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Justin Jeffus


Interview with Justin Jeffus at Mycon - Hays DNA VP ConstructionWith over 21 years in the construction industry, Justin provides a strong foundation in construction project management combined with a unique ability to understand and communicate with people at all levels. As Vice President Retail Services for MYCON, he is responsible for the overall direction, completion and financial outcome of multiple retail projects as well as the supervision of multiple project managers within the retail division. Justin is able to provide practical and creative insight into projects from inception to completion. He has a keen eye for detail, a relentless pursuit of quality and he pushes for excellence in performance on each project.

Justin Jeffus
Vice President, Retail Services
Mycon General contractors

Mycon LogoHave you always aspired to becoming a VP (or above) of a construction company?

I always planned on being the boss, and I don’t plan on stopping here. I want to be a president eventually. Having a goal is what drives you to achieve more, do better. If you’re satisfied with where you are then there’s no motivation to excel.

Was construction always your career path?

Not at all originally – my father ran an environment lab and I thought I would follow in his footsteps, hazmat, environmental services, that kind of thing. But I guess fate or luck intervened. After college a friend was working for a general contractor and I got offered a position running the utilities division, then to build a building.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced along your career path?

There was quite the learning curve that went along with being so focused on the environmental industry so I had a lot to learn getting into construction. The only solution was to work hard. Work until you can’t work anymore. Go meet the really experienced superintendent on his site on a Saturday. Go see that 2am concrete pour. Consistently go above and beyond, not for the accolades but for your own sake.

What skills do you think are integral to role?

You need to be able to quickly read a situation. Assess the data and reports, understand the different stakeholder priorities and motivators, know what outcome will be best for your company and then be able to make a decision based on all of that information.

The other piece that I think is critical is a customer service mentality. No matter what level you’re at in your career you need to maintain that client-focused attitude. Deliver a quality, well-managed project to your client, and go above and beyond to keep them happy. Answer the phone when they call. Take the extra time to find out their priorities. Be available for them because how they feel about you will determine whether you get repeat business or referrals.

What characteristics do believe are integral to the role?

It’s all about work ethic. You can go very far in this industry, but you have to earn every step. I think you need to be 100% engaged in your role and whatever function or department you oversee. Listen and pay attention to what is happening across the whole project so you can be proactive in solving problems before they arise. Putting in the extra work to stay on top of everything will save you headaches in the long term because you aren’t just reacting to issues as they come up.

What is your advice to someone who is moving up the ranks in the field and wants to pursue a senior role in construction?

Surround yourself with people that know more than you and are smarter than you. You need to have a team around you that is efficient, knowledgeable, and ambitious so you can tap into that expertise. The people you work with will determine how successful you are, so hire the best, train the best, and expect the best.

How important is it to be exposed to all areas of the business?

It’s absolutely crucial. I am heavily involved in project acquisition, management, workloads, profit, safety and hiring, and I’ve worked in other functions as well. You need the perspective beyond just one part of business which requires working across multiple areas.

How important is networking?

Networking is very important, and you can’t just network with one level. You must network up and network down. Get to know the people that you manage and the people that manage you. When you network with the people who work for you then you keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your company, what are their challenges, their gripes, how can you make their experience better? What ideas do they have that should be implemented? And when you’re networking up, pay attention to the skills and concerns that the people above you have. That’s your next career step so if you can start thinking like an executive, start practicing the skills you’ll need, then it will be a smoother transition into that role.

What advice would you give to the next generation of professionals aspiring to become a construction leader?

Success is driven from those willing to go the extra mile. Whatever helps differentiate you from the pack, do it. Work harder than the guy at the next desk, learn more, build better relationships. This is a competitive field and if you’re determined to succeed then you will bring that work ethic to every task you have, whether you’re a laborer or a VP.