Leading a Construction Company is Challenging
It is common for construction company owners like yourself to struggle with getting each employee contributing equally to your organization's success.
Despite your best intentions, it's tough for you to find time to break down the silos that exist in your business between the field and the office, and to get everyone to take accountability for the production, quality, and safety goals of each project.
These issues not only create stress and frustration for you, they cost you money.
I have worked with construction company owners for over fifteen years, and have developed a short assessment which will quickly identify the specific leadership areas you need to work on.
To access the assessment just click on the button.
About Eric Anderton
Eric Anderton has more than two decades of career and entrepreneurial business experience, alongside 25 years of public speaking, small group facilitation and one-on-one mentoring.
He is a trusted leadership advisor, executive mentor and expert meeting facilitator for construction companies that range in revenue from $10 million - $1 billion.
Since 2004 he has helped his clients increase profitability by clarifying their business purpose, building strategic plans, developing their best people, systematically innovating through obstacles, and executing their most important priorities.
He has a BA in History and has spent almost 30 years studying ancient and modern history, leadership and strategic principles.
He knows that technology changes and empires rise and fall, but the fears, frustrations, desires, and aspirations of humanity remain the same.
He is a happily married father of five. He has contributed to the community as a coach of Little League and Youth Soccer. In addition, he has volunteered as a Chaplain for the California State University (Sacramento) football team.
Satisfied Client Stories
Dear Mr. Anderton
When we first sat down, you asked some difficult questions like: What are we about? What do we do every day? How do we do what we do? What drives us? And when you get a group of your leaders together to do that, it really helps people get on the same page.
During that first exercise, you helped us understand what our purpose is, what our personality is, what our plan is, and what our priority is. We probably had an opportunity to do this 10 years ago, but we didn’t take it. I can’t imagine how much further along we’d be if we had.
In that first meeting, even before the real training began, you also taught us about the Triangle. It’s now a tool we use in every personnel review, conversation, quarterly meeting, and interview. It’s a foundation of what this organization is about, and we use it to help everybody understand that. Clients come in and we use this triangle to help them understand what type of contractor we are. It’s hanging on the wall of our conference room and every wall I can find space in this office to hang it on.
You come with a willingness to understand what we’re trying to accomplish and customize your content to fit our needs and goals. I really enjoy being able to sit down with you and present to you the message we want to get across and seeing you take that information and build something to do just that.
These customized training sessions have allowed us to pull our people together to train in an efficient way. Your leadership training sessions have also taught me that there’s a lot of room for me to help my people improve. I’ve been reaching out to them with follow-up calls this last month to remind them of the training and really drive some positive change.
Your enthusiasm really makes the training that much more interesting than just a boring teacher talking about how to write a change order. Oftentimes this training happens early in the morning, but you manage to get us motivated and excited about being there anyway. We always get right in there, and take the mask off, and kill the bear. It’s exciting to me.
This enthusiasm plus how well you understand construction companies and the challenges we face, is important for you to be able to connect with the people we’re training. If you didn’t have that understanding, they wouldn’t give you as much trust. They can sniff out a guy that’s bluffing or trying to teach them something they really know nothing about, and that’s not you.
By then end of the training there was a lot more comraderie between these people. They had a sense of accomplishing something together. In an organization like ours, helping people understand one another’s personalities and where they come from really helps them develop a sense of family. That in itself was a huge benefit.
Before we started working together, I didn’t have a clear understanding of how services like yours would benefit my organization, but now I know I would absolutely recommend your services. In leaner times it may be difficult to make the decision to do this. You’re just trying to survive and even though training your people should take priority, it doesn’t. Thankfully, we are at a time in this economy where a decision like this is easy.
I had thought about using an executive coach for a long time, it just took me a while to pull the trigger. Investing the time in process, in investigating and selecting a coach, and then setting up the meetings, was something I knew I needed to do, but didn’t feel I had to time for.
Before your coaching, I knew how broken our communication system was, but hearing everybody talk about it and bringing it out in the open revealed just how much that was impacting the company. I also realized how reactionary we were performing. We were simply reacting to problems, not managing them.
