Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Unconventional Approaches to Success: An Interview with Dr. Paul Dillon, President and CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Innovate & Elevate: Inside the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
Today, we had the opportunity to interview Dr. Paul Dillon – President and CEO @ Dillon Consulting Services LLC.

Dr. Paul Dillon is a veteran, entrepreneur, and public policy expert who has dedicated his life to serving others. From his upbringing in the Chicago metropolitan area to his service in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Dillon has used his connections and creativity to build a successful business. As President and CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC, Dr. Dillon has relied on essential tools and technologies to manage his business effectively. He has also implemented unconventional and creative approaches that have significantly contributed to the growth and success of his business. In this interview, Dr. Dillon shares his insights on the learning curve and potential resistance from teams when implementing new tools or technologies, as well as his thoughts on emotional resilience.

Interviewee Name: Dr. Paul Dillon

Company: Dillon Consulting Services LLC

Dr. Paul Dillon’s favourite quote: “To whom much is given, much will be required.”

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Dr. Paul Dillon : I had a very traditional upbringing in the Chicago metropolitan area. My father was a very successful executive in the fine printing paper industry—and, my mother was a homemaker. I have one younger sister. I was on the swim team in high school.

After high school, I went to college at a small Jesuit university just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, where I majored in English literature and philosophy. I was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve upon graduation, but received a delay in my active duty status to attend graduate school on a teaching assistantship, graduating with a M.S. degree.
I also hold an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from The Chicago School, formerly The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where I served as a trustee for nine years.

I am a Certified Management Consultant with more than 45 years of experience in the professional services industry. As a U.S. Army Reserve officer, I served in Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant, and was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals.

My articles and quotes on veterans’ issues have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, US News & World Report, Associated Press, Reader’s Digest, Investor’s Business Daily, and many others. I am a sought after commentator on national veteran matters on numerous radio/TV programs and podcasts, including on the Westwood One Radio Network, Bloomberg Business Radio, CBS Radio’s “Eye on Veterans”, and on public affairs programs on television stations throughout the country.

I created the concept for a veteran startup incubator in Chicago, called Bunker Labs (http://www.bunkerlabs.com), as well as creating the concept for a veteran entrepreneur support organization in North Carolina, called VetStart, which was recently rebranded as Bunker RDU.

An avid distance lap swimmer, my interests range from veterans to business ethics and governance, and to the media, the last of which stems from my 14 years as the supervisor of elections to both the National Radio Hall of Fame and for the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts &Sciences for the Emmy Awards.

I am very privileged to serve as an Adjunct Instructor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, where I created and occasionally teach a graduate level course on public policy and veterans.

As far as I know, there is no other college course like it in the United States. It is a highly unique and very creative endeavor. Here is the link to an article that describes this course:


What are the essential tools and technologies you rely on to manage your business effectively??

Dr. Paul Dillon : I have relied on my connections to cut expenses when working on my business. I asked favors from peers, like using available office space at a friend’s company, rather than paying to rent my own space in a building.

Are there any unconventional or creative approaches you’ve implemented that significantly contributed to the growth and success of your business??

Dr. Paul Dillon : Lifelong learning calls for breaking out of your comfort zone. Sometimes people are afraid because they feel they might be bad at something— like starting a new business. So, they avoid it. But, don’t underestimate yourself. Have confidence in your own competence. “The human brain is a novelty seeking machine”, someone once said.

If you enjoy learning about something, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. It seems like an obvious point, but you should do things that bring you pleasure and fun. So, while you practice and get better, even if you fail you enjoy the practice and learn from the failure.

Also, it can’t be just about the money. There has to be something more. If it’s just about the money, you will most likely fail. You won’t be able to get people to work along with you to accomplish your goals for the business, even if they share in the money. People want to know that there’s a larger vision than merely profit at work with your company. What are your goals? What are your values? What is your attitude toward serving the needs of your customers or clients with honesty and integrity. Young people, in particular, want to work for a company that is committed to improving the commonweal of their fellow citizenry, at the same time that it is making a profit. If you have employees, they will want to do good, while they are doing well. People need to know that those aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. Those are tough tasks to accomplish. But, the successful companies of the future will be those that can pull it off.

How do you address the learning curve and potential resistance from your team when implementing new tools or technologies? ?

Dr. Paul Dillon : Be flexible! And, don’t take no for an answer. If you meet with an objection, get up, brush yourself off, and try something else. There is always more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.

The concept of emotional resilience has always intrigued me. Why is it that some people can bounce back from an awful situation, while others succumb to utter defeat?

Leaders Perception would like to thank Dr. Paul Dillon and Dillon Consulting Services LLC for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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