The construction industry is filled with leaders. And we’re not just talking about CEO’s or construction managers. Leaders can be found across levels, working in a range of roles. We are big believers that everyone can — and should — be a leader in construction. Now the question is: how? Keep reading for our top five construction leader tips that even the newest apprentices can adopt.
Embody a leader’s mindset.
Anyone can step into a leadership role by simply behaving like a leader, even if their title is a general construction laborer. It’s all about thinking and acting like a leader. Now, adopting a leader’s mindset doesn’t give you free reign to be arrogant or bossy. Instead, you must be inspiring and responsive.
- When you move through projects with confidence, you’ll encourage others to do the same. But don’t just do it for show. Leaders do the right thing, even when others aren’t watching.
- Any time a need arises, listen intently and take action. You might be a peer providing perspective or you might be a senior team member improving internal processes. Either way, remember that leaders always do for others.
Take on a team attitude.
Construction is a team industry that is built on many specialties working together toward a common goal. That’s why leaders are so important to our industry’s success. Creating a strong team environment is two-fold. We need both delegation and collaboration. Leaders balance both to create clarity and autonomy for the team.
- Good leaders provide clear direction when delegating specific tasks, never losing sight of the important role each team member plays.
- They involve everyone in big-picture planning, knowing that the more minds working together, the better the end result.
Focus on the individual.
Leaders should never forget that teams are made up of unique individuals. Personalities are as varied as the roles worked, but great leaders know how to identify needs and address them, rather than shying away from problems or avoiding extra effort.
- Balance constructive feedback with motivating rewards and praise. Let others know that you see their value, whether that is their improved skills they’ve been working hard to master or supportive mentoring that have helped you grow.
- Show interest in getting to know each team member for who they are outside of work. Take the time to learn about their families and personal interests. A little bit of effort goes a long way.
Look to the future.
Leaders know that focusing solely on present tasks actually puts them behind. The trick to keeping the team motivated and projects progressing is by showing the end goal with clear steps along the way.
- Focus on long-term results that will inspire your team to keep up the great work. If you see a team member is discouraged, remind them why you are working on this project.
- Define objectives to help the team meet these future goals. Rather than creating a basic checklist, talk about tasks or even schedule ongoing check-ins. The quality facetime is worth it.
Develop other leaders.
Perhaps the best way to ensure future success is by teaching the next generation of leaders. Even as we personally take steps ahead as leaders, it’s important to reach a hand back to support the next in line.
- Create smaller teams that can look out for one another. That way, more senior workers are able to monitor performance and ensure quality work, and more junior workers will more easily find their voice in a smaller team setting.
- At the same time, it’s important to empower everyone on the team to take ownership of their tasks without micromanaging.
In whatever role you play on the construction team, keep these five tips in mind. We need more people to become leaders in every aspect of construction to take our industry to the next level. And there’s no better time to start than today.