The way you handled the presentation, your style, really drew everyone into the conversation. You got everyone to feel invested in the outcome, and you made people feel at home, like they could participate in the meeting. The informality of it, when you were writing on the boards and going around the room asking everyone to participate, you did it in such a way that no one felt intimidated.
When I first saw the topics that you wanted to discuss in our workshop, in terms of the purpose, the personality, the plan, and the priority, I thought it would be touchy feely. It reminded me of stuff I did while I was working on my MBA, it seemed kind of corny. However, the actual results of the workshop felt very relevant, and that created an enthusiasm for the future that I had never seen in the employees before.
I liked that enthusiasm it created. I liked the way it focused our thoughts. Everybody had thoughts about what was wrong, I know I did, but we weren’t able to articulate them. Your workshop allowed everybody to focus their thoughts and come to an agreement on what was wrong. I also liked the aspect of creating an action plan and giving concrete tasks to be done.
Overall, that day exceeded my expectations. I knew a little about this coaching and strategic planning, but this went further than I expected. The investment my employees had in the process, and that enthusiasm and energy it created were more than I expected. I thought I knew what I was going to get out of it, but then I got calls from employees thanking me for having this, telling me how great it was and how excited they were to be a part of it.
I would recommend your services to someone in the construction industry. You have the experience and the style to reach construction company employees in a way that a lot of other coaches I looked at don’t. You never sounded like some generic consultant guy.
I started looking for an executive coach such as yourself when I came into my current role as manager. I had never seen a coach like you before but was interested after hearing about the services. The only thing that would have prevented me from using your services was your availability.
You really helped me discover myself. I had never received feedback on my behavior styles and tendencies before, but you helped me dive in and see myself from the outside. The PXT personality profiles were really helpful in discovering myself. I’ve never seen any kind of profile give so much detail into somebody’s identity. This shined a light on how others may perceive me, what I say, the things I do and how I behave in certain settings.
You are very straightforward and don’t beat around the bush. You see something that needs to be developed further and you push us to a place that ends up benefitting me and allows me to understand my behavior. I appreciate your flexibility and willingness to meet often. Since we do these meetings over the phone we don’t have to worry about setting a time and place to meet physically, which is a huge benefit to me.
I would recommend your services to the right people. Your straightforward attitude that I found so helpful, might be a bit much for those who are a bit more sensitive to this type of coaching. You may cater to that as well though, I’m not sure. I am very happy with the results I’ve seen so far and the progress we make every month. We’ve touched on different subjects you’ve really helped me navigate through some of the obstacles and challenges as circumstances change throughout the year.
I was originally hesitant to engage you to conduct your Foreman Leadership Academy, because of the cost. $20,000 is a lot of money, but with the size of my business and the cost of my payroll I knew I would make that money back in a matter of months. I justified the expense because I felt the bonding, teamwork, and employee retention was worth it. I knew I would get a good ROI on my money. I was spending money to make money and just really felt it was worth it, especially after the classes got started.
I felt like you were engaging, that you got the guys to participate and they looked at it like they were getting really good information. I think that the foremen are looking at that and they’re opening their eyes to what it takes to run a company with real returns.
With regards to the executive coaching and advice you’ve provided me, I liked how specific you were and how you could cut to the chase. When we first sat down, you asked what I wanted the most out of our partnership. I told you I didn’t want more money, better jobs, or better employees, I wanted time. You immediately said boom, boom, boom, here’s your Friday, this is how you do it.
Recently I came to you for help on how to deal with a problem employee. You gave me clear advice on how to work with him, how to talk to him, and how to hold him accountable. As a result, I saw that employee in a different light and feel like we were able to work through something instead of having to fire him and pick up the slack myself. That would have ruined my ability to work on the future, trying to land work in 2019. So, now, I’m working on million-dollar jobs instead of doing a $100,000 a year superintendent’s job, and I feel like the employee’s job is going to be salvaged, I feel like our working relationship’s going to grow and he is going to grow, be able to fit into the company, keep his job and be a valuable asset to us. Whereas without your coaching, I would have grown frustrated and fired him.
Another one of the biggest benefits of working with you is being able work on my business as opposed to in my business. I can look at a work site from a higher view and see the issues from a different perspective from my employees who are staring at a localized thing and and then assess the project. I can ask why they are using that small jack hammer, when I know for a fact we have a bigger jack hammer that’s faster and easier to use. I can tell them to get a golf cart on site that costs $8000 but will save us $60,000 in man hours.
I would, without a doubt, recommend working with you. People who work with you are going to increase their personal time and profit. They will increase their employees’ knowledge and team building, so they will have better employee retention and more time. They will get more time the more they work on their business rather than in their business, and time is money.
There’s a lot of options out there for leadership coaching and people development. Aside from cost, I would have been hesitant to work with you if I didn’t understand the knowledge and skill you have working with construction companies.
You’ve helped us get organized, targeted and focused, and I’ve learned a lot from you about how to conduct meetings. When it comes to facilitating meetings, you’re probably the best I’ve ever seen.
Your services benefited me by helping the team narrow it down to specific things to work on in a manner that we could measure. It also helped motivate the leadership. Another benefit I’ve noticed is the way it’s helping the team become focused and motivated to take on a task or a challenge.
From a leadership standpoint, I liked you approach. I like some of the ice breakers that you’ve introduced and I really think that you get to team working and focused. I thought the ProfileXT was a really interesting sort of leadership report. I thought it tied in better with construction than any of the other assessments I’ve taken. It’s helped us build on people’s skills from an analytical, leadership, and communication standpoint.
You have a unique background. You have experience in countries aside from the U.S. and that brings a worldly perspective to things. It provides a different way of thinking about construction. Working with you taught me to how to lead by example, set my priorities, and dictate my time. Life is multi-dimensional, and it’s easy to do just a little bit everywhere and not get anywhere. You taught me that if you can pick 3 areas for yourself to focus on, then you can really make progress.
I feel that you’ve brought value to our organization and that you’ve been a good investment. I like the take charge mentality that you encourage us to adopt, and the Rally Cries that we identified in our meetings, and still use to this day. I’m also getting a lot from the public training webinars that you conduct which are interesting and very topical for my business.
I have personally felt that in the work that we’ve done is a good investment. So, I would definitely recommend your services.
I was hesitant to use your services because I was worried people wouldn’t be receptive to what we were working on. Budgeting was another reason. Before were started working together, your services weren’t in the budget, but now it’s something I do plan to budget for.
The people I work with aren’t used to being vulnerable and owning up to what they need to work on. I think the more we work on the mentality of, it’s okay to learn, and it’s okay to be vulnerable, and it’s not jeopardizing your position, the more people will open up. I’m trying to make them see that it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to own it, because that’s the only way we’re going to get better at what we do.
Since working with you I feel my people are willing to try new habits, which is good. For example, at a recent PM meeting, we were reminded to often ask about the future. We also discussed that the goal is to be the best office out there and what that looks like.
I appreciated the time you put into reviewing our real challenges and developing a game plane for us. It wasn’t frivolous stuff, it was hard work, digging deep to look at what things really meant. Now when we go walk a jobsite it isn’t just to check a box and say we did it. We look at the real reasons for walking the site and what the steps are. We also talk about time management now, so we can get one task done and move onto the next.
You came in and provided us a different perspective to look at our things with. To me, it’s important for everyone to see things from a different perspective because sometimes I feel like they have the same rose-colored glasses on that we all have and we’re looking at things in a certain way. So, it’s nice to have somebody else with a different perspective to make you think differently.
The knowledge of the construction industry you brought was a huge bonus, and unique from other, similar services. With you we can get that different perspective and set goals and accountability. If we don’t set those goals, it’s wasted time in a conference room.
