Thursday, December 1, 2016

Morey's Law #17 - Round 2

Two weeks ago I shared Morey's Law #17:

Professionals Are Predictable, But The World Is Full Of Amateurs
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I shared a story about a co-worker whose lack of planning became an emergency for me and my project. What I didn't share was how to mitigate this Law. My intent with these lessons learned are not only to provide examples of when things can go wrong, but also to show ways that you can mitigate the impact, or hopefully prevent the Law from impacting you. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Holidays Begin

The Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier. The amusing thing is the memes and drawings created for this thought. Here are a couple of my favorites"

Both of these were found on pinterest on multiple accounts. If you know the originator, please let me know so I can credit him / her

So which one are you? Are you excited for the season, or looking at the season as an upcoming battle?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving (Belated)

As we got ready for a Holiday in the United States about Family, Friends, and giving thanks, I'd came across a thought from the Maxwell Daily Reader (by John Maxwell):

Write a Note of Encouragement to Someone Today. 

It is the lesson for November 22nd, but I would encourage (sorry, couldn't resist) you to write a note of "Thanks" to members of your team. Give them your gratitude for the work they do, and that you are happy they are on your team. You can still do it this week relating it to Thanksgiving, but you should probably do this consistently, as people love moral boosters that show their leaders care about them. 

Several years ago I got into the habit of writing "Thank you" cards for people I appreciated. What surprised me was how often those cards would sit openly on the desk of the recipient, and they would actually share them with other workers. It was a real morale booster, and helped go a long way in showing that their leader cared. 

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, give thanks to your team. It will be unexpected and very appreciated.

Join us later this week, when I correct an over site to Morey's Law #17: Professionals Are Predictable, But The World Is Full Of Amateurs.

Have a great week.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Leadership Quote - Margaret Thatcher

Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States and I didn't post last Thursday. My apologies to my loyal readers. Look out for a post tomorrow that should have ran on Thursday. 

On to this week's quote of the week:

For those that don't know, Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister from 1979 until 1990, who was known for her uncompromising politics and leadership style. A Soviet journalist (which likely means that the Soviet Union at least agreed with this) dubbed her the "Iron Lady."

More than 20 years ago Margaret Thatcher said the words above. This was before colleges created "safe spaces" for people who felt offended, and the world of government fell to attacks and labels rather than arguments and reasoning. Today, people live in bubbles of like-minded people (just look at the discussion of the US election results) and people are more concerned about not feeling offended (or not offending anyone) than about intelligent, reasoned discussion.

As a leader, your role is to help people get through the tough times, the tough discussions. If there were no tough discussions, there would be no need for leaders. Open the doors for conversation, invite people to share their opinions, and then (to provide another quote) look to Habit 5 of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek first to understand, then be understood."

In case anyone was wondering, this is my youngest son. He and his brother were playing in the mud of our backyard one spring day and my wife Erin wanted to take pictures. The oldest was hamming it up for the camera, but our youngest didn't want to get his picture taken. My wife took the picture anyway and this is now one of her favorite pictures. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Coincidence?

Pixar expressed something that I find pretty amusing from Incredibles:

Gibbs from NCIS has rules, Rule 39 (dang, he has more than me; I'll have to work on that): There Is No Such Thing As Coincidence

And Dreamworks  shared, in Kung Fu Panda:

With that in mind, let me share a couple of "Coincidences":

From Pinterest

From Universal Explorers

Wrap your mind around that and let me know by commenting below. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leadership Quote - William Julius Wilson

A lot of faith today is placed on test scores. The SAT, ACT, STAR exam, etc., etc., etc... We focus on test scores as a measure of performance for our students and tie teachers to the scores of their students. The problem is that many would argue that test scores show only one thing: who is good at taking tests.

In fact, Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book called Why A Students Work For C Students. Could it be that school doesn't necessarily prepare people for real life?

William Julius Wilson is an American Sociologist. He is one of 24 University Professors at Harvard (the highest distinction one can achieve), and considered one of the leading expert on race relations in the United States.

Special thanks to my wife for this picture of our son at an art gallery enjoying Andre Derain's The Turning Road

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Morey's Law #17 - Professionals Are Predictable...

One of my favorite shows is Burn Notice, from USA. It was almost educational, including the voice-overs. One particular voice-over that stuck-out was this one:

Dealing with a trained operative is like playing chess with a master. Dealing with criminals, on the other hand, is like playing checkers with a three year old: the like to change the rules.

With my experience in Iraq, I would agree that this is true, even though you may not use the word criminal. In many cases, an amateur can be just as bad. I can think of several instances while in Baqubah where we were training Iraqi police and defense force. It was usually readily apparent if someone had training before. The way they held their weapon, a tilt of the head, a raised eyebrow, a shaking head would all give people away. This was drastically different from the amateurs who were giddy holding a rifle and would raise their butt too high in the air when crawling under barbed wire. The problem in that environment is that a professional is dependable, but the amateur can get you killed.

The civilian world has an equivalent issue, as there are professionals and there are amateurs. Unfortunately, you can rarely tell the difference from a raised eyebrow or tilt of the head. Instead, professionals are typically the people who strive toward improvement in their profession. They educate themselves, earn certifications, attend training, and yes even read blogs like this one. Then they take the information they learn and apply it to their own work. Professionals have processes and procedures they use to make things better, and avoid knee jerk reactions which change the rules and cause more issues than they fix.