The Top Ten Leadership Skills Needed

To Navigate the Current Pandemic Business Environment

“These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls” – (Thomas Paine).

In uncertain times, we tend to navigate in fits and starts, first reacting one way, then another, often guessing at the best course of action. Jumping from one guess to another about where the economy and the construction market will end up in two months or two years is a formula for mistakes. A steady hand on the tiller is needed to guide construction companies through this pandemic storm and into calmer waters. It is a good time to go a little deeper and see what a “steady hand”looks like in these troubled times.

A Steady Hand

Best-in-class leadership is the steady hand, that can lead construction firms through these current choppy economic waters. An in-depth review of Simplar’s construction management research over the past 20 years spanning more than 100 different organizations and 2,500 separate projects is a great place to start. Principles of best-in-class leadership emerge from the research delineating the tried and true management approaches that have seen the best companies through the construction market cycles of the past 100 years. Here’s what we can learn from this research:

Top Ten Leadership Skills


Great leaders…

  1. Focus on Mission

Leaders are clear on: What are we as a company trying to accomplish? What makes us different? Where are we trying to go in this disrupted construction marketplace?

  1. Develop Sound Corporate Cultures

Leaders identify visions, values, and goals and communicate them to their entire organization. Then, they ask for “buy-in” and monitor compliance.

  1. Think Strategically

Leaders think long-term and weave short-term tactics into long-term goals.

  1. Leaders Plan, Revise, Then Plan Again

True leaders execute the long-term mission by making current decisions in the light of future outcomes. They tie tactics to long-term goals with Management-by-Objective and creative bonus plans.

  1. They Respect Employees

True leaders communicate with their team clearly, honestly, and constantly. They see their success as the entire organization’s success and train employees to succeed, rewarding them every step of the way.

  1. Business Leaders Prioritize Customers

                Construction is a service. Customer service is our only product.

  1. Quality Before Quantity

Being “the best they can be” is their most important product. They know that profits follow quality, not quantity.

  1. Integrity, First, Last, and Always

Simplar’s research has proven that it is not the cleverest contractor who succeeds over time, but rather the most dependable, honest, and client-centered contractor who wins the marathon.

  1. Leaders Communicate Constantly

They interact with clients even when they are not engaged in a current project with that client. Once a client, always a client.

  1. True Leaders Never Give Up

They know that mistakes only matter when they are not corrected. The successful leaders we have studied admit that they can never really know for certain what tomorrow will bring, but in their opinion, success is more likely than failure.




During these uncertain times you need to carefully define where your market is trending and determine what leadership strategies will see your company through to the other side of this current crisis. You may want to begin by studying several of the most recent “Crisis-era Messages to Contractors” found on this blog site.