Because you possess a unique view and can relate to the people in this industry, I would absolutely recommend your services. You know what you’re talking about when you present the information you bring, but never come across as a know-it-all. You listen to me and the others, and that’s important in our industry. You also manage to keep the people engaged and have a great energy which helps keep the momentum of the meeting going.
As an alpha male in the construction industry, it’s difficult to ask for help. You think you just have to stand on your own two feet and have broad shoulders and pull it all together. Deciding to use your service was a big decision for me, and seeing your past success helped me make that decision.
I got to know you through your LinkedIn profile and posts and the customers and businesses on there were respected in the industry, and I respected you through them. Seeing that your customers were happy with you made me feel comfortable about both the financial side and about taking a leap of faith to work with you. Also, just seeing that other people go through the same things that I have and being able to admit that I have problems that I need to deal with.
Aside from admitting that I needed help, I was originally worried about the value of your service. When you engage somebody unknown, you always question the value you’ll get out of it. I didn’t know you before we started, and that held me back from wanting to work with you, just not knowing you or the value of your services.
Currently, thanks to you, Telesis’ bottom line is definitely growing, which is a huge, huge thing, and we’re being more efficient. I’m holding my own guys more accountable for what they do and having them take it to heart, which is the core of our business, loving what we do. Also, I’ve been getting them to see that, day in and day out it’s a job, but one you can look back on and take pride in. Getting the guys to have that kind of pride is a lot of what you’ve brought to the table for us.
In the beginning it was easy to work with you. There was a comfortable situation, I wasn’t being pressured into anything. You made me feel like I just needed help, not that I wasn’t able to be helped. As time grew, you taught me how to ask the right questions and face facts that were tough to swallow. Thanks to you, I learned to be accountable for my time, which was huge. Being able to see where my day was going and learning how to delegate tasks to other people freed me up for the things I needed to do.
I liked working with you because you gave me the answers and made everything clear. In the construction industry, many of us know that we need to do something, but until somebody is holding us accountable, we don’t actually make it happen. You made me realize I had to be accountable to myself.
I would absolutely recommend your services. I was well worth the money, and I don’t mean to bring up just the money side of things, but it really feels like it was worth the money. It’s also relatively easy if you want to learn, you don’t make it difficult for anybody. I can go as far with you as I want to, and it would be foolish to not want to embrace it and build off it.
Initially I was hesitant to start working with you, but since I had worked with you before and was in a position to afford your services, I made the decision to work with you once again.
In using your services, I found that having somebody outside of our organization say the same things I was saying, but from a different perspective was beneficial. I knew we weren’t going to come up with anything revolutionary, but you helped to convey the points Vance and I found important to our people.
I appreciated the energy you brought to the table. By not having knowledge of every good or bad event within our organization, you weren’t tainted with any negativity. This benefitted the leaders and the team members. You were also approachable and knowledgeable about our issues.
One of our biggest challenges is continuing positive communication with one another within our company and with our outside vendors and clients. In every one of the classes that we worked together in, I got good ideas and learned techniques to help with positive and consistent communication.
I would definitely recommend working with you. The more that we spend time working together, the more I see you really understand the construction industry is a very unique type of business. You know what we struggle with and your specialized experience is very helpful.
Most consultants don’t have a clue
As a leader, responsible for a large general contracting firm, I’m approached occasionally by business consultants offering various solutions that they say will enhance the effectiveness of our leadership team.
The problem is that many of them don’t have an idea as to how a construction company operates, and the challenges we face.
Eric Knows What Makes a Construction Business Tick
Eric Anderton is different, he is unique because of his focus on the construction industry. He understands and appreciates the business of construction firms.
He understands how the human mind works, how people work, and how the structure of a business operation can be created and improved.
He knows what makes a construction business tick and how construction professionals work, and the ideas that he shares are realistic to business and our people.
Eric’s Makes the Complex Simple So We Can Lead More Effectively
He has helped us by logically breaking down complex leadership concepts into small components so we understand how to be more effective.
As a result of working with Eric, our teams are more focused on the aspects of leadership that have the biggest positive impact on the people and projects they are responsible for.
