Like the rest of you (probably) I have struggled at times to maintain high productivity. This most often happens when one of two conditions is present: I am either not being challenged or I am overloaded with priority tasks. I can waste time with frivolous pursuits if the first, and find it hard to focus if the second. Over time, however, I adopted a set of protocols that help to manage the load and keep me productive.
Military life is probably the largest leadership lab there is. You not only learn who the real leaders are and what makes people want to follow them, you also learn who the good followers are, those who do the job and will follow regardless of consequence. In short fashion and no particular order, here are a few take-aways from my long-ago sojourn in the military that still serve well today.
I am a big fan of blogs and podcasts, as readers here will know. One area of interest is the general topic of leadership. I rank these as my favs. They fall into general categories, which is how I’ve organized them here, virtually all of them are produced as part of a larger platform.
Project management is a discipline-centric process. Regardless of what type of project you are managing, be it a production process, communication project, construction, IT or any other; you are sure to have a folder full of forms and templates. Sometimes it seems keeping up with the meetings, meeting minutes, schedule updates, budgets, and executive reporting is more than a full-time job. Sometimes it is, indeed.
These days most of our face time seems to come by Zoom, Teams, and a host of other applications meant to improve connectivity, boost collaboration, and engage us in a more efficient and effective manner. Naturally, folks have figured out how to measure these benefits. I wonder, however, if they are measuring the most important quality of connectedness – commitment.
One of the best things that can happen to your career is the selection of a good boss. As you are being interviewed for your next position, you should also be interviewing your prospective leader. Both of you will be taking a chance on the other, so both of you should go into the relationship with your expectations established and eyes wide open. Your next boss knows what they will be looking for when they interview you, do you know what you are looking for from them?
Of all the topics I see bandied about in leadership focused blogs and books, accountability is one of the least discussed. That is a shame. Even a cursory look around will tell you that accountability, both personal and corporate, is in too short supply.
Leaders are involved in many different and complex relationships. Maintaining perspective and balance in these relationships is important to the continuing growth of the leader, and to those he or she leads. This does not happen by accident. It requires intent, attention, and character.
When organizations set out to implement large change initiatives, culture is always on the agenda. Culture, however, is merely a label used to summarize organizational beliefs and behaviors. To change culture, change the organization’s beliefs about itself and the way it acts as a result.
When our youngest was seven years old we gave him a police siren for his bicycle for Christmas. For two days he chased every visitor that came down the road on the way to our house, even pulling one of them over and suggesting that only a smuggled piece of Mom’s mince pie would stave off a speeding ticket. That, as it turned out, was the beginning of a career.