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Goals Archives, Page 1 of 1
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Aug18
Trust and Teamwork in Leadership

I found myself at the back of a pack of cyclists the other day. I had not ridden in several months and joined a friend and his group of riders in an effort to get from behind the din of a computer monitor to enjoy the sunshine and beach scenes that are so nearby. I certainly got what I asked for and also received a healthy dose of burning legs, oxygen depletion and a sore butt.

The group headed from Irvine, CA to Laguna Beach on Laguna Beach Canyon Rd. I was the least fit and subsequently rode at the back, glad for the draft from the other riders. To take full advantage of the aerodynamic benefit of following the group, I followed within a few inches of my friend’s back wheel.

At points on this road, the shoulder where we could ride became narrow. We snaked between the vehicle traffic that was backing up and the gravel and dirt of the shoulder (not our ride in photo).

This part of the ride required concentration. It was necessary to be aware of the groups speed and direction every instant. This situation caused me tocycling.jpg consider the importance of trust in any group. I thought about the trust that every rider in this group had for the rider in front of them. I had not ridden with this group enough to know their individual styles, habits and capabilities as cyclists. But we set out together with a unified goal and clearly defined course. Each rider’s expectation was that we would all follow this objective and that the group would move ahead as one. This commitment required each of is to not only ride for oneself but for the guy behind.

It was a nice reminder of some important principles of leadership:

  • Communicate a clearly stated goal or objective
  • Draw commitment to that goal or objective
  • Exercise trust in teammates
  • Create unity in purpose and commitment to teammateslaguna.jpg

I doubt any of the other riders were thinking about these principles as they applied to leadership. They were all experienced riders and these traits and characteristics came natural to them after hundreds of group rides. That is the point we would all like to reach in our organizations. Namely, that all or most of the team has learned these principles and naturally follows them. It only will happen through routine practice and if it is part of the culture. You can establish this culture as the leader.

Photo credit Laguna - Matthew Morton and Cycling - Joe Cashin.

Jan 3
Setting Goals Help
As I mentioned yesterday, not everyone is psyched about making resolutions or setting goals.  A book that seems to be getting a lot of buzz this time of year is for the person that doesn't really like the process of goal-setting.
magic lamp.jpg
The book is The Magic Lamp.

It is described on Amazon:

"Do you have trouble setting goals? Would you like to have greater focus, stronger follow-through, and achieve dramatically better results? Would you like to learn how to get anything you want from life--more money, a new home, a promotion, better relationships, a greater sense of fulfillment, or anything else you can imagine?"

While I have not read it, customer reviews were all positive.

"This book is different. It avoids all the cliches used in so many other books."

"I say it is "unique" because the writer is not one of those people who always knew what he wanted to do and did it. I could relate to him."

If this book does not seem like a fit for you, check out Coffee-Shop Schmuck.  He lists his top ten  books that can help you reach your goals.  Most he has read and gives you his personal review.
Jan 2
New Year, New You?
The New Year is upon us. I get a chuckle from all the talk about New Years resolutions. I mostly enjoy the skeptics that “resolve not to make New Years resolutions.”
2006.jpg
I always ask myself why it is so important for these people to declare that they have no interest in making a commitment to improve their lives. It doesn’t much matter to me that they don’t want to set goals for the coming year but what continues to amaze me is their interest in announcing it. I think it is that they refuse to be bullied by the tradition. My guess is they will make their goals on their own time.

I have a different view. I love the history of this tradition and the reminder it provides me to be grateful and to evaluate, learn and plan.

From The Age,

“Throughout ancient history it was not so much the new year that was celebrated, but the prospect of new life. The thawing of the snows and the warming of the earth, the flooding of rivers leaving deposits of silt to enrich the surrounding land, all heralding spring and the time to sow the new crops that would feed the people through the coming year.”

While most of our lives don’t revolve around the agrarian cycle, the metaphor is still relevant to today.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. So as midnight approached on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.

In Wales, tradition has it that at the first toll of midnight, the back door should be opened and then shut to release the old year and lock out all of its bad luck. Then at the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its good luck.

These traditions are valuable reminders that we must look back to learn and evaluate from the past year and then plan and set new objectives for the new year. It is the combination of looking backward for wisdom and forward with hope that enables us to reach our potential. Not doing both makes a resolution an exercise in futility and likely unattainable.
Nov18
Women Leaders Offer Insight ...part two
The second installment of highlights from a cover story by Newsweek a few weeks past entitled “How Women Lead."   Six more insights in to life and leadership.

"The thing that has always stayed with me is an axiom my dad gave me, which was, adversity breeds character. How you deal with the tough times really defines your character, who you are."
Stacey Snider’ Chairman, Universal Pictures

"I think most people like to work in environments where their ideas are respected. But you can't fake it. You have to really care what other people think. You can always tell who's paying lip service."
Shelly Lazarus, Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

"The best advice I've ever gotten is to set goals and believe I can achieve them…. It's applicable to everything I've tried to do, from school days to setting the course of my career. Believe in yourself, and then move toward your goal."
Stephanie Bell-Rose, President, The Goldman Sachs Foundation

“In any field, you've got to go out and practice, get to know your subject. You've really got to get the facts and know your stuff.”
Eileen Collins, NASA Astronaut, Commander, Space Shuttle Discovery

“You need a support circle. If it doesn't exist, then you have to create it.”
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem

“Women moving up in their careers often feel they have to be more aggressive, be more like men. They ought to find their own voice.”
Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation

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