What style of leadership will move the construction industry forward?

When considered, the construction industry is firmly entrenched in very traditional models of leadership. Ones that often take a very hierarchical and supervisory approach to managing teams. Communication is often a one way street with instructions being issued that need to be followed rather than discussion being encouraged.

However, it’s becoming abundantly clear, given the shakeup’s that the industry has experienced this year, that perhaps traditional models of leadership are no longer the most effective. As new technologies become more mainstream and new generations of workers enter the workforce, a new transformational style of leadership will be required if companies want to keep ahead of the game.

What does transformational leadership look like?

One of the characteristics differentiating transformational leaders is their willingness to collaborate with colleagues and industry partners. There’s a recognition that more can be achieved in this type of environment than going it alone. Discussion is encouraged, particularly relating to new ideas or strategies, and teams are encouraged to approach work with an innovative mindset.

To support innovation, transformational leaders view failures as temporary setbacks that provide key learning experiences for the wider team, rather than costly exercises. They entrench the company values and vision and work to empower their team, coaching and guiding them, but ultimately giving them the freedom to work independently. This supports a culture of continuous learning and helps further develop the expertise within an organization.

Transformational leaders are those that embrace technology and look for innovative ways in which it can help make the workplace smarter, safer and more efficient. They pass the benefits of this on to the client which is often a contributing factor to winning contracts.

Why aren’t there more transformational leaders?

While this may sound like a good way of operating, and there is evidence to support that it works. Too many managers are still playing it safe, too scared to release the reigns and make space for innovation for fear that it’ll negatively impact their own careers. After all, there are always people coming up the ranks eyeing senior positions.

But if leaders start developing broader view of what the industry and their organization needs to remain relevant and competitive, they’ll recognise that the approach to leadership needs to change. The question is: Will you be the leader to spearhead innovation that moves the construction industry forward?