Good leadership is decisive to good business, and it’s imperative to success. It is the glue that holds a company together.

Successful companies have strong culture and a strong team. A leader’s role is being responsible for that company culture, as well as its viability. They can advocate for the company’s strategy and promote its vision.

Leaders should strive to live by a set of core values. Good leaders have integrity, selflessness, competence, self-discipline, personal courage, humility, and accountability.

Many agree the chief of these values is integrity. A leader with integrity is honest and has strong moral principles. They take their commitments seriously and are accountable for their actions.

Situational awareness is another important value. An effective leader knows where they are and what’s happening in their company. They can see the big picture:

  • What’s happening.
  • What’s not happening.
  • What should be happening.
  • What they should do about it.

Once these are known, an effective leader can use self-reflection to decide what needs to be done to keep the company viable. By practicing situational awareness, good leaders are able to reason through and turn the tide of events for a company.

A strong, vibrant, successful company has strong, vibrant, successful leaders. They can urge people outside their comfort zones to collaborate effectively within parameters. A company that functions well has a strong culture, uses a good team approach, and has synergy within teams which communicate well. It has high standards, high expectations and high output.

Further, people want to be part of companies with good leadership.

Mistakes are made when leaders deviate from their core values. Once a leader violates their integrity, it’s very difficult to regain that in the eyes of colleagues and subordinates who look to them for leadership. If situational awareness is lost, the leader loses their effectiveness.

In the AEC industry, silos inhibit communication and can result in an adversarial environment. People naturally tend to become enamored with their own expertise and tend to not appreciate others’ expertise as much as their own. It’s important to understand, appreciate, respect, and work with others that have different skill sets. Humility enables a person to do things that may not be in the best interest of their particular job but that are best for the company as a whole.

The goal should be horizontal integration across silos. Each contribution to the company’s mission needs to be integrated. The net result is cross fertilization of ideas and better communication. Integration creates synergy among teams for a successful outcome.

There are a few misconceptions about leadership to be aware of:

  • You don’t need a special title to be a leader. Wherever you are, you can be a role model and motivate people you work with. You can be an influencer.
  • You can’t demand respect based on your title. Respect must be earned. That respect evolves based on how you conduct yourself and adhere to your core values. It builds as you inspire people to be better at what they’re doing. The intangibles are what ultimately help earn respect.
Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 183 with guest Retired Major General Karl Horst "The Biggest Mistake That Leaders Make"​
Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 183 with guest Retired Major General Karl Horst “The Biggest Mistake That Leaders Make”

Tune in to episode 183 of Bridging the Gap Podcast and hear more about leadership from General Karl Horst. 


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