Help with Communication, Conflict, Accountability
Eric has also helped us with our communication. Specifically, being okay with constructive conflict And helping us understand how to consistently hold ourselves and others accountable.
Our projects are Successful, On Time, and On Budget
The outcome has helped our leadership team improve management of projects and assure that our projects are successful, on time and on budget.
Eric is good at what he does and I value his help.
Eric brings high energy and passion to his workshops. It’s been rewarding to have members of our leadership team come to me unsolicited, to say that they gained great value and enjoyed his workshops.
If you are a construction contractor and need help developing your leadership team, I highly recommend working with Eric.
My past experience with consultants almost prevented me from working with you. With consultants you don’t always get what you’re hoping to get out of it. You and I managed to circumvent that though. In your articles that I read before we started working together, the content and how you thought about things resonated with me. That’s why I was willing to take a chance.
The most beneficial thing I found in working with you was your simple and effective strategic planning process. It can be used over, and over, and over without becoming tired and stale. It’s a good way to engage a team and have them take accountability and ownership over creating things that are going to propel the business forward.
I liked working with you because you’re a down to earth person, you’re not phony, and you keep everything brief. You and I have a similar psychology and we were able to meet and talk and have the synergistic approach to problem solving.
You bring a unique skillset to the table. I know you’re not a construction nuts and bolts guy, but you understand construction companies’ problems, which are really most businesses problems, and your straightforward approach sets you up to deal with construction companies and their leaders more so than others. You don’t use unnecessary big words, or “Harvard” type concepts. You just boil stuff down and make it accessible to everyone.
Sometimes there are obstacles in the way, some we can see, some we can’t, and some that we need a tweaked tool to overcome. You provide that tweak, and your outside perspective helps put everyone’s expectations and pretenses aside so that you can just get down to the heart of what you’re trying to do.
We are all trying to move forward, and I would recommend your services to the right people. People who are receptive, that you can help see things in a way that can propel them forward.
Thanks for all the help you have provided my company over the last year through your business coaching and consulting. Cook Engineering is on track to achieving the highest revenue and profit figures in more than five years, and you have made a significant contribution to that success.
Personally, you have been a great sounding board for me. Your impartial perspective helps me think clearly through challenges I face and reach conclusions that contribute to the growth and profitability of my company.
The strategic planning format you introduced is terrific. We have clearly articulated the purpose of our business, the values that drive our actions, and how Cook Engineering is going to be successful. We now have a straightforward, repeatable process to plan and take action.
Communication in my company has improved significantly. I have implemented the meeting structure you taught us, and that has smoothed out field to office information flow and enabled us to run our jobs more efficiently.
The “D|SC” profiling of my team has given all of us insight into our behavioral styles, and this understanding has helped us build relationships that are more positive.
Eric, I am excited about my business, and appreciate your contribution, helping me build my company for a profitable future.
To whom it may concern:
Quincy Engineering, Inc. is a civil engineering consulting firm specializing in water and transportation engineering with 70+ employees located in five offices. As our firm has grown and evolved through the years, we have continuously looked for opportunities to develop managers and leaders within our firm. Eric Anderton’s Leadership Training course provided an excellent external training platform for our twenty-member, senior staff leadership team.
The monthly classes provided a broad spectrum of topics covering: management (organization, mentoring, personal interaction), and leadership (vision, strategic thinking, communication, motivation, customer service).
Eric was an excellent facilitator, being well-prepared, presented the topics clearly, encouraged open communication, and solicited valuable personal experiences from classmates in a very positive environment.
Some comments of the participants:
“Very good presented, clear, keeps attention, funny, very engaging.”
“Always great content delivered by great and effective facilitator.”
“Eric is an excellent presenter/facilitator-prompts good discussion and follow up questions.”
“Eric did a great job (as always) in getting a lot of participation out of the group.”
“Eric always does a good job of making the subject interesting and light. He is great at drawing out more info from our discussion.”
“Eric does a great job communication the topic and keeping us on track.”
