Jul 23, 2019
This podcast was inspired by a letter on leadership that George C. Marshall wrote in 1920. To download the letter, click this link.
George C. Marshall (1880 – 1959) was the Chief of Staff of the US Army from Sep. 1, 1939 – Nov. 18, 1945
Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary of War, paid tribute to Marshall: "I have seen a great many soldiers in my lifetime and you, Sir, are the finest soldier I have ever known."
As Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, Marshall advocated rebuilding Europe, a program that became known as the Marshall Plan, provided billions of dollars in aid to post war Europe to restart the economies of the destroyed countries.
This plan had a massive positive impact and has directly led to the general peace and prosperity that Europe has enjoyed for the past 75 years, and led to his being awarded the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.
President Harry S. Truman was asked which American he thought had made the greatest contribution of the preceding thirty years. Without hesitation, Truman picked Marshall, adding "I don't think in this age in which I have lived, that there has been a man who has been a greater administrator; a man with a knowledge of military affairs equal to General Marshall."
Physically Strong: This is critical to success as a leader. Therefore, take care of yourself. What you eat, how much you sleep, exercise.
Studied Your Profession: Be a student of the profession, every aspect. If you run a construction company you should have a good grasp of Bid, Build, Bill, and you should be an expert at least one.
Common Sense: What is common sense? “the knack for seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.”
Resist your impulses and pride, battle your prejudices and ignorance, and allow common sense to guide you.
To be cheerful is to be “ungrudging”
Optimism: disposed to take a favorable view of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
How to cultivate optimism:
Your job is to “look after the comfort of your organization, prepare for tomorrow, inspect your lines.”
E: Encouragement: You can do it!
A: Accountability: Did you do it?
R: Recognition: You did it!
Stay firm in your support for the company
How to navigate your internal loyalty struggles:
Have a firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end
Determination is displayed when things are alarming.
If you choose right ends, then that will help when things are challenging
Your job as a leader is to display determination in your cheerful optimism,
in your loyalty
And by providing comfort: Encouragement, Accountability, Recognition to others
The Construction Leaders Dashboard is one of the simplest and yet most powerful tools for leaders in construction companies of all sizes that can be used to clarify what you need to focus on in order to be a highly successful leader. It includes: Vision, Mission, Values, Edge, Initiatives, Metrics, Key Relationships, and Development Opportunities.