Archives For Leadership

Topics related to leading others as well yourself.

Phoning It In

joe —  Sat 23-Feb-13 — 3 Comments
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Why am I here againNext to Windows Solitaire, I am pretty sure the telephone is responsible for more time wasted at work than any other invention. How else can you explain the number of times we finish a conference call and make that, “well that was a total waste of my time” look?

In all fairness, meetings in general, if not executed well, have a history of wasting time. I am sure that when Ogg called his cavemen friends together to discuss how to best kill a wild beast, that there were some in the cave playing hangman on their stone tablets wondering when this meeting would end.

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A Piranha in Your Tank

joe —  Fri 8-Feb-13 — Leave a comment
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World series ringWhich is more difficult, getting to the World Series the first time, or repeating the following year? Both require great talent, but the motivation has got to be a little harder to muster after you’ve had that magical first experience. What about the third and fourth times?

Many competitive activities have the concept of a sophomore slump. The sophomore slump occurs when a rookie athlete has an outstanding first year and then reverts to more normal standards the following year. It appears to all that he has regressed, except for the statisticians who know this to be a normal phenomenon called “regression to the mean.” The first year was the anomaly, not the second.

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Control IssuesI suspect man has had control issues from the first day they put two of them together. For many that might have been Eve eating the apple. For others it was probably the first cave owners’ meeting when the Hominids needed to establish their HOA covenants.

I remember a meeting many years ago when my boss, Keith, held a brainstorming session with our management team. We were huddled in a small room and I volunteered to be the scribe, collecting the ideas and writing them on the whiteboard. It was a subject I was very passionate about, so I was contributing more than my fair share of ideas. I was on fire.

We then took a break. Obviously my boss thought this amazing idea generating engine of mine needed to get some fuel before it kicked in again. That’s when Keith pulled me aside and told me a simple phrase that has since changed the way I look at my role. “Joe,” he said, “If you have the chalk, you do not talk.” Did my boss just pee on my cornflakes?

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Push Me Pull You

joe —  Sat 11-Aug-12 — Leave a comment
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Mommy textOne of my fondest memories of my father came when I was five years old. It was the moment I realized Dad valued my opinion and truly cared what I thought.

“Son, do you think I am stupid?”, he said in a harsh voice that seemed to belie his deep need for feedback.

To this day I don’t recall my answer, but answer I did. I think the surprise of the whoopin’ I got makes everything kind of hazy.

It was several years ago that a dear friend of mine, Gary, asked me another important question. We had just met and he was new to the company when he asked, “How will I know when I am successful here?”

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A Nice Game of Chess

joe —  Sat 28-Jul-12 — Leave a comment
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The ContestI had a team member say to me,

“I just can’t work with Jim. He is so confrontational. It’s like a giant pissing contest.”

“Is the goal distance or accuracy?”, I asked.
“What?!?”
“Are you trying to see who can go further or who is more acurate?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you don’t know the goal, seems like a lot of people are going to get wet.”

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Dear Jim

joe —  Sat 23-Jun-12 — 8 Comments
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Email merit badgeI dread cleaning out my inbox. I’m not really a pack rat, more of a lazy email rat. Every time I do this, I seem to stumble on a “thing that makes you go hmmmm” – an Arsenio moment for those old enough to remember.

One of these emails was a letter from several years back that I handed my boss as I tendered my resignation. This was a company I had been with for a long time and quite honestly wanted to stay with, even after it was acquired.

After reading the letter again, I realized how often the behavior described below happens throughout the business world. I get letters from others describing environments that sound just like this. It is for this reason that I share it here, hoping that it may spark some ideas for your environment.

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Dear GI

joe —  Sun 27-May-12 — 1 Comment
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Girl at grave
Dear GI,

You don’t know me, and I will never know you. Yet, you paid the ultimate price so that I could sit behind this keyboard and freely express my thoughts.

Well, my thoughts today are about you. You and I may not have known each other, but we have a lot in common.

It’s about standing up for what you believe. I believe in that too. But you did more. Continue Reading…

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