Leadership Lessons—From Down Under

One of the Dwyer Group’s goals this year is “self-improvement”—a way for the company’s leaders to improve themselves physically, emotionally and in leadership.

Last week Matthew Kelly spoke to our leadership group. When I saw that Matthew Kelly was coming to town I was shocked that no one told me that our great franchisee from Cleveland, Matt Kelly, was coming. It was then that I discovered it was going to be a different Matthew Kelly. (http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-Kelly/e/B001H6RVOE) I hadn’t heard of him, nor had I heard of his books: “Dream Manager” and “Off Balance.” He has sold more than 10 million copies in 25 different languages.

Amazon describes him as, “captivating audiences around the world since his late teens. Over the past decade, more than four million people have attended his seminars in over 50 countries. Kelly is the president of Floyd Consulting.” He is from Australia and is also the founder of Dynamic Catholic Institute. One of the most impactful speakers I’ve ever seen.

I thought I’d share some of his thoughts and suggest that you buy one his books. They break things down in a way I haven’t seen before and the illustrations make perfect sense to me.

For instance, let’s discuss the engaged and the disengaged people in your company. You know who they are. Engaged people are a people of possibility. They believe the future is bigger than the past. They also believe that they can impact the future.

On the other hand, Kelly describes the disengaged as “QS’s—Those who quit and stayed.” Ever have those folks on staff? They don’t vote because they say it won’t do any good. They are the impossibility thinkers who won’t try anything new because they tried in once in 1984 and it didn’t work then—so it won’t surely work now. Folks with no energy. People who make the room gloomy by just walking in.

One of the most fascinating parts of his one-hour presentation was comparing “smart companies” with “healthy companies.”

Smart companies focus on strategy, marketing, finance, tech skills, industry knowledge and clarity of purpose.

Healthy companies focus on dynamic teamwork, high moral fiber, low turnover, productivity, minimal politics and actually the health of the employees

What Matthew found is there are a slew of smart companies. Most companies that are very dysfunctional have very smart people at the top. On the other hand, the healthy companies are not dysfunctional and outperform smart companies every time. Interesting. It’s all about leadership, isn’t it?

Kelly said, “Most companies only ever scratch the surface of their collective intelligence and talent because they don’t give smart people a healthy environment.”

How is your company? Functional of dysfunctional? Smart or healthy … or both? Are your people focused on getting better at what they do every day? Better yet—just a little better every year? What about yourself?

I’ll finish this week’s article with an illustration he gave. Draw this arrow:


At the top of the arrow is “expectations.” At the bottom is “what actually happens.” If there is a difference between the expectations one has versus what actually happens—it leads to disappointment, resentment, anger, frustration and loss of trust.

Dead on, isn’t it?

Think about the last time someone on your team said they would be at a customer’s house at 9 a.m. By 11 a.m. the tech hadn’t gotten to the house yet and no one called. How was the customer? Disappointed, resentful, angry, frustrated and didn’t trust your company anymore.

A simple lesson by someone who is obviously a great leader—Matthew Kelly!

Leadership Lessons—All Around Us

Last Friday was The Dwyer Group’s annual Founder’s Day. This is an event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. once a year where all 271 employees in Waco, Texas, celebrate the history of our company. It starts with lunch, continues with a speaker, then we have a few hours of fun and/or breakout sessions where we have a chance to better ourselves.

Think about the financial commitment it takes to do something like this for all of the employees of The Dwyer Group. Again, Dwyer Group is the parent company of Glass Doctor and the six other franchise systems—Mr. Appliance, Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric, Aire Serv, Rainbow and Grounds Guys.

This year’s speaker was Greg Reid (bookgreg.com)—writer, speaker and film maker. I had a chance this summer to attend his ‘Secret Knock’ session in San Diego with about 400 other leaders. Greg initially spoke at our Leadership Summit this past January in Phoenix. He has quickly become one of my favorite self-help authors and is reviving many of the works Napoleon Hill started with “Think and Grow Rich.”

Three of his inspirational quotes:

  • “Successful people seek counsel—failures only listen to opinions.”
  • “Success means going from failure to failure while maintaining your enthusiasm.”
  • Something that Evander Holyfield told him: “Show up early. Leave late. When you are having a battle (or a fight like he was in) focus on the results—don’t focus on the pain.”

I love reading Greg’s books and seeing him speak.

Each quarter, The Dwyer Group recognizes an employee for living R.I.C.H. (which encompasses our code of values and breaks down to Respect, Integrity, Customer focus and Having fun in the process). Usually it is related to something that happens in our workspace. This quarter the award went to a lady with an amazing story.

A child who plays on a sport’s team with one of her kids was told by his dad that he didn’t want him to live with his family anymore. Our employee assured this young man that he could part of their family. They made a bedroom for him in their house and this young man now has a new home and family. I don’t know this employee. She isn’t in a well-known leadership position with The Dwyer Group but is showing leadership like few can match. Amazes me.

The leadership session that had the most impact on me for on Founder’s Day was led by Mike Bidwell—president and CEO of The Dwyer Group. Mike became a franchisee at the age of 26, moved to Waco when he was 37 years old, and has held most leadership positions for The Dwyer Group over the past 15 years.

Mike had a breakout session that my wife, Mary Kay, and I both attended. As Mike went through his “Eight Keys for Success” I knew it was something that I wanted to share this week:

  1. Vision—You have to know what you want to do in life.
  2. Take Control—You control your own future. Don’t let anyone do it for you … or to you.
  3. Establish Routines—Be predictable. People want to work with leaders they can count on, and want to do business with people they like.
  4. Enroll Others—Leadership involves building a team—not just doing it all yourself.
  5. Set Targets—Leaders need to set goals for their team.
  6. Have Financial Accountability—Leaders understand the power of money and employ good financial practices.
  7. Be a Lifelong Student—Leaders have a goal of become better leaders. We can only do this by continuously learning how we can get better. I’ve found the best way to do this is by reading books or articles on leadership.

Every week I’m amazed by the leadership stories all around me. This week do yourself a favor and see how many you can find all around you!