an important lesson

you can't fake it

when leaders pitch in

good to great

doing the right things

– Peter F. Drucker All too often we are concerned about doing things right. We agonize over whether we did our job the way our boss wanted us to. Where we are the ones doling out the assignments we fret whether the people we have given those assignments are doing them the “right” way. So rarely do we ask ourselves “is this the right thing to do?” We do the accepted. We do the conventional. We do it well; we manage. What would happen if you questioned the thing you were doing instead of the way you were doing it? What if you thought, “maybe this isn’t what I want to do, this isn’t right for me”. What if you acted on that thought? You could fail. Then again, you might discover a path that you could pursue joyfully and where you excel. Leadership isn’t just about working with others, it starts with you. Develop the leader within: do the right things for you.]]>

Lead, follow, and get out of the way

leads AND follows AND gets out of the way? Let’s break it down: Lead, inspire, have the vision, determine the direction to go. We all have the potential to lead, we all have dreams, it is getting people to follow that is the sticky part. I firmly believe most people would want to follow someone who does the next two things. Follow the ideas and suggestions others give you. Investigate alternatives that are different (even if, or especially if, radically different) from the ones you are comfortable with or commonly turn to. Someone who is not in front of the parade can still generate ideas and guidance for the one who is. Listen to the ideas of others and investigate or follow paths they suggest. Get out of the way of the group you lead. They are there to realize the dream, to reach the goal, let them reach for what you have shown is possible. Once you show them the path, the direction to go, ensure there are as few obstacles as possible, step aside, and let the people who you have brought together specifically because they have the skills to reach the goal do their thing. Lead, follow, and get out of the way. One small change to a phrase, one huge difference in getting things done. ]]>

dealing with failure

act in the face of change and not just feel, you will fail along the way. This is inevitable. There may be some small sliver of the population that populates that extreme end of the “luck” bell curve where everything goes right, but most of us live in the vast center where things go right and things go wrong with annoyingly equal frequency. Failure is a natural consequence of trying things. It is neither bad nor good. It simply is. Most of us have been taught to fear failure. Rather than fearing failure, I suggest you accept its presence and consider looking to minimize the effects of it. When you start to act take reasonable steps. If you decided to do a parachute jump, you wouldn’t strap on a chute and head up in the first plane! Well, I hope you wouldn’t. More likely, you would contact someone who has done jumps before and is either an instructor or can refer you to one. They would start you on a series of lessons on packing the chute, landing, etc. After extensive practice and learning you might go up and do a tandem jump to get the feel of it. All of these “baby” steps minimize the effect of a failure. If you land wrong when you jump from 3 feet, you might have sore ankles or legs for a day, but that is better than a couple of broken legs or worse. You still might “fail” but the consequences are far less dire.]]>