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When Leading People Is Boring

When Leading People Is Boring

At some point you realize, leading people can be boring. Here’s how it happens.

Most people enter a career field because they love, or at least believe they will love, their craft. Doesn’t matter if it is programming, designing, video production, marketing, construction, IT, web, finance, etc.

And if you do well you will likely find yourself being promoted in some fashion. It may simply be a raise and being trusted with more significant projects. As leadership responsibility increases, tasks decrease. That’s a bit misleading, because you still have tasks, but you are no longer employed for your skill in your field, but rather for you ability to lead other people with the same skill (or related skills).

Feature Friday: @LeadershipFreak and “The Art of Work”

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Feature Friday: @LeadershipFreak and “The Art of Work”

Over the years I have picked up so many tips, tricks, resources, ideas, etc., from bloggers and news feeds that have been helpful. Learning from others has been a valuable resource for me personally.

So I wish to do the same. Occasionally I will post these “Feature Friday” posts that will deviate slightly from my normal content about leadership and communication. These posts will still center around those topics, but from the perspective of sharing a resource, idea, tip, trick, etc.

4 Ways to Break Organizational Habits

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4 Ways to Break Organizational Habits

The first Easter a newly married couple was together, they were eager to celebrate a holiday together. She eagerly planned a traditional dinner of ham and all her favorite dishes that she grew up enjoying on this holiday. Just like her mother taught her, she cut the ends off the ham, discarded them, and put the rest in the pan and prepared it for the oven.

Noticing that she had cut the ends off and discarded them, her husband was curious. “Why do you cut the end off?” he asked.

She thought for a moment, “That’s what you do when you cook a ham. My mom always did, and she taught me how to cook.” But now she was curious. A little while later she decided to call her mom and find out. Her mother responded the same. “I am not really sure. My mom always did it that way, and so I did as well. I guess you’ll have to ask her.”

So she called up her grandmother. Surely she would know the reason for cutting the ends off of the ham. “Grandma, I have a question for you. I asked mom, but she didn’t know the answer. Why do you cut the ends off the ham before you cook it?”

Leaders: Evaluate Processes, Not Just People

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Leaders: Evaluate Processes, Not Just People

Do you hate unnecessary steps in processes? I do.

Years ago I inherited my grandfather’s boat and trailer from my father. It wasn’t much, just a twelve foot Jon boat on a used trailer. But both the trailer and the boat are considered “vehicles” and therefore have to be registered with the state via my local county office. I knew that the trailer would have to be licensed and fortunately I had the out of state title that had been signed over to me by father who had carried the license in the years before I inherited the boat.

But what about the boat? It was a small boat, and as such, didn’t necessarily need a title as long as I didn’t put a motor on it. I could still register it without a title. But add the motor, and you need a title. Who wants to row around while they are trying to fish? So I went to the county to register and title my boat and trailer. I found out quickly that I could not title the boat without proof of ownership. There was one problem, as the boat was from another state that didn’t require a title, I had none. And I had no bill of sale since I had inherited it.

My Trusted System for Getting Things Done

My Trusted System for Getting Things Done

If you are not familiar with this term, where in the world have you been! A trusted system is your method for managing your tasks (open loops) in such away that you consistently get things done.

David Allen literally wrote the book on Getting Things Done. If you have not read the book, it is definitely worth it. I read the 2001 edition, but there is an updated version for 2015. Even if you read the original, it may be worth buying the new version as there are so many more available GTD tools today. Many of which are designed around David Allen’s GTD philosophy.

Let me be clear, this is a post about personal productivity. I am not talking about a system for managing team oriented projects.

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
― David Allen

The basic premise of a trusted system is that it allows you to account for all your “open loops” – those things you need to do, calls you need to make, projects you need to follow up on, including items that are well in the future that you need to remember at the appropriate time. Once in your trusted system, you don’t have to worry about forgetting them and your mind can relax. A trusted system includes behaviors (like regularly reviewing your “inbox,” “waiting,” and “next actions” lists) and tools (your chosen methods or applications for each).