Setting a goal that is clear and unifying really matters.
It is a truth repeated in every significant historical moment, every great epic tale, every memorable film:
The way through every challenge and toward every great success begins by setting a goal that is clear and unifying. It’s true in life. It’s true in business. And it is certainly true in construction.
When projects fall behind, budgets come under pressure, and client expectations rise, construction teams expect their leaders to articulate clear milestones to work toward to restore order and usher in future prosperity.
Because history is equally clear on this point: leading without setting a goal cultivates chaos.
In a busy construction environment – either in the office or on the jobsite – it is easy to slip into a reactive posture; simply responding to the next fire that needs putting out.
But people weren’t made to operate that way. And it shows in the performance of our teams.
People were made to live and work with purpose. We were made to work toward something bigger than the problem right in front of us. We were made to always be moving forward, getting better, and growing. We were made to set and pursue goals.
Right now, every member of your team needs to be crystal clear about what he or she is working toward. Your team needs their common cause. Your team needs to know they can count on you and each other. And they need to know why. Why does this goal and the work they are putting into it even matter.
Effective leadership in construction doesn’t require heroics. But it does require clarity.
Here are three simple strategies you can employ to give your team the focus it needs right now:
1. Align your leadership team around a clear, unifying goal. Everyone needs to be on board. No bystanders. All hands on deck. No one is half in.
What is your clear, unifying goal? Launch a new maintenance division? Complete a key project on time and on budget? Re-certify the whole team on that new safety training standard?
Whatever it is, every member of your leadership team must be clear on it and fully on board.
2. Communicate with clarity and confidence your clear, unifying goal to all staff. Make sure everyone knows what they are working toward right now, why it matters, and what their role is in the success of that endeavor.
3. Repeat and report progress often. Leaders in construction must communicate over and over and over again. There is no such thing as over-communication in a construction environment. Start every meeting with a reminder of the clear, unifying goal. Run every decision through a filter: how does this help us achieve our goal?
Let your people know that what they are doing is making a difference and regularly call out the successes that are propelling your organization toward its destination. Celebrate every step toward your goal.
Leaders in construction need to be intentional with their focus and communication. The most confident organizations will outperform their competitors. But there is no confidence in construction without clarity of focus.
Begin today to rally your leaders around a clear, unifying goal. Share that goal with your staff. And repeat and report regularly on your progress.
It is not super clever or charismatic. But it is essential.
The most successful organizations in the world emerge from adversity and achieve the biggest successes driven by a clear, unifying goal.