– living the dash (this blog has moved to livingthedash.tv)

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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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Written by Aaron

May 13, 2008 at 10:51 am

Quotable

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Most great communicators, writers, and authors are masters of carefully crafting words into 1 or 2 sentences to communicate a message or concept.

They are quotable.

John Maxwell is one of the most quotable authors I have read. His books are full of numerous sentences or phrases that are perfect for jotting down on a sticky note or whiteboard in your workspace.

But John Maxwell is not only quotable, but he appears to be a lover of good quotes from other quotable people.

Here are a few quotes that John included in his book, Talent Is Never Enough……..

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. – Indian statesman Mohandas Gandhi

When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do. – Industrialist Charles Schwab

When you discover you’ve been leading only half a life, the other half is going to haunt you until you develop it. – Phillip Brooks, writer of the song “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true self. – Psychologist and philosopher William James

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. – Benjamin Franklin

Contrary to popular opinion, life does not get better by chance, life gets better by change. And this change always takes place inside; it is the change of thought that creates the better life. – Attorney Kerry Randall

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Written by Aaron

May 12, 2008 at 8:34 am

Being Big

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Really like this post by Tim Stevens at leadingsmart.com

Tim and the rest of the senior team at Granger Community Church decided that…….

We will not be the team that leads a church so big and flabby that it is impossible to move.

I work for one of the largest companies in the world and I attend one of the largest churches in America, so I understand that being big definitely adds complexity to change and innovation.

However, being big is never a valid excuse for avoiding necessary change and innovation.

Written by Aaron

May 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

Talent Is Never Enough

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I just started reading Talent Is Never Enough by John Maxwell.

The book covers 13 things that can take talent to the next level.

1) Belief Lifts Your Talent

2) Passion Energizes Your Talent

3) Initiative Activates Your Talent

4) Focus Directs Your Talent

5) Preparation Positions Your Talent

6) Practice Sharpens Your Talent

7) Perseverance Sustains Your Talent

8) Courage Tests Your Talent

9) Teachability Expands Your Talent

10) Character Protects Your Talent

11) Relationships Influence Your Talent

12) Responsibility Strengthens Your Talent

13) Teamwork Multiples Your Talent

Personally, I would say I am in pretty good shape on about half of these items, but I have some room for development in some of the areas like Belief, Preparation, Perseverance, Relationships, and Responsibility.

How about you? Which areas could you improve in to enhance your God-given talent?

What about your team, organization, or company? Is talent being wasted because 1 or more of the 13 items is missing?

Written by Aaron

May 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Organizational Clarity

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Just added Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, to my Amazon Wish List.

The Four Obsessions…….

  • Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team
  • Create organizational clarity
  • Over-communicate organizational clarity
  • Reinforce organizational clarity through human systems

Extraordinary Executives create Extraordinary Organizations via Extraordinary Clarity

Written by Aaron

April 29, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Choosing Your Battles

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The other day, during an away from work conversation about work, a colleague of mine said…..

You have to choose your battles.

It is one of those cliches that we have all heard a million times, but hearing it again got me thinking.

At work, whenever I notice a poor process, an ineffective tool, or an inefficient way of doing things, my first reaction is usually, “Let’s just fix it….now”.

But in most organizations, especially large organizations, it is not always that easy.

I am learning that I can actually increase the pace of change by carefully choosing my battles.

When I make noise and try to drive immediate change for everything that requires change, I run the risk of damaging work relationships, overwhelming myself and others, and creating even more resistance.

When I focus on driving change in 1 or 2 areas that require change, I am able to strengthen work relationships through teamwork, develop some examples of success, and build an environment where people are open to more change.

Written by Aaron

April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm

An Evening With Guy Kawasaki in Houston

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I spent the evening listening to Guy Kawasaki at the Houston Technology Center.

He touched on topics from his book The Art of The Start.

Very entertaining. Very informative. And I want to go start my own company soon…like tomorrow.

My key take aways from tonight:

  • Startups aren’t just for others. I can do this.
  • A business that exists just to make money won’t do well.
  • Get going. What am I waiting for?

Here are the rest of my notes:

1) Make Meaning

  • Change the World
  • Do things 10x better

2) Make a Mantra

  • 2 or 3 words that explain why you exist

3) Get Going

  • Think different
  • Polarize people (Some people should love what you are doing, some people should hate what you are doing.)
  • Find a few soul mates

4) Define a business model

  • Be specific
  • Keep it simple (I like simple)
  • Ask women (interesting)

5) Weave a MAT

  • Milestones
  • Assumptions
  • Tasks

6) Niche Thyself

  • Only you do it
  • And it is very valuable

7) Follow the 10/20/30 rule

  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 pt font

8) Hire infected people (cool..wordpress turns my #8 into a smiley face)

  • Hire people who love what you do
  • Ignore the irrelevant
  • Hire better than yourself
  • Apply the shopping center test ( ?? should have taken better notes on that one)

9) Lower barrier to adoption

  • Flatten the learning curve
  • Don’t ask people to do something that you yourself would not do
  • Embrace your evangelists

10) Seed the Clouds

  • “Sales Fixes Everything”
  • Let a hundred flowers blossom
  • Enable test drives
  • Find the influencers

11) Don’t let the bozos grind you down

Written by Aaron

April 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm