The Best of Give Us The Dirt Podcast Series 1: How NOT To Be a Leader

We all have those stories – the boss that cared more about defending their image than supporting the team, the manager who never communicated issues until it was too late … or how about the person you worked with for over a year, who still couldn’t remember your name?

Well, you talked & we listened! Over the past eight weeks, we have been cruising through our first series of the Give Us The Dirt podcast, How NOT To Be A Leader. Thanks to the feedback from our podcast listeners and social media followers, the topic for this series was a no-brainer. Our goal was to identify the qualities of a successful leader while looking at the subject from a different perspective … what NOT to do. Over the course of this series, we were joined by construction industry leaders who have paved the way and set the standard for what positive and effective leadership should look like. And now, we are sharing the biggest lessons learned with you!

How NOT To Be A Leader

Gotcha Culture

There is nothing worse than feeling like you can’t do anything right at work. Well, there is one thing … having a boss that focuses on everything you do wrong! In this episode with Alex Judd, Path For Growth, we explored the power of catching teammates doing something right. This simple shift in thinking creates a management approach that promotes growth, engagement, and success.

Protect & Defend vs. Learn & Grow

Some of the best leaders are the ones focused on growth and change. During our conversation with Jason Richmond, BuildWitt, we discussed the importance of learning and growing in business versus being in a mindset of protecting and defending at all costs. We learned there must be a balance of the two, but without the growth of your team, your organization, and yourself, you cannot succeed. To raise the bar, leaders must be willing to take risks, try new things and be okay with failing forward.

Jason Richmond, BuildWitt, flips the camera around for one of his famous selfies at the HGC Academy!

Oh No, We’ve Got a Flat!

If any of our guests were a perfect fit for this series, it was certainly Kristin Parker with Ascendum! Not only did she share her experiences and knowledge with us, but she also left our podcast studio and headed directly to a meeting with her team to strategize solutions for a problem that didn’t yet exist. This is exactly what a great leader should do! Thanks to Kristin’s expertise, we now know how to better steer a team during challenging times. Communicating transparently while remaining positive and connected to your team can mean the difference between a slow leak and a flat tire!

Kristin Parker, Ascendum, with Give Us The Dirt podcast hosts Brandon Lindsey and Bam Bam.

Quiet Firing

Our next guest, Tim Franks with Tarheel Drilling & Blasting, was a blast! He really blew up the studio with his personal experiences and insight. Our biggest takeaway from this explosive episode was that you must inspire and invest in your team on a regular basis to create a foundation for growth. Helping each person understand and realize their potential is a critical part of being a leader and will result in a more engaged and bought-in team.

Emotional Intelligence

Who says a little healthy competition is a bad thing? Not us, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to have Jim Rhodes with Wayne Brothers join us in the podcast studio for this series! His personal and professional stories helped us better understand the importance of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Being a successful leader almost always comes down to soft skills. Knowing how to slow down, motivate others and engage in critical thinking is what separates the managers from the leaders.

Jim Rhodes, Wayne Brothers, excited to dig in to Emotional Intelligence on his podcast episode!

What Strategy?

Have you ever worked for a boss and asked yourself “Why am I doing this?” or “What is the point of this project”? There is nothing less motivating than not understanding where and how you fit into an organization and why your position is important on a team. In our episode with Henry Batten, Concrete Supply, we explore the differences between tactical leaders and strategic leaders. Both can end with the same results, but one approach is a lot more effective (and enjoyable!).

The Influencer Game

What’s better than having a team of great people? Having a team of great people who rally together to collaborate and problem-solve as one unit! In Dan Davis’s episode, he took us back to when he joined the Davco team and what he has learned since then. He stresses the importance of acknowledging that, as a leader, you don’t have to know everything on day one, but you must be willing to learn from others and celebrate the small wins along the way.

So, what is the common thread between all these ideas? Being a leader is not about you. It’s all about the people and the team. Looking in the mirror and reflecting on yourself as a leader is a powerful place to start your leadership journey and realize it’s OKAY to fail forward along the way.

We hope you enjoyed this series as much as we did! Stay tuned for our next series dropping later this year: Construction Jobsite Discoveries. And make sure you are following us on social media and your favorite streaming platforms, so you don’t miss a thing!

Have a guest suggestion for our upcoming series or want to share your feedback? Email us at