CEWales E Bulletin - January 2020

Andrew Brown, Director of CEWales, discusses what kind of leaders we deserve and who might have the right qualities to become the new CEO of CEWales

Right now, across many elements of society, business, sport and the environment (and perhaps even world politics) we lack the quality of leadership that we need. I would argue that we deserve much better leaders than those that enjoy the spotlight right now. Yes, leaders can come and go – they are often the right people for a specific moment in time or to champion a particular cause. Once their work is done, then they leave the stage gracefully. That is one sign of a good leader. To know the task in hand, deliver that objective and move on. Another is to unite divided groups. A key quality is to listen to different stakeholders – to heed advice, to pay attention to the arguments or rivals and critics and take as much of the comment on board and learn from it. An outstanding quality is decisiveness – the ability to plan, adapt and respond to events. It's a fascinating subject that has generated countless books using the themes of sport, politics and warfare as sources for lessons learned and personalities to be upheld as examples. Researchers investigating productivity looked at five leadership styles (taken from the book "Leaders: Myth vs Reality", co-authored by General Stanley McChrystal, Jeff Eggers and Jason Mangone) to see if they boost productivity. 1. Hero style – leadership by example; 2. the zealot – leadership by mission; 3. founder model – leadership by innovation; 4. the reformer – leadership by disruption and lastly, 5. the power broker – leadership by negotiation. It's interesting because organisations need different types of leaders depending on the respective culture and objectives. In sport the best and most successful teams are not always led by the personalities you would think – for example, have the 'stars', the greatest players of all time been the captain of winning Welsh rugby sides? Pele was never captain of Brazil. The flare players rarely make great leaders. Read the Captain Class by Sam Walker to examine the argument.

So, what type of leader is right for the construction industry of Wales. Milica Kitson is stepping down this Easter. CEWales needs a new CEO. Who will it be?

The right individual must show the skill and tenacity to unite the Welsh built environment. He or she must advocate the concept of collaborative working' and 'best practice' and embrace 'the need for change' set out by Mark Farmer. We need a leader that can rethink construction in Wales all over again and respond to climate change, the Wellbeing Future Generations Act and ensure the industry modernises, or else. Could that person, be you?