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Don's Thoughts

April 14, 2022 | Volume 5
Don Wenner

New Acquisition

DLP Capital recently partnered with Colony Hills Capital to purchase Paramount at Kingwood, a 372-unit apartment complex, located in Kingwood, Texas. Paramount at Kingwood is made up of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 650 to 1500 square feet. DLP plans on making major renovations to the apartment complex, creating luxurious living for an affordable price. The property is an example of our ongoing efforts to provide organically affordable workforce housing, ensuring that Kingwood residents can afford to live where they work. We were also very pleased to work with Colony Hills Capital, a member of our DLP Elite Impact Housing community.

Building Trust

I recently was in a meeting with a very successful entrepreneur and philanthropist who gave us a short training on trust, I thought was pretty powerful. He broke down trust into 3 parts. I asked a group of successful entrepreneurs the following week what they thought trust was, and almost everyone said the first part, honesty, but no one hit all 3 keys. I am confident after hearing them you will agree with this definition—a great lesson to teach our kids as well, as I did in a recent family meeting a couple Sundays ago.

First, as stated above, is honesty. Telling the truth.
Second, is competency. Knowing what you are talking about.

Here is a good example of this: I was out on a little catarman with my kids a few weeks ago in Puerto Rico; we were maybe 50 yards off the coastline. One of my kids asked me how deep the water was. I told him I think it is two- or three-hundred feet deep. That seemed like a logical depth to me. The captain corrected me that it was actually 29,000 feet deep—the second deepest spot IN THE WORLD! I had no idea. I was not competent, although I was being honest.

Third, is follow through. In order to build trust, you must do what you say you are going to do.

If I tell my kids that on Sunday we are going to go fishing, but then Sunday comes I then tell them I am too busy, and I build a track record of not following through like this, they are not going to trust me next time I tell them we are going to go do something.

Each month at DLP, we highlight one of our ten core values.

These core values truly drive the decision making at DLP, and drive the people we hire into our organization, as well as the people who stay with DLP year after year. This month’s core value is:

Innovative solution focused

Innovative Solutions Focused

We do not simply talk about problems; we drive ourselves to create solutions that produce new, previously thought to be unimaginable results for our clients.

Learn More About All Our Core Values

Our Innovative Solutions Focused core value means that:

  • We will implement the tech solutions that make us faster
  • We will implement clear scoreboards: We must know the score to make the right decisions
  • We will usetemplates, playbooks, workflows and checklists wherever possible
  • We will automate or outsource repetitive tasks

Driven for Greatness

This is a meeting we have been doing now for ten-plus years. Essentially, it started as a book club. I was reading a book called the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, and loved it so much I decided to invite my teammates to read the book with me. We started meeting every other week to discuss the book. That led to us reading another book together, and another, etc. Over the years, we have read more than 150 books together, many of them multiple times. Today and for the last number of years, Driven 4 Greatness has been a voluntary group at DLP. As we have grown, the attendance and membership has remained at about 50% of all of DLP, so today that is over 200 people. We meet every other Thursday at 8 a.m., and we read on average one book together each month. Two DLP team members volunteer to lead us through a presentation and discussion on the book we are reading, breaking it into two halves, and each leading one Driven 4 Greatness meeting.

Our current book is 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell by Paul Smith. DLP team member Steuer led the session covering the first half of the book, while Amanda Kelton led the session covering the second.

Key takeaways from the book:

  • Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools a leader can utilize. Having a well-crafted story is key to engagement inside and outside your company. People want to hear, feel and believe it.
  • Stories do more than communicate ideas, they communicate ideas in ways that make others want to take action.
  • Stories should be 2-3 minutes long, and you should use two or three stories per hour.
  • People always remember the stories, rarely do they remember the slides or facts outside of the stories.
  • Ten types of stories leaders need to develop:
    - Founder's Story
    - Case for Change Story
    - Vision Story
    - Strategy Story
    - Corporate Values Story
    - Customer Story
    - Sales Story
    - Marketing Story
    - Leadership Philosophy Story
    - Recruiting Story

We believe so strongly in the power of storytelling, and we are bringing Paul Smith into a private workshop for our leadership team in a few weeks to help us all get better at storytelling.

What I'm Reading

Where I've Been

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA
Bethlehem, PA
Bethlehem, PA
DLP Elite Event
DLP Elite Event

We hosted an amazing event for our Elite members, with awesome workshops and some amazing speakers. With the help of our members, we raised more than $300,000 in support of the orphan crisis in Ukraine.

If you would like to make a donation, click here.

