How to Become a Great Leader in Construction

Leadership is a responsibility and something that can be developed and built over time. For construction leaders, running a business, being excellent at your craft/trade, managing work/life, and being a great leader can be a very difficult balance. Here are a few tips to help you become a better leader, wherever you are.

Don’t Make Mountains out of Mole Hills

Whenever a fire arises in the workday, it can quickly take all of your attention, even if it isn’t a particularly hard or large issue. For instance, you could have an employee call in sick, which would delay your current project. Your mind might start racing thinking about what the client will think, what you can do to rectify the now lopsided schedule, when will your employee be back, the risk for a domino effect from a single delay or any other concerns.

In times like this, it is important to take a step back, develop a plan, communicate effectively, reset expectations when needed, and execute.

Focus on Success Instead of Failure

There are trains of thought that will come in and out of your head all day as you operate a business. You can think of your mind as an airport or train station. What thoughts will you board? Taking the mental energy and redirecting it towards positive thoughts will help you find peace, feel refreshed, and lead better.

You could look at tomorrow and see supply chain issues, increasing costs, and unwilling employees, but what are the positives from the situation you’re in? Do you have employees you can train up? Future business opportunities? A skillset that is in demand? Focusing on the potential successes won’t always make leading easier, but it will help boost the morale of your team, which has massive implications in your business.

Establish Routines

In ways large or small, routines can help you become a great leader. They are what you might call your pre-choice choices. Do you set your phone near you at night so you can snooze your alarm when it is time to wake up? Or do you set it across the room, leaving you the unpleasant option of listening to it blare for minutes on end or get up, shut it off, and get started for the day?

Many times, a routine isn’t about setting one specific task or goal in front of you. More often than not, building a routine is all about knowing yourself and building railways for you to travel on throughout your day. The alarm clock dilemma is a great example of this. Are you just setting it in your mind to get up earlier and relying solely on your willpower at 5am? No! The you that was awake at 11 o’clock the night before knew you had some place to be and moved the phone further away to force you to get up, which eventually helps establish a routine.

Willpower will come and go depending on the day, but the conscious choices you make to help establish routines won’t. The ability to establish routines will help your personal and professional life, as your employees look to you as a person of stability and consistency, even as your emotions and thoughts fluctuate.

Take One Step Today, Become A Better Leader Tomorrow

Change takes time and consistency. Find one thing you can put into place today and try it out. It may not even work out the first time, so have the flexibility and endurance to try something else if it doesn’t. If you want to be a leader who is in touch with their staff, consider a morning text or email, which you were reminded of by an alarm in your phone.

By choosing to set an alarm for yourself, you’ll be more consistent and likely to follow through on taking active steps to get connected with your crew. Be on the lookout for opportunities to set up pre-choice choices that will eventually help you establish railways for your days, business, and routines.

The Benefits of Great Leadership

Working on yourself in your personal life is a lot of work, much less trying to be a leader for your crews. Setting out to become a great leader won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Here are a few benefits that you’ll begin to see as improve your leadership skills:

  • You have peace. You may not have it all solved, but you are aware of what you’re working on and what choices you are actively making.

  • The gap between who you say you are and who you really are will grow smaller and smaller. With that, your employees and customers will trust you more. With greater trust, they’ll have greater commitment. With greater commitment, you’ll have better results. With better results, you’ll build a better and more profitable business.

  • Your crew will want to follow you more than they want to follow the mission.

  • As you begin to grow and take accountability, you create a broader sphere of influence and can help those in similar situations to you.

Focus on the one thing you can change and be flexible about it! It may not work for you, but as long as you are consistently making an effort, you’ll start to become a better leader in the home, workplace, and in each place of influence.

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