Great Expectations in Leadership part 4
Excellent leaders enable others to act. They empower people to step up and become leaders themselves.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
Let’s go to Disneyland!
Savvy construction contractors know that everyone on the team must understand where they are headed. But there are a few things to consider. A simple example of the stages involved in getting everyone stepping in the right direction is preparing a trip to Disneyland for children.
When children are young, it is best not to tell them a trip to Disneyland will occur six months from now. They will not be able to help you prepare in any way, and they will drive you crazy with the oft-repeated question of “when.”
Older children can be given heads-up several months in advance because they can grasp the concept of time, including calendar days. Happily, they can take on intermediary goals regarding preparation.
Older children can take on the responsibility of the budget, the time allotted, and the task of planning the trip.
The same is true of construction employees but has more to do with skill sets, experience, and dedication than age. And, it has to do with how well you, as their leader, educate, communicate, motivate, delegate, and (yes, this one too) terminate.
Just as education begins at home (you know, walking and talking), employee education starts at the home office. Teaching team members to walk the walk and talk the talk begins in the office, on the job site, and everywhere they are a part of your operation.
Therefore, it is prudent to be educating all the time. Teach things concerning the convictions connected to your construction contracting business. In other words, passing on the shared vision of this is what we do, and this is how we act while doing it must be viewed as a continual part of educating those in your employ.
Further, providing classes and experiences for members of your team is one piece of the education process. Aiding employees in gaining or improving their skills or knowledge base adds to your construction company’s intrinsic worth.
One part of educating the team that is sometimes overlooked is setting clear employee (individual and group) goals and expectations. Think in terms of:
No matter how many times you communicate, or which means you use to do so, the most glaring and, therefore, the most important is how you walk and talk. Get this one right, and the others are like icing on the cake.
Sometimes you must communicate one-on-one, and sometimes your communication takes place in groups, large or small. In every case, honesty and integrity (although sometimes immensely hard) must be adhered to.
That simple and that complex.
You’re unlimited when it comes to means of communication. (Hint – use them all.) Here is a partial list:
Internal communication app
In the office
On the job site
One motivator is always the paycheck. Secondarily, employees are likely to consider the benefits package. Swaying into the benefits category might be a bonus program. Check out the 3-part series we presented in 2018 that deals with developing a Performance-Based Bonus Program.
Yet there are other motivators you should consider:
The words of praise you or others in your organization give.
Your construction company’s involvement in community interaction and giving back.
Insight into the mission you’re on and how you intend to achieve it.
What part individuals play in accomplishing the goals leading to success.
Hiring well and establishing systems and processes allow you to make the boldest moves. Constant attention and continual improvement in both areas make you capable of achieving much more.
When delegating, there are many things to consider, such as skill level and trainability. After that, two major factors will increase your capabilities.
Can they do it? Let them.
Ask for their input. Listen.
Sometimes folks need to be terminated because they are bad apples. You already know how bad apples mess up the entire barrel. Mean-spirited backbiting and general mockery of leaders and coworkers can spread and ruin an untold amount of goodwill building.
At other times, the people who must go are the ones who don’t pull their weight. Either because they lack motivation or “don’t get it,” they must be removed from your payroll.
Especially in the second instance, your other employees will be relieved. Far from being worried, they are more likely to have a boost in motivation.
More to the Story
This post is the fourth in a 5-part series of articles dealing with leadership in the construction industry. You can learn more starting with the first post.
Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
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