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Construction Genius

Aug 6, 2019

Tom Ford, Partner and Director of Operations of MarketOne Builders a general contractor based in Sacramento, California is my guest. 

He launched MarketOne Builders in 1997 with his partner James Fitzgerald, focusing on providing Owners, Architects, Planners, Tenants and other shareholders the comfort of knowing their GC is driving the project to meet all of their expectations, especially cost control, quality and schedule. 

Tom has 30 years of industry experience, and is actively involved in the business development, preconstruction and project management of commercial construction projects. He graduated from Fresno State with a degree in Construction Management. Worked for Rudolph and Sletten, which groomed his technical abilities as well as his approach to leadership. 


  • The biggest challenges of a booming economy 
  • How “overpromotion” is affecting project efficiency and quality 
  • Why there is no substitute for “time in the seat”
  • The importance of resourceful and creative project managers
  • How MarketOne is attracting talent from the San Francisco Bay Area
  • The role web, social media presence and work environment plays in hiring 
  • Lessons learned from the .com bubble in the late 1990s
  • Learning how to structure the company to ride the ups and downs of the economic cycle
  • Retaining talent by emphasizing culture, a sense of purpose, and a team environment 
  • Staying competitive in a mid-market environment by being flexible in project selection 
  • Why senior executives need to stay in touch with their people, projects, and clients 
  • The most important soft skill an entry level project engineer must learn
  • “Jumping out of a perfectly good plane” to start a business
  • Teaching the right people to be better builders
  • How Tom learned humility 
  • Defining “relationship risk” and how it links to project success
  • Making work “a better place to be” 
  • Lunch, beers, golf: The vital skill of building relationships with subcontractors 
  • Striving to sustain MarketOne’s name across generations and leaving a legacy of strong relationships 

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Construction Leaders Dashboard. 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. 

To get your copy of the dashboard, click this link.