Serving Our Country in FM




Shownotes:

(0:57) Introduction To AnJuan Thomas

(3:04) Journey into FM

(5:08) What Are You Reading?

(6:42) FM Within the Military

(9:15) How The Military Impacted Leadership Skills in FM

(12:54) Transitioning from Military to FM Role

(15:29) Creating an American Experience in a Foreign Country

(18:02) Global Labor Shortage & Supply Chain Challenges

(21:15) Love to Serve and Love to Learn

(29:08) Military Life vs. Civilian Life

(35:25) AnJuan’s Legacy

(39:46) Advice & Wrap Up


Links:

Shawn Black

AnJuan Thomas

State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations

Foreign Service Facility Manager Vacancy


Book Recommendations:

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk


Quotes:


“You're only as good as the team you work with.”

(10:13) - AnJuan Thomas


“I actually considered that to be one of the greatest benefits of my time in the military, because I got the chance to learn from their successes and from their failures.”

(10:42) - AnJuan Thomas


"I'd like to leave a legacy. You know, where I kind of served as a bridge from the old to the new, being that, I've grown up in this industry.”

(36:17) - AnJuan Thomas


"I would say the biggest driver for me and for my experience as a facility manager is serving others."

(21:18) - AnJuan Thomas


"Being flexible, being coachable, not being too full of yourself, that would be the best advice I would give to anyone in FM."

(40:39) - AnJuan Thomas




Serving Our Country in FM with AnJuan Thomas


"I kind of served as a bridge from the old to the new, being that, I've grown up in this industry."
(36:17) - AnJuan Thomas

Shawn Black was joined by AnJuan Thomas on this episode to discuss serving our country both here and abroad along with the importance of it. Facility management within our military and government is a topic not often spoken of but is extremely impactful to all of us in FM.


AnJaun Thomas is a foreign service specialist and deputy facility manager at the U.S. Department of State. He serves as a highly-skilled facilities and operations manager. From orchestrating maintenance functions and directing departments to lofty goals within tight time frames, he has qualifications and experience that we were honored to learn from on this past episode.


Starting in the U.S. air force, AnJuan's first step into the FM world was by serving as a civil engineering operations manager within the civil engineering unit. His understanding of an FM's importance occurred when he realized that they were not just managers but were the go-to person and the symbol for the civil engineering unit.

"We served as the face of the civil engineering unit, much like how a facility manager serves as the face of a building."
(7:01) - AnJuan Thomas

As time went on, all questions and problems would go to the operations manager. When visitors of the military installation facilities had problems or questions, they would look to the operations manager. Whether it was solving it or empowering them to solve it themselves, the operations manager was the point person. Then there was a point in AnJuan's career where he was worn out from the back-to-back problems, and troubleshooting for the same people and decided to begin serving in the FM role. He began as an advisor and trainer of simple engineering principles on a military installation. AnJuan loved it and then committed to it for the majority of his military service.


"I think my experience in national service as a whole… has tremendously shaped my leadership skills."
(9:26) - AnJuan Thomas

One of the three core values of the AirForce is, "service before self." That in itself has shaped AnJuan’s leadership and communication style. Having that value engrained in all of his work is apparent with the empowerment he gives to others and the servant leadership that allows him to build up servants rather than just "leaders".


Working within the military also creates an identity of working as a team player. No matter your ranking in the military, you are hyper-aware that you are working for a team and within a team.


Lastly, serving as an understudy created an evolution into seasoned leadership with highly experienced advice and counsel. AnJuan did not extend any senior ranks within ten years of service but spent most of the time under service members in senior ranks.


"I actually considered that to be one of the greatest benefits of my time in the military because I got a chance to learn from their successes and from their failures."
(10:42) - AnJuan Thomas

The biggest challenge in serving as an FM on foreign soil with an American experience is the supply of resources. Things that help buildings function well in America, i.e., garbage disposals, are rare luxuries abroad. Even materials and parts needed to keep buildings standing upright are not abundant in other countries like the United States. A big hurdle has been navigating the local laws. The United States has high standards for safety. Many foreign countries, AnJuan explains, are not remotely close to those held at home.


It is AnJuan’s job as the foreign service facility manager is to provide a building at the highest quality of safety, whether it is the U.S. standard or, in rare cases, a standard that is higher than the U.S.'s.


Being abroad has not kept AnJuan from facing the labor shortage or supply-chain issues we have been experiencing nationally. The problem is global just as the facility management industry is. The conundrum? FM has become both more important and more challenging in the past year than ever before. Health and safety standards are reaching a level that cannot be attained with the simultaneous lack of in-person employees. This problem has to be addressed all over the world.


"I would say the biggest driver for me and for my experience as a facility manager is serving others."
(21:18) - AnJuan Thomas

To end, AnJuan left us with the two main things that keep him going in the FM world and that we think are the keys to his success. First, make it a core value or even choose to love to serve others. Secondly, love to learn. That learning can be about whatever you want, but find something that you always want to learn more about.


"Being flexible, being coachable, not being too full of yourself, that would be the best advice I would give to any FM."
(40:39) - AnJuan Thomas


Stay up to date with all things FM!


Wanting to keep up with Fm Evolution? For all the current events, programs or people by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!


Thanks for joining us! The FM evolution podcast is brought to you by CGP maintenance and construction services. We'll ensure consistently great performance to help keep your business running smoothly. For more information, visit CGPconstruction.com.


Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
  • 1200px-Podcasts_(iOS).svg
  • YouTube
  • Facebook App Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter App Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon