Your attitude is probably the biggest determinant of your success. It is your mindset- the way you perceive the world and how you interact with that world. Watch as Brett Dillon discusses how your Attitude Influences Your Actions.
We all have the ability to become more than we were yesterday. It doesn’t always start with a massive change, in fact, that might hinder your development if you can’t maintain your self-discipline. Instead, consider small things at first before moving to larger goals.
- 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
- Mindset by Carol S. Dweck
- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
- Focus by Daniel Goleman
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track by Richard P. Feynman
- Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter
- Play by Stuart Brown with Christopher Vaughan
- Tribes by Seth Godin
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
The purpose of the Dillon Group, Inc. is to develop leaders within our companies and brands and develop leadership within our clients and their organizations.
Whether we help our clients develop leaders through training, mentoring, or coaching, or we help their organization develop market leadership, there are fundamental laws that govern leadership. As a long-time student of John Maxwell and others (and a member of The John Maxwell Team), I have studied leadership development for more than 20 years.
The laws of leadership proposed by John Maxwell have held true in my experience and in the experience of millions of people around the world who have directly and indirectly benefited from his insights.
The first law, the Law of the Lid, states that your leadership ability determines your level of effectiveness and whatever you accomplish will be propelled or restricted by your ability to lead others. Your leadership ability is a constraint on your success.
I’ve learned this the hard way, as I have with most of the lessons I’ve learned over the years. Apparently, I don’t learn very well from the experiences of other—I have to experience the lesson myself.
I began by questioning my own leadership abilities. However, I decided I couldn’t rely on my own perception since I am biased—as you likely are biased about your own skill as a leader. I started asking people to give me feedback on my abilities across specific dimensions of leadership. And I didn’t ask just anyone— I asked my boss, the team I led, my colleagues, and my critics. I learned a lot— mostly that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I also learned that feedback can be really harsh and I had to develop thick skin to survive and thrive if I was serious about my own development as a leader.
Since those first painful steps to self-awareness, I have improved. I’m not perfect, but I’m becoming better in those leadership dimensions.
I found that I couldn’t do it alone— I didn’t have the tools to transform. I have used teachers, mentors, and coaches to grow, reducing those constraints imposed by my leadership abilities. I deliberately practiced (and continue to practice) my leadership at every opportunity.
I discovered a curious thing—there appears to be a direct correlation between my leadership ability and the success of the companies I’ve founded and lead. As I became better, we became better!
This illustrates the Law of the Lid: as I grew as a leader, my effectiveness increased and the companies performed better. I’m still growing— every day I learn that I still have a lot more to learn—and I can see the impact that I have on our team and we have on our clients.
So what are the leadership dimensions that are constraints to your effectiveness and success? Character? Charisma? Commitment? Competence? Courage? Discernment? Focus? Generosity? Initiative? Listening? Passion? Positive attitude? Problem solving? Relationships? Responsibility? Security? Self-discipline? Servanthood? Teachability? Vision?
On a scale of 1-10, how good are you?
Now, take a dose of courage and ask your critics.
Think of all the complex tasks you do everyday. Driving cars, playing musical instruments, the very act of handwriting- these are very complex activities.
Take teeth brushing, for instance. Somehow you have to maneuver your meat-covered skeleton made from stardust into a space where you have access to water, a teeth brush, and teeth paste to scrub your teeth. You have to manipulate the cap off the tube of teeth paste and squeeze the right amount out – not too much nor too little- onto the bristles of your teeth brush. If you are a civilized person, you’ll put the cap back on and then insert the teeth paste-covered bristles into your open mouth between your lips and cheeks and your teeth, scrubbing vigorously up and down. Then the tops of your teeth and finally the inside surfaces of your teeth.
After a rinse if mouth and brush, you’re done! But how many steps did it take you?
If you’re like most people, you don’t even think about it. One person I know even cleans his ears while engaged in teeth brushing! It has become automatic behavior, a habit, that doesn’t require conscious thought anymore- but once, it did.
Reflecting on your thinking is no more complex that brushing your teeth, yet it seems so difficult for most people. Why?
To begin with, we have our curiosity trained out of us by the educational institutions we were processed through as children. Then, we are taught at institutions of higher learning to memorize everything we can about specific subjects so we can regurgitate information on demand. Then we go to work for businesses that prescribe what we do during the time they rent from us, often in infuriating detail. At no time are we taught how to think and how to reflect on our thinking- those skills are now deemed unnecessary as the manager or leader does that as part of their job.
The result? At least three generations, probably more, of people who cannot think for themselves, figure things out, who think that everything on the internet is true (“Bon jour!”). If you were bothered by my use of the phrase “teeth brush” instead of the more conventional “toothbrush”, you might be part of that group to some degree.
To gain experience and confidence in your capability to deal with complexity, you will need self-discipline to turn the following exercise into a habit.
Start with an outcome or result of a decision you’ve made. Write it down. Next, think of all the actions you and others involved in that outcome took. Write them down. Now reflect on the thinking that led you to choose that action over other options. Write your description of the thought process down.
What you’ll likely find is that we rarely make decisions that only involve us, and we give very little thought to the actions we take. We are simply drifting through life on automatic mode, reacting to external forces based on our values and experiences (which are shaped by those very forces) in a self-perpetuating cycle of mediocrity.
But you are capable of far greater things than that! You can take control of your life and shape it into a life of meaning and purpose- if you’ll stop to reflect on the fact that your view of the world is imperfect, that differing views hold the potential for insight, that a more complete view exists, that you are capable of finding more complete views by practicing critical thinking, and that you are capable of dealing with complexity by thinking backwards from outcome to action to thought.
What is a high performance home? It is a home built in a way that integrates building science into the construction process, leading to improved energy efficiency and increased durability. In turn, the homeowner has lower utility bills and maintenance costs, improved comfort levels and higher resale value.
Building a high performance home requires that a systems approach is used. The home is made up of many smaller, interdependent systems. Changes to one system may have an affect on another system, leading to cost changes (for better or worse) or improved energy efficiency (or lowered). It is important to get an accredited professional involved in the process in order to ensure that you end up with the home you intended to build.
Why should a builder build a high performance home? Perhaps they want to separate themselves from the competition, improve customer satisfaction, increase profitability or save the planet.
However, I think that the best reason is because it is the right way to build a home that will stand the test of time. Leaving that legacy for those who follow us on this planet is incredibly important. As homebuilders, we are creating works of public and private art, sculptures for people to live in and marvel at. It goes beyond providing simple shelter to creating something of value that has an impact for generations.