Quarterbacks Need Coaches, Construction Leaders Do , Too
By: Richard Butz
Rookie year or seasoned pro, every quarterback has a coach. Football players at all levels, go through extensive training and work with their coach to develop, fine-tune, and improve their skills regularly. Why is that not the trend in construction leadership?
The Football Coach: Whether you’re Joe Burrow or Tom Brady you have a coach that you are working with on a regular basis. Frankly, any quarterback from rookie to pro, MVP to third string, is working with a coach one-on-one to improve. These coaches are assessing skills and deficiencies, providing training and support in areas they can improve, and holding the players accountable to the modifications and their performance – week-after-week, game-after-game. If the players perform well, they are paid well, keep their jobs, and get more coaching to get them to the next level. If they don’t, they’re traded, cut, or replaced for a stronger player.
What can we learn from this model and apply to construction leadership?
The Construction Leader: Many construction leaders, from first level supervisors to executives get promoted into jobs because they were good at something else, a high performer somewhere in the business. They were a good engineer, estimator, or superintendent, so they’re then asked to manage others. This requires a whole new set of skills.
We frequently throw people into management or supervision with little-to-no training at all. If training is provided, research suggests that the training goals are seldom achieved. Further, most who attend report that although they felt good after their training, they simply regressed to their pre-training behaviors within a few weeks. This occurs when training efforts are not supported with coaching from the supervisor or outside professional. Supervisors aren’t trained on how to coach their employees or don’t have the time to coach them when they are faced with other business priorities.
What Can Construction Leaders Learn Form Sports Coaches? Every leader can benefit from a coach regardless or rookie or pro, MVP or third string. When construction leaders coach the leaders below them, training is retained and performance and skills are improved. However, some construction leaders, who do not feel competent as a coach or don’t have time to coach, copy the football model and hire outside coaches to enhance the skills of their leaders. These outside coaching professionals provide targeted development and support that is individualized to specific business issues and challenges the leader is facing. Regardless of if the leader is a rookie or a pro, the outside coach can help them strive for leadership excellence.
The Center For Leadership Coaching (CLE): At CLE, we believe leadership isn’t an innate skill – it’s a learned behavior. Our coaches have dozens of programs from which to select. including programs for those new or emerging leaders, those identified with high potential; programs for women and minority leaders; for mid-level and C-level executives, as well as short-term and extended engagements. What makes our programs unique is we include metrics as critical part of the program. If you don’t measure the effectiveness of your programs, training and coaching is just another expense without an return on investment.
Whether you personally want to improve your leadership effectiveness or want to learn how to improve the performance of all of your direct reports, call or email The Center For Leadership Excellence and talk to our Construction Leadership Coach.
If you have a question you would like to Ask The Coach, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond.