Contractors Are Like Sharks

"Contractors are like sharks - they can never stop swimming." - Linda Clifford

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Quote: Contractors are like sharks - they can never stop swimming. Linda Clifford.


Contractors never get to slow down. They must always be moving forward on the hunt for the next high-quality project, the talent to build that project, and always improving their operational capabilities to deliver that project successfully.



Linda Clifford was the CFO at a heavy civil contractor for 30 years. C.C Myers gained national attention after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in Los Angeles where they rebuilt four bridges finishing 74 days ahead of a 140-day schedule and earning a $14.8M early completion bonus which was the largest ever paid by Caltrans. Linda taught construction accounting and financial management at U.C. Davis for 22 years. In 1988, she was a founding member and first President of the Construction Financial Management Association's (CFMA) Sacramento Chapter.

She helped develop and still teaches their Basics of Construction Accounting workshop which we highly recommend for anyone at the PM/Estimator/Superintendent level or above in a construction company. 

Today, Linda advises contractors on topics from strategy through to enterprise risk management. 



Linda put it succinctly when she describes contractors as sharks to illustrate their need to constantly be moving. We describe it as Sustainable Growth Through Balanced Execution.

  1. Get Work
  2. Do Work
  3. Build Talent
  4. Keep Score + Admin (Management Systems / Structure)
  5. Buy Stuff (Purchasing / Equipment / Real Estate)
  6. Technology

Go deeper into each of these at the links above.


Related Training

Technology Integration - Critical Inflection Points and Streamlining Workflows
Construction technology can no longer be treated like a “Project” with a beginning, middle, and end to the implementation. There are now hundreds of specialized technology tools that can be implemented by contractors and each add individual value.
Aligning Career and Company Trajectories
Alignment of the people and job roles within a contracting business is what creates the synergies (1+1=3). Alignment of career and business trajectories is what makes both sustainable.
6 Phases of the Strategy and Planning Process
The strategy and planning process for a contractor can be broken down into six phases. Each phase is integrated but has a different objective and involves different people. These phases will help you create the right process for your stage of growth.