A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

“The Next Level” – This Market Should Deliver It

Successful construction CEO’s and senior leadership teams are constantly striving to take their companies to “the next level.”  The best teams have a clear vision of what that next level is, often expressed in terms of specific measureable, time-dated goals.  Some even set “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”, BHAGs, as articulated by Jim Collins in his seminal work, Built to Last.  Typically these BHAGs are set for a longer horizon, perhaps three to five years out, and require bold strategies that involve significant organizational development and change to achieve.  The achievement of these certainly takes the organization to “the next level”, perhaps even transforming the company.

In a cyclical industry like commercial construction, a critical requirement for setting growth goals is favorable market direction and dynamics.  It is difficult to grow a construction company serving a single geographic market that has negative direction.  However, with the market direction and dynamics we face in Houston for the foreseeable three to five years, most established construction companies should be able to achieve “the next level”, even if they define it in terms of a BHAG.

This market should allow leaders to achieve their strategic goals whether those goals are for corporate growth and development, as measured by revenues, markets served, customer mix or services offered.  It should allow both organic internal growth and opportunities to make acquisitions.  The market should also permit succession within any company, on the owner’s terms, whether by family members, employees or by sale to an outside group.

So there is a rare window of opportunity in the coming five years for those CEOs and senior leadership teams who want to drive their companies to “the next level”, and not just rely exclusively on market momentum.  But it takes having the clear vision of what that next level is, identifying the strategic initiatives necessary to realize the vision, and embracing the leadership challenge to make the necessary changes required.  This is no small commitment.  And, if the next level is creating or implementing a succession plan, it also involves getting a current and realistic valuation, or at least gaining a clear understanding of what drives value in a privately held company.

So it is an exciting and wonderful time.  This market will deliver “the next level”, as you envision and then create it, which is the essence of leadership.  Embrace this challenge and reap the rewards!


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