Where I'm Going

DLP Accelerator Event St. Simon's Island, Georgia
DLP Accelerator Event St. Simon's Island, Georgia
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina

IMPACT with Don Wenner

The IMPACT with Don Wenner podcast is a great source for information on topics like the Job Crisis, Housing Crisis, Affordability Crisis, and Happiness Crisis, so you can have the knowledge you need to make an IMPACT in the world.

I recently uploaded a special bonus episode of the Impact podcast, where I presented to the entire DLP Capital team the FIVE keys to Success, Significance, and Happiness. In the podcast I do a deep dive into each key, but they are as follows:

  1. Intentionality
  2. Purpose
  3. Goals
  4. Grit
  5. Growth Mindset
Impact five keys to leadership

Five Keys to Leadership - Bonus Episode

Listen Now

Jim Sheils Podcast Square 150x150

Jim Sheils - 18 Summers

In the previous episode, I interviewed author, speaker and consultant Jim Sheils to discuss the efforts he is making to impact the affordable housing crisis in America. He also discussed creating a legacy for your family and balancing his work/life integration to make sure he is present for his company, his investors, and also ever-present for his children and spouse.

Highlights of the Episode:

  1. The 3 most important steps to connecting with your child in a meaningful way
  2. The concept of family board meetings and the impact they can have on your family
  3. And finally, what would your 75-year-old self say to you?

Join Guest Host, Bo Parfet, as he speaks with a true-to-life EXPLORER, Richard Wiese. Since he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at age 11, Richard Wiese has circled the globe, capturing powerful images and living one adventure after another—from traveling with Bedouins in Africa to cross-country skiing to the North Pole.  In 2002, Richard became the youngest president in the history of The Explorers Club and currently serves as its President. Richard is dedicated to working with local communities around the world to help their voices be heard in their own words. He believes the most memorable aspect of any journey is not about reaching “the summit,” but the people you meet along the way.

Listen Now

Fundamentals Of Living Fully: The 8 F's

Over the last number of years in my pursuit of Living Fully, one of DLP's core values, I have developed what I believe to be the formula for a life of significance, fulfilment, prosperity, and happiness, the whole formula I will cover in future editions.

The central thought of living a full life is the 8 F's: faith, family, friends, finance, fitness, fulfillment, freedom, and fun.

By putting intentionality and focus around all of these areas as a part of one plan for your life, you can truly live fully. We have an entire day, Living Fully Day, dedicated to being a launch point for all of our team members to live a full life.

We have a process of assessing our lives, setting goals, and then putting those goals into an annual Living Fully Dashboard, which I will also dig into in a future edition.

In this issue, the F I will cover is Fun. Oftentimes we put so much focus on work and achievement, that we never make time for simple fun, the things that make you laugh or smile, make us happy and recharge our energy and creativity.

There are so many ways to bring more fun into our lives. It starts with adding fun into our everyday activities, into our day to day interactions, routines, meetings, etc. Encouraging people to tell jokes, share successes, laugh, and not take ourselves too seriously.

How do I have fun?

For me, fun starts with spending my time doing what I enjoy. Very very little of my time is spent on doing things I do not want to do IE activities I do not find highly productive.

Second, is spending my time with the people I treasure most. That means spending a lot of my time with my wife and kids as well as great friends which include team members at DLP. Some of the highlights of some of the fun activities I enjoy are Saturday morning Basketball with my dlp team mates as well as my kids. Coaching and watching my kids flag football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, etc. Playing pickleball and tennis. We also love going to basketball and football games, including almost every local Jaguars game. My personal favorite hobby is hiking. In addition I enjoy weight lifting, biking, kayaking, and just about anything outdoors. We do a lot of traveling, about 4 months a year outside of St Augustine and Asheville, exploring new places, learning about different cultures, sightseeing etc. We are in process of going to 52 countries over 8 years in addition to all 63 national parks.

Closing Thoughts

I want to close with something from Jim Collins. Something he wrote in Built To Last has stuck with me. In that book, he exposed some myths about working at visionary companies. This one resonates with me because of the culture we have worked very hard to create at DLP.

Myth #7: Visionary companies are great places to work, for everyone.

Reality: Only those who fit extremely well with the core ideology and demanding standards of a visionary company will find it a great place to work. If you go to work at a visionary company, you will either fit and flourish, probably could not be happier, or you will likely be expunged like a virus. It is binary. There is no middle ground. It is almost cult-like. Visionary companies are so clear about what they stand for and what they are trying to achieve that they simply do not have room for those unwilling or unable to fit their exacting standards.

For us, it comes down to hiring the right people who make things happen, and setting clear expectations to help them achieve success.

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