boss.  Thinking like a boss requires insight, and the ability to understand the consequences to different events that may or may not occur on the job site.  When we can put together a group of individuals that have the capacity and understanding of self-leadership great things can happen on and off the job site!

At the end of the day we are not just building better buildings…we are building better people!