Archives For Leadership

You Gotta Keep ’em Separated

joe —  Sat 1-Dec-12
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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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A Nice Game of Chess

joe —  Sat 28-Jul-12
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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 GI

joe —  Sun 27-May-12
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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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Heartbreak Hotel

joe —  Fri 9-Mar-12
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Post It NoteWhat word would you use if your boss just told you that he resigned? Was that a wishful smirk on your face? Are you off creating mental images of green fields, warm sun and unicorns all around?

I’ve been fortunate to only have one boss from hell. Most of the others were either very strong leaders, or at least managers that I could work with to develop a strong working relationship.

This week, unfortunately, I lost one of the best. My heart sunk when I heard the words “Joe, I’m resigning.” It was an unusual feeling, something that I had felt only once before in this type of situation.

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Foggy Mountain Breakdown

joe —  Sat 18-Feb-12
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Race CarsI was driving in to work one morning in a very dense fog. There were a handful of cars heading down a fast stretch of road. The speed limit said 55, but it would have been dangerous to do anything over 25. It was tough to see more than 10 feet.

I tried the same thing I always do in heavy fog – the high beams. Yes I know it makes it worse, but yet I still try it every time. It’s like watching a recorded football game expecting a different score at the end.

Back to the low beams.

I was getting annoyed with drivers riding my bumper, obviously thinking I was going too slow. Then I noticed a pattern develop. These cars would tailgate for a bit, pass me, and then slow down to the same speed we were originally going. I would appreciate this if we were on bikes – it’s called drafting. I doubt that was their intent.

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And Now, the Rest of the Story

joe —  Sun 5-Feb-12
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HecklersIt was Sunday morning at North Point Community Church. Andy Stanley had just finished his sermon and was about to pray when a voice from the back took center stage.
For about 45 seconds an unknown man had the opportunity to reach thousands of people and enlighten people on why Andy was not preaching the way God intended.

If you were Andy, how would you have responded?

The PR handbook teaches us to ignore the distraction and move on. No sense in giving credibility to the event by acknowledging it happened. Or would you simply look to the audience and say, “My apologies for the distraction?” Maybe just look up and shrug your shoulders and a bit of a perplexed look? How about a quick heckler comeback?

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Size Does(n’t) Matter

joe —  Sun 30-Oct-11
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Tea Cup PuppyWe have a great expression in the South that you never want to receive from a friend – “Bless your heart.” It’s somewhere between “he just doesn’t know any better” to “that boy is as dumb as a ‘possum.”

I hear myself saying this a lot when new managers enter the ranks. I definitely heard it a lot when I started. Usually it is because they believe one thing to be true about how to lead and you know that in time they will discover otherwise.

The one that I wish I could get others to appreciate is to not judge their success by the size of their team. So many managers think that they are more important if their team is bigger. I once thought that as well. Continue Reading…

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