Here’s an idea to help you to stay connected to all parts of your organization. Reading time: 3:10.
Can you hear it?
Can you see it?
Oh yes you can if you are 8 years old again.Turn back the clock with me.
There I am watching my choo choo train snake around the Christmas tree. This was no ordinary choo choo train. It came with scenery that you could set up, trees, and houses and yes even city lights. Wow. City lights.
But then suddenly, ominously, mysteriously those lights flickered and went out and so did my enthusiasm. I was so sad and mad. Everything seemed plugged in.
Why isn’t my train running? The lights on our Christmas tree were on so I knew the electricity was on. The switch on my train was on. But nothing was moving. Everything seemed dead. And I felt like crying or screaming. I was having a bad day.
But then my dad saved the day.
He found a loose wire underneath the track. He showed me how to apply an electrical connector so that wire would stay connected. I twisted that orange connector that looked like a long jelly bean.
Then suddenly those lights beamed in all their splendor. And then I heard my train erupt back to life and once again my train whistled Woooo…..Woooooo……Wooooo. I was so happy.
That little electrical connector made such as impression on me for its ability to keep all parts connected and to assure that productivity is plugged in and continues to deliver power that today I use those electrical connectors as a symbol of the connections that leaders make to keep their organizations running.
Here’s an idea to establish more trust in your relationships. Reading time: 3:03.
The executive director showed up unexpectedly at the summer camp his organization sponsored. He made the rounds, inspected the facilities and noted the cracked window, the torn screen and the dirty walls.
Then the executive confronted the camp director with the infractions. In a few hours the camp facilities were back in working order.
Meanwhile on the other side of the lake, the executive director of another sponsoring organization showed up unexpectedly at their summer camp. She made no rounds. There was no inspection.
She visited with the camp director and then together they walked randomly through the camp grounds without any predetermined itinerary to visit briefly with other counselors.
The facilities were in good working order. No cracked windows. No torn screens. No dirty walls.
Here’s an idea to build self esteem that sustains your team. Reading time: 2:41.
Forget rewards. Try “prewards” to motivate your troops.
What’s a “preward?” Same as a reward except it’s presented BEFORE an expected behavior or performance.
Consider General Douglas MacArthur in World War II. The day before a planned battle, he took off his own Distinguished Service Cross and pinned it on his battalion commander. “I’m confident you will earn that Distinguished Service Cross when you lead your men into battle tomorrow,” MacArthur predicted.
Not if. When. He did. And they were victorious.
A “preward” ups the ante in personal expectation to an act of faith in others that can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
A “preward” can be something like the title or label you give to a group or an individual.
Here’s an idea to help strengthen your ability to lead with others. Reading time: 2:47
Quick quiz. For an effective partnership, how much of an investment in more than financial terms should each partner make: 50-50 percent sounds about right, doesn’t it? Not to a leader like General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the United States and its allies to victory in the Desert Storm in 1991.
Leading demands complete and total investment in commitment from both parties.
Forget the quid pro quo 50-50 (percent) focus that by definition places limits on each partner’s investment in time and attention to the business at hand.
Instead think 100-100 percent total commitment from both partners, advises Schwarzkopf.
Think of your business partnership as if it were a marriage. Your business marriage demands total and complete attention to each other. Your business marriage demands a 10-fold increase in attention from both partners for each and every product or service given birth through this union.
At least that’s the way Schwarzkopf sees it. He compares a partnership in business to a partnership in marriage. “Marriage is not 50-50 (percent) . That’s baloney. It’s 100-100 percent. And in raising kids it’s 1000-1000 (percent)!
Here’s an idea to solidify your sense of integrity. Reading time: 2:38.
Watching a spider weave its web is a lesson in leadership execution and disciplined project management. So resourceful. So committed. So deliberate.
As I watched a spider create something from deep within itself, something that was meant ultimately to help sustain it (with food caught in its threads) and protect it (from prey), I thought how much a leader’s integrity is built and maintained much like the integrity of a spider’s web. From within.
Just like spiders build their webs thread by thread, leaders build their integrity, decision by decision, action by action– each previous action serving as a stepping stone to each subsequent decision, each subsequent action. All decisions –like all threads– connected, coordinated, and concentrated.
Indeed nothing happens until the spider – and the leader—initiate an action, an action that comes from deep within. Consider the spider’s initial action that spawns the dawn of a pending achievement–a full web woven in less than hour.