3 Skills All Great Construction Managers Need

As you know, construction managers can make or break any project. And right now they’re laying the groundwork for the future of the industry to satisfy the growing demand for green building, support the development of new technology, and answer the call to renew domestic and global infrastructure.

But what separates the great from the good (and bad)? Here are three leadership skills that every top construction manager has in their toolbox:

Planning and Goal Setting

Detailed planning and goal setting are required for projects to have a chance to come in on-time, on-budget, and safely. Whether following a phased master plan or weekly schedules and agendas, managers create and rely on these tools to track progress and hold their teams, as well as themselves, accountable. With countless moving parts and various stakeholders invested in construction projects, great managers make planning and goal setting a priority so satisfying client expectations is realistic and achievable.


After establishing plans and goals, objectives and instructions need to be communicated to the right people from the start of the project to the finish. Great construction managers understand how to deliver messages that are clear, concise and timely. Although construction deliverables are complex, great leaders are able to structure their messages so everyone understands what is expected, and how and when it needs to be executed. And to share information faster and more effectively, more and more construction managers are leveraging collaborative software to ensure their messages are received by all the right members of their project team, and documented for posterity.

Problem Solving

Even after pairing thorough planning and goal setting with bullet-proof communication, issues are inevitable in construction. Top managers have the skills to both anticipate problems and quickly solve them when they occur. Problem-solving skills are developed through worksite experience, but they also tie in directly with great planning, goal setting and communication. When things go off track, the speed at which managers can identify when, where and why an issue occurred, clearly communicate what needs to be done to correct them, and ensure that it won’t happen again, can mean the difference in a project getting turned around or failing.

Whether great leaders are born or made doesn’t much matter. With the Big 3 nailed down, these are the managers who’ll help steer the industry toward its ambitious goals.

Photo © Kikiojavier/Twenty20

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