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Passionate Certainty – Do you Live it?

October 8, 2012 Comments off

Two weeks ago I posted on “coming alive” – stating that finding your passion and living it is one of the key ingredients needed for you, and really, for yourself and everyone around you.  Related to this is one of my critical beliefs.  Passionate certainty – the belief you can achieve your dream by putting it into action.

In a business environment, we voluntarily submit ourselves to work and a career over many years and hours. Actually, more than we will spend with our families or with ourselves. So, part of this decision is to ensure you are passionate about what you are doing (do you know?) and with that passion, are you certain of your success in that role. With entrepreneurial companies, it is key you have both.

Three critical beliefs of pursuit are the subject of the next few posts.  I hope they help stimulate thought for a productive future!  By the way, after writing this, I found a great article similar to my thought process attached.

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit: epSos.de)

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Leading People to Come Alive

September 24, 2012 Comments off

Wisdom comes from the most unique and sometimes unexpected places.  My children attend a college preparatory school, and the chaplain, Fr. Patrick Funston, posted some of the following thoughts on his blog after his Wednesday chapel service.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

“Howard Thurman was a very early civil rights leader, a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Among his most notable accomplishments was the 22 years he spent as Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University starting in 1953.  He was the first African American to be named a tenured Chapel Dean at a mostly white school.”


“Fr. Fun” as the students like to call him, went on to say: “Passion begets interest.  Interest beget change.  People are much more likely to care about what we are doing when we are interested in it ourselves.”

His message was directed at the students in their daily and community service activities, but I also read it as another reminder of how we can effectively lead and manage our people.  Do you have a team that has “come alive” Have YOU “come alive”? If not, what are you doing about it?

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The Hero Complex – Quick Thoughts

March 4, 2012 Comments off
Superman: Up, Up and Away!

Image via Wikipedia

Growth or crisis spurs thoughts of bringing in or hiring the Hero, the problem solver, the operator, the cure-all.  Sometimes it works, many, it doesn’t.  A recent discussion recalled a lesson learned from one of my old companies:

In a previous company, we were growing and increasingly complex IT operational infrastructure.  I just couldn’t get enough people hired and trained and properly managed to control our growth – and well, in my location at the time, there just weren’t a lot of professional managers who could do what I needed done.  Finally, from exhaustive networking, a resume arrived – a professional, but with an expensive relocation package.

He interviewed perfectly and I went to work on the partners to pay what he wanted and get him moved.  I couldn’t wait to get him started.

During the move, I had my review session with our CEO.  He sent me an e mail and at the end, on personnel he said – I know you have high hopes for your new operations leader, but remember, “he ain’t no superhero” – keep an eye on him and don’t lose focus on operations.  It was advice I didn’t want to hear because my expectation was he would solve my problems and worries.  I thought, “you’re wrong, he’s the one”.

Of course, my CEO was right.  I fired him in 90 days – and I went back to work on operations. I might have even paid him more in severance than I did for actual work!  My CEO also left me with one of the only review sessions I actually remember.

My potential employee convinced me and I convinced me in believing in supernatural powers in human form.  That rarely happens in business and often results in disappointment.

Our society presses us that a quick fix, a pill, a solution exists for all our problems. Long-term solutions, sometime take long term effort.  Put another way, don’t let your perspective trump the reality of the situation.

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3 Ways to Find Go To People – They Get it Started, Get it Done

December 30, 2011 Comments off

Do you have a team that’s “Go-To?”  I recently read an article in the Ivey Business Journal titled: “Go to People: What Every Organization Should Have.”  Jeffrey Gantz sums the situation up in an interview: “You know”, said the newly appointed CEO of a large company, “I have more than 1000 people in my head office organization; 900 can tell me something’s gone wrong, 90 can tell me what’s gone wrong, nine can tell me why it went wrong, and one can actually fix it!”

How true:  We as leaders continually strive to leverage ourselves, but in the process we become the over-leveraged “Go-To” because we hire too many people who tell us something’s gone wrong; rather than hiring those who also have the skills to fix it.  It’s a hard dilemma to solve in an interview with a prospective employee, but one I continually work to perfect.

Leverage title screen

Image via Wikipediaually work to perfect.

It’s time to leverage our go-to people or find the right ones.  Here’s what I work on.

1. Ask or Watch –  Carefully – Does the Person Take Initiative to Solve the Little Problems?

2. How – Watch or See Examples

3. Look for a Conclusion to the Work – Did they Finish What Was Started?  Successfully?  How?

Once you have them, make sure you motivate them appropriately and send the right kinds of appreciation.  Define what makes a winner, reward them and always find ways to keep them.

Happy New Year

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