Leading Growth through Building People

Southwest Airlines disrupted the airline industry by a relentless focus on building their people around a culture of fun, hard work, and hands-on leadership.

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The contractors who truly have that same level of focus on their people and culture will dominate the industry tomorrow. 

Leadership Tools: Leading Growth Through a Focus on Building People. Quotes by Mikel Bowman, General Manager and Safety Specialist at Turner Mining Group and Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines.

Mikel Bowman from Turner Mining Group in an excellent video by Aaron Witt commented:

“We are more of a people company that does mining services.” 


Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan in the book Execution comment that:

“Leaders need to commit as much as 40 percent of their time and emotional energy, in one form or another, to selecting, appraising, and developing people.” 


You can see through the daily posts by leaders like Keaton Turner what spending this kind of time on people really looks like. These posts aren’t marketing fluff and can’t be faked. There is no way that doesn’t translate into long-term sustainable growth.  

We are at a major inflection point in the industry, including a major shortage of talent along with evolving project delivery methods and rapidly accelerating technologies.  


How much of your time did you spend on developing people last week? What’s your plan this week?




Production Tracking - Building Talent Faster
In 2018 a contractor’s primary growth constraint is available talent. At the craft and field supervision level there are plenty of people available; the constraint is about attracting them to the industry and training them.
Technology Integration - Streamlining Workflows
Construction technology can no longer be treated like a “Project” with a beginning, middle and end to the implementation. There are now hundreds of specialized technology tools that can be implemented by contractors and each add individual value.
Incentive Compensation for Contractors - Risks
The highest risk with any incentive program is the lack of a well thought out and systematic approach to either administering or implementing the program.