Hiring leaders to help navigate challenges ahead

Leadership Ellis Fox Blog

In the past week construction journals were filled with headlines on further contractions in construction output amidst continued materials inflation.  Everyone in the industry is feeling the pressure to do more with less. This is highlighted even more by the number of vacancies for senior roles that are becoming harder to fill. Does this mean that good leaders are hard to find, or are main contractors focusing on the wrong criteria?

In today’s article we look at 3 key skills that characterise great leaders and how these attributes can help companies navigate challenges:


Good leaders don’t manage from the top down, delegating tasks and checking up on team members. Instead they empower their team to take ownership of what they’re working on. This involves open discussions on what outcomes need to be achieved and by when, as well as supporting employees with the information and resources they need to be successful.  This collaborative approach to leadership is relationship based and seeks to match up operational and human resources in a more efficient way. Employees are typically more responsive, more engaged and more productive while still enabling leaders to keep a pulse on what’s happening.

Prioritizing Learning:

Often when under pressure there can be the sense that there’s no room for failure. Good leaders flip this, encouraging a level of experimentation even if there’s risk of failure. They do this because they know it can actually speed up finding a solution by eliminating what’s not working and encouraging broader and more creative thinking to find a solution that will work.


Business uncertainty can create huge levels of anxiety for team members. Most are only too aware that industry slowdowns can result in retrenchments and a reduction of benefits. If they spend their days worrying about if they’re next, they’re unlikely to be productive. A good leader maintains a high level of transparency, outlining the challenges the company is facing and how that impacts the team. Most important is that they work to encourage their team and let them know that as leader they’re looking out for them, doing everything possible to reduce any risks by helping the team deliver what they need to.

The construction, infrastructure and utilities sectors are no strangers to adversity and there are many excellent leaders that have the necessary skills and experience to weather coming storms. It’s their ability to lead effectively that’ll make all the difference.