By Wayne T. Belanger

A common theme in the ABC of Wisconsin Construction U Emerging Leader program is the transition from employee to decision maker. Several of our participants describe it as moving from working in the business to working on the business. The difference between the words in and on is significant.

We all come to our careers with a certain set of knowledge and skills which through time become the “tools” in our toolbox. Through experience and practice, our toolbox gets bigger. This often brings success. 

Success brings more responsibility. Being able to handle more responsibility leads to more tools in the toolbox and more success. Sometimes, we find we are offered the opportunity to make a quantum leap to the next level.

In our industry, this can mean moving from the field to the office. For some, it means moving from an office position to a managerial role. For others, the next level might even mean running the company. Several Emerging Leader graduates are now company owners. 

This is where the two words, in and on come into play. For those who are or will be taking on a greater management role, Emerging Leader provides an opportunity for participants to develop skills and knowledge that will expand their toolbox, allowing them to work on the business, taking it to new heights.

Although we can utilize many of the tools we picked up while we were on our career path, some could need a whole new toolbox. To quote Ben Noffke, Noffke Roofing Co., LLC, “Working with the roofing crew on the job is very different from dealing with industry professionals and customers when I am in the office.”

Jim DeLeers, DeLeers Construction, Inc. said, “Those who run companies have to look beyond day to day tasks. Their vision must guide their business through good times and bad.” He added, “The great leader measures their success not through what he/she has done, but through the accomplishments of their employees.”

The Emerging Leader program is more than education and training. It provides participants the management, supervisory and leadership tools they need to be successful. Learn more at http://www.abcwi.org/Construction-U/Management-Education/Emerging-Leader.

Wayne Belanger is the director of education for ABC of Wisconsin.