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Don's Thoughts

August 24, 2022 | Volume 7
Don Wenner

New Acquisition

Morgan's Landing

DLP Capital is excited to announce the acquisition of Domain at Morgan’s Landing, a 350-unit multifamily complex in the Houston suburb of La Porte. The acquisition was made in partnership with Elevate Commercial Investment Group, a real estate investment firm focused on acquiring value-added multifamily assets that can be repositioned. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the broader Houston area saw the third largest increase in population growth in the U.S. last year, trailing only Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix areas. Strong household formation and net migration have fueled record-high apartment demand, especially in suburban areas where renters seek out larger, affordable apartments. Capitalizing on this unprecedented demand, DLP Capital has invested close to $500 million in multifamily in greater Houston in the last 12 months, focusing on apartment properties that offer affordability to America’s working families.

Don's Thoughts on the 5 Levels of Leadership

I have read hundreds of books on leadership, including many great ones, but the best book on leadership ever written, in my view, is "The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential " by John Maxwell.

“The 5 Levels of Leadership” reframed the way I think about leadership—and helped me to understand the progression of leadership to the pinnacle of results and respect. Yet, the book is clear in also pointing out that levels of leadership are not fixed and may vary depending on who you are leading.

Here are the 5 levels of leadership:

I believe the majority of leaders would consider themselves Level 4 or Level 5 leaders, when the reality is that most have not consistently achieved Level 3. What does it take to be that Level 3 leader? I’ll share some of my best takeaways on the topic.

To start with, using DLP Capital as an example, we do a great job of hiring and developing leaders who are positive, supportive , encouraging, and bring a lot of energy and excitement to their positions. That helps these leaders quickly achieve Level 2 leadership because they are liked among colleagues. The natural progression to the next level is put well in this good quote: “People come before production,” i.e. Level 2 comes before Level 3.

In order to achieve Level 3 leadership, you have to be able to consistently produce with and through your team. People follow you because of what you have accomplished—your production. If you consistently do not produce results, not only will you not achieve Level 3 leadership, but you can fall back to Level 1, as people get frustrated following lax leadership that does not lead them to the desired results. The best people in an organization will especially be frustrated by such failings, as they want to win. In order to achieve Level 3 leadership, you must consistently produce results

On that topic, I especially like this quote by Peter Drucker, “There are two types of people in the business community: those who produce results and those who give you reasons why they didn’t.”

Level 3 leaders feel a heavy weight of responsibility for results, which is a “cost” of effective leadership. Level 1 or Level 2 leaders do not feel this weight, as they are more often “helpers” than owners. They have not taken the responsibility for owning the ultimate goal but are instead helping senior leadership, i.e. if the goal is achieved they will celebrate and be excited but if the goal is missed, they will rationalize the failure as ultimately out of their control. Great organizations have owners—not helpers in leadership seats. Level 3 leaders never lose sight of the objective or goal, understanding that the achievement of the goal is the #1 priority.

Level 3 leaders make tough decisions. To make tough decisions, you must dig deep enough to know what tough or difficult decisions need to be made— and the best correlating courses of action.

Certainly, I know that in order to lead others at increasingly higher levels, you must first hold yourself accountable. That means being able to prioritize—and being prepared to win. You must show up to each meeting prepared, organized, and having done what you committed to prior to the meeting.

While those are some of my thoughts on rising to new levels of effective leadership, at DLP Capital we created the 24 Consistent Practices of Level 3 Leaders, which explains still more formulas for successful leadership.

I encourage you to score yourself across these 24 practices, determine which practices you can improve upon—and then put in the work to create your own roadmap for even more successful leadership.

24 Practices Assessment

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

Our core values are what define us as an organization. They are the beliefs and principles that guide our actions and decisions, and they shape our culture. They are the foundation of who we are and what we do.

Stewardship banner


We are maximizing the resources entrusted to us in order to deliver positive returns.

Learn More About All Our Core Values

  • Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. We can be good stewards of our body, environment, talents, time, money, and possessions. We can also teach others, including our children, to be good stewards.

Driven for Greatness

Driven 4 Greatness (D4G) is a meeting we’ve conducted for over a decade, and it all 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 that I invited my teammates to read it with me. We began meeting every other week to discuss the book, which led to us reading another book together, and another. To date, we’ve read more than 150 books, some of which we’ve read multiple times. D4G has remained a voluntary group at DLP Capital, and, as we’ve grown, membership has expanded to more than 50% of our team members. With 200 people now in attendance, we can have engaging conversations with diverse opinions on the readings. Two DLP members volunteer to lead us through separate presentations and discussions on the chosen book, with the group meeting every other Thursday morning.

