Ours is a noble industry, essential and central to a thriving economy in our country. The responsibility to live up to and defend that premise is up to you and whether or not you believe in “nobility” as a defining characteristic of the title “Builder”. If you do, the way you plan and execute everyday will reflect that characteristic.
Yes, Builders often seem to be mere scapegoats and victims of global chaos and economic unrest, but that goes with the territory, only making it more vital that the inherent greatness of what we do as an industry is upheld in our daily work and lives. Despite all the chaos and variables, there is much to look forward to and great possibilities for every construction company, especially as we approach the new year and beyond. And it all starts with a clean slate, a beginner’s mind that sees into the future, beyond chaos and confusion. And it all starts with a clean slate, a beginner’s mind that sees into the future, beyond chaos and confusion.
The past year has flown by so quickly and as it approaches its final days hopefully you can look back with satisfaction that it has produced great results, hopefully exceeding your expectations. Has it? Maybe a better question is how did it start out for you? Could you envision this day back on January 1 of 2022? Did you have clarity then about where your business was going and how you were going to lead it there? If you answered yes to all the above, congratulations, you are officially a visionary, someone who can picture what they really want and then determine the path to get there. But if you’re like me over most of my career in the building industry, you probably weren’t or aren’t so much of a visionary as you are a hardworking committed and loyal business owner. There’s a big difference. Beginning with the end in mind is the starting place for every successful venture, yours included. In the practice of Zen, the beginner’s mind is the discipline of purposeful thought minus all our old assumptions and presuppositions. Not that being a Zen practitioner is key to success, but what is the key to success is the discipline of overcoming old thinking and clearly painting a picture of your ideal future.
Success, as it turns out, is not nearly so much a destination as it is a mindset. When we begin with the end in mind, adopting the beginner’s mindset, new things emerge and come into focus, and we ask vital questions like what if and why not?
Carol Dweck has made this important distinction in her great book Mindset, comparing the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. Through detailed research she demonstrates how those with a “growth mindset” possess a beginner’s mind, a childlike excitement for what new things can be learned and the possibilities for future growth, while a “fixed mindset” struggles to accept that learning is not a threat to ones ego or status. Growth only happens when the future is linked to the present by a mindset of constructive unrest where learning is the highest priority and almost always precedes growth.
Albert Gray wrote about this years ago in his paper titled “The Common Denominator of Success”. Distilled from years of his business experience and successful outcomes, Gray noted that the common denominator of success is simply a leader’s willingness and ability to do things that other leaders either could not or would not do. “The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
Author Jim Rohn makes a similar observation when he said that discipline is just doing the little things every day that end up making a big difference. Others call it “scalable learning” which embodies the underlying principle of the disciplines that Gray and Rome refer to. Successful leaders then, always begin with the end in mind working backwards questioning everything testing old presuppositions and assumptions and often asking why? and what if?
If you’d like to turn your construction company upside down in 2023 and beyond, you can adopt DNA of scalable learning by shifting from performance goals to learning goals. Learning organizations are always asking one another things like if we desire this outcome, what could be stopping us? What do we need to learn? What are we not seeing? Learning embodies the mindset of not just getting an A on a French test for example, but instead learning French. The beginner’s mind drives organizations into the future vs waiting for the future to come to them. But the fixed mindset just makes a lot of excuses.
Mastering the art of the building business requires beginning with the end in mind, setting aside all of the things that we’ve assumed to be true and even perhaps unchangeable, in exchange for a broad viewpoint of awareness about what’s going on around us and the great possibilities for change and growth in the future. It’s how leaders and owners in the building industry master the art of the building business which is, after all, a very noble industry.
What’s your plan for a bright 2023 and beyond? What needs to change? Legacy Business Leaders has the answers you need to help make your epic leap to self-sustaining success in the building industry. Want help working out your strategic plan for the next 12 months? Try out our one or two-day onsite Strategic Planning Accelerator. Being together in person creates a dynamic climate for lasting change and profitability. For more info click here and fill out the form to receive a prompt reply with more details.
Also, feel free to head over to the Legacy website and schedule a no-obligation conversation to find out if coaching could be a good fit and strong ROI for you! Or check out and download any of the Builder Templates there as well. We’re here to accelerate your path to blazing profits and lasting success – results guaranteed!
Wishing you the best!
Legacy Business Leaders, LLC
Fred Reikowsky, LPBC