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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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Customer Reviews

“Richard and crew have been great, for sure. As much as I look forward to having the job done and my house back in order, I really enjoyed having them around. You should feel really good about how they represent your company.”

— Jessica Dodson

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA

“In all the years I've worked with MB Jessee, I'm always so impressed by your crews. They are so respectful of everything--you never even know they're there! Except that the paint looks amazing when they're gone. We've had one showing of our home and already have an offer. I'm sure it is because the paint looks so beautiful.”

— Erin T.
Pleasant Hill

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“The people at M.B. Jessee are great – from the painters to the office staff to Matt. Talk about leadership from the top.”

— Kevin Ames, Mark Becker Homes

“Edy and crew are hard at work. They are doing a great job. Very professional outfit you have. Your crew is a delight. You may use me for a reference!”

— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan

“Thank you for the support you have given the Women's Cancer Resource Center over the past year!”

— Margo - Director Women's Cancer Resource Center

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont