C. David Moody of C.D. Moody Construction talks leadership

. David Moody, CEO
C. David Moody, CEO of C.D. Moody Construction

C. David Moody of  C.D. Moody Construction has been listed as one of Atlanta’s top 25 commercial contractors and ranked as one of its top 100 private companies. Started in 1988, C.D. Moody Construction has built and renovateed memorable and historic structures. From the campuses of Morehouse and Tuskegee University to the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, C.D. Moody Construction has left its mark.

Please describe your role as CEO.

For me and my business, I believe it is quite interesting, because I see the role of a CEO as a service leader. What I mean by that is, I try to do whatever needs to be done but not get in my people’s way. I think that’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned as a CEO. I believe in letting them do their job. I think of myself as a professional cheerleader making sure that everyone has what they need to get the job done. I want to keep things moving.

Your company represents the backbone of the nation, that is construction. Can you give us a brief background on your company?

We started 26 years ago. We are commercial general contractors — we manage for a client the building project. We hire the subcontractors and the suppliers, we then take the architects’ and the engineers’ drawings and we build the building. We make sure it is it built properly, safely, on time and hopefully under budget.

How do you evaluate talent you are hiring and what are the skills that you are looking for in this marketplace? 

Over the years this has changed. I now look for young, energetic, hungry, sometimes experienced; it depends on what we are looking for. But I really look for is someone with a passion. Construction is one of those industries you really have to have a passion and love what you’re doing. Because it’s outdoors, bad weather, risky and all kinds of changes you have to deal with; something happens every day. You never build the same thing, every project is different, and every day is different. You can’t mind getting muddy and having dirt on you.

What are three projects that stand out in your mind as some of the best you have done?

The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on the campus of Morehouse College, Tompkins Hall at Tuskegee University and the international terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

How do you utilize technology to give yourself business advantages?

With technology today things have changed dramatically. Our project superintendents are using iPads and sending pictures from the site to the architects. We are using special programs that allow us to see the issues in a building as we are constructing. There are so many areas [where] technology is critical in the industry.

What are the two key factors for business successes?

You must have a passion for it. If you’re only in it for the money you will never last through the hard times. The other thing is patience; it’s a steady grind. But of course you must have faith.

Name your three favorite business books for insight and inspiration?

  •  Built From Scratch by Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus
  •  Anything by John Maxwell
  •  Biographies of great African-Americans

If you were giving a speech about skill sets needed in the future to remain relevant to 500 workers at a retraining seminar, what would be the title of your speech be and why?

The title would be “Go for your dreams.” When I started my business, I did not have anything. My wife and I did not know how we were going to pay the house note.  Whatever your dream is, go for it, get through the fear. But learn your craft whatever it is. It does not matter how you started, it matters how you finish. You must keep going for it.

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