Leadership Lessons from DIY Insulation Install

Leadership, one topic that Americans have learned to not take for granted.  I’m still amazed at the gridlock that occurs in our political system – but that’s a different topic for a different day.  While playing around in my music storage room migrating the unit to be more climate controlled, my weekend was spent installing over 500 sq ft of insulation.  It has been a few years since my hands have been on power tools.  Going through the process I realized several similarities of what it takes to get a small project like this completed to what it takes to be a good leader.

  1. Know your tools.  If you feel you may be lacking in any leadership tools, there are plenty of free resources online.  This is the prerequisite to any type of leadership.   The ramifications for not doing this, you will be like my father and I – wasting 15 minutes in figuring out how to load the electric staple gun.  We upgraded from a manual one used 15+ years ago.
  2. Don’t underestimate team work.  It is important to have a team and know what role they have.  (Mom is great at supplying us drinks!).  Doing this project alone would take 5-6 hours.  With my father and I, 2 hours.
  3. It’s ok to brush up on instructions.  Yes, I had to YouTube a few things considering the “design changes” of how insulation was packaged and resold then vs now.  And may I remind you, we lost 15 minutes too of not reading the instructions as my father thought he had seen this model before and “knew” how to load the staples.
  4. Value what you’ve been given.  This project brought back many memories of the years spent remodeling our house (a project with no end) and what felt like half of the neighborhood.  Dad has been lucky as all three sons have picked up on some of his great “fixer” skills.
  5. Understand your reach.  For those that may not know me, I’m not even close to being 6ft tall.  Standing on a two step stool stretching 8ft in the air – it is not a good feeling when you are left hanging in the air by your arm.  Sadly, a 7ft step ladder was on the other side of the room.  If you do not understand your limits, either your leadership role will display them or people will guess this on first impressions.

Leadership is more than just a “shoot from the ole hip”.  Guiding people is to be taken seriously or they will be falling of the cliff with you and not able to help pull you back up.


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