Archives for the month of: January, 2015

Bruce the BossWhile observing Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I observed “The Boss” as a genuine and caring leader in action.

Bruce exhibited multiple leadership traits, including:

  1. demonstrate great passion for what you’re doing and how you do it
  2. create a fun working environment for all stakeholders involved
  3. surround yourself with the best talent available (his E-Street band includes awesomely skilled musicians)
  4. exhibit non-stop high energy that creates infectious enthusiasm
  5. be unselfish and empower your team to perform their part
  6. appreciate and acknowledge the importance of everyone on the team

Not surprisingly, the majority of this tribe has been together for decades, following the same leader with an unrivaled camaraderie and success that most leadership could only dream of achieving!

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While watching the World War II classic movie Tora, Tora, Tora about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I noticed another “classic” taking place as well, that of pathetic leadership!

There is a scene where a General is visiting a strategic enemy detection station on Oahu. He gives “instruction” to his subordinate commander to take certain action, and in response to the General’s ill-advised “direction”, the commander reports the issues and concerns that impact their situation.

The General then provides typical “leadership direction” by stating to his commander “take it easy, you’ll figure it out!”  The commander says, tongue-in-cheek, “yeah, I’ll figure it out.” You can vividly see the engagement and morale impact of this dialogue.

Now I’m a proponent of empowerment, but this is not how it should be done!

Fast forward…the same commander then gives “direction” to two soldiers at the location by saying “well don’t just stand there, you guys know how to operate this thing”.

Their response is that “we know the theory sir”, to which their “boss” responds, “well let’s put the theory into practice.”  “You two stay put and keep watching that screen.”

Then comes this classic question…“excuse me sir, but what are we watching for?”

Regrettably, the absurdity of unclear and uncaring communication evident throughout this scene occurs on a daily basis in many workplaces.

Now watch the rest of this stunning dialogue in reply to the soldier’s inquiry:

Colonel: “Anything unusual coming from the sea.”

Soldiers: “Sir, if we do spot something, what do we do?”

Colonel: “Report it to headquarters.”

Soldiers: “How, Sir? We haven’t got a telephone.”

Colonel: “There’s a gas station a mile down the road, they must have a phone.”

I won’t even start to discuss ensuring that your team has the right tools and resources to do their job!

Sadly, we all know how Pearl Harbor turned out, and although I suspect much of this movie dialogue was fictional, it leads me to think that with more caring leadership, the tragic results of that Sunday could have somehow been altered.

pEARL

Some great insight from the Two Minute Tune-Up.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

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Inventor and designer Buckminster Fuller spoke from experience. At the age of 32, he was fired from his job, his family had no savings to fall back upon, he had a new baby to support, and he felt responsible for his sister’s tragic death. For the insurance money, he decided killing himself was the only solution. Until he miraculously heard these words…

You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe…You will fulfill your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.”

In whatever manner the world “de-geniuses” us, Buckminster tells us to keep going.

Whoever we are, we have unique insight and value to give.

Give it. Don’t give up. Be you. Wait…with hope.

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One of my favorite coaching areas is that of Attention Management (the artist formerly known as Time Management).

Time cannot truly be managed…there are 86,400 seconds in a day and once gone, you cannot recover them.  On the other hand, how you spend that time, your attention and focus,  can be proactively controlled given that proper personal disciplines and barriers have been established.

All to often, people spend their days hitting the ground running, operating in reactionary mode and being at the mercy of the world and people around them; instead of controlling their activities.

A surefire way to improve your effectiveness is to dedicate time to a daily action plan, either the night or early morning before your committed day starts.

Adding a quiet time or meditation period is a useful tool in this process.

Once you’ve created this daily strategy, draw upon your personal power to make every effort to stick to that plan, no matter what.  Sounds easy, does hard!

Further, ensure you include some time slots for handling the unscheduled interruptions that will come, regardless of the boundaries you’ve established!

Give it a try next week, and I’ll bet you’ll see an astonishing increase in productivity…not to mention that you’ll have less stress and feel better!!!

Plan your work