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The 3 mistakes leaders make and lose their best guys, but first,

What could be worse than not finding anymore guys to hire on in peak season?

You are booked our for weeks, maybe even the rest of season, your phone keeps ringing, and you lose 1 or 2 of your best guys, crew leaders even!

You are in full production mode to service the great demand that is pouring in and it’s easy to lose focus of your teams’ culture, and just push and push to produce more and more…

You thought you were paying them well, but yet they are gone. Well, while they all say they want more money, more money is actually ranked 3rd as a top motivator.

“…you are the curator of your culture.” ~ Peter Schultz – former CEO of Porsche

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Yes, you as a painting contractor have culture and are fully responsible to cultivate it.

These might not be new to you; it’s in the busiest times we need to be reminded.

Here are the top 3 mistakes Leaders make and lose their best guys in the process...


First mistake is, not recognizing employee achievements.

What would happen if our Olympic Medalist won a race, but it was not announced, nor were there any award ceremonies? How many Olympians would continue to train? How much longer would the Olympics last?

It’s the same for your team and you must grab ahold of this today or you, too, will lose your best guys.

You can do this easily by creating a private group chat for your team.

Every morning you greet them, “Good morning Team (Company Name)! Have a great day out there today and be safe.”

Then look for ways to praise and thank them, on your private team chat, in front of your entire team.

  • Every time you receive positive customer feedback, praise them.
  • Every time they beat a job under budget, praise them.
  • Every time they capture a video testimonial, praise them.
  • Every time one of them goes out of their way, praise them.

The free app we use is to do this is GroupMe. It’s great for a couple of reasons. First, it’s free. 😀  Second, they can mute it as needed, but still be kept in the loop of team communications.

What you focus on, multiplies. The more you praise them in front of your team, the more they will go out of their way for you and your team and the strong your All-Star Team will become.


The Second Mistake Leaders make and lose their best guys in the process

…not giving clear directions or scope of work with expected outcome.

I made this mistake for years. I assumed they knew what needed to be done, but instead, they had to ask the customer what they were supposed to do and felt ashamed every time.

Fortunately, one day one of my leaders let me know and I about fell over. I couldn’t believe I was so naive. We had been using job folders, but as business started to really take off, I fell off on my responsibility of making sure to get those pesky job folders out to the crew leaders.

I didn’t hear any complaints, so I assumed, it wan’t an issue…

I was wrong.

Enter Basecamp 2.

Basecamp 2 remains to be the #1 project manager across the board. There are many cloud based estimating programs, but when it comes to the best cloud project manager, Basecamp 2 is the best.

With Basecamp 2, you schedule all of your jobs and then can easily move them around your calendar with a simple drag and drop keeping your schedule fluid.

Then copy and paste your scope of work promised in your proposal to a Project, it’s instantly available to your team, and they now have clear directions and know what was promised to each client. 


DYB Cafè Members Extra

Access your ‘[WEBINAR] Basecamp 2.
Streamline your projects and calendar, as Jeff Sommers walks you through his Basecamp 2!

Click here to access your course

Not a DYB Cafè member? Click here to learn more about DYB Cafè


The third mistake leaders make and lose their best guys in the process…

…is not having time to meet with them.

Or, in the spirit of Keeping It Above the line, …not making time to meet with them.

While your guys need to hear public recognition, they also need you to meet with them.

How can you meet with them, when you are crazy busy?

I’m glad you asked 🙂

To continue to cultivate your culture to have an All-Star Team, you must have monthly team get-togethers.

Have them at your home, keep them simple, and strongly encourage that they bring their families.

You can grill out, order pizzas, or even subway subs and snacks. It’s not about the dinner as much as it is that you have them and their families over and have some laughs and bonding time.

Now here is the biggest key…

Praise them in front of their families and #BOOMSHALAKALAKA! You will have loyalty like you have never experienced before and well on your way to easily DYB!

To recap, the 3 biggest mistakes you can make to lose your All-Stars are:

  1. Not recognizing employee achievements
  2. Not giving clear directions or scope of work with expected outcome
  3. Not having time to meet with them

Which of these mistakes are you going to avoid by implementing:

  1. Employee Achievements through GroupMe
  2. Giving Clear Directions with Basecamp 2
  3. Making Time To Meet With The with Monthly Team Get-Togethers with families


Follow these 3 steps to curate the culture of your team and keep your best guys for years to come!


About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... Or