CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LEADERS FACE
It is common for them to struggle with getting employees contributing equally to your organization's success. Despite their best intentions, it's tough for them to hold their team’s accountability for the production, quality, and safety goals of each project.
These issues not only create stress and frustration for them, it costs you money.
I have worked with construction company owners for over fifteen years, and have developed a simple tool, The Construction Leaders Dashboard, that you can use to help your leaders quickly identify the specific areas they need to work on.
The Dashboard will help them get clarity in these eight critical areas:
Vision, Mission, Values, Edge, Initiatives, Performance Metrics, Relationships, Development Opportunities.
Your entire leadership team can use the Dashboard to put pen to paper, define their personal goals and relate them to their leadership responsibilities and your company’s objectives.
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
My partner and I had hit a point in our relationship where we were facing challenges communicating with each other and staying on the same page
We have a dynamic HVAC business that includes new construction, special projects, and service, and we knew we needed some help. Money wasn’t an issue, and Eric came highly recommended from people in the Construction industry, so we decided to engage his executive coaching services.
I was a little concerned getting into a coaching engagement with Eric because of previous experiences.
We’ve dealt with different consultants and business coaches in the past whose agenda was more about keeping us as a client forever than actually addressing issues and finding resolution. They would come on board, and then never leave, and when we finally said “Hey it was nice having you around,” then they asked for a job! I guess we were their only client. Eric wasn’t like that. He focused on helping us address issues not just improve his financial situation.
In relationships you can get stuck in a rut and not know what to do, but as soon as you start talking about your issues you get the communication and energy flowing again.
Eric met with my partner and me monthly. Immediately I realized that the obstacles to making things work well at our company weren’t as big as they felt. During our meetings with Eric, my partner and I had open communication. Eric did a great job creating an environment of honesty, and checking us if we began to stray from that. He kept us from going down rabbit holes by asking specific questions, and this created a dialog between my partner and I that was beneficial. We quickly found areas that we agreed on, and once we started talking through our issues, I found that we weren’t really trying to climb a mountain, it was more a little brisk walk up a hill.
Eric’s ability to stay neutral and to ask follow up questions during our meetings when he felt like he was getting a half-answer, or something vague, unclear or generic was really helpful and he did it fairly across the board, even with the President of our company when he sat in on one of our meetings.
Our relationship is healthier and getting back to where it used to be.
For a time, it felt like my partner and I were talking to other people in the company about the issues that we had with each other, instead of directly communicating face-to-face. Our meetings with Eric have changed that. Instead of us just trying to tackle issues on our own with no communication with each other and just getting frustrated, he’s coming to me with stuff, and I’m going to him with stuff.
In our work together Eric used a specific framework aimed at resolving interpersonal conflict.
It’s simple and really effective and I realized that my partner and I were actually on the same page. It’s hard to see when you have a disconnect in your communication, but by writing stuff down and being honest and sharing that, you find out that you are more aligned then you thought. It’s like finding out that you’re driving the car in the right direction, it’s just that you have a wobbly tire, as opposed to having two tires going in completely different directions.
I’m going to use it with some of our employees that are having issues and not getting along.
I can see that they have the same motivation, but they need help reconnecting and getting past whatever heartache they have. The framework will help them to see that they are actually more aligned than unaligned. It will also help me to stay as neutral as I possibly can, and because I know the individuals, I’ll be able to tell if they are wasting the opportunity to strengthen their relationship and feeding me bullshit that they think I want to hear.
Discussions with Eric were effective, convenient, and he didn’t waste our time.
Everyone’s big fear jumping into an executive coaching like this is that it’s going to be a time suck, and be like a bad counseling session, and be hard to go back for the next meeting.
In construction, everyone deals with similar issues, similar problems, ups and downs.
I recommend Eric’s services because from my perspective, being responsible for the service side of our business, I want to identify something and fix it and get it back up and running as quick as possible. I was looking for someone who can work with us who would have the same mentality.
It really helps having someone like Eric who understands the industry, understands the language, understands the sensitivity of time and money, and moves quickly to address challenges and find solutions.
