If you owned a professional NFL team, you would need players with different skills and strengths to win. For example, a team wouldn’t win many games without a great quarterback to precisely pass the ball, powerful linemen to block, fast ends to catch anything thrown their way, linebackers to tackle quick runners, or kickers to accurately split the uprights. In other words, every team needs the right players to be successful.
The same wisdom applies in a construction company — you need people with different abilities, skills and experiences to produce superior results, grow and make a profit. The many talents required to operate a construction company are listed below. What are the top two strengths, talents or positions you’re best suited for?
- Sales and marketing
- Managing people
- Project management
- General field superintendent
- Project superintendent
- Crew foreman
- Crew worker
- Equipment operator
- Safety manager
- Equipment manager
- Project administrator
- Finance, accounting and bookkeeping
- Administration and office management
- Human resources
- Hiring and recruiting
- Training and education
- Computers and technology
As construction companies grow, owners quickly learn that they can’t do it all themselves. They need help to accomplish all the demands. The same is true for NFL teams. Professional football teams are generally organized as follows:
- General manager
- Sales manager
- Head coach
- Assistant coaches
- Support staff
Obviously, football team owners also don’t act as head coaches, and head coaches don’t get on the field. Unlike professional football organizations, some owners of construction companies perform too many tasks they aren’t qualified to do. When I was building my construction company, I thought I was good at everything. In retrospect, I was terrible at managing employees — I micromanaged, did not let go or delegate, made decisions for others, changed my mind, and did too much myself. As a result, we had a high employee turnover rate caused by my poor management style, creating continuous problems.
- What are you doing that you shouldn’t do, holding your company back from profitable growth?
- What positions are being handled by the wrong people with the wrong talents and attitudes?
- What positions need a new or better qualified person to allow your business to grow?
Company owners should only perform tasks and roles they have the skills, attitude and management technique to excel at. To build a great company, I find most successful owners are best at overall leadership, vision, winning work, building customer relationships, estimating, developing talent and communicating the big picture to the employee team.
Unfortunately, owners are generally not good at managing employees, tedious details, project management, field operations, production, following company systems and having regular meetings.
6 Types of Players for 6 Required Positions
Construction companies need each of these six types of players to stay organized, achieve their goals and make a profit. Every person — including company owners — has one or two talents, roles or activities they’re the best at and should perform. Review this list and select the top two categories which describe you, your abilities and what you want to perform.
1. Owner - President - Entrepreneur - Visionary Leader
- Implements and achieves the vision, core values and culture.
- Focuses on the future, profitable growth and new opportunities.
- Monitors growth, sales, systems, structure and talent development to achieve results.
- Provides motivation to meet goals.
- Creative, ambitious innovator with lots of new ideas.
- Continually identifies the need for improvement and change.
- Has good instincts and gut feelings for the right solutions.
- Likes to be in control.
2. Coach - Team Leader
- Motivates players to perform at their highest level.
- Achieves results by developing and directing strategy, playbook and calling plays.
- Manages and coordinates the team, activities and workload.
- Monitors and manages performance, production, quality, schedule and safety.
- Directs talent development training program and team meetings.
- Mentors, trains and encourages players to improve and meet their goals.
- Builds teamwork, solves problems and helps team stay on track, focus and win.
3. Manager - Supervisor - Foreman
- Responsible for organizing team and achieving results.
- Holds people accountable to perform, achieve goals and meet deadlines.
- Develops, implements and enforces systems, standards, plays and procedures.
- Keeps track, monitors and reviews results, progress and details.
- Likes systems, structure, regular schedules and meetings.
- Plans ahead; schedules subcontractor; orders materials and equipment; and monitors players needed.
4. Player - Worker - Talent
- Implements plays, activities and tasks on time and safely with quality workmanship.
- Follows company systems and plays per standards and deadlines.
- Steady and reliable.
- Excels at one or two strengths, talents and positions.
5. Support Team
- Supports, coordinates, administrates and helps others succeed and accomplish tasks and goals.
- Responsible, trustworthy, multitasker with a positive attitude.
- Manages tasks, systems and standards.
6. Scorekeeper - Accountant
- Monitors statistics, score, performance, and results of company, projects, team and players.
What’s Your Role?
As a business owner, your primary role must be “visionary leader,” which includes innovation and improvement. In addition, as the leader of your company, you must also focus on growth, sales, customer development, talent development, and implementation of systems and structure.
Your secondary role, whatever it may be, must be identified from the initial list of talents.
Only Do What You Do Best
When owners handle things they’re not right for, problems occur, players don’t perform to their abilities, and profit tends to shrink and fade. Additionally, owners in the wrong roles tend to think the rules and deadlines don’t apply to them. This sets a bad example for others and causes them to reduce their production as well.
Football teams can’t win games without the right players in the right positions. They also won’t win with the owner out on the field trying to be a player. And your company can’t win with the owner doing the wrong things in the wrong positions either! What do you need to stop doing and assign to the right players who will get things done so you can achieve winning results at a higher level?