Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - 1 in a Million! - NFL

No (real) football this week. So to tide you over, I bring you the 1 in a million plays of the NFL. Have a great week!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Leadership Quote - Dee Dee Myers

Created by Erin Morey
As we take a break from to prepare for the Super Bowl, I found this quote to be overly appropriate. There are so many conversations about the leadership of the two teams, and what the leaders and coaches of the teams will need to do in order to win. But there are more leaders than just on the football field, and perhaps some of the most important leaders are identified in this quote:

I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn't.
 - Dee Dee Myers, Clinton Administration Press Secretary

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Do You Know Your People? Do You Show You Care?

Over the weekend I was at Vanderbilt University learning about their Executive MBA program (always learn). During the preview session, one of their professors, Michael Burcham, provided details for one of the courses he teaches, Launching New Ventures. I won't go into those details, but he did say something that sparked a couple of memories that I thought should be shared, especially as a lesson learned.

I'm paraphrasing here, but what Michael said was:

With the way the world and business is today, I guarantee you that one of your coworkers is homeless. Someone is living in a car or crashing on a sofa. Do you know who that is?

Those words took me back more than a decade. The 4th Infantry Division just returned from Iraq in 2004 and soldiers were returning home to the families. Perhaps you've seen the news with the joyous returns and pictures of soldiers kissing wives or lifting kids into the air? It's supposed to be a happy occasion, a return to their loved ones! Unfortunately, not all those encounters were happy ones. One Specialist (SPC), who was 21 years old, returned after a year-long deployment to his apartment to find his wife had moved her boyfriend in and he wasn't welcome anymore!

Not my soldier, From The Blade in Toledo
The SPC grabbed some of his belongings and immediately walked out of the apartment. He didn't want to admit to anyone that anything was wrong, didn't call anyone, but instead headed to an overpass near the military base and set-up base camp.

For the next 3 weeks, no one knew there was a problem. He showed up at PT at 05:30, showered on base, ate at the DFAC, did his work and then returned each night to the overpass. He put up a brave front, never showing anyone how much he was hurting. It wasn't until one of his fellow soldiers was driving home from a movie and happened to go under that overpass, recognizing the SPC, that we learned about the situation!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - "What are you doing?" - NFL Style

After last week's playoff games and this past weekend's division championships, I thought it would be fun to see some of the more "interesting" plays in the NFL. The real lesson here is that even professionals can make mistakes. Pay attention all the way through until you're done, and not just until the finish line is in sight!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Leadership Quote - Harry S. Truman

Created by Erin Morey
As the federal government is plagued by yet another shutdown I feel this quote is appropriate to share (thank you to my wife for pointing me to it!):

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. 
- Harry S. Truman, 33rd Us President

The media is having a field day pointing fingers at Democrats, Republicans, the President, and all three are pandering for their own audiences, but I am at a loss to point to real leadership. How do you hold an entire government hostage to your bases' issues? People will go without pay, without work, without support, and without services because these two parties are too hung-up on grandstanding and not leading!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Can We Build It? - 3 Things To Know Before Building a Software Add-On In-House

Bob The Builder by HiT Entertainment

When my kids were growing up they loved a show called Bob The Builder. The show always focused on a challenge and sometime during the show the Bob would ask "Can we build it?" and the entire team would respond "Yes we can!"

This mentality permeates not only early morning kid's shows but apparently businesses too. I've worked with several companies that while working a massive software implementation (typically an Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP solution like Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics AX) decided to use in-house IT assets to build new code for the system and/or custom code a solution to a problem. The typical thought process goes something like this:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - Patrick Stewart... Cowboy?

My wife shared this on my Facebook feed, and I couldn't resist sharing it with my readers. Admittedly, I am a Star Trek fan, and Patrick Stewart is amazing! At this point in his life I honestly think he's just saying "Eh, Why not?" and it is great!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Leadership Quote - Confucius

Created by Erin Morey

A phrase about making too much out of a little thing is "making a mountain out of a molehill", but Confucius takes a slightly different approach:

Men Do Not Stumble Over Mountains, But Over Molehills
- Confucius

In this case, Confucious is telling us that we should sweat the details because it is the details that can trip us up. Leaders are often encouraged to keep to the big picture and not sweat the small stuff. What I've learned over the years as a project manager is it is the small stuff that will kill a project; because those small items can start to accumulate quickly. Now a leader must trust his/her team in order to accomplish the mission, goal, objective but there is a reason why "Trust but Verify" is Morey's Laws #3. In the military, we called it spot checks where a leader will go out to the field and look at specific details for a mission, equipment, unit, etc. The intention of these spot checks aren't to play "Gotcha" but instead to:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Are You Celebrating Your Victories?

