Don’t Wear Four Hats!

By George Hedley As a construction business owner or manager, you struggle to get it all done no matter how hard you try. Why? You’re trying to be and do four different things simultaneously. To grow your business, make a profit and get it to work, you need four talents to manage and lead the… Continue reading Don’t Wear Four Hats!
By George Hedley

George Hedley

As a construction business owner or manager, you struggle to get it all done no matter how hard you try. Why? You’re trying to be and do four different things simultaneously. To grow your business, make a profit and get it to work, you need four talents to manage and lead the different requirements your company demands. The skills and roles required are visionary leader, manager, accountant and worker.

The visionary leader is the creator of the business vision and mission, dreamer, has lots of passion and energy, is imaginative and exciting, the motivator and coach, and lives for the future and where the company is going and what it can become. They love new challenges, innovation and change. The visionary leader has lots of ideas, makes quick decisions, is impatient, doesn’t like details or follow-up, and has trouble staying focused on organizational systems and procedures. They also have trouble making people accountable and don’t like to fire or discipline employees.

The manager is organized, systemized and likes to be in-control of every situation they face. They like to use checklists and agendas, and always follow-up on details and tasks needed to be completed. They make people accountable and responsible for their actions, hit expected results, meet their schedules and budgets, and track progress regularly. The manager’s desk is neat and everything is in the right place. Managers also don’t have trouble telling people the facts, delegating tasks and letting employees know how they are doing.

The accountant keeps track of past results, performances, finances, achievements and progress. They like to make and present reports to the leaders of their company. They like detail and always sweat the small stuff. They don’t focus on the future and aren’t bothered to think ahead where the company is going.

The worker does excellent work in the area of work they are best at or trained in. They can be good workers in sales, estimating, project management, field supervision, production, customer relations, quality control, craft trades, accounting, technology or other work area or responsibility.

You Can’t Wear All the Hats!

Growing businesses struggle when the owner continually tries to wear every hat required to lead and manage their business. Sometimes they even think they’re the best at every type of talent and skill required to run the entire company. When one thinks they’re good at everything, they don’t let go of decisions or tasks, or hire the right people to make the company a better organization.

For example, when you are good at numbers, you might not be good at managing people. But you try to manage to no avail, which escalates your people problems, so things only get worse and your good people leave for better opportunities. All because you didn’t look in the mirror and realize you shouldn’t be in charge of managing people. Eventually you take on too much work yourself and get out of control. And many parts of the business actually get worse when owner’s workload increases. When owners attempt to handle areas they’re not talented in, they fail. Especially when they don’t let go of areas they shouldn’t be in charge of in the first place!

Fill Your Gaps!

If your personal talents and gifts are in cost estimating and your weakness is managing people and making them accountable for results, you’ll have to find a responsible manager who is better than you at handling the people and project parts of your company. What area of your business do you need to improve? Where are you weak? To grow and improve your company, look at your weaknesses to determine which gaps and positions of responsibility you need to fill. Identify what area you’re best suited to lead and manage. Let go of other areas you aren’t talented in or don’t want to handle yourself. Replace yourself with great people for those activities. This action will allow your business to grow.

Look at Microsoft. Bill Gates was the visionary leader and Steve Balmer was the manager responsible for getting the work done. This partnership works. My recommendation to most struggling construction company owners is to hire strong managers who compliment their weakest area to help them improve their business. I know you can’t afford it. That’s because you can’t make enough money with you doing work you shouldn’t be doing! With good people around you, your business will make more money. Without the right people in the right slots, you’ll continue to struggle and never make the money you should.

Draft Your Perfect Organization Chart!

As you design your company to grow profitably, look objectively at how you run your business. List out who is currently accountable and responsible for every area of your company. I’ll bet you’re responsible for most of the areas on your organizational chart. As your business grows, you won’t be able to continually fill all these positions. Decide who’s best suited to take over for you in the future. If you don’t have a person currently ready or qualified to accept more responsibility, leave that future area blank and make it your next hire. Your goal is to design the perfect organizational chart and a game plan, which will allow your company to grow. This exercise will help you map out and identify your future management team needs.

Now for the hard part. Should you start working on one of your weak areas? Or start looking for a management team member to accept some responsibility for making your company better? Your first tendency is to work harder and take on more work yourself. This is a natural reaction for entrepreneurs who are used to and want to control everything while not spending any of their hard earned cash.

Are you willing to take bold steps to promote or and hire key managers to fill in your organizational gaps before you can afford to? The time is never right. But unless you’re willing to invest in your future, you won’t make big plays and win the games. Fill those key positions and put people in charge of scoring points and getting results. This allows you to concentrate on areas where you’re best suited and can make the biggest difference in your team’s success. The future is your choice. What hat will you wear?

George Hedley is a licensed professional business coach, popular professional speaker and author of “Get Your Business to Work!” available at his online bookstore. To learn more, visit or email