You Won’t Become a Leader Thinking & Behaving as Everyone Else Does

You Won’t Become a Leader Thinking & Behaving as Everyone Else Does

There are many amazing leadership programs out there.

But in my observation, there is one major flaw with any I’ve been a part of:

They attempt to turn unique individuals into dogmatic cookie-cutter robots.

Now, there is nothing wrong with learning a methodology. I’m a big believer in ongoing self-education, and I plan to remain a lifelong learner. And I have found value in many methodologies.

Methodologies can offer many benefits – context, communication tools, increased productivity, cognition about oneself, and much more.

Methodologies can offer many benefits – context, communication tools, increased productivity, cognition about oneself, and more. Share on X

But I have yet to find a single program that doesn’t quash the individual in favor of conformity and uniformity – intentionally or unintentionally.

This tends to remove what made the individual uniquely attractive in the first place.

One should never lose sight of their distinctive spark if they hope to become a powerful leader.

One should never lose sight of their distinctive spark if they hope to become a powerful leader. Share on X

That spark is what makes them a leader. They have no chance of becoming an effective leader if they think and behave as everyone else does. It’s because they think and behave as most never do that makes them an effective leader in the first place.

I’ve talked about separating the wheat from the chaff in the context of leadership before, and this is exactly what I mean. It’s almost like a form of post-program stress disorder. Or cognitive dissonance.

You can take the program with you, and you should, but you’ve got to figure out who you were without the program all over again. Because removing from you what made you unique is to your detriment, not a benefit, especially in leadership.

Removing from you what made you unique is to your detriment, not a benefit, especially in leadership. Share on X

Your ability to think and behave differently is what will make you indispensable to a company or community or organization, no matter how hard your superiors or peers try to turn you into a real-life NPC (characters in role-playing games that can only speak from pre-determined selections of dialog options, like “Hello, welcome to Calgary.”).

Are You Willing to Let Go of What You’ve Outgrown?

Are You Willing to Let Go of What You’ve Outgrown?

Remember – your peers aren’t necessarily as dedicated to their growth as you are to yours.

Your peers aren’t necessarily as dedicated to their growth as you are to yours. Share on X

Certainly, everyone grows at a different rate. But the difference between someone who is trying to keep pace and someone who’s phoning it in should become obvious in short order.

And while you don’t need to have any “Look, I don’t see you growing, and I need to let you go” type conversations, staying in the same spot and hoping for the best could be detrimental to your growth. If you aren’t expanding, you’re shrinking!

In thinking about letting go of what is holding you back, it’s easy to let the guilt get the best of you. “Well, they are good people…” (By the way, I’ve heard people say that about literal sociopaths.)

I agree, though, that there is good in everyone. I don’t know that there is such a thing as “good” people and “bad” people. There are just people, and sometimes they do things we agree with and sometimes they do things that appall us.

Either way, you don’t want to surround yourself with “crabs in a bucket” people, as their only hope is they can keep you at their level for as long as possible. And they will do crazy things to keep you there too.

So, the question is – is the Universe urging you to let go of something right now?

Are you being asked to surrender a relationship, a job, a commitment, a habit, or something else?

If so, are you willing to let go and make space for new things to come into your life?

Are you willing to let go and make space for new things to come into your life? Share on X

If you value your growth, you will exercise compassion on yourself and others and let go of what is no longer serving you.

If you value your growth, you will exercise compassion on yourself and others and let go of what is no longer serving you. Share on X
Does it Fall Out of Existence if You’re Not Doing it Daily?

Does it Fall Out of Existence if You’re Not Doing it Daily?

Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of approaches:

  • I’ve done things sporadically or by the seat of my pants, e.g., writing a new song as inspiration strikes.
  • I’ve created schedules based on consistency, e.g., publishing a new blog post once per week.
  • I’ve created schedules based on daily habits, e.g., going for a walk once per day.
  • I’ve quit things for a period and have returned to them, e.g., writing a book.

What I’ve discovered is that every approach is valid. They are all tools. And as we all know, a hammer is the perfect tool for pounding nails, but not for sawing wood.

A hammer is the perfect tool for pounding nails, but not for sawing wood. Share on X

The sporadic approach is great for the example given (writing songs as inspiration strikes), especially if your career doesn’t depend on writing songs.

Having a weekly schedule for certain activities is a great way to create expectations with your audience and to remain disciplined in producing something for them (like a podcast).

Daily habits will seem grueling at times, but they can be very fulfilling and rewarding if you stick to them.

Daily habits will seem grueling at times, but they can be very fulfilling and rewarding if you stick to them. Share on X

The last approach, quitting and starting, starting and quitting, may appear to have the least value at first brush. But we all need to step away from certain activities at certain times. And returning to these passions or projects fresh can spark inspiration as never before. For example, going on vacation for two weeks and leaving your work at home (I mean really leaving your work at home).

To make the most of this, you will need to look at what works best for what activity.

I’ve remained consistent with working out four times per week for several months now, so I know I have a proven, working system for my workouts.

But this system doesn’t work for writing. I find publishing daily truly is the best way, though I have started and stopped this practice on a couple of occasions. I’ve found meditation to be the same way. If I’m not doing it daily, I’m not doing it.

Likewise, with any projects that matter, daily action is the only way. It can be very difficult to get back into a project you haven’t touched in a while and to regain the momentum you had going.

The goal, then, is to find a system that works for everything that matters to you.

Summarily, things do have a way of falling out of existence if not acted upon daily.

Things have a way of falling out of existence if not acted upon daily. Share on X

In an ideal world, you would do something daily to move your key projects forward.

Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar Review – Is it Any Good?

Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar Review – Is it Any Good?

At every turn, Donner is redefining what it means to be a “budget” brand. In the past, the idiom “you get what you pay for” rang true in all but a few scenarios. You got the occasional meal of substance or a night out at the movies on the cheap. Aside from that, small amounts of money got you small amounts of low-quality stuff you didn’t want.

But Donner isn’t just creating “cheap” products. They’re creating the best quality products in an affordable price range, something few companies ever master. And this is what stands out about them.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at the much-lauded Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar. So, is it any good? Read on…

The Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar

The Donner DTC-100 TC (or the Standard Series – we’re still not sure what Donner ultimately wants to call it) is a beginner Telecaster-style six-string electric guitar. You’ve seen it all over YouTube. But does it measure up to the hype?

Straight up – you could do a lot worse. As a former full-time guitar teacher (I still teach the occasional lesson), I’ve had the opportunity to play a ton of beginner electrics, and I found that most off-brand ones are adequate at best, and unplayable at worst. I also found some on-brand ones mediocre.

The DTC-100 TC, on the other hand, is simple, sleek, and fun to play. And as far as I can tell, it has very few downsides.

Students and beginners alike can carry this axe around with pride, and without worry that their guitar is holding them back from progressing as a guitarist.

Playability

Honestly, I was a little worried about the guitar’s neck out of the box because it has a very thin finish. I thought this might cause unwanted resistance and friction and make the guitar harder to play. But no, it’s very comfortable, and I never feel like I’m rubbing my hand against sandpaper as I’m running up and down the fretboard.

Similarly, there are no issues with sharp frets, a hallmark of cheap guitars that are intentionally rushed out the door by lesser brands.

The action is also very even and there is minimal buzz. Bends and vibratos are very easy to perform. It’s mostly upsides with this guitar!

It doesn’t have a smooth, luxurious neck in the style of my Ernie Ball Music Man Axis, but it wouldn’t be fair to ask that of a guitar that’s under $200 USD. If I want a guitar that fits my hand like a glove, I can always pick my Axis off the guitar stand on which it rests.

Also see:

My Top 5 Favorite Pieces of Guitar Gear

Features

Well, it’s a guitar. You really can’t ask for too much here, especially at this price point. It comes with two single coil pickups (standard Tele setup), one volume knob, one tone knob, a three-way pickup switch, and six strings.

No whammy bars, no B-Benders, no stacked humbuckers. But if you wanted to mod the guitar, you could either do it yourself or hire a skilled tech to do the work for you. Of course, as with any axe, you’ve got to ask yourself whether it’s worth the mod, and putting higher-quality parts on lower-quality guitars will only get you so far.

Ultimately, no disappointments here. The guitar features a simple, standard setup. And it does come with a few worthwhile extras, like a gig bag, hex key, instrument cable, and guitar strap.

Sound

First things first – I tried the Donner Standard Series guitar direct into my computer through my audio interface. This is the most unflattering way to listen to any guitar, as all its frequencies and natural character are greatly diminished.

Then, I tried the guitar through Positive Grid’s BIAS FX 2 Standard, experimenting with a few presets.

I was mostly listening for potential flaws but could not find any.

The bridge pickup offers all the twang and grit you would expect from a Tele. The neck pickup offers that delightful bell-like tone Teles and not coincidentally Strats are also known for.

If you were to test this guitar side by side with a $3,000 Fender Telecaster, of course, you would notice a difference. But the DTC-100 TC still sounds good enough for recording, and not just for demos and sketches.

I approached the test with a critical mind and came away feeling the guitar’s tone was more than adequate, especially at this price point. Naturally, it buzzes to high heaven, but that’s mostly to be expected from a guitar equipped with single coil pickups.

Tuning Stability

This is probably the guitar’s chief weakness. You can’t ask too much of a beginner guitar, but I do find that the Donner DTC-100 TC is lacking tuning stability, and it requires regular tuning.

It’s not much of a problem if you’re practicing alone, but if you’re playing gigs or recording, you’d want to keep an eye on this. Tune regularly to minimize cringing.

Also, make sure you know how to tune the guitar. That will keep you in the game.

Weight

When I picked up the guitar from the local convenience store post office, I couldn’t believe how light the instrument was. That’s not always a good thing, but in this case, it was a pleasant surprise.

Considering its overall playability and sound, the fact that it weighs so little makes it very convenient for road trips, and presumably, international travel as well.

I drive quite a bit myself, and this guitar has followed me all over Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, and the Okanagan Valley without issue.

Of course, hauling it to and from school, lesson rooms, jams, and so on should prove mostly effortless too.

Durability

Manufacturers like Donner owe a great deal to Fender, which originally introduced the Telecaster design.

Why? Because the Donner DTC-100 TC is one sturdy axe!

I would advise against callously throwing the guitar in the back of your truck, slamming it into the ground, crushing it by setting heavy amplifiers on top of it or otherwise abusing it in unnatural ways.

But the axe should hold up to quite a bit of wear and tear, thanks to its robust design. That’s always a good thing for beginners, who might tend to bump and scrape their guitars without noticing.

What Others Are Saying About the Donner DTC-100 TC

You don’t need to take my word for it. You can watch the guitar in action in these videos:





Final Thoughts, Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar

Everything you’ve heard about the Donner Standard Series is true. This is an excellent guitar for the money. Even advanced players will likely be wowed by the guitar’s overall quality and stability based on its price point.

For beginners, it should serve as a great instrument for learning and practicing alike. And for more seasoned players, the Donner DTC-100 TC is sure to become a workhorse for practice, demoing, jamming, and more.

You can get your Donner DTC-100 TC electric guitar here.