Image Courtesy of Ambro at
Are you taking the time to celebrate your victories? How about recognizing your key performers? Too often leaders expect their team to just do their job, and the only time the members get an indication of whether they are doing good or bad is when they are being yelled at for a mistake, and this is despite studies that show people are motivated by praise and will work longer and harder for a manager who provides praise rather than scold.

For this reason, I often say that many managers and leaders will finish a job but not Complete it, and hence why the final C in the C4 Leader formula is Complete. One of the aspects of Complete is recognizing milestones and significant team players throughout a project. A while ago I was on a project for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation, and I came in as the 4th Project Manager. The project was supposed to last 18 months, but 3 years later I joined the team as it was struggling through the bog of missing requirements, rotating developers, and apathetic management support.

With the help of new Functional and Quality Leads, as well as a redefinition of process and roles, the project lurched into motion. Roughly 6 months after the project stabilized we were able to go live with a Phase 1 version of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 implementation.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - Great Photos, Right Moment

Over the years I've gained a whole new apprecaition of photography and visuals, thanks mostly to my wife Erin Morey. You see, I'm mostly an auditory learner and I don't tend to see pictures in my head, but instead words and phrases that catch the significance of a situation. As my exposure to great photography and art has grown, I've come to appreciate a strong visual. Today I share a series of perfect timing pictures:

I Took A Photo Of My Brother. He Jump At The Right Moment And It Looks Like He Has To Go Because His Planet Needs Him

Perfect Timing

Pier Sunset
John H. Moore

If you would like to see more, please click here!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Leadership Quote - TS Elliot

Image Created by Erin Morey
Last week we celebrated New Years, and as we continue into 2018 I wanted to share the words of T.S. Eliot:

Only Thos Who Will Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go 
- T.S. Eliot

Today I invite you to review your goals for the coming year. Are they SAFE Goals? Perhaps they might be too safe? The world today tends to be extremely risk adverse where companies and people only make minor adjustments in areas where they can be reasonably certain of the end results. Instead, the people and companies that make a splash are the ones who take the risk and perhaps can even go too far. What was the world like when Steve Jobs introduced his Apple iPhone? At the time could it easily have been a flop?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - Looking Back 2017

As we progress into the first week of 2018, I found an article that identified a few scientific items from 2017 that, well makes you say "Whoa, that's awesome. (from" Considering the quote this week from Albert Einstein about learning from yesterday. I've listed the first 3:

1. The total solar eclipse transfixed the nation and I MISSED IT! We are in the Nashville area, so we should have had prime viewing of the eclipse, but mother nature can be a heartless creature sometimes. 5 minutes before the total eclipse started the winds shifted and roughly 2 minutes before the full eclipse a cloud that wasn't a threat before moved between ourselves and the sun. The cloud cleared the view roughly 4 minutes after thte total eclipse had passed.  It was amazing to watch the world go dark, but my wife and I along with several friends from out of town missed the event, thanks to good old mother nature!

2. Gene therapy approval by the FDA falls into the "Cool, but..." category. This is one of those items that could be used for good, or could easily find its way into medling with things that many would argue shouldn't be meddled with. Are you familiar with the movie Gattaca?

3. CRISPR became an even more precise tool to fix nature's "mistakes." As if to back up my point, number 3 falls into the same category. Another tool to rewrite genetic code. The current target is to cure genetic disease, but what other areas could this be used for? How about Kahn from Star Trek?

From Star Trek: Into Darkness

As we continue to progress in science and in many other areas of endeavour perhaps it is more important than ever that good leadership be present. I can think of a lot of good and an end of suffering from these things, but our popular culture warns us about the impact of this path:

From Jurrasic Park

When I first started writing this post I didn't think it would turn into an ethics conversation, but it has migrated in that direction. Science will continue to progress and it is up to leaders to ensure it is for the benefit and done ethically. Leadership is more than about accomplishing a goal, but also about accomplishing the right goals. Next week I'll post a quote and talk about goals needing to scare you, but perhaps the follow-up question should be "Is it scaring you for the right reasons?"

I won't review the whole list, but thought the article was worth sharing. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Leadership Quote - Albert Einstein

Created by Erin Morey

As we celebrate the end of one year and the start of another, I think of the words from Albert Einstein:

Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Hope For Tomorrow
- Albert Einstein

Let's look back to 2017. What have you learned from the year past? What did you do well? What could you have done better? Many people will not take the time to look back before considering the path forward, especially in a leadership or business sense. That is why Complete from the C4 Formula is so important. Have you really taken the time to learn from yesterday?

Live for today. Do you enjoy what you are doing? Are you acting with motivation, perspective, and a plan? Or are you just going through the motions, unclear on what you want to accomplish and trying to take everything one day at a time? If you find yourself in the latter than you are probably not living for today, but instead marking time wishing for a better tomorrow, rather than hoping for it. In addition, Living For Today means being present in the moment. Right now will never come again, and even the moment that you are reading this has already past. Are you present in what you are doing? Working with intention?