How to Avoid Losing Money (Lessons from a Construction Giant) | Ep 25


What can you learn from the failures of one of the world’s oldest, largest and most successful construction companies? 

According to a recent Bloomberg article: “Last year was a tough one for the Swedish construction giant (Skanska), with operating income hit by project write-downs, goodwill impairments and restructuring charges totaling 3.1 billion kronor ($327 million).”

To put it another way, they took on projects that they couldn’t execute profitably. This damaged their reputation and caused them to take a hard look at themselves and make some changes. 

Your profitability depends on: 

Picking the high-quality people, using excellent processes, to build the right projects safely, efficiently, with high quality. 

Highlights from the Show

  • What caused Skanska’s struggles
  • Your profitability depends on people, processes, projects
  • Your people must be energetic, smart and ethical 
  • 3 ways you can maintain your energy 
  • Why technical, relational and strategic intelligence is essential
  • How to build great teams by blending people with different behavioral and thinking styles 
  • How to identify and fix a broken process
  • The importance of picking the right types of projects (and project partners) 
  • How to innovate (and minimize risk) 
  • What you can learn from the success of In-N-Out 
  • How Skanska is recovering from failure
  • How to identify your “sweet spot” 
  • A simple tool to help you clarify “right project, right client, right location” 

Your Next Step: 

Take time to evaluate your “sweet spot” 

Step 1: Define the Criteria
List all of the criteria that, from your perspective, define the “right client”, “right job” and “right location” 

Step 2:  Rank the Criteria
Rank by importance to the success of your company.  1 is low, 10 is high. 

Step 3: Score the Criteria
Use any number between 1 and 10.  1 is low. 10 is high.  

Here’s a tool to help you:

Click on the link and download the tool. Use it to define “right project, right client, right location”.  

This tool will help you avoid the mistakes Skanska made, and ensure long-term success and profit. 


Podcast Reviews

Why the Construction Industry is Foundational to the Success of California | Ep 12


How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Pat, Glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate the feedback. I'll have some more episodes in the same vein, coming soon. Eric

How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Eric, really enjoyed this podcast. Extreme Leadership is one of my favorite business books. Nice to see that you are incorporating some of their leadership strategies into your podcasts.

Connect with me!

FREE Downloadable Resource:
Construction Leaders Dashboard

Do you lack focus and forward momentum? The Construction Leaders Dashboard is a simple, powerful tool for construction company leaders. Use it to clarify what you need to do in order to succeed. It includes: Vision, Mission, Values, Edge, Intitiatives, Metrics, Key Relationships,
and Development Opportunities.

To get your copy of the dashboard, click this link