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6 Leadership Lessons Learned While Remodeling

January 18, 20244 min read

6 Leadership Lessons Learned While Remodeling

Like remodeling a home, leadership is a journey of vision, adaptability, teamwork, and perseverance. As the leadership coach for "Confident Leading Woman" (CLW), I've discovered parallels between leadership development and the process of remodeling. Here are six invaluable leadership lessons drawn from my recent experience in remodeling that can empower aspiring women leaders.

  1. Always Have a Plan

    In leadership, as in remodeling, a well-thought-out plan is your roadmap to success. When I recently remodeled my master bedroom, a clear plan was crucial. I had a tight deadline of only five days since I was doing it as a surprise for my husband while he was on a business trip. By taking my time in the planning process, I prevented headaches, financial missteps, and deviations from my goal. By meticulously planning each step, I ensured that every action propelled me towards the envisioned outcome. Similarly, in your professional journey, a detailed plan keeps you aligned with your objectives, providing every decision and action brings you closer to your career aspirations. As a leader, how can you expect others to follow you if you do not know where you are going?

  2. Expect the Unexpected

    Despite the best planning, the path to success is rarely linear. Flexibility is a vital leadership trait. In my remodeling project, unexpected challenges arose, like not considering the ceiling's texture when attaching the paneling or the challenge of cutting them to the unconventional size I wanted. Still, these deviations were manageable because I had a robust plan. It's essential to anticipate obstacles and maintain the agility to navigate them. Embrace flexibility in your leadership approach, understanding that it's not the deviation from the plan that matters but your response to it. Your team will look to you for guidance when things don't go as planned. You are responsible for leading through the chaos in a way that maintains their confidence in you and the direction you are taking them.

  3. The Importance of the Right Team

    Leadership, by definition, is not a solo endeavor. The significance of surrounding yourself with the right people was evident when I faced a setback due to my neighbor's mishandling of the wood panels that were the centerpiece of the new design. However, when I brought in a skilled professional, the panels were cut correctly, and they corrected the previous damage caused by using the wrong person for the job. This experience underlines the importance of having a team with the right skills and mindset. In your leadership journey, ensuring you have the right team of individuals who add value and possess the expertise needed to overcome challenges is critical to success.

  4. Overcoming Initial Hurdles

    Starting is often the most challenging part. Building momentum required extra effort and resilience in the initial stages of my remodeling project. Filling holes, sanding patches, and taping trim are not the sexy work of remodeling and don't help you envision the end result. However, it is crucial to a job well done. This mirrors the early stages of leadership, where you might face heightened challenges in establishing direction and gaining traction. Remember, the initial struggle is a foundational phase of growth and learning. Keep pushing forward to build the momentum you need.

  5. Navigating the Messy Middle

    The journey's midpoint often brings its own set of challenges, from delays to dwindling motivation. During the remodeling, I encountered a moment of doubt and exhaustion, especially when the ceiling panels didn't attach using the same methods as the walls due to unaccounted-for texture issues. However, the vision of creating a serene sanctuary for my husband fueled my perseverance. I couldn't let him come home after a week on the road to the current chaotic state that was our bedroom. The goal of the whole remodel was to create a peaceful place away from the home offices, dogs, and family, including a mother-in-law, that occupy the rest of our home. In the messy middle, it was anything but peaceful. In your leadership path, when faced with the 'messy middle,' recall your vision, the why behind your beginning, and the impact of your work to reinvigorate your commitment. Remember, how do you think your team feels if you are tired and considering quitting? So don't only recharge yourself; find ways to renew their momentum.

  6. The Reward of Completion

    Finally, the satisfaction of completing a challenging journey is unparalleled. The joy and pride I felt upon finishing the remodeling were immense. My husband's reaction was better than I thought it would be. Statements about "wife of the year" were made. In leadership, the same holds true. Each challenge you overcome brings a sense of accomplishment and builds confidence. Soak it in. The journey's end symbolizes not just the completion of a task but the growth and learning acquired along the way. You and your team are better because you didn't give up and accomplished what you set out to do.

In conclusion, these remodeling experiences offer valuable lessons for emerging leaders. They highlight the importance of planning, adaptability, team building, perseverance, and the satisfaction of achieving goals. By applying these lessons, you can navigate your leadership journey with confidence and grace, rooted in the values of the 3 I's of Leadership: Identity, Integrity, and Influence, all underpinned by your faith and commitment to positively impacting. Keep going; the result is worth every challenge faced along the way.

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