This month, we read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. Team members Collin J. Campbell and Ema Rudolph led us through engaging sessions on how to increase our productivity and avoid clutter and overload

Key takeaways from the book:

    • Allen’s five-step “Getting Things Done” system promotes stress-free productivity.
    • The GTD workflow has five stages: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.
    • Creating workspaces at work and home is essential for the GTD system to work.
    • Review your to-do lists once a week to ensure you know what each item is, the desired end result, and whether it is actionable.
    • Prioritize your action items, select a top item, and do it.

"Getting Things Done" is a great read for:

    • Anyone who struggles with prioritizing their workflow.
    • Anyone who wants to increase productivity.
    • Anyone who is easily overwhelmed with overflowing inboxes or to-do lists.

What I'm Reading

Where I've Been

R360 Meeting Miami, Florida
R360 Meeting Miami, Florida
Hiking Mt. Mitchell with my Family and the Parfet Family Asheville, North Carolina
Hiking Mt. Mitchell with my Family and the Parfet Family Asheville, North Carolina

Where I'm Going

Build Conference, DLP Capital Dinner, and DLP Elite Meeting Dallas, Texas
Build Conference, DLP Capital Dinner, and DLP Elite Meeting Dallas, Texas
DLP Capital Dinner, and DLP Elite Accelerator Event Atlanta, Georgia
DLP Capital Dinner, and DLP Elite Accelerator Event Atlanta, Georgia
DLP Capital Town Hall St. Augustine, Florida
DLP Capital Town Hall St. Augustine, Florida

IMPACT with Don Wenner

The Impact of Healthcare Podcast Banner

Amanda Holmes - The Most Productive Day of Your Life

In this episode of the Impact with Don Wenner podcast, Amanda Holmes of Chet Holmes International shares her insights on having the most productive day of your life. She discusses the significance of setting priorities, scheduling time for essential tasks, and taking breaks throughout the day. Amanda also shares her tips for dealing with distractions and staying focused on what's important.

Listen Now

Fundamentals Of Living Fully: The 8 F's

Over the last several years, in pursuing living fully (another one of DLP’s core values), I have developed what I believe to be the formula for a life of significance, fulfillment, prosperity, and happiness.

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

You can truly live fully by putting intentionality and focus around all these areas as part of a singular plan for your life!

This month, I want to focus on fitness. There’s no denying that living an active lifestyle helps us lead more productive lives. Fitness is fundamental for various reasons, including maintaining a healthy weight, having more energy, and avoiding diseases. Being physically fit means you can do more activities and have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

You may have heard me mention that my goal is to live to 150 years old (assuming God agrees) and I fully intend to make it to that age. But I won’t get there without a significant focus on health, longevity, and fitness. I believe staying or getting fit comes down to choices we make each day, throughout our daily and weekly routines. The keys are eating “right,” staying active (ie., movement) and sleep. This is what leads to mental and physical fitness.

Eating right varies from person to person, but simply put, it is eating less calories than your body burns. It is a diet low in sugar, low in processed foods, and I also believe low in carbs as well. In addition, there is a lot of science that highlights the power of intermittent fasting and how it helps me achieve my fitness goals. This practice is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. During the week, I eat one meal a day. Some potential benefits of intermittent fasting include weight loss, reduced cancer risk, and improved heart and brain health.

Staying active starts simply with movement. I try to stay on my feet as much as possible, and I average 20,000 steps daily. This means I’m taking calls and conducting meetings at DLP while walking as much as possible. In addition, I do a lot of hiking and biking. I also mix in strength training 3-4 days a week, using a machine called Tonal, which is absolutely incredible. I highly recommend checking it out. I am also focused on staying flexible - inflexibility often is the start of a downward physical condition. I utilize yoga and stretching. Finally, I play basketball for about two hours per week, often on Saturday mornings, and if I can’t do that, I do HIIT-style sprints.

Active people can add years to their lives, and those additional years are generally healthier than those who remain inactive. Delaying chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging is also an important plus! Fitness isn’t just about improving your physical appearance, although it’s a great bonus. Physical activity is proven to enhance your mood and relieve or reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

To close out this month’s 8 F’s feature, I want to personally invite you to DLP’s Health, Wellness & Longevity event in Puerto Rico this November. We have an incredible lineup of speakers who are experts in the health and longevity fields, including Dr. Robert Hariri, Charlie Engle, Nick Buettner, Dr. James Mault, Trav Bell, and many more. This can’t-miss event will focus on balancing personal wellbeing with professional success.

I also encourage you to read the book “Life Force” by Tony Robbins, Dr. Peter Diamandis, and Dr. Hariri. This book is transformational and delves into disease prevention, maximizing your strength and energy, and extending your health span.

Whatever your routine looks like, whatever your fitness goals may be, I encourage you to make it as much a part of your day as brushing your teeth–make it a can’t-miss priority. I guarantee you’ll feel better, and it’ll help you live more fully!

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