Christopher A. Merino
Vice President Service
Air Systems Service and Construction
We are a young company. As we’ve become established, we knew we needed to pause and spend time working on the business.
I’ve worked for larger general contractors, and I know the importance of clarifying and confirming our company’s purpose, values, and direction. From a strategic standpoint, I knew that doing this would keep us from running around in different directions, hone in on a single focus, and make the leadership team stronger. It was just a matter of carving out time and finding the right person to facilitate a meeting.
I’ve gotten to know and trust Eric over the years. He’s not just another consultant; he understands the construction industry. Initially, he came in and met with our leadership team and allowed us to get a feel for his style. We are passionate about building, and Eric is enthusiastic about what he does, so it was a good fit, and the team decided to engage his services.
Before the meeting, Eric sent us the material we were going to use, which helped us prepare. Having a neutral third party facilitate our planning session was invaluable. We all have strong personalities. Sometimes we get stuck on a topic, go in circles, dig ourselves a hole, and lose focus. Eric helped us concentrate, keep on track, and avoid side-bar conversations.
Eric did an excellent job of listening and helping us to think critically about our challenges. He drew out answers from us that we wouldn’t have got by ourselves and enabled us to uniquely describe our purpose and values, not following the corporate herd with some generic mission statement.
The meeting was well structured. We put away our cell phones and computers for blocks of time, but we had plenty of breaks during the day to check for emergencies. The six-hour “three-quarter day” length was perfect. Any longer, we would have lost focus, any shorter, and we wouldn’t have had time to accomplish what we did. Eric guided us to a consensus quickly, and instead of just sitting around talking, we were able to craft a clear action plan at the end of the meeting.
If you’re looking to bring your leadership team together, get clear on your purpose, values, and big picture plan, I recommend Eric. He’s passionate, knows construction, and is an excellent facilitator, and his follow-ups after the meeting are great.
To Whom it May Concern:
In my capacity as Business Development Manager at Fousheé, to maximize my abilities, it became apparent that I needed help setting strategic direction and preparing for client interactions. I got to know Eric through LinkedIn and his Construction Genius podcast, and he seemed like someone who could help.
Eric’s services are not cheap, because of that and some timing issues, it took some time to get our ownership’s approval. Ultimately, they agreed to strengthen their investment in me by hiring Eric, and I am so glad they did.
Taking a strategic approach to business development, and preparing the right questions to ask to obtain information to position my company for success is challenging. Working with Eric has provided a framework for approaching sales opportunities and laid the groundwork for preparing for meetings and conversations, by assembling the right questions to ask to give Foushée’s operations staff the information they need to win business.
The business development strategies and approaches we discussed were often abstract. Eric makes abstract topics and goals into something concrete. For me, that proved to be beneficial.
It’s great to have someone like Eric, who focuses solely on working with construction executives. He understands our struggles, but he’s not entrenched in the operational side of the business which provides experiences outside of construction that are helpful.
Eric’s approach is genuine. He prepares for meetings and quickly identifies what we need to work on. He personalizes his coaching, and is laser-focused in each session what I need to work on to maximize my talents and work on my weaknesses. He is continually presents new perspectives, not necessarily to change my mind, but to show me different ways to approach situations that can then trigger a fresh approach to business development activities.
It is obvious why Eric is effective, he’s a good listener and asks excellent questions. He is a terrific sounding board that I can bounce ideas off, and he takes those ideas and flips them in a slightly different direction to make them even better.
Another beneficial aspect of working with Eric is that he identified early on that I have plenty of energy and charisma. Still, he honed in on some of my weaknesses that needed improving to let my positives shine through even more. I appreciate that he was frank about what needed fixing, and didn’t just pat me on the back for my strengths.
An example of this is a recent project we proposed on with an internationally known, high-profile client. Eric challenged me to engage my internal team and not just rely on myself to maximize our opportunity of landing the work. He helped me to understand that it was ok for me to take a back-seat in the process and focus more on putting the right team members in the right places so they could make to make the necessary presentations to be successful. You can imagine how excited I was when we landed the multi-million-dollar project.
