Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Pixar "Presto"

Pixar is known for their fantastic ability to tell a story. I couldn't watch the opening of Up without shedding a tear. It is perhaps the greatest 10 minute love story ever told. This time, the story is called Presto. It is a short clip about a magician and his rabbit, but I see it as a lesson: Take care of the people you rely on, because you never know how it will end.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Leadership Quote of the Week - Eleanor Roosevelt

Special Thanks to Erin Morey for the meme. 

I find that Eleanor Roosevelt had several quotes that resonated with me. This is the second one from our former First Lady. The first can be found here.

This is a picture at the Grand Canyon, where the Hualapai Indian Tribe built a skywalk out over the expanse of the canyon. The floor of the walk is clear glass, meaning that you feel like you are walking out over open air. While my wife and I enjoyed the experience (we even jumped up and down on the glass), many of the people around us were unable to step onto the glass, or if they did, would not let go of the solid steel handrail around the perimeter.

As so many great leadership / self-help experts will tell you, greatness typically lies right outside your comfort zone. If you are constantly comfortable, then you will not grow. As a leader, it is your job to make sure the team grows, and sometimes that means being the good example. What are you doing to grow? What should you be doing that scares you?

As an example, I am working toward a live event based on my C4 Leadership System (C4LS), with the intention of finding a way to make it mobile to other cities. I am excited for the opportunity, and honestly it is way outside my comfort zone to build an event and advertise it, rather than to be invited to one. I will let you know how it turns out!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Do You Track All This Risk? - The Risk Register!

Two weeks ago we started the Risk Management Process with the Basics. Last week we explored the Risk Management Matrix. Today, the Risk Register!

But first, I want to point out that the material I've provided is just a starting point. There are entire books written about Risk Management, and I could probably start a blog about it and have material for a couple of years. Don't take the high level details I provide as the end all / be all of Risk Management. Read, learn, grow!

Back to the Risk Register. The Register is designed to track the identified Risks during a meeting, determine the potential impact of the risk, how each risk will be addressed through one (or more) of the four Risk Management Approaches (Accept, Avoid, Mitigate, or Transfer) and determine what the remaining risk is after the Risk Management Approaches. As much as I would like to identify this as a quantitative process, in many cases it is qualitative. Gut feel and educated guesses are a lot more involved than most people would like when it comes to Risk Management.

I understand it is hard to read. Please be patient, look at the bottom of the post!

Let's break down the individual columns of the Risk Register:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Jerry Seinfeld

On a slightly serious note, I am trying to learn more about humor, in order to improve my presentations and I thought this was very enlightening:

How To Write a Joke by Jerry Seinfeld (from the New York Times). Very enlightening.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Quote of the Week - Vince Lombardi

My son joined the swim team, working hard to get better and become one of the stronger swimmers on the team. In order to improve, hard work is required. People may have talents that make them more inclined toward leadership (or other areas), but as with all skills / talents practice and work are required to grow and achieve your goals. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Risk Management Matrix - A Primer

Last week we discussed the basics of the Risk Management Process, and I promised an exploration into the Risk Management Matrix. Well, TA-DAH:

Sorry for the X-Large Size, it was the only option in Blogger to make it readable. When will they let you drag corners to adjust size?

In case you are wondering, this is what a basic Risk Management Matrix looks like. There are varying degrees of Risk, from Green to Yellow to Red. When talking about Risks that are negative (some people would say there are positive Risks, others call them Opportunities) then you want to move the risk as close to Green as possible through the different Risk Management Approaches of dealing with Risk (mentioned last week: Accept, Avoid, Mitigate,  or Transfer). We'll go into more detail as we explore the Risk Management Matrix.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Adam Ruins Everything

I recently found a show called Adam Ruins Everything via clips on YouTube. Not all the clips are appropriate for every age group, but I am finding the show to be both entertaining and educational.  As a frequent traveler, this one rang a little too true, especially since I first saw it while sitting in the boarding area waiting on a plane to arrive:

Enjoy the theater!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Quote of the Week - Vincent Van Gogh

There is a new commercial going through the circuit, where a narrator says (to paraphrase): "Everything you are pretty good at now, you were once, well, pretty bad at." In other words if you want to do something you cannot expect to be great to start with, but you have to get started in order to get better. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Experiment - IFTTT


In the interest of learning new things and expanding my reach, I am exploring IFTTT, and it's many (many, many, many) recipes. In the future I will detail out the lessons learned, but in the meantime, I ask for patience as I learn and refine my approach. Thank you, and please feel free to comment / engage so that I can better understand the impact.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Risk Management Process - Basic Steps

In high stake projects, when dealing with heavy equipment, millions of dollars in budget, and large teams in potentially dangerous situations, Risk Management is taken very seriously. In fact there are entire companies whose whole business structure is designed around facilitating risk conversations.

But Risk isn't strictly about large dollar, high stakes projects. Every project will experience risks (both negative and positive) throughout the Project Life Cycle. As the leader, you need to be ready for them, and as we all know, Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail. After working on several of the high value projects with lots of heavy machinery and construction, I've become very familiar with the Risk Management Strategy. In the coming weeks, we will explore the components of the Risk Management Strategy, culminating in a Morey's Law.

But first, the basic process:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Teamwork

I'm not completely sure that the first part of this video is teamwork (but rather potentially bullying), but I thought the videos were amusing and make the point of the strength of teamwork and how it can end up in either a mob mentality or a benefit to the entire group.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Quote of the Week - Alexander Graham Bell

As someone who goes from white to red in a matter of minutes when exposed to even indirect sunlight (no I'm not a vampire), I would argue that the sun's rays burn, even when not in focus. However, I cannot argue with the thoughts on this quote. You should concentrate on the work in hand, because when you focus the more effective and efficient you will be. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Morey's Law #9: No Plan Survives First Contact

The German Military strategist Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke sagely noted: No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.  This wisdom has proven to be true not just in combat, but in most cases of life as well. There are many different iterations of the same thought, whether it's from President Dwight Eisenhower (as shared via one of our previous quotes of the week:

or quote from Mike Tyson: Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

In each case, the message is simple, plans go out the window at the first sign of resistance. Once that happens, it is the leader's ability to adapt the plan and still complete the objectives which shows the measure of his/her skill. Hence Morey's Law #9:

No Plan Survives First Contact. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wacky Wednesday - Failure to Learn

Sometimes we learn from watching others make a mistake, and sometimes we are doomed to repeat it:

Over and Over and Over and Over Again. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Quote of the Week - Brandt Paul

At one point, the sky may have been the limit, but today I wonder if there is a limit. Mankind has had many limits throughout it's existence, from the edge of the world, to the speed of sound, now the speed of light. Individually, too often we self-impose limits, staying within our comfort zones and scratching out our survival. The sky is no longer the limit. Instead, we should be shooting for the moon, if we miss, then we will land among the stars (another quote - Norman Vincent Peale).