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Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting

Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting
Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting
Sharpening the Saw at MB Jessee Painting

We’ve been in the wonderful position at MB Jessee this year to be able to hire.  As a result, we have quite a few new faces around the table at our company meetings.  Matt and I thought it would be a good time to have a half day team training to educate our new painters on ‘The MB Jessee Way’ and as a refresher for our veterans.  We called it ‘Sharpening The Saw.’ 

Our plan was simple.  We organized the meeting with just a few key components, asked each of the MB Jessee foremen to lead a portion of the meeting with a topic they felt was critical, and we hoped for a lot of participation from our guys.  We sketched ourselves out a rough map to follow: How We Look, How We Act, and What We Do.  A quick call to our neighbors here in Oakland, Carrie Dove Catering, to provide a delectable breakfast for everyone to chow down on mid-morning and we were off and running.

Many people call themselves painters.  But their idea is vastly different from the MB Jessee definition! We’ve all seen the guys in cut-off paint spattered jeans, t-shirts so covered with paint you can’t actually see what color they once were, and tennis shoes working away at an unkempt jobsite.  Um, that is not ‘The MB Jessee Way’!  Our Foreman, John, lead this topic by example.  Crisp and clean from his the top of his MB Jessee cap to the bottom of his work boots.   The professional way that you appear and how you carry yourself matters, John told us, and sets the tone for the whole project.  John closed with a rejoinder to look your best by “showing your belt!”

The next stop on our road map was How We Act.  Our estimator Ricardo, foreman Richard and I set up the discussion around the themes of going the extra mile for our clients, respecting each other, and professional conduct at all times.  We had a lot of great feedback from all of our guys during this segment.  Some of our favorite takeaways were:

  • There is no I in team—so let’s all work together
  • It’s more than what you know, it’s how much you care
  • Pause, think, choose
  • What does our client need today and how can we deliver it? Go the extra mile!

After a morning full of talk, we were ready to eat!  We had a lovely breakfast of baked French toast, maple sausage, breakfast potatoes, fruit salad and a frittata.  Everyone sat together in our shop and chatted and laughed.  It was terrific!

After a spread like that, we were all ready for a bit of a stretch!  Next stop on our map: What We Do.  Again we looked to our foremen to lead the way.  Vicente demonstrated how to properly set up a shop.  He showed the multiple steps MB Jessee uses to protect a client’s home by using a plastic masking film, then a masking paper and then a drop cloth on top.  Only then did he then begin to set up the paint cans etc.  This methodical setup ensures that no spills or drips will get on any of our client’s belongings and allows us to “wrap it up like a burrito” at the end of every day, leaving our client’s home as clean as we found it—even mid-project!


Rigo was up next with ladder safety.  He used an old MB Jessee teaching technique we call Know, Show, Do.  He first explained how to use a ladder safely and then showed us himself how to do it.  Lastly, to cement it in our minds, he had a couple of the guys do it—even Matt!

We closed out our long morning of training with a great wrap up discussion.  It was an informative and educational day for everyone at MB Jessee Painting.  And best of all—we got so many ideas for our next training.  We’ll see everyone in September! 

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