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

business, leadership, christian, family, management, technology

Posts Tagged ‘Leadership

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

Why Would Great People Want to Work Here?

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Mavericks at Work has 4 parts

1) Rethinking Competition

2) Reinventing Innovation

3) Reconnecting With Customers

4) Redesigning Work

I am reading through part 4 now and I think its the most important. Parts 1, 2, and 3 all depend on 4.

Everyone always says, “People are our most important asset.” It might be an over used phrase, but it remains true. Rethinking Competition, Reinventing Innovation, and Reconnecting With Customers can only happen with great people.

Mavericks at Work authors William C. Taylor and Polly Labarre often ask CEOs the following question…

Why would great people want to work here? (The answer can’t be about salaries, bonuses, or stock options)

It is a good question to think about……..for employers and employees.

Employers want great people to work for them.

Employees want great people to work with them.

Written by Aaron

April 14, 2008 at 7:30 am

Visibility

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Many leaders and managers depend too much on the people that they lead and manage to inform them of how things are going. Weekly, monthly, quarterly status meetings. Status updates via email.

Is that enough visibility to be effective?

Things are happening…….and you are getting filtered messages about it after the fact.

Today’s technology allows for better visibility.

As a leader or manager, what if visibility to everything going on within your organization or team was only a few mouse clicks away? An online dashboard with key metrics. An online Program / Project Portfolio.

As a leader or manager, what if you were automatically and immediately notified when key projects fell behind schedule or key metrics started to trend in the wrong direction?

I am not saying that a leader or manager should always allow themselves to be dragged into the details……but down in the details is where things are happening. And shouldn’t you have visibility to that?

Written by Aaron

April 11, 2008 at 9:43 am

Why do we do what we do?

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I posted a few notes yesterday from Mavericks at Work.

One thing that I have noticed about all the successful companies that are profiled in the book is that they all know why they do what they do…….They all have a clear sense of purpose.

A few quotes from the book…..

– If everybody is selling the same thing, what’s the tie-breaker? It’s purpose.

– At the heart of every great company is a clear sense of purpose.

– The companies that get in trouble are the ones that are mushy about who they are.

My incredible wife, Jennifer, demonstrates this concept each weekend as a staff member of the Children’s Ministry at our church, Fellowship of The Woodlands. Each Sunday morning, she gathers a team of volunteers and reminds them why they do what they do.

She reminds them that they are planting the seed of God’s love as the children grow spiritually in a safe and secure environment while allowing the parents to hear God’s word without distraction.

Purpose is powerful.

Does your organization, team, staff, ministry need to be reminded why they do what they do?

Written by Aaron

April 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Notes from ‘Mavericks at Work’

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Still working my way through Mavericks at Work by William C. Taylor & Polly Labarre

Here are a few of the lines that are now highlighted in my copy of the book….

  • If everybody is selling the same thing, what’s the tie-breaker? It’s purpose.
  • How you talk about your company speaks volumes about how you think about your business. And ultimately, how you think about your business determines how well it performs.
  • If you do things the way everybody else does, why do you think you’re going to do any better?
  • Companies that compete on a disruptive point of view are defined as much by the opportunities they choose not to pursue as by the businesses they do enter.
  • Stop pussfooting around with “softball” issues such as corporate governance and stakeholder management and focus on what matters most in business – using every legitimate resource and strategy available to gain advantage over competitors.
  • Even in the face of massive competition, don’t think about the competition……..Just think about the customer.
  • At the heart of every great company is a clear sense of purpose.
  • We believe that a new wave of strategic innovation is being built around disruptive points of view.
  • The companies that get in trouble are the ones that are mushy about who they are.
  • The open-source movement clearly demonstrates that the more smart people you can persuade to work on a problem, the more likely it is to get solved.
  • You cannot motivate the best people with money. The best people in any field are motivated by passion. People do their best work when they are passionately engaged in what they’re doing.
  • Companies that successfully attract outside brainpower will absolutely eat the lunch of companies that don’t.
  • It’s amazing to think there are people inside big companies spending millions of dollars to rediscover knowledge that already exists.
  • You can think big without having to think of everything yourself.
  • Whatever day it is, something in the world changed overnight, and you better figure out what it is and what it means. You have to forget what you just did and what you just learned. You have to walk in stupid every day.

Written by Aaron

April 7, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Learning

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Edmund Morris wrote of President Theodore Roosevelt in his book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The President manages to get through at least one book a day even when he is busy.

Roosevelt once said….

Reading with me is a disease.

One book a day! That tells me that he was a man with learning as a top priority.

  • Is learning a priority for you?
  • Is learning a priority for your organization?

When you stop learning, you stop growing.

Stay tuned for a follow up post on something just as important as learning…..unlearning.

Written by Aaron

April 2, 2008 at 10:50 am

Focus

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Ran across this quote from Steve Jobs of Apple…..

“Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before. Certainly the great consumer electronics companies of the past had thousands of products. We tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

There is power in the ability to focus.

  • Any projects in your organization at work that someone should say ‘No’ to?
  • Any tasks or meetings in your daily schedule that you should say ‘No’ to?
  • Any chores or activities in your household that you should say ‘No’ to?
  • Anything in your family budget that you should say ‘No’ to?
  • Any ministries that your church should say ‘No’ to?

Not because they are bad, but because they are good…..and they are preventing you from focusing and doing something great.

Written by Aaron

April 1, 2008 at 8:17 am