Posted by: nedpelger | May 2, 2009

What’s Your Legacy?

The first Super Tips Newsletter went out and I got the note below from Jake Toews, my first boss in construction. He’s retired now, but still keeps his hand in the design and building game.

I enjoyed your newsletter.  We both remember Bud Caldwell and his gift for training young people.  When I was a young, green project manager on a treatment plant in Tremont, Bud was the job super.  He taught by example.  He made tools in his shop to solve problems, he “suggested” alternatives when he saw a better way, but most of all he was patient – not like the lead character in your concluding joke!  Many folks at TAH were beneficiaries of Bud’s wisdom.  I had never seen the conversion chart done like that before.


The note made me smile, as I remembered Bud Caldwell. He was an old guy when I knew him, his lungs polluted by asbestosis. Yet his love for construction and his enthusiasm made him not seem old to me. He was vibrant. He liked that I wanted to learn and put in the effort to teach me.

If you’re an old hand in the business, do you look for younger folks with potential? Do you enjoy the two edged sword of learning and teaching? On the other hand, if you are a whippersnapper, do you seek out those experienced Construction Supervisors that seem willing to teach?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we’ll all be worm food soon enough. Take some time to help others. Like the Boy Scouts always strive to leave a campsite a little nicer than how they found it, try to improve this profession that’s been good to you. Think Legacy.


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