Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Construction Genius

Feb 18, 2020

Liverpool Lessons: 

Four Traits of Every Winning Team

Right now, Liverpool Football Club is in the midst of a historic run in terms of wins and losses. What has enabled the team to perform at such a high level? Is it money? Facilities? Talent? Many other teams have that, so I believe there’s another critical factor at work: culture. And this culture starts with the manager, Jurgen Klopp, trickling down to the rest of the organization.

Just like soccer, construction is also a team sport. In today’s episode of Construction Genius, I share my knowledge and insights on how to build and be part of a winning team. Leaders need to ingrain in each member the same winning culture despite their differences. I will also be talking about my experiences and discoveries in working with a diverse set of people using four remarkable characteristics of the Liverpool soccer team.

If you want to build a positive, team-oriented culture, make sure to listen to the whole episode for a more detailed discussion!

How to Lead and Work in an Effective Team

Liverpool’s Culture: A Must in a Construction Company

  • The Liverpool team’s healthy culture largely contributes to their success. 
  • Their culture is characterized by these four traits: 
    • hunger, 
    • hard work, 
    • humility, 
    • and happiness.
  • These four are common to most great teams, and you can apply and promote them in your construction company.

What Is Hunger?

  • Hunger is a desire or a lack.
  • Liverpool is hungry because they haven’t won in a long time.
  • When you haven’t had something in a while, it creates a desire in you to fulfill.
  • Hunger is highly motivational.
  • Ask yourself, “What is the hunger that drives you, your team, and your company?”
  • It focuses your effort and energy, as well as pushes you to be resourceful and creative.

Expressing Hunger

  • Hunger is expressed through dedication. It pushes you to dedicate your efforts to satiate what you feel.
  • Hunger is also expressed through having initiative. It means you move forward and persist until the hunger is met.
  • Hunger results in ingenuity.
  • The best companies, just like sports teams, are hungry for wins and have a sense of camaraderie.
  • Cultivate in yourself and in your people the hunger to excel and be best at what you do.

Making Hard Work Come to Life

  • While hunger is universal, hard work is not.
  • “No matter how much you want, laziness won't help a bit, but hard work will reward you with more than enough.” Proverbs 13:4. I recommend reading a chapter of Proverbs of the Old Testament for a month.
  • Work harder and smarter. Focus on intelligent, hard work.
  • The people you lead are always looking at you. Be responsible for manifesting the traits you want your subordinates to have.

Hard Work of a Construction Professional

  • Work hard on being technically competent with bidding, planning, and building.
  • Do the hard work of looking at the project from your customer’s perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and determine what they are looking to get out of the project.
  • Do the hard work of looking at the project from your company’s perspective.
  • Not all projects have the same allotted attention and resources. Determine where the project sits in relationship with the other projects.
  • Understanding this can help you be content and focused on its execution.
  • A leader should go through the hard work of communication. Effective communication leads to a productive work process.
  • Likewise, competence is just as crucial for a leader.
  • In construction, we tend to spend a lot of time putting out fires instead of preventing them in the first place. It is a result of a lack of competence or attention.
  • Being proactive reduces stress.

Importance of Humility

  • Humility is an appropriate view of yourself.
  • The best athletes have confidence that may be interpreted as arrogance. However, you know they are always working on their craft.
  • The best construction executives always leave room for improvement and think of ways to learn.
  • Experiencing life’s ups should not be a reason for entitlement. Humility is vital in dealing with adversities. It is what’s going to keep you moving forward when life gets too discouraging.
  • Humble people have a steady, even keel about them in their lives.

Expressing Humility

  • Show up every day and put in the work.
  • It also equates to committing to supporting other people.
  • Humility is a real lack of selfishness. Don’t make everything about yourself.
  • Be interested in winning.
  • Admit your mistakes quickly.
  • Take responsibility and spread the credit. As a leader, you don’t hoard all the praise for yourself.

How Does Unhappiness Manifest?

  • Unhappiness manifests in constant complaints, grumbling, and self-pity.
  • One of the reasons why people aren’t happy is they aren't good at anything.
  • We spend a lot of time watching other people be excellent, but we don’t take the time to cultivate excellence within ourselves.
  • As a result, we struggle, and this causes unhappiness.
  • Another reason why people are unhappy is they continue to do the wrong things.
  • Moreover, unhappy people don’t put enough energy and effort into maintaining good relationships with people who matter.

Cultivating Happiness

  • Get small wins under your belt.
  • Consistently commit to regular, effective communication.
  • Embrace and pay attention to the construction process.
  • A week doesn’t sum up the success of a project. You can make incremental steps to achieve your goals.
  • If you combine hard work, hunger, and humility, you are well on your way to happiness and building happy teams.
  • Teams cultivate hunger, humility, and hard work to win, which in turn creates happiness.

Your Next Steps

  • Consider the atmosphere of the teams in your organization.
  • Set goals that may stretch your team but are still attainable.
  • Work hard and be an example of pursuing the goals diligently.
  • Hold each other accountable.
  • Do not make assumptions and find out the truth.
  • Communicate up and down the chain of command.
  • Make sure you're blocking out time for high leverage tasks from which you may easily get distracted.
  • Be humble and admit your mistakes quickly. The earlier you do it, the faster you can move on.
  • Always ask yourself how you can improve.
  • Recognize your people’s achievements and spread credit.
  • To be happy, stop doing the things you shouldn’t be doing. Instead, do what you should be doing.
  • Don’t complain if things are not perfect. Communicate with your team and be content with incremental progress when things don’t go as planned.


Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more podcast episodes, visit my website, and you can also check out Construction Genius Podcast on LinkedIn. Tune in to the Construction Genius: A Leadership Master-Class Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Thank you for listening!