Eric used the given materials as an effective platform to facilitate vigorous discussion and application that was pertinent specifically to Quincy Engineering. He led very lively discussions on what everyone learned at the class, and how they can apply it, not only to themselves as individuals, but to QEI as a whole to make it a better firm. And then the results of the discussions were passed up to the executive level for further consideration. In addition, the group settings, story sharing, and brainstorming sessions opened up new lines of communication and brought current and upcoming leaders together as a more cohesive team in the end.
In general, external training is expensive both in tuition fees and time commitment costs. The best we as leaders can do is find the best return on investment for our training dollars. Eric’s Leadership Training provided Quincy Engineering with excellent value, and we plan on having Eric provide similar training to our firm’s leaders as well.
I highly recommend Eric Anderton’s Leadership Training to not only improve your (or your staff’s) individual management and leadership skills, but also to improve the overall management and leadership of your firm.
When I first looked at the fee for your service, it seemed rather expensive. After looking at the time you were going to spend on us, not just the time you were going to spend interacting with us, but the time spent doing research in the background, and then trying to come up with like an hourly cost type of assumption I realized it was a fair value.
We haven’t been working together for long, but I have already seen positive impacts. So far, your service has forced everybody to step out of the silo and not only convince their peers in the room, but to convince somebody that’s not really part of the group. This requires them to make a more compelling argument when they voice their opinion to someone like you, someone outside the circle.
In our meetings, I felt that one question would lead to another follow-up question, which would lead to another follow-up question. I liked that evolutionary process that we went through, taking a small piece of the issue, and focusing on that, asking questions and then moving on to the next piece of the issue and then asking questions and doing that kind of logical deep analysis of the overall issue and then trying to bring it all back together at the end to come up with some collective solution.
This was a much more efficient use of time than how our meeting used to run. Before, we could have spent four meetings, each an hour to an hour and half long, talking in circles. With your facilitation, we have been able to get more done in less time. You have a way of bringing people back on track, of coming back to unanswered questions to get the answers we need. This is where some of the value comes in. People realize, with you there, that we are paying for something and that we need to use our time more prudently.
One aspect I found very helpful was the ProfileXT (PXT) assessment. It has allowed us to bring a tangible tool to the problem. Before, everyone was second guessing their own opinion of people, and this tool has helped demonstrate that maybe they had the wrong thought about an individual. Anytime you can take second guessing yourself out of an equation, it helps the process, and I think PXT has helped eliminate some of that.
I would absolutely recommend your services. Your success depends on your clients’ success and vice versa, it’s a reciprocal relationship. Though we’ve only had one conference call and one private call, the employees and I see value in bringing you to the table. After the first meeting we felt like we should have brought you in sooner, and not wasted time beating our heads against the wall for the last few years.
Our people are our greatest asset, and we prioritize investing in them. However, we are careful and thoughtful about introducing any type of coaching or outside influence into Teichert. Budget constraints are always a concern, and we have to make sure that there is both a style and knowledge fit.
We use a few other coaches and consultants, but we feel a specific connection to your style and our values and style, and you are knowledgeable about the construction business, which is helpful. I personally like that you get to the point and you are efficient. In team meetings, you keep the group moving, and that helps us gain early traction in important areas, identifying action items that we need to focus on.
I appreciate that you not only conduct facilitated working sessions that lay out an action plan, but you also provide a degree of accountability, and follow-up to make sure that the action items are done. That helps us get traction and make sustainable progress.
In addition to the good facilitation, there are several other benefits of working with you.
You have worldly knowledge of leadership, personality types, and you are able to provide coaching and advice. The ProfileXT assessment tool that you use (and the coaching you provide with it) helps us understand how people tick before we try to manage them. On top of that I appreciate the personal connection you and I have.
I recommend your services because of the quality of the interactions we’ve had with you. In one sentence: “If you really want or need to get traction or get something done, I would definitely recommend Eric to get launched.”
Construction Leadership Insights
What’s the quickest way for you to undermine your credibility as a leader? One of […]
How many times have turned on your computer to send an urgent email, and been so […]