When I was active duty Air Force, our organization had an E-9 (for you AF peeps, get over it, he was not a Chief). He would stand in front of the monthly all-hands meeting and put his hands on his hips like Superman. He would then tell the organization and all the leaders everything we did wrong. There was not a positive message….EVER! He was followed because he had the position. Despite his poor leadership the core mid-level leaders put the organization on their back and carried the organization to success. His team suffered because of his ego clouded his judgement. He felt we all needed to bow down because he was the tribal elder. News flash: as Zachary Davis stated, people leave their jobs either because the leader or they feel their work is not valued. There are no bad teams only bad leaders. We had more retirements during his tenure…coincidence?
Blame game: A leader’s ego will drive them to blame the team. The leader will blame the sales team for not meeting the quarterly quotas. The coach will blame the players the team captain will blame the coach. Nobody wins. The leader owns their space, the leader owns their department, and the leader owns the successes and failures of the team. When the leader gets in the blame game instead of owning the stumbles, the leader loses…the team loses. It is the leader’s responsibility to assess the situation and figure out a way (with the help of the team) to give the team the tools, coaching, and actionable guidance to overcome the challenges. The team and the leader will grow in the process.
Leaders put the team first and hold themselves accountable first. The sum is greater than its parts. Every leader will be faced with the situation when his or her team fails. At this critical point, the leader will decide to blame others or stand up and take ownership of the stumble. If the leader takes the responsibility, the team will rally around the leader. The team will grow stronger and have more respect for the leader. Respect equals success. Ownership equals success. Drop the ego!
Leadership is an active sport, get in the game!
I was recently in a training class and there were just shy of 50 participants. There were 5 ‘participants’ that never looked away from their laptop. They were totally disengaged from the learning opportunity. They wasted their time, the instructors’ time and distracted from the learning opportunity. Their actions suggested they were busier and more important than everyone else in the room. Be where your feet are! Be in the moment, be present.
Zachary Davis wrote an article titled, How to Run a Meeting, he witnessed someone eating tacos during the meeting. This person was shouting I am here because I was told to be here. This person was not in the moment and wasted their time and caused a distraction for the team. What did this action represent? Is there a small crack in his leadership armor?
Leaders have to be ‘all in’ with extreme focus every moment they are with a team member. Leaders set the tone of this ‘be where your feet are’ mantra. Leaders must communicate this through actions and words. Reflection time: During your meetings either in person or video, is everyone engaged and focused on the task at hand? Do you need to take action? Let your actions speak so loud that they can’t help to hear your words.
This mantra is so important for parents as well. I see laptops open and heads dropped looking at phones during their children’s athletic events. What is most important right now? There are so many lessons to be taught by parents by observing and striking conversations but one must be in the moment, you must be where your feet are. At the dinner table, is the TV on, are the phones on the table, is the family present?
Take a moment to reflect. Zachary wrote in an article titled, What Makes a Great Leader, he made a good point, leaders must be self-aware. Whether you are leading at home or at the office, we must be where our feet are because somebody is always watching the leader.
Leadership is an active sport, get in the game.
Although the core concepts of project
management remain the same in terms of Time, Cost, Scope, Quality, Risk, there are some common practices that can influence the outcome of each project. Examples of those success factors are as follows:
◆ Aligning strategy and projects to ensure that the project contributes to the organization’s strategic goals.
◆ Understanding the project’s scope and
objectives will determine the amount of work needed to ensure accuracy and effectiveness of the project’s deliverables.
◆ Identifying stakeholders early while also gaining their support, expectations, and agreement will improve the project’s success.
◆ Involving the project team ensures effective communication and determines roles and
◆ Tracking a project’s progress is a key performance measure.
◆ Managing changes helps the project
manager to allocate resources accordingly.
◆ Identifying risks enables the project manager to manage each risk and lessen its impact.
◆ Documenting key lessons learned as they occur allows the project team to apply those lessons during the project delivery.
Applying these success factors and best
practices in project management can
provide higher standards of performance in project delivery.
Project management is a team sport!
My high school football coach would say, “is it a skill issue or a will issue?” I borrowed this question and the meaning behind it and applied to my leadership and management arsenal. My coach took a simple question and turned it into a mantra of our team. This mantra enabled freedom and that freedom equaled success.
Now there are many skill will coaching models and management tools allowing a manager to assess an employee’s skill and will. Through this assessment the manager now can find the best approach to take with the employee for the given situation based on the data from the tool, matrix, or model. This seems to over complicate a simplistic leadership and management tool.
The next time there is a safety incident, failed inspection, a broken operational process, lack of performance, or high performance. Ask yourself and the team ‘is it a skill issue or a will issue.’ This approach has allowed the teams I have been on to find the root cause of the problem or define why an individual or team had success. If we were approaching a problem we would quickly identify if the individual or team needed resources to increase their skill or if it was a will issue. If it was a will issue then the leader knew more coaching was needed to put the individual or team in a position for success.
Leadership is an active sport so get in the game!