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Construction Genius

Sep 17, 2019

From April 2006 through January 2011, nearly 2.3 million construction jobs

were wiped out in the United States

Ever since then, the construction industry has not been able to make up for this loss of skilled labor.  There is not only a labor shortage in the field, there’s also a leadership gap in the field and in the office. 

Case in point is a message I received on LinkedIn from Sina Bahmani a young construction leader from Sweden: 

I love your podcast Construction Genius. The content is very valuable for me and I have recommended the podcast to all my colleges. I work as a design manager in Sweden and something I would love an episode about how we as young managers can lead our teams when we still don’t have so much experience in different technically advanced areas. This is a big issue in Sweden and probably in other parts of the world as well, where we have a generation shift and many young professionals in a highly demanding position.

Thanks to Sina for his question. In this episode I’ll discuss three thing young construction managers can do to become effective leaders: 

1. Face Reality 

2. Lay A Strong Foundation 

3. Act Like an Adult 


1. Face Reality: 

  1. You’re not that hot. 
  2. You don’t know far more than you know 

You need to grow in: 

    • Institutional knowledge 
    • Technical knowledge 
    • Relational knowledge 
  1. You have an incredible opportunity 

Young People have: Energy, Ambition, Time

2. Lay a Strong Foundation: 

What is your vision for your career?

Which values guide you in your career?

What is Your Edge?

What do others say you do well? 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the top one to three assignments, projects, or achievements I need in order to develop expertise and my track record?
  • The top one to three key skills or knowledge I need to acquire?
  • The top five mentors, industry leaders, functional experts, and other key people I need to know, and who I don’t know now?
  • Any specific formal education and training that will help me achieve my career vision

3. Act like an Adult

  1. Be patient 

Don’t be in a hurry. Build your career, consistently improve your technical and people skills.

  1. Be useful

Finish your work, then look to help others with their work. Start with your department, then branch out to the rest of your company.

  1. Don’t be jealous 

Be happy when others in your company do well. Find out why they succeeded, imitate them and seek to help them to greater heights.

  1. Don’t boast 

Allow the quality of your work to speak for itself.

  1. Don’t get a fat head

Don’t allow success to inflate your ego, but always be thinking what you can do to improve, and increase your contribution and impact.

  1. Adapt yourself to others

Study how others prefer to communicate, how they like to work and ask yourself: “How can I adapt myself to contribute to their success?”

  1. Stop worrying about a raise or promotion 

Good help is hard to find. Focus on being good help. Perks, raises, promotions will follow.

  1. Don’t get offended

You’re not in college or high school anymore. In the real-world people have different opinions, perspectives and lifestyles, get used to it.

  1. Don’t keep track of offenses

In any career you’ll get screwed, passed over, dissed. Don’t keep track of it. Just keep working, doing your best, making a contribution.

  1. Help others when they fail

Don’t be happy when others fail. Try and help them recover. Maybe they’ll be there to help you through your failures.

  1. Recognize others 

Notice people excelling, specifically and sincerely praise them and tell others about their efforts.

  1. Don’t gossip

You’ll hear and see stuff. You’ll be tempted to join in the water cooler talk. That’s a waste of time. 

  1. Be Brave 

Hold people accountable. Have difficult, face to face conversations. 

  1. Be generous 

With your time and resources. 


Next steps: 

Get your copy of the Construction Leaders Dashboard and use it to clarify how you are going to become a successful leader.

This is what one of my clients, Chris Barkley, Director of Field Operations, at Teichert Construction says about the Construction Leaders Dashboard: 

The structure of Eric’s coaching process has been beneficial. Our business ramps up in the summer, and when things are going crazy, our guys keep our field operations running smoothly. They tell me that using the Construction Leaders Dashboard framework that Eric introduced to them has been awesome because they’ve been able to put pen to paper, clarify their personal goals, and relate them to their leadership responsibilities and Teichert’s objectives. It’s helped to simplify their focus and anchor them back into what they’ve committed to accomplishing this season.

The Dashboard will help you beat overwhelm, stay focused and maximize your leadership impact.

Click this link to get your copy: Construction Leaders Dashboard