Despite construction being classified as essential work, both the coronavirus and subsequent political unrest have jostled the industry. Though this has exacerbated the usual uncertainty that is part of our industry even in normal times, construction workers are generally not fazed by unpredictability. Perhaps that is part of why, as LinkedIn news reported, “Tensions were lowest in construction and manufacturing, with at least 25% reporting no concerns about returning to the workplace.” Though that may seem low, it is double the rate in corporate America more broadly. Construction is an ever-evolving and challenging industry, so the more stability you can create within your company’s culture, the better will be your chances of hiring and retaining the best talent available. The professionals with the ability to implement and follow smart business practices don’t let fear cloud their ability to take ownership of their responsibility within their respected place of business.
What can you do as a leader in these times to create stability for yourself and others in spite of uncontrollable circumstances beyond the management of projects?
First, it is important to remain focused and connected to others on your leadership team. Many executives are working remote or partially. This is an excellent time to implement one-on-one, team, or small group sessions to work on relationships beyond just discussing the challenges or successes that are project related.
One of the programs facilitated by our company is the Work of Leaders.
The program is designed with the principle that “Leaders have three fundamental responsibilities: They craft a vision, they build alignment, and they champion execution.
Of course, there’s a lot of skill that goes into each of these responsibilities. That is, in fact, what The Work of Leaders is all about. The model is broken down into three key things effective leaders do at each step, and describes specific behaviors for each.
Crafting a Vision: imagining an improved future state that the group will make a reality through its work.
Building Alignment: getting to the point where everyone in the group understands and is committed to the vision.
Championing Execution: ensuring that the conditions are present for the imagined future to be turned into a reality.
The true value of this model is that it lays out a manageable, realistic framework to guide the process. The goal is to provide straightforward explanations of where you may choose to target your personal development efforts.
Crafting a vision through exploration, boldness, and testing assumptions allows you to look beyond all the craziness in the world right now and the added pressures to see more clearly.
Step two helps you to gather your other leaders together to enhance your alignment towards the vision. Clarifying the vision with the people that will help lead the way with you through open and bold discussions will outline the path and potential roadblocks, and create buy-in and inspiration to appropriately execute.
The last step in the program is the execution. Execution requires time frames, the structure, regular measurement, and feedback to keep everyone moving in the same direction toward the goals set forth in the vision stage.
Whether your vision is to sustain your current volume while working on increased efficiency and profitability, or to grow and expand your volume and services sustainably, Work of Leaders will provide a roadmap for your team to follow. We have customized the program specifically for the construction industry and have the ability to add customized training to the program to address your individual needs. Behavioral expectation is a common request as an add-on to the program, as many people in construction can be unapproachable and unfriendly at times. Contact us for more information.
Congratulations to the construction management professionals and teams who stay dedicated to “Building America”. Without you, there would be no hope of rebuilding after periods of crisis.