Forging Foundations for Future Leaders in Construction

Civil Construction ...

It reflects human ingenuity, transforming ideas into tangible foundations that connect communities and enable progress. Every dig, pour and lift is a commitment to a brighter and more sustainable future.

Thought Leaders and Senior Industry Professionals are an invaluable source of inspiration and knowledge for tenacious and invested learners. They have a unique knack for turning an overthought complexity into an achievable outcome-based operation. If you combined a textbook case study with a wealth of real-world experience and industry knowledge, the result would be our first featured industry leader, Steve Lambert!

We recently chatted with Steve, a well-known and respected leader in the industry. Reflecting on his own learning and decades of experience, Steve openly shared some insights and career highlights in an interview with Constructability Recruitment.

The Deserving Protégé

Forging Foundations for Future Leaders in Construction

Steve Lambert
Chief Operating Officer, Seymour Whyte

As a senior leader in the civil industry, what advice do you have for someone new to the industry?

Steve: “If you have passion for visualising your efforts to build something that adds value to society then the Construction Industry is a good place to be. Never burn your bridges and do the best you can do. The industry in many ways, whilst large and diverse, is also very small.”

What’s been your favourite or most rewarding project?

Steve: “I am still fond of the Tugun Bypass project. Built by Abigroup between 2006 and 2009 it was around $540m then. Tugun Bypass was a technically challenging project, building a top-down diaphragm wall tunnel under a live runway in water-charged ground. The project spanned 3 jurisdictions; NSW, Qld and Federal land (due to part of it being built on airport land). It was a relatively young and tight-knit team. Being an Alliance, we achieved an early completion bonus. We won the project not being the cheapest, but most innovative and we also brought in 2 sub-alliance partners successfully into the venture. This project also helped push Abigroup into larger Qld road projects such as the $1.9m Ipswich Motorway Alliance.”

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently and how would that change have impacted your career? 

Steve: “I wouldn’t do too much differently, other than to have a more consolatory style in my management of people. Things were a bit more aggressive in construction generally then. To keep up that level of high energy and drive in that environment, can take a toll longer term. So, in short with what I know now, I could have worked a bit smarter in my relationships and interactions.”

Civil Construction can be demanding at times, what do you do to maintain a positive and healthy work-life balance? 
  1. Have a plan.

Steve: “I am structured around what I am trying to achieve and sometimes need to stop and think if I am being as efficient in what I am doing, not just ploughing ahead.”

  1. Schedule your time.

Steve: “I try and take time out from work doing hobbies.”

  1. Enjoy your loved ones.

Steve: “I also try and segregate my family time from my work time which isn’t always easy. It requires discipline.”

  1. Celebrate your achievements.

Steve: “When there are big milestones and workloads to achieve them, I make sure the team and I take time out to enjoy the successes.”

What excites you about the future of the industry?

Steve: “This industry never ceases to amaze me on the complexity, opportunities, and relationships we make while working with great people. I am also very encouraged by the young people coming through and how they see the world compared to how others have seen it in the past. The energy transition and how we’re shaping the future of the industry and society is also exciting and we have a great opportunity to put our stamp on it.”

Let’s talk about your career in construction.

We have guided generations of construction professionals on their journeys across metro, urban, regional, and remote projects around Australia. Like them, you are also writing a unique career story as you grow.

Submit your resume here and let us inspire your new chapter.

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Part 1: The Deserving Protégé

Part 2: Forging Foundations for Future Leaders in Construction