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

business, leadership, christian, family, management, technology

Posts Tagged ‘management

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

Systems and Processes and People

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In almost any line of work, a smooth convergence of Systems, Processes, and People is critical.

  • Process and People without good Systems = Inefficiency
  • People and Systems without good Process = Wasted Talent and Wasted Technology
  • Systems and Process with People that don’t fully understand the Systems and Process = Inefficiency, Wasted Talent, Wasted Technology, Chaos, and Confusion

At work today, instead of our Systems, Processes, and People smoothly converging, they roughly collided.

Written by Aaron

April 21, 2008 at 9:09 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


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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


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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

Back to Business School – Day 2

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Continued through my Program Management training course at work today.

Overall, I would say I like the class. The class and methodology being taught has too much of a 1998 feel and not enough 2008. The instructor is actually pretty good if you can get past his political commentary that he seems to sneak into his presentations. The case study and team exercise have actually complemented the training material very well. Not always the case with these types of courses.

Today, the instructor talked about how program / project infrastructure and collaboration are critical to program / project success. He then proceeded to demonstrate this with a Microsoft Word based project definition document. I cringed in my seat. Microsoft Word is great for drafting a letter or a document, but collaboration……not so much.

Written by Aaron

March 26, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Back to Business School

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I felt like I was back in business school today.

I am participating in a Program Management course at work.

I learned a lot about HP Program & Project Management Methodology today and will learn even more over the next 2 days.

Some thoughts and questions that popped into my mind today:

– Is this still the best model for getting things done in business? I am sure many of the concepts I learned about today will always have a place in business, but could this whole methodology use some tweaking?

– This methodology is slow by nature. Slow doesn’t work anymore. The current business environment and marketplace require speed, agility, flexibility.

My key take away from today’s class…..

– Analyze and manage your sponsors and stakeholders. They can make or break your project / program.

Written by Aaron

March 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

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