Developing Your People

See how Dome Construction uses a blend of Vistage programs to build leaders at every level.

The No. 1 question on the minds of Vistage CEO members is “How do I develop my people?” For most, retention is only part of the goal. It’s also about achieving results, developing a culture and empowering their staff to lead so they can grow both the business and themselves.

See how Dome Construction uses a blend of Vistage programs to build leaders at every level.

“To get the maximum benefit from your employees, improve their leadership skills,” says Mark Bley, chairman of Dome Construction, a commercial contractor in the Bay Area.

Bley and CEO Rob Lynch have seen the proof. To reach new levels of growth, they invested in leadership development for employees at every level of the business. It has paid off in revenue growth, repeat business and talent retention. A key part of their strategy: a blend of Vistage programs.

“To get the maximum benefit from your employees, improve their leadership skills,” – Mark Bley, Chairman of Dome Construction, a commercial contractor in the Bay Area.

“It’s the responsibility of the company to keep training its people,” Bley adds. “Vistage was a key component of what was necessary to keep growing and training our employees.”

Image: How Dome Construction achieved success with Vistage Programs

Starting from the top

Bley joined the Vistage Chief Executive Program in 2009 to improve his performance in the C-Suite. “Vistage helped guide me on a journey of being a much better CEO,” Bley says, “and I knew that Rob was going to be the next CEO. I wanted to see him better prepared than I was.”

With that succession plan in mind, Lynch started in the Vistage Key Executive Program. Lynch was skeptical: “I thought, ‘How can these people, in completely different industries, understand the nuance and complexity of the construction industry?’ After a couple of meetings, I was wowed. I realized the value of those objective outside perspectives. Those folks gave us the absolute best advice because they weren’t constrained by an institutional mindset.”

Lynch transitioned to CEO in October 2019 and has taken a seat in Bley’s former CE group. Bley moved to become Dome’s Chairman of the Board.

Accelerating success

Lynch’s Vistage experience also made him realize how valuable it would be to give his employees leadership tools earlier in their careers. “That way, they can more effectively lead their teams, their projects, and themselves,” he says.

So Bley and Lynch introduced the Vistage Inside Program to the group directors of four business units. With increased responsibilities, Bley and Lynch prioritized giving them proper training, support and resources.

“We have people routinely saying how they’ve seen improvements in their performance, how they navigate challenging situations, and their ability to engage and motivate their teams,” Lynch says.

Dome is seeing the benefits too. It has a 94% customer repeat rate and a high employee retention rate.

Even the group directors are paying it forward. One of them identified an employee who’s early in her career that would benefit from the Vistage Emerging Leader Program.

“Getting exposure to these principles and ideas this early is going to allow her to be tremendously successful, grow faster and alleviate a lot of stress,” says Lynch, who serves as her mentor in the program. “You see this awareness settling in, after the first few mentoring sessions.”

“I’m grateful that we’re able to pass Vistage on to our next level of leaders within the company,” Lynch says. “It’s improved me. It’s improved our company. It’s improved the people who have been exposed to it.

“Since we’ve been fully invested in Vistage, we’ve grown revenue almost fourfold, earned Best Places to Work three times, and seen strong retention. We would not be the company we are without the help and the development we’ve received through Vistage.”

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Vistage Perspectives 2020

Read about insights, challenges and successes across our community in the latest Vistage Perspectives magazine.