What is your signature in Business?

Many years ago, as a newly promoted supervisor of a small construction crew, I was given some great advice by an experienced and seasoned construction manager. Gary Jones was his name, and he was a legend in our industry. Gary was well respected by us young, up and coming construction “hands” and when Gary spoke, we listened.

Sphere of InfluenceYour Signature

Gary passed away several years ago and that caused me to reflect on the influence he had on me and my career. During this time of reflection, I realized several of my peers in the construction industry were also positively impacted by Gary’s influence and mentorship. He had a way of pulling us in and encouraging us to be better. We are now middle-aged construction professionals and I have reminisced with a few of them to hear how Gary helped them along their way. It is amazing to see the impact he had with his sphere of influence.

The” Your Signature” Principle

Now that I have established the character of Gary Jones, let me tell you of one occasion when he taught me the “Your Signature” principle. My small construction crew was tasked with completing a punch list on a structure at a power plant. We had several items to complete to turnover this structure and allow it to be used by the client. I gave my crew their assignments and we worked diligently to complete the items on the punch list. We got through and everyone “rolled up,” in construction this means putting all the tools away and cleaning up at the end of the day.

Gary as the construction manager for the prime contractor was responsible for all subcontractors including my crew. I informed Gary that we had completed the punch list and it was ready for inspection.

Trust but Verify

I got busy helping the crew roll up and a few minutes later Gary stopped me, put his arm around my shoulder and said “Hound,” (Hound was my nickname after finding some missing steel in the laydown yard that could not be found by the erecting crew).

“Hound, have you been up to look at the work your crew performed?” My response: “No sir, they told me they were complete, and I trust them.” Gary: “Hound, I want you to walk through each area and while you are looking at the work your crew performed, I want you to remember that this is your signature as the supervisor of a crew.”

My Signature

I followed his advice and looked at the work performed. To my dismay and embarrassment there were several things that needed to be cleaned and corrected. Although the welders had performed the welding as requested, they had failed to clean off their slag, a few bolts were loose and needed to be tightened, some areas needed touch up painting. This was definitely not something I wanted my signature on. We got the tools out and went back to work performing the work with more attention to detail and with a new outlook on leaving a signature. I am grateful for the lesson, and I have now shared that signature principle with countless employees.

Your Signature

You can use the signature principle in any profession or industry. Are you and your team performing the work to a level that you are willing to put your signature on? You can learn to be the best in your line of work. You can take time to learn what is expected of a professional in your industry and strive to have a reputation for providing exemplary service at the highest quality. It just takes a little effort and commitment.


Learning from others and collaboration has been one of the keys to my success. Here is a free poster download for you: Get the 5 Keys for Successful Collaboration Poster

Brian Brogen, Build Yourself & Then Build Others!

Find out how Brian can help your team create your signature in business through corporate workshops https://buildcs.net