In military parlance, a Common Operating Picture (or “COP”) is a single presentation of the battlespace to a wide and distributed audience. The purpose is to provide common understanding and situational awareness for all involved. I’ve adapted this idea to graphically display the “battlespace” a leader has to understand so the team can achieve success. Leaders must harmonize the needs of their organization, their task, and individual team members to prevail. It’s a complex and people-focused job. If a leader can find the sweet spot in the “Leadership COP”, then they’re truly leading teams to high performance.… Read the rest
Are you one of the Too Many
or one of the Too Few?
What are you doing to
become a more Dynamic Leader
who learns good lessons from bad leaders?
Too many leaders are concerned with where they are going,
Too few are deliberate about where they are taking their followers.
Too many leaders worry about what their boss thinks,
Too few are aware of what their followers think.
Too many leaders fixate on their individual futures,
Too few center on the future of their followers.
Too many leaders zero in on their professional tomorrow,
Too few target their organizational today.… Read the rest
Do you lead like a rich person?
Do you lead like a poor person?
An Afghan Air Force General asked recently through his translator…
Do you lead like a rich person or a poor person?
My western mind immediately wandered to visions of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and tried to compare their leadership styles with that of members of lower income brackets. No connection could be made. The leadership of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs alone are polar opposites, much less trying to compare them to other leaders. I was baffled by this query.… Read the rest
Growing up, one of my favorite television series was Mission: Impossible. The immensely popular program chronicles the adventures of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), a team of government spies and specialists who are regularly offered “impossible missions” (should they decide to accept them).
Outside of the cool gadgets and spectacular stunts, what I most enjoyed about the series was that it reinforced how, with a well-executed, methodical strategy, just about anything’s possible. Take a lesson from a real life mission impossible, the race to be the first to the South Pole, as a case-in-point.… Read the rest
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’ Many of you will remember this popular rhyme from elementary school. In fact, you may have even recited it a number of times as kids as it’s a common childhood idiom we use to remind people they cannot hurt us with the bad things they say or write about us. Well, now that we’re all a little older (and a little wiser), we know that this isn’t quite true.
Words have derailed political campaigns, ruined marriages, started wars, and destroyed businesses.… Read the rest
“99% of excuses come from people who make excuses”
Does anybody send cards to the President on President’s Day? It’s probably not a lucrative business model for Hallmark or American Greetings, as there would only be a handful of recipients available…but it’s worth a thought! Presidential character and growth has been the subject of much discussion over many generations–as the very feat of rising to such a pinnacle of leadership seems so daunting for many of us. What we fail to realize is that Presidents all started out like you and I–ordinary people honing their leadership skills and style through personal growth and experience. … Read the rest
Thomas Merton, in his book, The Wisdom of the Desert, recounts a story of the early desert fathers. These were men who gave up everything to live a very simple monastic lifestyle focused on setting aside all elements of self in order to focus on building relationships of service toward others. However, even these pious, selfless men struggled with the battle between pride and humility.
Merton shares an example in which a certain brother was consistently praised by his contemporaries in the presence of Abbot Anthony, the leader of the community.… Read the rest