Five Leadership Lessons from Building a House (Part 2)

Five lessons from building a house by Andy Robbins

I wrote about my leadership learning from building a house back in January and now we are close to completion it is time for an update. Overall it has been a great experience and we are excited about moving in. I’ve learned so much and here are few of my recent ones.

Relationship is very important

I’ve worked with many highly skilled contractors. Some of the work they’ve done has been amazing but that isn’t what makes them stand out from their peers. The thing that sets people apart is relationship. Some people want to get in, do their job and get out. Others take the time to get to know you and the difference is notable. They are the ones who stick in my memory.

Mistakes will happen

I have made plenty, some understandable, some have been plain dumb. The thing is, the mistake doesn’t matter. The more important thing is how you respond to it. You can beat yourself up but it doesn’t help. Taking responsibility and figuring out how to make it right does.

Somebody knows how to fix it

Somebody knows the answer or in reality a solution that works. The key is knowing who and having a relationship where they are willing to help. Building is as much about fixing things that go wrong as it is doing things right. This translates well to life. We can have the best plans but reality will often be different.

Recognize a job well done

When it is your own house, it is easy to get critical about how things turn out. Perhaps this thing didn’t turn out how I expected it. There is no end to the things you can criticize. But if you step back, you can also see the amazing thing that has been created.  Sometimes you just have to say thank you and put aside those annoying little things. When you consider the big picture they don’t matter.

Sometimes you need a break

I couldn’t be more motivated to finish our house and move in. It has been hard work and it has taken over nearly all of my spare time. As keen as I am to finish, there have been times when I needed to take a break and do something else. I’ve usually come back much more excited and motivated. As I say to clients occasionally, sometimes you just have to stop digging and do something else.

If you’ve built your own home, I’d love to hear your reflections.

Last and not least, I wrote this post from my personal experience but building our house has been a team effort and Sue has been the best possible partner. We’ve created something beautiful that will outlive us.

Comments (1)

Well done, again.

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