Our watch words are “Building Success Through Service”.

This statement is one that we’ve lived by here at Dogwood for many years, but as with all guidance statements it’s only as meaningful the actions that follow from it.

For us, this fact leads to the culmination of a singular perspective on the way business should be done. One where we reflect as deeply as we act, constantly striving to be mindful of our words and methods. This perspective permeates all facets of our business: front-line to boardroom.

As 2022 draws to a close, we’d like to offer you our thoughts on “mindset made real” and how we’ve been successful in putting actions into words. It’s been a genuine pleasure to see so many of our clients doing to same. They continue to inspire us.

Here are the inflection points where theory becomes reality…

Self-awareness is key

It’s more important than ever for leaders to have a balanced and honest view of their strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness gives a person the ability to interact with others confidently. To build and lead a successful team, you need to be aware of your own weaknesses and limitations so that you can hire against them. Know where you excel, and where you need help.

You can learn something from everyone

We all have our own style, brand and way of being. Watching how others conduct themselves – friends, colleagues, clients, partners – is a great way to learn. Whether we agree with how a situation is being handled or not, the experience can teach us how to approach similar situations in the future. Leadership is a constant dance between understanding and evaluation, and the more you can learn from the experiences of others – good or bad – the better off you’ll be when its your turn to make a decision.

Leadership isnt easy

It takes a good leader to push through adversity, handle stress, navigate personality conflicts on a team and hold an organization together while it grows. Leaders need to make the tough calls that others can’t or won’t. When they are met with criticism they need to be able to stand by their decisions with integrity and confidence. Leadership is never easy, but learning to handle the rigours of it with class, grace and clarify is absolutely one of the most important skills you can develop. Understand your values and live by them.

Management is not the same as leadership

Management is the ability to strategically organize systems, people and resources in order to produce a positive result. Leadership has to do with charisma, vision, inspiration, guidance and influence. It’s entirely possible (and common) for someone to be an exceptional manager, but an ineffective leader. The difference resides in being comfortable with risk, along with the ability to inspire action by carrying the company’s vision and core values. Neither quality is “better”, and it’s best to cultivate both to the greatest extent possible. They are both essential and complementary skill sets. The future will be determined by those who can do both.

Communication is every(thing)

Communication is like cooking. Too little and its bland. Too much and you can’t digest it. Communicating effectively in 2023 and beyond isn’t just about speaking clearly; its often a multi-media and multi-sensory event. From hosting Zoom calls or delivering a presentation, to writing an effective email, creating a pitch deck, or recording a Loom video for team training. Communication is also a mindset. It involves staying close to clients and partners, and establishing smart systems to make sure reporting and information flow smoothly. It requires empathy and insight. Learn the motivations of key stakeholders. Determine how to best to communicate your message for maximum results.

Selling is serving

Sales is the lifeblood of any business. No sales, no business. But sales should never be a sleazy activity where customers are duped into buying products or services they don’t need. Sales at its best is about service. Regardless of what’s being sold — a new phone or a multi-million dollar deal — listen to the customer and understand what they really want. Sales is all about connecting the person you are serving with the best possible solution for their needs.