Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 10
THE RIGHT STUFF
Successful construction leaders need to make tough calls. BY DR. LINDA HENMAN
ability to make good decisions
can help you get promoted in a
ost people agree about what
it takes to move up the ladder
in an average construction
company: hard work, loyalty,
technical knowledge, and people skills.
These form the foundation for success and
explain why some people receive promotions, and others don't. But then both the
game and rules change.
As people approach the higher echelons of
a construction company, the technical expertise that others valued so highly starts to take
a backseat to something else -something
even decision-makers can't quite put their
fingers on: advanced critical thinking skills.
My work with hundreds of leaders suggests that by the time you retire, you will
have the same critical thinking abilities you
brought with you on your first day. Education and experience can polish them up,
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
provide some new and useful information, and bring previously
unused talent to the fore, but nothing can create what isn't there.
People cannot soar beyond their cognitive capabilities. Many with
fervent hope, however, fail to grasp this reality. Decision makers
often believe coaching, mentoring and experience will turn each of
their technical experts into star performers, but the very traits and
talents that explain success at the beginning of a person's career
won't explain success later.
What It Takes
What does it take to be promoted in a construction company? The
simple answer is "better decision-making," the ability to make the
tough calls, especially about the future. These tough calls demand
sound judgment, experience, a moral gyroscope and fortitude. Only
those who possess these traits can ensure aspirations are not guillotined by limitations.
But how can you recognize those who can and will engage in and
excel at making these calls? When making a hiring or promotion
decision, based on the individual's proven record of success, ask
yourself the following: