A Non-Traditional Approach to Building a Dynamic Construction Company | Ep 18


Mark Bley has worked in the Construction Industry for over 30 years. He has been on Dome Construction‘s staff since 1981 and has been President & CEO since 2008. Before becoming President & CEO, Mark acted as Project Manager on Dome Construction’s staff for 24 years. His work experience prior to joining Dome includes heavy construction and electrical utility construction and design.

To keep young, Mark has mentored 7 boys through Urban Services YMCA Building Futures programs. He is strongly committed to giving our youth every opportunity for their future. Both he and Dome Construction are sponsoring Urban Services Empowerment to Employment (E2E), Genesys Works, and Immaculate Conception Academy and All-Stars workforce development programs to assist our youth to become productive. He is on the Board for the All Stars Project.

My interview with Mark covers his “prodigal son” beginnings in the construction industry. How he returned and thrived at his father’s company by building unique projects for companies like Genentech that he found interesting and challenging.

We also explore how Mark avoids the traditional top-down command and control leadership model that many construction companies use, in favor of pushing power out to a variety of construction groups that are responsible for developing and executing their own business plans that integrate together into the overall business plan of the company.  

Finally, we hit on Mark’s advice for growing a construction company, his perspective on mistakes, and what Mark is doing to prepare his business to be passed onto the next generation.

Show Notes:

  • Mark’s “Prodigal Son” beginnings.
  • How building the first large scale Genetech project hooked Mark back into construction
  • Mark’s personal pursuit of projects that interested him.
  • Taking responsibility for Dome’s pharmaceutical construction group.
  • How Mark leveraged his personal insight into pursuing interesting projects into growing the company as President and CEO.
  • Structuring Dome into groups (based specific industries) and allowing the groups to determine their destinies.
  • Combining the goals of the individual groups with the overall company goals.
  • The positive aspects of avoiding “command and control” leadership.
  • Moving from industry-specific groups to client specific groups.
  • The goal of perpetuating the business to the next generation by delegating responsibility, teaching business planning, and allowing people to pursue projects that interest them.
  • How moving away from a “command and control” structure makes the company more dynamic and efficient.
  • Mark’s outlook on mistakes:

It’s not a failure, it’s something we tried and didn’t work

We are committed to learning from it

We make sure the whole company benefits from the learning opportunity

  • How to grow your construction company:

Encourage people to pursue projects and clients that interest them

Use a common set of metrics that everyone understands and that everyone is accountable for

Praise people’s accomplishments

  • Mark’s San Francisco restaurant recommendation: Coi

Additional Links:
Dome Construction
Mark Bley’s LinkedIn Profile

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Podcast Reviews

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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!

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