Monday, April 24, 2017

Leadership Quote - Anonymous

Sports history is full of teams that were full of superstars yet failed to win championships (here is a list of 5 NBA teams in recent history, but we can find more across all sports). Why is that? So many teams appear "guaranteed" for a championship, how could they not with all that talent? 

The answer is in this quote, which I wish I knew the original author. The superstars with all their talent played to be superstars and for the glory rather than for the team. Because the players were more interested (more often) in the name on the back of the jerseys, the name on the front lost. Egos got in the way of teamwork and the teams were unable to gel and win championships. 

The same holds true in most businesses. Management strives to put the best team together, however even if they bring together a group of superstars, the management team often misses the mark of getting the team to work together for the same goal. 

What are you doing with your team? Do they know what the objectives are? Do they understand what the priority is for the entire team, and not just the individual? And are you managing the people so that they aren't in it only for themselves? If you have a "player" who is brilliant, but constantly causes team dynamic issues, it may be time for a change. 

What actions can you take to make sure people are working for the team? I would love to hear your ideas. Perhaps we can make it an article for future publication?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Leadership Quote of the Week - Darren LaCroix Part 2

This is a quick one, as I have an NSA conference this weekend, then an international trip immediately after. Towards the end of last year I shared a quote of the week from World Champion Speaker Darren LaCroix, who delivered it directly to an audience who was getting a little too empathetic for a person receiving an evaluation. Reviewing the post, the material was good, but the picture didn't work with the written material. Here's why:

I have two young boys who I love more than anything in the world. One of our favorite activities are board games. Monopoly, Risk, Settlers of Catan, Sorry, Uno, Skipbo, Scattegories, etc. etc. etc. The games are fun and the kids love them, but there is a caveat. Erin (my wife) and I DON'T LET THEM WIN. Now we aren't mean during the games, and we may go easy on them, but we don't intentionally lose.

Checkers is one of the more difficult games for the kids because it requires looking at the whole board, and they need to think several steps ahead, but they love to play against dad. When we play checkers in particular, I have a tendency to make my move to watch the surprise, then back the pieces up and ask them how they could have avoided the move (double jumps, triple jumps, king-me's etc.). The boys will look at the board and then show me how they could have avoided my move.

Here's where the not so nice part happens. I then reset the board to what it was after my original move and we continue the game. The results, thus far, are that the boys are getting better at checkers and thinking about the whole board. I'm not mean, but I'm definitely not "nicing" them in the game. Hence the picture of one of my son's hands on a checker's board with this quote.

In a similar vein, are you helping your team grow or are you being nice? Are you letting the team face the challenging situations, or are you bailing them out? It's a fine line between letting them experience the challenge but not letting them fail. Are you attempting to walk that line, or are you bailing the team out the moment they hit a speedbump?

Enjoy the weekend and look for an update next week from Europe!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - Audi Desert

My wife is a bit of an artist (see this week's leadership quote) and an amateur photographer, which means I'm often introduced to differences in perspective because of her talents and interests. This particular picture caught my attention:

audi-q2-photography-miniature-toy-cars-felix-hernandez-3 (h/t: petapixel)

Why this picture? What if I told you it was a toy car?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Leadership Quote - Guy Kawasaki

Are you doing what you want to do? What you're passionate about? Or are you just marking time in a job that doesn't motivate you? From the leadership perspective, Enchanting (charismatic) People attract other Enchanting People, and the sphere of influence for Enchanting People grows, thus improving and increasing their opportunities to lead. 

One of the most interesting (and to me enchanting) people I know is my wife, Erin, who in this picture is learning to blow glass. In this picture, she is rolling the glass in a wet newspaper to get the shape she wants. The reason I find her interesting and enchanting is that she pursues nearly everything with a drive that amazes me, and she is capable of so many things that are effortless to her, but would take significantly more time for me to accomplish and the result would only be half as good. These items tend to be artistically related because her passion is art. And I love her all the more for it. 

Myself, I have a passion for education, self-improvement, and leadership. I find myself most motivated when I am helping others grow or when I can provide some guidance to manage surrounding chaos. These are things that I do well, and people find me interesting because of it. It's one of the reasons I write this blog. 

What are you passionate about? How are you interesting and enchanting? What are you doing to pursue those interests and passions? As with last week's quote, don't put off to tomorrow, what are you doing today?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - Mr. Bean

Mr. Bean is a character brilliantly portrayed by Rowan Atkinson. He's been the character for decades, and yet has hardly said a word. Here's a quick clip from the Mr. Bean YouTube Channel:

Many people love his material, and have started a bit of a competition. Mr. Bean is starting to appear in all types of things, and it is hysterical:

Mr Bean Photoshop
imgur obseek

Mr Bean Photoshop
Rodney Pike
There are more, which can be found here. Enjoy!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Leadership Quote - Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps one of the most common quotes people hear is this one from Thomas Jefferson. People tend to be procrastinators, putting things off until the last minute. It's in our nature, and I believe that our brain is programmed to put off until the item is absolutely necessary so that we can enjoy the "comforts" of today, even if that comfort actually puts in jeopardy something we greatly desire tomorrow.

How many times did you put off the book report in school? How about the work assignment? A sale presentation for a client? Work around the house? The list goes on and on. And even those of us that know better often fall victim to it.

So, we must remain ever vigilant to the programming, and strive to work toward our goals today, rather than waiting for the tomorrow that never comes. So what are you going to do today?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - April Fools

In honor of April Fools, companies, organizations, and people go out of their way to provide something creative. Some of the more interesting April Fools Jokes on the internet can be found here. A few of my favorites from the list:

1. Coffee Flavored Coffee Mate -

Image may contain: drink

Reminds me of Denis Leary "Lock and Load (NSFW!)" coffee routine.

2. All Stuf' Oreo:

This one had me excited, until I remembered the date:

3. One that didn't make the list, but I wish was real:

Lee Valley Tools

There were projects I've done where having the ability to gauge the thickness of a chisel or a filler-block while working on a project. Actually, Lee Valley has turned April Fools Tools into real items for sale in the past so there may be hope for me yet. 

So there are three that I liked. What April Fools joke did you enjoy? Comment below to let me know.