Who do you work with? Boomers, Busters, Millennials, Post-Millennials? There’s a lot of differences that exist between each generation. There’s also a lot of information out there to help us understand and interact with each other in the midst of those differences.
I don’t want to underestimate the importance of understanding those differences. But we have a lot in common as well. I’d like to think there are some parts of the leadership development process that are as true today as they were a thousand years ago. I’ve come up with four. In my work developing student leaders I keep these principles in mind. I consider them to be timeless. Because of that, they’re vital to any quality leadership development program.
A student came up to my office because he had lost his cell phone. I asked him if he had tried calling it. He hadn’t thought of that.
We called his number and his backpack started ringing. We found the cell phone.
We’ve all lost things. I’ve lost my keys. I’ve lost money (no, not in Vegas). I’ve even lost one of my kids (wasn’t for too long, but he did look older when we were reunited). Losing things is a part of every leader’s journey. Things like time, resources, and key people. But there are personal things a leader just can’t lose. The moment a leader begins to lose one of these things, his or her ability to lead falters.
NOTE: This is a guest post by Garret Kramer, Author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life. I found this article to be very challenging to my own thinking and current paradigms. I am excited to read more in Kramer’s book, Stillpower.
These days, it seems that the same common concepts are stressed over and over in order to ensure team success. But I believe, from pee-wee to pro, that this standard coaching paradigm is simply not bringing out the best in our athletes. For evidence, just look at the erratic behavior of many well-known players. Not to mention that consistent excellence on the field — i.e., dynasties (yes, I am aware of salary caps) — has become a thing of the past.
So, if you and your team, company, or family are after steady achievement, reflect on these ten surprising concepts. Then see if any of them make sense for you.
We’re all busy. We can all fill up a to-do list with the greatest of ease.
But if you’re anything like me, it’s sometimes difficult to get the stuff on the list done. Of course, there are all kinds of strategies of what to do and how to do it. But even the best strategy can be thwarted by an untimely or irresistible distraction. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a strategy until they get punched in the face.”
I’m trying to avoid as many punches to the face as I can. For me, the problem isn’t creating my strategy or implementing my strategy to get stuff done. My problem is dealing with the distractions (that often serve as obstacles) I put in my own way or allow to be put in my way. With that in mind, here are ten distractions I’m constantly working to limit or avoid. These are the types of distractions I can actually do something about. Perhaps some of these apply to you as well.
One of the most influential books in my personal leadership development is Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It is profound in its simplicity.
In this post, I’m interested in addressing the first dysfunction Lencioni identifies – the absence of trust. Trust lies at the foundation of every successful team. It is the first thing that must be developed and maintained amongst teammates. Successful teams are built on trust and trust must permeate all phases of the team’s efforts. It might be cliche’ but the “T” in TEAM really does stand for TRUST.
Wouldn’t you agree? I have been in a number of situations where we wore the same uniform, but we were worlds apart when it came to trusting each other.
I will often be asked how I find the time, ideas, and insights for the posts I write here on timmilburn.com.
My response: Everyday. Everywhere.
I carry a Moleskine notebook with me all the time (Steve Farber calls this a WUP). When I observe something or have a few moments to reflect – I start writing. Over time, those thoughts find their way into posts, lessons, training material, etc. Some of them simply live in my notebook.
So here’s about 19 (well, it’s exactly 19) orphan thoughts that have yet to find a home (until now!). They are fairly random. Perhaps you’ll find them useful for your own reflection or writing. If one of them evolves into a blog post for you…let me know!
1. Information comes from a variety of sources. If I’m not tapping into that variety, I have a narrow perspective.
“If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing right now.”
- Fred Smith
I was listening to talk radio the other day. They were discussing who they thought the hardest working actor in Hollywood was. After going round and round, they came to the conclusion it was Sylvester Stallone. If you don’t know the history of Mr. Stallone, here’s a brief snapshot:
After getting no career traction as an actor in his 20s, Stallone attacked his 30s like any 5’3 man should…He wrote a movie where he was an all-American hero with unbelievable success in sports. He did this while working as a deli counter attendant. That movie was “Rocky”… he banged out the “Rocky” screenplay in three days, in between working at a deli counter and as a movie theater usher… and it launched his career with an Academy Award for Best Picture.
The moral of the story, at least for this post, falls in line with the following quote from Max DePree: “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” If you and I want something to change in our lives, it means we have to change personally. It starts with us.
I had a recent conversation with a group of young people at a leadership roundtable. As we went around the table, each shared about success and failure as it related to using their time wisely each day. Some people acknowledged their tendency to procrastinate while others talked about the pressure of deadlines. Throughout the conversation, the one thing crystal clear to all of us was this: it’s often a struggle to get stuff done.
When it comes to my own productivity and growth, I find myself struggling in two key areas:
1. I am not sure what to do next.
2. I know what to do next but I’m not sure how to do it.
Each of these areas can paralyze a person into inactivity. It is the uncertainty that keeps me in a holding pattern. I think this all relates to the way we approach the goals in our lives.