Leadership Stories


  In the beginning of my career in the military, the military was an organization that was devoted to making me the strongest leader possible, and though it took time and the application of the lessons.  Lessons, I learned through thought, reflection, and feedback I was able to achieved a competent threshold to become the strongest leader possible.  According to Marine General Jim Mathis: “Everyone enters the military at junior rank and rises according to merit.  Our legacy of teamwork is rich in precedent.”  General Jim Mattis Call Sign Chaos: Page 235: The words of general Mattis best describes my struggles both in and out of the military.  During my role at Balfour Beatty I weighted the majority of my decisions through three guiding principles:

  • Principle 1.) The notion of “if it’s not hard, you’re not doing it right”

  • Principle 2.) I would try to let my experience as a military officer guide me.

  • Principle 3.) In all things I would try to build trust with all those I interact with.

With these guiding principles I was able to leave an amazing impact on the project that my team and I worked so hard on.


Michel Douglass was brought into Balfour Beatty’s Peninsula Corridor Project approximately 3 months after me, and he was brought on to the project to serve a critical role as General Superintendent, and under my guiding principles we immediately began forging a strong working relationship.  As General Superintendent one of his primary goals was to schedule construction activities for the construction crews.  Mike previously worked overseas as a welder on some of the most advanced engineering constriction projects in Dubai and all through the middle east, though his knowledge in of construction activities was through, Mike required assistance with organizing the information to an understandable format.  Being an engineer I was in a good position to help, and we agreed that Microsoft excel was  a viable solution.  As we worked together Mike became more and more independent on developing the schedule until finally, he was creating impressive schedules without any help.  The working relationship with Mike was very beneficial, he was not the only one that benefited, in return I gained guidance and insight of the construction business, the information and guidance enabled me to make decisions beyond my years of training.

Working at Balfour was a very educational experience, I was able to apply different understandings, principals, and theories in Leadership while working with different divisions.  What allowed so much flexibility, was that my job title was field engineer, but I spent the majority of my time in the office shifting through field reports, or documentation accounting for different elements of the project and understanding the vast complexities of the project.  According to General Jim Mattis “There is no substitute for constant study (and guidance) to master one’s craft.” General Jim Mattis Call Sign Chaos: Page 237  The truth of these words have validity and will resonate throughout my career.