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Four Essential Components of Leadership in Construction

Essential Components of Leadership in Construction

People are essential to the success of a construction site. People require leadership, which in turn requires a leader.” The project manager is the most likely leader in any construction project. They are in charge of completing the project on time and on budget. But there’s more to it than just getting the work done. Good team leaders inspire team members to work well and learn together. They do this by finding a great team, communicating well, setting clear goals, and showing that they care.

Finding a great team

The key to finding a great project team is casting a wide net and properly qualifying subcontractor bids. Using a free general contractor software bid lead site, like PlanHub, to find subcontractors is a great way to get the word out about the project and attract quality subs. Local bidders will be notified by the construction bidding website about the project and can quickly review the plans and specifications online to gauge their interest.
The next step of the leadership role is to qualify subcontractors and their bids. This involves researching each company, calling the references of the workers and supervisor, and reviewing their financial and claims history. Quality contractors will get high marks from their customers, have few claims, if any, and be financially solvent enough to take on the project. Bids are qualified by asking questions to ensure that all parts of the scope are covered, and the specifications will be met.


Open communication is key to any leadership style and the successful completion of any construction project. Team members should be updated on a regular basis about changes that affect their scope of work, as well as communicate with each other regularly to coordinate their work.
Project teams should have a communication procedure or tool to help them ensure that everyone is informed, has access to the construction leader, and has access to the latest documents and information. Often general contractors employ project management software to help organize the communication and documentation among project team members. The software tracks all communication, highlights outstanding issues, and provides a central repository for all project information and documentation. The rise of mobile technology has improved the availability of this information in the field.

Set clear goals

Everyone on the project, from the construction workers to the project manager, shares a common goal of completing the work. The project owner may have additional goals related to budget and schedule that can be shared with the rest of the project team, like construction cost management goals. Sharing these owner goals demonstrates authentic leadership, improves the camaraderie of the team, and gives everyone common goals to work towards.
Project goals for a construction company should be clearly defined and obtainable. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a timeframe. Each member of the team should have a set of goals for the project. They will change as the project progresses but should be focused on the end goals of completing the project and meeting the owner’s objectives.

Show you care

When conflicts and concerns crop up, either between crew members, within the greater construction organization, or between businesses, an effective leader will listen with empathy to what the other party has to say. They ask questions to help them understand the other’s point of view. Then they explain their side of the story, including any constraints they are dealing with. The parties can then work collaboratively to come up with a resolution that is satisfactory to everyone. This also is a vital component of construction quality management.
The adversarial relationship that is usually fostered between construction industry contractors doesn’t work and creates more problems than it solves. Only by working together, demonstrating leadership skills, can a project be successful.

Find a great team with PlanHub

Looking for a great project team? Post your project on PlanHub to get qualified construction worker sub bids quickly and easily. PlanHub is free for general contractors to post projects. Get started today.

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