Level Headed – The Incredible Story of a Construction Company’s Transformation

In 2014, Doug Pruitt and Richard Condit published the best, most compelling, most action-packed construction industry book I have ever read! I consumed Level Headed on a trip, and I literally could not put it down! It is that good! It details the story of the rise, near collapse, and resurrection of Sundt Construction. From its humble beginnings in 1890 to its ascent to become one of America’s premier contractors building historic, iconic projects, to its near demise, the Sundt story is one well worth your time. Ask yourself this question: How could such a good company get in serious trouble so quickly?

Please tune in this week as Wayne chronicles some of Sundt’s history, some of the amazing projects they constructed, the seven near fatal problems that gradually crept into their operations, and the tool they used successfully to turn the company around and restore the core values and disciplines that had made them great in the first place. The lesson: If a great company like Sundt can stumble, fall, and almost fail, it could happen to any of us. Complacency is the contractor killer!

Get and read this book (disclaimer: we have ZERO financial interest in this or any other books we didn’t write)! Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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  1. Wayne, I couldn’t agree with you more. This book has been my how-to to guide. This book was recommended to me in 2018 as we were going through similar problems. I used almost all their tactics during our dark days and continue to do so as we’ve come out of our “valley of darkness.” We’re now traveling their same path of IT investment, training and development, and business development. I’ve adopted many of their philosophies including the use of consultants. I reread this book numerous times and will continue to do so.

    • Excellent, Ryan! You couldn’t have selected a better model to follow.

  2. Wayne, this has always been one of my favorite business books. My father was good friends with Doug, and I had the pleasure of getting to know him well through National AGC around the time he wrote this book. One of the keys to this turnaround was the training they implemented which is not an easy thing to do.

    • Yes, Paul, training is vastly underappreciated in our industry! Great observation! Thanks.

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