What Have You Done For Me Lately?

We are only as good as our most recent project, achievement or game. Isn’t that what people say?

On the other hand we’re not supposed to consider too strongly the sunk costs of things that happened in the past.

Learn from experience for sure, but don’t make future decisions based upon only what you’ve already invested.

Yet another trial of the “live in the moment” world.  It’s a real challenge to be a realist, to discover the current facts, and to enjoy the glow of hope while not relying on dreams.

Principle #106: Leaders Are Believers

Or, put another way, only people who believe are likely to be followed.  

As a “leader” one must have the values and principles of the program or organization not just committed to memory, but embedded in the fiber of their being. They must get energy from these things, and thus will transmit energy to others in their world.

To believe you must know, and you must work to be sure that ALL of the people important to the organization also know; that they look through the lens of the values and speak the language of the principles and standards.

True belief in an action, even if the outcome it uncertain, is a mark of a real leader.

Planning matters, plans are useless

Checking boxes, feeling productive when you get thru a pile of emails that have no real impact on your work, taking a deep breath and being relieved when the “workday” is over…FEELS GREAT!

We often celebrate “getting %*&@#$ done” without assessing whether or not we are actually moving forward.

What if we spent more time considering the bedrock concepts that drive us and our business/team/operation?  If we dug into the why, the reasons behind, the what-if-it-worked, we might have more impact.

Spend time working on the plans, working the process (sound familiar?) to create a great plan and the execution itself will be easier. 

Passion is my passion

Do we really need to find our passion? Or, even a passion at all? Is this a requirement for happiness as much of the world is telling us?

If we’re supposed to have a passion and we don’t feel as if we do, does that mean we are a failure? Does it mean anything? (While I’m at it, is “meaning” really all that important?)

I say be passionate about the thing or things that fuel you passionate bones at the time. Be where you are and do that thing really well…be that person at a high level.

When we take a deep breath and work to be our best current selves I believe we make ourselves and others better without even trying to be something or someone in the future.

Principle #45: Why Not Change?

If you are currently dissatisfied, what’s the downside to making changes?

There are a lot of reasons why we don’t change.  Mostly they have to do with fear.

We fear losing standing or losing face if we admit weakness, and change is seen as admitting weakness, a fact that makes no sense yet consumes us in many areas.  What if we change and lose a game? On the way to improvement we may be seen as “less than”, somehow.

But, if you’re currently not happy with the situation, you are already “less than” a future you may be able to create.

Why not make a change?

Could It Work?

What if you did the work to know what was truly important to you?

What if you saw all of your actions thru a lens of the values you believe deeply in? What if you really knew what those were?

What if you worked hard to really value the impact of your actions based upon higher values that winning and losing?  It might work.

Keep doing, and work harder on being.

Rule of Unwritten Rules

People have to sign things in order to participate.  From elementary school to the NCAA, one can’t participate unless they agree to do or not do certain things.  This we (mostly) easily accept, and regardless, the rules are really clear.

You likely have written rules for your team, no matter what type of team it is.  Perhaps a handbook, employee guide, posters in the lockerroom or a contract to sign.

On the flip side, many of us have more unwritten rules than written ones.  “Work hard”, “show respect”, “be a good teammate”, are all big picture unwritten rules.

Does everyone on your team know exactly what is meant by those unwritten rules? Do you know?

Perhaps you also have some that are similar to these: “freshman do the grunt work”, or “the head coach is always right”.

It’s time well spent to investigate and know what the unwritten rules are on your team–you may not even know that they exist–and to clarify the ones you like.  Even more importantly, shine light on the ones that are not valid or helpful to your team (“we drink a lot on Saturday nights”), and rid your team of these unhelpful rules.