Leaders today face many short- and long-term challenges such as attracting, recruiting, and retaining top talent as well as dealing with a shallow labor pool, supply chain difficulties, rising material costs, and a pending recession. To become as exceptional as possible, they are wise to take inventory on their everyday habits. 

Many best practices for successful construction leaders exist. However, one that’s most often overlooked is the simple task of regularly scheduling time to think and plan. 

Many leaders have an active “to-do” list of important activities to get done now. They get busy doing but rarely get busy thinking and planning. Are you busy solving today’s problems but not anticipating future problems?

Getting in the habit of scheduling time on your calendar to think and plan requires setting a meeting with yourself—an easy thing to do but also easy to undo. Keeping your appointments with yourself must become a priority to lead successfully. 

Consider the following standard agenda items to create a productive meeting with yourself. 


As you start thinking in an uninterrupted way, reflect on the recent past by asking yourself a few great questions. For example: If we had the chance to do last month over, what three things could we have done differently to achieve better results? Likely, you can’t do anything about it now, but you may be able to do something about it going forward to get the results want. 

You can also reflect on decisions that were recently made or overlooked—meetings you had or should have had, plus actions you took or didn’t take on challenging issues.


Thinking forward by anticipating challenges or opportunities puts you in a position to be proactive versus reactive. To stimulate your thinking, again, ask more great questions. For example: 

  • What is one thing I’m not doing that I should be doing? 
  • If the economy continues to show signs of weakening, what is one action I should take now?
  • What three opportunities could we pursue that would grow our business over the next 12 months? 

Proactively contemplating the future and addressing potential problems allows you to maximize opportunities and avoid crises. In effect, you’re creating solutions before problems occur. As a result, you have more time to focus on getting even better results for your business.


What should you address in your planning meetings? This list of topics gets you going: your business plan, the market, the economy, the competition, red flags, current and future problems as well as your goals, customers, projects, employees, communication, priorities, meetings, and more. 


There is no shortage of opportunities for leaders to become exceptional. If you can develop the best practices needed to become an exceptional leader, you will succeed. And as you do, you will inspire others around you to become exceptional, too. 

About the Coach:

As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Contact Randy directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com. For more, visit leadersedge360.com.

Modern Contractor Solutions, November 2022
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