The Gift of Failure in Leadership with Josh Durham, Owner of Gamut Project Solutions

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Imagine getting a call that someone on your team made a mistake on a 100-million-dollar client project. Would you fire them or ask them to lead the project recovery? This is the “gift of failure” that podcast guest, Josh Durham, tells us about in this episode.

With almost two decades as a leader in the construction industry, Josh has overseen more than $1 billion in large-scale construction. He’s proud to say that he has started and finished every project he’s been a part of. As the owner of Gamut Project Solutions, Josh guides his clients to positive outcomes – from proposal development and risk management to field strategies, dispute resolution and more.

In this episode, Josh tells the story of that 100-million-dollar project where one of his team members made a mistake and how he decided on the next steps. He walks us through the unexpected path he chose and how he rallied his team to get the project back on track.

Josh has had many of these “gifts of failure” that have shaped the leader he is today.

He shares how he’s matured as a leader, his support systems, and how he wants to be a guide instead of a hero. Josh also shares a hard time in his life that helped him become a better leader. If you’ve ever been through a test of leadership, this episode is for you!

Key Highlights:

  • When in doubt draw it out. Paint a clear picture of what done looks like and have clear expectations.
  • As a leader, Josh would rather be the Guide than the Hero.
  • Josh managed his emotions when the failure happened, using experience as a guide. In addition to deep breathing, looking down the paths of two different decisions helped him make the non-obvious choice.
  • Josh and his Superintendent had a pre-determined mindset about how they wanted to lead. They had a young team – sharp but inexperienced. They wanted to act as Guides, building people up and helping them grow as individuals.
  • Josh believes in purpose driven leadership.
  • His support system includes his wife (who also has leadership experience), he’s honest and vulnerable with his team when he’s struggling and using a life destination map. The life destination map is a one, five, and ten-year map of his life that he updates every year, especially when he’s going through challenging moments.
  • Josh’s advice to his younger self – allow for grace and pace. He never slowed down and paused to see if he was being effective and the impact he was having on people. Getting sick and forced to be in bed for 9 weeks, gave him the time to reflect on his career, which made him adjust his leadership style.

Josh’s Bio

Josh Durham knows construction from the ground up. Working in market sectors from education and government to office development and airport terminals, Josh oversaw more than $1 billion in large-scale commercial construction; he also holds the distinction – rare in today’s world – of starting and finishing every project he’s been a part of. This gives him a holistic perspective on the entire building process, and a unique skill set to help clients meet the tough challenges of today’s building industry.

Josh founded Gamut Project Solutions (GPS) driven by his profound empathy for the demands faced by owners, designers, and contractors. Josh believes building projects should be a source of joy and satisfaction, not angst and frustration. He brings decades of commercial construction experience to help clients meet the challenges and avoid the pitfalls faced by projects of every type and size. From proposal development and risk management, to field strategies, dispute resolution and more, Josh guides his clients to positive outcomes. When the stakes are high, GPS is a partner committed to trust, transparency, and teamwork. We Make Building Easier.