Investing for Sustainability - Growth Hurts

“I can’t afford to invest more in talent development or process streamlining because we have a bunch of bad projects.”

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This may come from the different levels - for instance a crafts person who is too focused on individual productivity to train their apprentice.  It may come from the Project Manager who is too overloaded with work to train their Project Engineer.

Leadership Tools: Growth Hurts. How effectively are you investing your dollars?

The only way a contractor can truly grow sustainably is to build a culture that is focused on continuous personal-development and teaching others.  Truly great development hurts - it stretches our brains to grow the same way physical exercise stretches our muscles. Most of your team will resist this level of exertion and insist there is an easier way.  Most of your team will rationalize away performance problems and downplay the need for training.  

The management teams of growing contractors systematically lead their teams through extremely rigorous training building them to dominate tomorrow’s construction environment.


Look at your business and the stage of growth it is in.  

Is your team prepared (or preparing) for the next stage of growth?

What pain are you avoiding today that will be 10X worse in the near future?  




Stop Doing Things - Peter F. Drucker
The tendency as a leader’s role evolves is to keep adding things to their list of responsibilities and to their team. What’s important is to regularly pause and reflect about what you can STOP doing to allow for new ideas if they are really better.
Leading Growth through Building People
Southwest disrupted the airline industry by a relentless focus on building their people around a culture of fun, hard work, and hands-on leadership. Contractors with that same level of focus on their people and culture will dominate the industry tomorrow.
Be Specific About Problems
The business of construction is filled with constant problems. It’s not that great contractors don’t have problems, it's that great contractors have learned how to troubleshoot first, which allows them to learn from their problems faster.