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Gilbane Builds Leaders from the Ground Up


Gilbane, Inc., headquartered in Providence, R.I., is one of the largest private, family-owned construction and real-estate development firms in the industry. As many as one-third of Gilbane’s 2,600 employees are in leadership roles—mostly project managers and civil engineers—or on the path to leadership. But in order to build a robust leadership pipeline Gilbane recognized that those leaders needed to build leadership capability to be more effective in developing their people and realizing their own potential in future leadership roles.


DDI helped create a full-fledged leadership development program for Gilbane University, the organization’s training and development arm. The program was built around a leadership competency model with input from senior managers and others. To assess how strong managers were in those competencies, and which kinds of leadership-development courses they needed, the learning and development team drew on resources such as Leadership Mirror®, DDI’s 360-degree assessment tool.

Gilbane’s leadership development program has four levels, three for current leaders, and one for individual contributors who are expected to move into leadership roles. Participants complete a curriculum of half-day courses from DDI Interaction Management® leadership development system. These courses include Communicating for Leadership Success, Building and Sustaining Trust, Delegating with Purpose, Fostering Innovation, and Influential Leadership. To date, nearly 700 leaders have been developed.


  • 89 percent of participants were rated by observers as effective leaders following the training, compared to 78 percent before the training began.
  • As a direct result of the program, employee productivity in work groups jumped more than 50 percent—as did morale and engagement, collaboration among employees, and open communication between employees and their managers.
  • 90 percent of direct reports said that managers who went through the program increased their engagement, made them feel more valued as employees, and increased the likelihood they’ll stay at Gilbane.
  • Nearly 90 percent of participants said the program has made them better leaders.
Talk to an Expert: Gilbane Builds Leaders from the Ground Up
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