When we returned to Hawaii after 13 years away, one of the first things I wanted to do was get back on my surfboard. After a little shopping around I found the perfect board: a basic, reasonably priced board, and then set off to re-conquer the Hawaiian surf. It would take several months of trying before my body remembered the lessons I’d learned a decade ago, but now I’m confidently riding the waves again. I learned and re-learned a few things while I was recovering my surfing legs, and those lessons are just as applicable to leadership as they are to surfing.… Read the rest
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Hiking in Hawaii is one of the joys of living here. There are hundreds of miles of trails leading to natural beauty unique to the Islands of Aloha, but despite the fact we’re on an island, it’s surprisingly easy to get lost. Whoever is leading the hike has to know where they’re going, and maintain perspective during the journey. It’s an excellent metaphor for leadership because leadership, especially at senior levels, is all about maintaining perspective.
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