On February 10, GBCA’s Construction Leadership Council hosted a virtual Coffee Chat with Todd Lofgren, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Skanska USA Building. This informal meeting provided GBCA’s young construction professionals an opportunity to hear from an experienced construction executive, and to ask frank questions about working in Philadelphia’s commercial construction industry.

Todd discussed his path to a leadership role in the Philadelphia-area office of one of the world’s largest construction companies. Some key takeaways:

  • You need to be true to yourself. Be confident in your abilities, but also be willing to listen and learn.
  • Build up your network, from mentors to other people in the industry. Your network goes wherever you go.
  • You’re networking every single day, with everyone in the office and on the job site. Even if you’re arguing with someone such as a subcontractor, or an architect, you’re still building a relationship with them. It could be a bad relationship, but if done professionally, it still has the potential to be a good relationship.
  • People stay in the Philadelphia region and they will remember you. Keep in mind that the person you’re yelling at today could be your potential client in ten years.
  • Don’t title hunt. There isn’t always a clear path to leadership. Work hard, accept opportunities for new responsibilities, and if you succeed, you will move up.

 

You’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities you get. And as [past Skanska executive] Ed Szwarc said, “The opportunities that present themselves to you are there because of who you are.”

Todd Lofgren, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Skanska USA Building

 

Read a more detailed recap of the Coffee Chat, courtesy of MRG – Madison Risk Group:

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Thanks to Todd for sharing his thoughts and advice with us, and thanks to all who attended!