When you’re a construction manager, authentic leadership comes from day-to-day interactions. Proving to your team (and your company) that you have what it takes to complete projects effectively and utilize each worker’s strengths is the hallmark of true leadership, not just a high-level managerial title.
If you want to grow as a leader at the job site, the first key is understanding the difference between management and leadership. After all, you can be a leader without a senior managerial title.
When you have a firm grasp of construction leadership vs. management, you’ll experience increased confidence in your current role, make a positive difference on construction projects, and be prepared for higher roles in the company.
Management vs. Leadership: Why This Matters
Construction managers often hesitate to lead if they don’t have a high-ranking managerial position. But you don’t have to wait to be promoted to become a leader. In fact, showing leadership before achieving a higher role will make you look more capable in the eyes of your employer.
Consider some key differences between management and leadership that have the power to shape a team or company.
– Management focuses on goals, strategies, and other aspects of business growth. Good management is shown through the effective implementation of new programs and a knack for getting things done in a demanding area.
– Leadership concentrates on how the goals that describe good management are accomplished and how the employees and other managers respond.
Focusing on people instead of action items and implementation helps to establish a rapport with those actually doing the work. Highlighting individuals and helping them to progress and reach their full potential is a true hallmark of good leadership.
– Application: Instead of just focusing on the execution (management), you should take a vested interest in the purpose of the project, the people executing the project, the quality of the work, and any ethical issues that may be in play (leadership).
The 5 C’s of Construction Leadership
Here are five ways you can show initiative, inspire confidence in your team, and display a greater level of leadership in your daily managerial activities.
Safety at the job site is a number one priority. Not only does it keep accidents from happening which can seriously injure workers, but it also helps ensure a better finished product, increased morale, and improved use of time.
Lead by example on a daily basis. Whether that’s wearing the right safety gear, using equipment correctly every time, or offering constructive criticism when someone cuts corners, your attention to detail will result in better work and could save lives.
Without good communication, the entire operational structure breaks down. It is paramount that construction managers communicate effectively with workers, enabling employees to feel comfortable approaching you with suggestions or concerns.
Creating an open channel of communication helps to establish trust, camaraderie, and a stronger commitment to ethics. Keeping people in the dark won’t serve the overall interests of the company as things get lost in translation, forgotten, or misinterpreted.
As a construction manager, it’s your job to fulfill the customers’ vision while maintaining the work schedule. Communicating the goals of each client to your team is crucial so you can better accomplish each task. Interfacing with customers shows your employees that you can translate job items into real-world outcomes.
At the end of the day, cost is a prominent factor in many construction jobs. Knowing how to get things done safely and effectively while keeping unnecessary expenses to a minimum shows you know how to organize, plan, and execute each job in the best way possible.
Leading in a cost-effective manner will show the customer that you care about their bottom line and prove your competency to executives who must answer for the overall cost of a project.
Wrapping up a project neatly allows all of your hard work to be adequately assessed. Highlighting each phase of the project, your team’s progress, and where they excelled helps to build a big-picture overview of the job that might have become lost over the course of building.
Tying each step to the success of the overall venture helps to make workers feel more integral and illustrates how the customer’s needs have been met.
AIC Recognizes Good Leadership
Construction leadership should be an ongoing focus for any construction manager, especially when trying to navigate fresh challenges at the job site on a daily basis.
We want to help you improve your leadership skills so that you can deliver higher-quality projects that align with the needs of owners and your company. Consider joining AIC to tap into valuable resources to support your growth as a construction manager:
- Build connections with experienced industry professionals.
- Access tools and resources to help you do your job better.
- Tap into other membership perks that will help you grow.
Have questions about joining AIC? Contact us today to find out more about membership. We look forward to helping you advance in your career.