I’m sure there are guys out there who don’t charge as much, but what matters is results, and Eric is very focused on providing those results.
I appreciate the opportunity to work with Eric, and the combination of his experience in construction and his candid approach makes recommending his services a pleasure.
Business Development Manager
We have been using the same strategic consultant for almost two decades, but despite our past successes and feelings of loyalty, we thought that maybe a change was in order. Perhaps a different company could bring something new to the table?
Considering a change was difficult. I was most concerned about getting a good, quality experience, that made sense financially, which is why I appreciated Eric Anderton’s approach. He offered a cost-free introductory 2 hour session so that we could get to know each other and see if there was a mutual fit. If we liked him, we would hire him. If not, it cost us nothing.
We kicked the offer around for a while, comparing Eric’s offer to the others we spoke with. Eric’s prices were competative, though not the cheapest proposal we had. Yet, his 2-hour introductory deal kept coming back into the discussion so, we decided to take Eric up on his offer. In just 2 short hours, it was obvious that Eric was very skilled at his craft and the results he accomplished despite the limited time sealed the deal. We are glad we chose to make the switch!
One thing that stood out with Eric was his knowledge of construction and being familiar with terms specific to our field. Because Eric knows the terms and understands the ins and outs of a construction business, it was much easier for us to communicate and achieve the results we were looking for.
Eric has a natural ability to drive the conversation where it needs to go and that showed itself in our very our 1st session. Despite having no prior experience with our company, our culture, or our team, Eric, was able to steer the conversation in the right direction without wasting any time. Rather than telling us what to do, he helped us to solve our own problems just by the questions he asked and the way he facilitated the conversation. I would also add that Eric has a natural gift for bringing out the best in the participants. Everyone was engaged and no one felt restricted in their ability to share openly.
Eric Anderton’s personal communication and leadership style, combined with a solid knowledge of construction, allowed us to accomplish so much more than expected in such a short period of time. It is for these reasons that I consider our time with Eric of great value and I have no hesitation in recommending Eric Anderton to others who might benefit from a skilled strategic planning facilitator who understands the construction industry.
Time and cost were our initial barriers to using a consultant
Our results prove working with Eric Anderton are worth both. He was able to help us accomplish a lot in a short amount of time and his prices are more than reasonable – especially considering our success!
It Helps to Have a Push
Over the years, we have tried to initiate a more regular strategic planning process. As the President, I worked hard to get it started, but it just wasn’t going anywhere. Eric Anderton was able to help push me and my team along in the direction we’ve been wanting to go all along without anyone going in kicking and screaming.
I believe we would have gotten there someday, but Eric’s help has us meeting goals that would have taken us much longer to achieve.
It’s not that our team has been short of ideas. We are great at brainstorming. What we’ve been short on is the ability to turn the ideas into actionable steps.
We actually had a lot of the building blocks from our previous attempts at implementing a strategic plan. Eric was able to show us that we had already accomplished so much of the hard work. Because everyone was at the meeting, the path to putting our ideas to work right away became crystal clear.
More importantly, being on the same page made everyone motivated to take the needed action. It’s no longer all about me – we are now all on board with the process. I’m excited to see that everyone wants to contribute and see the plan work.
Our Success in Actual Dollars
Unlike many meetings, the success of our meetings with Eric is measurable. We came to him knowing that our biggest focus for strategic planning was selling. However, we didn’t have the right sales processes in place or the right employee skills. Our discussions changed all that.
Since our meetings with Eric, we’ve brought in between $3 and 4 million in work. Selling is no longer our number one problem. Now, we can focus on additional strategies in the future.
Although we needed (and now have) the sales, that was just the short-term benefit. The biggest benefit to our company is that we now have a consistent strategic planning process that involves everybody. This payoff is going to be a much bigger deal over time.
I recommend that anyone who has tried and failed to implement a strategic plan in the past try working with Eric Anderton. He has the ability to capture the attention of the participants from the moment he enters the room, get everyone involved in the process, and find solutions to the most pressing issues.
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