Why Blue Collar University®?

Blue Collar University® is a different kind of toolbox for a different kind of manager. It is a training and mentoring program for managers and supervisors that are struggling or may never have been trained.

Here you can find information and articles to help you manage your managers and supervisors and better and to help them succeed. There is also information on the offerings of Blue Collar University®. I highly recommend*** that you subscribe to this site so that you get updates as they occur. I learned these lessons both from life and from consulting with clients at all levels, not just blue-collar.

My intent is two-fold: To train and encourage blue-collar managers and supervisors; to help others understand and work with the blue-collar manager.

Blue Collar University® is a system of management and leadership training and mentoring for blue-collar managers and supervisors, and the people that want them to succeed. It is based on years of pain having been mangled by my managers. That hurt, because I wanted them to appreciate what I was doing. The biggest problem though is agreeing on what, why, and how things need to be done. And THAT is due to a series of miscommunications that interfered with progress.

I am Bart Gragg. I worked my way through college – compressing four years into ten – and got my Bachelors of Science from the University of Houston by literally living and working on drilling rigs and in the oilfields of Texas while attending classes between shifts.

For decades I worked in some of the toughest industries out there – the oilfield, heavy industrial dismantling, refinery repair services. I was mangled by managers who often knew no more about management than myself. I will never forget the time that six supervisors were sitting around a conference table and the branch manager came in and slid thick ‘green-bar’ sheaves of paper in front of each of us. We were then told “Those are your numbers. You have to do better. I want to see a plan on how you are each going to raise your gross margins…” In the end, I was asked to explain what a gross-margin is because even the boss didn’t know. You can imagine what the plans looked like when they were submitted.

Enough was enough. I set about learning and implementing better management and leadership principles. As I did this I came to realize that many, if not most, “blue-collar managers” struggled with the same issues:

    • How to make the shift from labor to leader?
  • What to focus on at work and just as importantly, why?
  • Who to approach when help is needed?
  • How to make that approach so that time isn’t wasted.
  • Who needs what information, when, and in what format?
  • How to effectively get their point across…

And so much more.

If you want to help your managers and supervisors succeed, and if you want to do better as a result, then talk to me.
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