The world of construction is changing every day. New solutions have solved many traditional construction challenges, permanently raising the bar when it comes to project quality and speed. That means client expectations are sky-high, and today’s leaders can’t afford to get stuck in the past.
In 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, author John Maxwell explains the law of navigation: anyone can steer a ship, but only a leader can chart the course. In construction, strong navigation requires adaptability. Even perfectly planned projects can go off the rails. So, leaders must continually gather insights and watch for trends so that they can change direction when needed.
Many of the industry’s top leaders are ready to weather the storm, but these leaders are in high demand. AS a result, organizations need to cultivate great leadership internally if they want to thrive in the future.
So what makes a great leader in the construction industry? And how do you tell a great leader from an average one? Let’s take a look.
They Have a Clear Vision
To successfully chart a course, the construction leaders need to have a clear vision, not just of the project ahead, but of the future challenges and opportunities within the industry. Good leaders are masters of anticipation: they see problems before they become problems and they plan accordingly. This can mean training employees to handle unforeseen situations, adopting new technology ahead of the competition or adjusting operational workflow to prevent inefficiencies from accumulating.
Whether managing the job site or the boardroom, construction leaders must direct their team while also motivating them. This means connecting the dots between individual procedures and the big picture of company financials and growth. When team members can see the impact that their work has on the overall success of the firm, they’re more likely to adopt best practices, follow standard procedures and look for ways to continually improve.
But communicating the company vision to your team requires total confidence in your direction. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to gather data, statistics and analytics that help leaders develop a strong vision they can proudly stand behind. Resource planning technology, for example, allows construction firms to plan and schedule projects based on resource availability. With CMiC’s construction ERP platform, project managers and team leaders can access a visual heat map that shows project milestones next to employee availability. This helps organizations anticipate staffing shortages or scheduling conflicts, and determine the project workload they’ll need to keep their full-time employees busy.
This is just one example of how advanced construction software provides leaders with indispensable insights and data. With streamlined data collection and multi-view analytics dashboards, ERP software provides executives with a birds-eye-view of all the most important metrics for managing financial health and keeping a company on course.
They Change with the Times
While the construction industry has been slow in its adoption of new technology, there are many examples of individual firms and leaders that have embraced construction software. Not only have they used technology to improve their operations, they’ve also used it to improve their leadership approach.
The strongest construction leaders focus on communication because they know that leading a team requires ongoing collaboration between the field and office. The complexity of construction projects has increased significantly in recent years, particularly when it comes to collaboration. Leaders must wrangle and manage a large group of vendors, employees and stakeholders who are spread out across locations.
Through remote management, leaders are tasked with assisting employees with job site challenges, responding quickly to RFIs and making quick decisions. They’re also required to keep a close watch on job site activity and adjust schedules, budgets and financial forecasts whenever necessary.
Successful construction leaders handle this complex and overwhelming list of demands with streamlined ERP software that makes communication and collaboration a whole lot simpler. Customized dashboards and project controls make sense of the chaos, mobile technology keeps teams connected and a single database gives everyone access to accurate, real-time data.
They Set Clear Expectations
Any team feeds off their leader’s passion and expectations. Under a strong leader, workers understand their responsibilities and their role in the overall project. When employees are contributing to the cause of a leader they believe in, they work efficiently and diligently. That’s how great leaders drive results and morale at the same time.
They Use the Best Tools
Imagine you’re working on a construction site and the foreman hands you an old toolbox full of antique tools. Some are broken or in bad conditions, others are simply too outdated to be useful. Now imagine trying to get through a day’s work. You try to make the best of a bad situation, but in the end, you can’t complete your work without the proper tools.
Today, job sites rely on advanced technology to get the job done. And, the most successful construction leaders today know that advanced software can augment and reinforce nearly every other important leadership trait. They also recognize that with the rapid advancement of technology across industries, it’s becoming more important to embrace digital transformation.
If you’re feeling behind when it comes to technology, the best place to start is with research. Not all construction software is created equally, so explore your options and set some priorities within your organization. Remember that incorporating new technology into your workflow is an involved process, so make sure you’re not settling for quick and cheap solutions. Transforming your leadership capabilities with technology requires a commitment to finding robust solutions that will provide lasting benefits.
To start your construction software research journey, check out 7 Questions to Ask Potential Construction Software Vendors.