HNTB President & CEO, Paul Yarossi, above, during the ARTBA Federal Issues Program. 

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

“Determining what right looks like” is a key tool for being an effective leader, transportation design and construction industry veteran Paul Yarossi told ARTBA’s 20th Annual Young Executive Development Program (YEDP) class. The president of HNTB Holdings, Ltd., addressed the group of 54 up-and-coming industry executives during the Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition Fly, April 13-15, in Washington, D.C.

Yarossi suggested young leaders determine what right looks by:

  • Being credible. Keep asking if you are doing things right.
  • Seeking diversity. Volunteer for roles outside your main skill set. “You have to stand in the shoes of others and touch as many things as your company does.”
  • Continuing to improve. “Keep up to date. Once you stop learning your career is going to stop.”
  • Having confidence. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. “Humble confidence attracts people. Be confident enough to ask questions and get advice.”
  • Acting like a leader. “Be the employee that everyone wants; the supervisor that everyone wants to work for; and the leader that companies can’t do without.”

Yarossi, with 43 years of industry experience, was ARTBA chairman in 2012 and played a critical role in spurring Congress to pass the two-year, MAP-21 surface transportation investment law. He received the ARTBA Award, the association’s highest honor, the following year.

More than 600 people from over 200 companies, state contractor groups and public agencies have graduated from the YEDP counting this year’s class.