Building Great Leaders

This article is included in the Fall 2007 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

Developing the next generation of leadership at DPR


This was a question posed to us by a speaker at DPR’s recent Regional Management Team meeting in relation to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery. The question, however, is one that we have been talking about regularly over the last several years as we continue to develop strategic initiatives that move us toward DPR’s mission to be one of the most admired companies by the year 2030.

We are living in exponential times. The future that we are preparing for is one of rapid change. Technology, globalization and available resources are transforming the business landscape, creating an unpredictable tomorrow. What we do know and can be sure of is that to achieve our mission requires great people, smart builders and effective leaders. As a result, over the last 18 months, we have created and launched a formal leadership development process for the continued growth and development of our current and future leaders.
DPR’s process, centered around the goal of building “bullet-smart” leaders, includes four distinct steps:

Self Awareness – Great leaders must first know how to lead themselves. The first step in becoming a better leader is self clarity: why you feel the way you do and why you do the things you do. Gaining a greater understanding of self provides the foundation for moving forward. As part of this first step, we help assess an individual’s behavior and opportunities for growth using a custom-created 360 degree feedback tool, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and SELF Leadership profile.

Coaching – Real change takes time and hard work. To help individuals create a specific action plan or make adjustments in the way they manage or lead, we have included coaching as an integral part of the process. Our coaches help individuals evaluate the information gathered during selfawareness and provide support during the development and implementation of personal action plans, which can take up to six months.

The DPR EXPLORE Retreat – Focused on self-exploration and team development, the two-day retreat brings a group of DPR people together to share what they have learned thus far, discuss what it means to lead at DPR and enhance their skills for moving forward as better, stronger leaders.

Leader Lab – Being a leader requires ongoing growth and commitment. The final phase of the process is really the opportunity to continue the leadership process. Leader Lab groups will be encouraged to seek support and accountability from peers, as well as continue to discuss personal action plans and behaviors.


We think a better question is “what are we doing to prepare for the future?” We are building better leaders, individuals who are poised and prepared to meet the imminent challenges that will impact our organization. We are building a stronger company, one that will continue to better serve customers and one that we anticipate will be admired for many generations to come.