Dear YouDig?

Dear YouDig?,

When we say we have a project team, we mean it. We seek input from all of our project players. Recently, we hired a highly recommended and accomplished assistant project manager on the belief that he would become an integral part of our cohesive group. Instead, he is as quiet as a mouse in our project meetings and frankly, everyone sees him as a place holder and there is negative chatter. Any suggestions on how to inspire change here or is a duck a duck?

-The Inspired

Dear Inspired,

When John Lennon wrote Nowhere Man, he was speaking of himself and disgusted with his own writer’s block.

He’s a real nowhere man, Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody. He doesn’t have a point of view,
knows not where he’s going too, isn’t he a bit like you and me?

He’s a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

John came out of it. Everyone struggles from time to time, “a bit like you and me.”

You hired the Nowhere Man based upon sound information and performance history. You conducted a series of interviews and established a consensus among your team. You were excited for the Nowhere Man to join you.

Now that the Nowhere Man is there, ask yourself some questions. What are YOU doing to make him comfortable? What responsibilities are YOU providing him to allow him to be recognized among the team, establish a presence and shine? Chances are that his transition will be difficult if he is joining an established cohesive group of strangers. I say, double down in your efforts to ignite the Nowhere Man and then let time work its magic.

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

If that fails then you can repurpose the Nowhere Man or cut bait, YouDig?


John Swansinger is the author and founder of YouDig?, is a partner in Buckingham, Doolittle & Burrough, LLC‘s real estate and construction practice group and is the Cleveland Office Partner in Charge. He works with contractors, developers and construction owners on construction law issues including construction contracts, commercial agreements, construction litigation, subcontractor issues, insurance liability, breach of contract and more. He can be reached at or 216.615.7356.

YouDig is an online resource that connects the construction community with vital issues affecting the industry and is a component of the business law firm Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC that is specifically geared toward construction.