Lessons on leadership

4/14/2016 11:43 AM CET

As he was ending his remarkable 26-year Skanska career, in which he rose from a U.S. field superintendent to be Skanska AB's first non-Swede CEO and then our chairman, Stu Graham discussed the importance of values, lessons he's learned from working with people of many cultures, and more.

Stu was a major driving force behind Skanska's transformation into a premier global company. He not only structured our organization to deliver an industry-leading total shareholder return – he also put Skanska on track to become a leading company with sustainability and values.

Values are key

"Values are fundamental for building a sustainable business," says Stu. "We were at the forefront and acted as a game changer for sound business ethics. I have many great memories from my time at Skanska, and one of these was when the clients for Meadowlands Stadium (now known as MetLife Stadium) granted us the contract on learning about our values."

"'This is the company we want!' they proclaimed," says Stu.

Adds Stu: "Skanska is a great company, and it has great people. The people who are closest to my heart are the ones who are out on the sites at 6 o'clock in the morning. They are there in the rain, the mud, the snow and the heat – every day."

A role model

Skanska AB CEO Johan Karlström recently presented Stu with Skanska's highest honor, the Stuart Graham Lifetime Achievement Award. Skanska's Board of Directors established this award in Stu's name in 2008 as a means of recognizing senior project leaders.

"Stu's role for Skanska cannot be overestimated," says Johan. "His insights, dedication and strategic view have formed today's Skanska to a great extent. Moreover, he is a great role model as a leader and colleague for all of us. We are all indebted to him for his contribution to the company. It has been a privilege to work with him and I am personally very grateful for the support he has given me over the years."