Monday, October 30, 2017

Leadership Quote - Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

Created by Erin Morey
A spin on the quote from Alexander the Great, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand was the chief diplomat for Napoleon, whose main job was to secure French gains through peace after the battles. In the end, some would argue that he was a traitor as he gave up a lot of the French conquests at the Congress of Vienna, although the settlement was favorable for France.

Most often when I see this quote it is associated with a full-maned male lion who is roaring out his defiance, but prides are matriarchal, typically led by a female, while the male is almost there solely for breeding and protection. The lioness hunts, protects the cubs, and in general looks after the well-being of the pride, while the lion will fight other lions and laze about, occasionally roaring to let everyone know he is still dominant and around. So which leader would you rather be? As much as it may hurt my male ego, I would rather behave like a lioness

I am often amazed what a weak team can do with a strong leader, and dismayed at what a strong team cannot do when they don't have a leader. Many times a change in leadership often brings different results. Most of my life I've been the second or third leader on a team, taking over units/teams that were not meeting their goals. I've found superstars in those teams, but they were held back by the lack of leadership.

Now it is hard to make a sheep into a lion, but often you can find lions in the ranks and grow them. As John Maxwell often says, the true job of a leader is to make more leaders, not followers. Take a moment for a not so small thing (last week's quote). Are you lion or sheep? And if you are a lion, are you making sure to find and grow other lions?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - Special Effects that AREN'T CGI

Beleive it or not some effects are still done without CGI, especially before the turn of the century, but includes Lord of the Rings or the Dark Night, or Inception among other movies. Here's a pretty interesting video about some of the practical effects from big movies:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Leadership Quote - Richard Branson

Created by Erin Morey
Sir Richard Branson makes another appearance on the C4Leader blog. Time for a little bit of my funny side to make an appearance. We've been doing a lot with the family the last couple of weekends, which is great, and honestly often gets put to the side because of work, an emergency, etc. Well:

If you don't have time for the small things, you won't have time for the big things - Richard Branson

What are you making time for? So often we get caught up in the Urgent and Important and even the Urgent but Not Important, but instead we miss out on the Not Urgent but Important things, like making time for family, exercising, polishing shoes, stepping back to plan, or taking the time to read a book or enjoy a moment of silliness (like the picture above). If you want to learn more about the Urgent and Important, Urgent but Not Important, and the Not Urgent but Important, I would recommend my post on the Eisenhower Decision Matrix:

So where are you spending your time and are you making time for the small things?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - RedBull Flugtag

This year the Flugtag was in Nashville, and the family made a day of it. It was nearly 90 degrees, but the entertainment value was great. Here's a video (warning, LONG video) of the Flugtag:

And here are a couple of moments before ouch captured by my wife Erin. Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Leadership Quote - ?

Created by Erin Morey
An adage that is attributed to many places, the Bible, Chinese Proverb, or perhaps a lady named Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, but the truth will continue to be accurate for as long as people are human. This particular quote is holding a little bit of literal truth as well as figurative, as the family prepares for a few camping trips in the coming weeks and my oldest son has found a joy in fishing (pictured).

In previous posts, I've written about the need to train your people, as you cannot only rely on the superstars but also need to build up others (Morey's Law 16: If You Complete More Than Your Fair Share of Work...). When you do the work for your people, the job may get done, but the person doesn't learn anything. When you train them, it may take longer initially, but they will learn more and take more work off your plate in the long run.

In parenting, it is the same thing. Are you teaching your child or doing the work for them? One of our favorite activities every year with the kids is the Pinewood Derby. Each year we give the kids more to do with the cars, with our hands on the piece of wood for the more difficult actions, but under supervision, only for the things we know they can handle. We are teaching them self-confidence and some minor woodworking, as well as problem-solving. In fact, this quote folds well for one shared a couple of weeks ago from Richard Branson (with my other son):

So are you giving fish, or teaching to fish for your team?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

They May Need It, But They Won't Read It! - Email with Management

I seem to be on a Communication kick lately. This post is a direct result of a conversation with a fellow Project Manger earlier this week, where we were discussing how to model communication for managers and executives, to get them to actually read it. Along they way, I muttered the line "They may need it, but they won't read it!" and I realized that the topic was perfect for my readers.

Earlier in the week I identified that we all have the same number of seconds in a day, and asked what you were doing with your time. Well, managers and executives are even more pressed than most people, and are often flooded with "important" emails and meetings that eat away their ability to concentrate, make decisions, or manage their time. Very often they feel like this: 1891725

Project Managers and team leaders often find themselves needing input or decisions from others, and feel they need to provide a lot of background to ensure that the recipient is well informed. The problem is that very often our recipient can feel like they've been thrown-up on with data, and unable to identify what exactly we are asking for. With that in mind, I would recommend a couple of courses of action to improve the chances that your targeted recipient will actually read the email you are sending:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - Life-Hacks

So Bored Panda has an ever growing list of life-hacks, and some of them you might even use. Here are a couple from the list:

Monday, October 9, 2017

Leadership Quote - Mark Twain

Created by Erin Morey
The world will continue to spin no matter what you do about it, and everyone has the same 86,400 seconds. What are you doing with them? One of the largest issues I have is that I often will have great ideas and then put them on the back burner because of a contract, project, or sometimes just not sure what the next steps are or from (honestly) fear that it might not be as good as I think it is. We can stay safe in harbor, or we can sail away for adventure and perhaps even a little glory. Ships are made for sailing not staying safe, and neither are we made to stay safe. Fortune favors the bold, which means casting off the ties and exploring what comes your way. Who knows, perhaps I might even join you out on the seas.

Mark Twain was the nom de plume (pen name) of Samuel Clemens, a famous American author credited with writing The Great American Novel about the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wacky Wednesday - Generative Design

Yesterday's quote from Charles Kettering was about keeping an open mind and finding opportunities in any industry. Well, are you ready for something truly fascinating? I was amazed about this:
We tend to think that computers would design things in a clunky, logical fashion; but instead they take after nature, looking to provide the best support with the mininmal material. Each of these pieces are designed for the same structural load and forces, but the last one is using a latest form of algorythm in a practice called Generative Design.

And it can be applied to more than structural supports. How about car frames:

or engine blocks?


I find the concept fascinating. Who knows where it will appear next. Perhaps it will be how the cast is made for the next broken bone you see:


For an interesting article on the topic, click here

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Leadership Quote - Charles Kettering (Belated)

Created by Erin Morey

Sorry for the delay in posting. This weekend was a Cub Scout Camping Trip, and we came home to a power outage. But we are back up and running, so here is this week's quote!

Charles Kettering was a prolific man. Inventor, engineer, businessman, and holder of 186 patents, I wonder what he would think of the world today. I'm sure his quote would resonate even stronger with the rapid pace of technology and the availability of rapid fabrication procedures and 3D printers.

With that in mind, I would complement this quote by stating that the opportunities are limitless in every industry because you never know what new discovery or technology can do to an industry. Just last month, as I presented to the PMI Nashville Symposium, I stated: "Your position is no longer secure. It is no longer enough to take a project from start to complete. You must be able to see how the project fits in the business strategy. If you can't do that, you won't be a Project Manager for very long."

So what are you doing to explore the opportunities? If you aren't making the opportunities, what are you doing to stay abreast of them? Industries will change without notice, and if you aren't trying to stay on top of it you'll wake to find that your cheese was moved. Keep that open mind and prepare for change. It is one of the few constants a person can count on.