3 Invaluable Lessons from Gregory Grabowski
- Without collaboration, you can have a perfect environment and circumstances and still fail.
- A team can do amazing things if they are high-performing and self-correcting with a culture of trust.
- Ask, “What can I do better?” The answer you receive will be the most important thing – do that thing.
This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Gregory Grabowski about Partnering in other countries.
About Guest Gregory Grabowski (1:00)
Gregory Grabowski is the President of GCC & Associates LLC and has gone from being a contractor to a professional partnering facilitator. A lot of Greg’s journey has been on very large projects outside of the United States. GCC provides project controls and partnering consulting services.
Greg’s Journey to Becoming a Professional Partnering Facilitator (2:28)
- Greg started his career in the U.S. Navy and picked up mechanical engineering licenses and a general contractor license
- Greg has done projects on every continent except Europe and Antarctica
- Greg helps teams find the sweet spot for themselves in communication and collaboration
Greg’s Career Working as an Overseas Project Executive (4:55)
- If you have great funding and a great environment and jurisdiction and community, but the wrong team, you can pull defeat out of the jaws of victory
- It’s also possible to have a restrictive and difficult environment and with the right team, culture, and local support, you can have success
- The biggest lesson Greg learned was to nurture the culture and the team wherever they’re at and nurture the team within the context of the culture
How Greg Became an Internal Partnering Facilitator (8:50)
Greg’s initial job was to go places and replace someone who not producing results, but he didn’t like it. He asked if he could go and turn around teams and projects instead. After many successes, he became known as the internal partnering facilitator.
What is the Difference Between Being Third-Party Neutral and an Inside Facilitator? (11:50)
- It comes down to perceived bias
- It’s most ideal to use a third-party facilitator who is truly neutral
- You can still do good work internally but it’s easier with external
What Greg Wishes Most Project Managers Would Do That They Don’t Do (13:45)
Build a professional and personal rapport with the key stakeholders and contractors. You need to know one or two things that keep a client up at night. There are unwritten requirements that are in every single contract. Bring all of the Stakeholders into a room (Owner, Prime Contractor, Prime Sub-Contractors, Major Sub-Contractors, and the end users) with some coffee and ask, “What is the most important thing for you?”
Greg’s Greatest Strength as a Leader (15:35)
- Building a high-performing, cohesive, self-correcting team that has trust and collaboration built into the fiber
- The ability to help the team find its own sweet spot
- Assess a team, talk to them, help them to find collaboration, and then nurture them
- He provides the team with a safe place to have open, confidential communication and helps them deal with friction points before they become issues
Greg’s Worst Moment of His Career (17:15)
He was an internal facilitator in a challenging area overseas. Greg came in after the kickoff when there had already been some issues with the client. There was a little traction on schedule and materials, then a hurricane came and flooded the job site. As a facilitator, Greg was unable to bring down the walls of anxiety between some strong personalities. He was unable to be seen as a neutral facilitator.
The Very Best Advice Greg Has Ever Gotten (19:53)
Thor Erikson, a Navy SEAL, told Greg – take care of the team and the team will take care of the mission. A team needs to say what needs to be said without anxiety. A good team can take care of a challenging project and still have fun as they rise to the challenge.
Greg’s Favorite Piece of Technology (21:07)
Zoom’s ability to reconcile time zones and to do video teleconferencing on a mobile device. He can see the job site and do things face to face overseas.
Resources for Listeners
- Book Recommendation: Make Your Bed (affiliate link) by William McRaven
Contact Greg on his http://www.grabowskicc.com/
Call Greg at 949-636-0461
Greg’s Parting Advice (25:17)
Understand the five greatest words of any relationship: What can I do better? When people say this to one another and then listen to the response. Whatever that person says, that’s the most important thing.
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