Applied Leadership Model for Lean Construction: A New Conversation

Rebecca Bettler1 & Brian Lightner2

1National Director of Lean Construction, JE Dunn Construction Company 800 Mount Vernon Highway NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30328, USA, Phone +1(267) 221-5279, [email protected]
2Process Improvement Manager, J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc. 330 East Delavan Drive, Janesville, WI 53546, USA, Phone +1(608) 751-1335, [email protected]


Successful implementation of Lean Construction, on any scale requires effective application of leadership behavior. Many resources about leadership exist, yet there is high variation in the application of leadership, therefore removing much of the opportunity to capture lessons learned and improve the process. The Lean Construction Community (LCC) lacks a concrete and comprehensive model for leadership application that will create a shared understanding among practitioners for a more focused and valuable conversation. This paper offers a starting point for producing a new conversation about leadership in the LCC, supported by the research of some well-known experts. The authors offer a few assessments of the current condition of inconsistencies of leadership application and the opportunities that a model could be useful in resolving. A basic model is introduced that the LCC can use as a starting point for this new conversation to apply leadership methods and capture lessons learned so that systematic continuous improvement of effective leadership application may take place. Leadership is a big topic with many pieces that will require further research and development to finalize a model for applied leadership. The value to practitioners will be as much about the conversation and the iterative loops of learning as it will be about the final model.


Lean Construction, Leadership, Applied Leadership



Bettler, R. & Lightner, B. 2013. Applied Leadership Model for Lean Construction: A New Conversation, 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 967-976.

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