A key person leaves the company. A client defaults on a contract. The company is part of a lawsuit, receives a safety fine or gets hit with an unexpected tax liability. These are just a few of the things that can hit at any time despite how careful we think we are as leaders.

To sustain in business is to be able to undergo, experience or suffer an injury or loss and still be able to endure without giving way.

Over the past twenty years of working with construction companies of all sizes each with a different specialty and no two with the same infrastructure, the commonality of sustainable vs not, most often, is predictable!

Ironically it is not usually the event that takes the company down, but a decision maker within the organization’s behavior prior to, during or soon after an unexpected event.

Control, bitterness, power and greed tend to creep in and wreak havoc which creates a downward spiral of financial and emotional loss.

So what is the best solution for sustainable growth? A solid Executive Team that holds one another accountable and supports one another in uncertain times.

Patrick Lencioni, best selling American author and business coach states in his book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business “At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and their fear, to sacrifice their egos for the collective good of the team. While this can be a little threatening and uncomfortable at first, ultimately it becomes liberating for people who are tired of spending time and energy overthinking their actions and managing interpersonal politics at work.”

The sustainable companies advantage is the top leader that focuses first on the health of the communication and relationship of those leading the key areas of the company and having a solid foundation within their organization.

“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health.”
― Patrick LencioniThe Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

Do you want a solid foundation for your company? When the cash flow is greater than the pace of the expenditures most owners and managing executives of construction companies are literally psyched making it more challenging for those that see the storm coming to get them to prepare. A chain reaction occurs if the relationship is not strong enough. The people that require the stability will leave to seek that stability leading to further destruction, many times irreparable.

How can your company become sustainable?

  1. A minimum of, mandatory, one hour weekly Executive Team meetings not to go over the WIP report, but to work on the structure of the company and the communication of the leadership team.
  2. Minimum weekly, one hour departmental meetings led and attended by the Executive in charge; Operations, Accounting, Administration etc.. reporting back to the Executive Team.
  3. Annual Strategic planning session.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented this year in the Wall Street Journal “The senior leadership team of any company [has] got to stay on the same page,” he told The Journal. “Any organization can easily devolve into a bunch of silos.”

Are you doing the minimum at your company? It’s not if misfortune will strike. It is when. Is your company sustainable?

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