Tom Crane, China Construction America, Skanska, CCA

Episode 21: Tom Crane

E21: Tom Crane is China Construction America’s Head of Shared Services and Vice President of Human Resources & Communications.

The parent company is the largest construction company in the world.

He forms and provides operational management of the organization’s Shared Services Center functions, while increasing their long-term strategic and operational effectiveness, efficiency and speed of delivery.

Tom is also a member of the board of directors of Plaza Group Holdings, LLC.

He previously served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Skanska USA, where he led a 70-person team and $19 million budget and played a key role in Skanska USA achieving an 85%+ employee engagement level and limiting voluntary salaried employee turnover to 12% per year.

He served as Director of Media Relations for Honeywell.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Temple University.

Tom’s LinkedIn Profile

WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER:

  • Why a background in journalism and communications can provide a strategic advantage in the C-Suite.
  • How to influence others through your writing.
  • What Tom learned working as executive leader for three companies on three continents.
  • The moment Tom learned to write under pressure when the stock price was at stake.
  • The mental shift you must make to become an effective communicator.
  • How to improve your communication by identifying patterns in others.
  • What Tom learned from former Honeywell CEO, Larry Bossidy, about leadership.
  • The “grassroots” approach to selling your idea to the C-Suite.
  • The key for having tough conversations at work.
  • When employee turnover is okay and when it’s not.
  • The most important data points you should track when it comes to employee turnover.
  • How a single relationship Tom built early in his career transformed into a big opportunity. 
  • How employees from under-represented groups can rise to the C-Suite.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Things to know when writing an email:

  • Your mission.
  • Your strategy.
  • Your intent.
  • Your audience.

Then bring all those things together.

Traits Tom would instill in every employee:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Spending more time thinking about the bigger picture
  • Accountability and responsibility for the whole process even though you only have a part of it.

Tom’s advice for employees from the underrepresented groups in C-Suite:

  • Establish a mentor relationship, both inside and outside of the company.
  • Stay focused of what you can produce the best.
  • Socialize your ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid to be visible.
  • Let people know that you have an opinion.

QUOTES:

“Make it better than you found it.”

“We are only the caretakers for the roles we have. That’s our legacy.”

RESOURCES:

On Writing Well, William K. Zinsser

Crossing the Unknown Sea, David Whyte

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy

An Immigrant In the C-Suite, John Lopez

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