Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The importance of wisdom

Posted May 2nd, 2010

So, today I finished the most difficult block of classes I've ever taken. More difficult than training to shoot in the Navy, more difficult than learning how to fuel a ship in the middle of the ocean 300 ft apart and transferring 300K gallons of fuel for our ship.

Today, as I looked back over the past 9 weeks of hell... I mean math, I realized that how I approach school is NOT the way I approach business and leadership. Which is a problem for me. I am a firm believer in the "6 P's of success". Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Production. courtesy of Don Hislop (my history teacher in high school). Well, this math class I should have followed those 6 P's better. I will pass the class... barely.

Here's what I learned that translates directly to being a leader in your company:

1. patience. This is probably the most vital part of any repertoire for a leader. Having patience in front of clients and employees shows confidence. It shows your staff that when times get tough, you as a leader becomes more focused. Not angry (at least visibly), not frantic, but cool, calm, and collected. Employees appreciate this in a leader. It shows them that they need to follow suit and that running around like a chicken with their heads cut off gets noresults.

2. Perserverance. The ability to "keep on keeping on". More often than not during the past 9 weeks, I was ready to pull out my hair. I knew that if I just threw my hands in the air and said "I can't do this", then honestly, I wouldn't be able to finish the class. When in a leadership position, showing people that even when good ol Mr Murphy sticks his nose in our business and tosses a wrench in there, we can still move on shows clients and employees that your resolve is rock solid. Hopefully then encouraging them to keep on even when they feel as if they are defeated.

3. The end result isn't always indicative of the effort put in. While in this math class i'm going to barely get a passing grade, it isn't for lack of HOURS behind the computer and countless trees cut down in my attempt to scribble down problems and solve them. I worked my ass off during this class. the grade I get is not indicative of the effort I put in. Same in business. Sometimes, projects fail. that brings on the last item.

4. Failure is not fatal. A favorite author of mine is Richard Marchinko. He was a Navy Seal for most of his career. He lead many groups into battle and in my opinion, is the epitome of a leader. His best quote is "I will not punish you for making mistakes, I will punish you for NOT learning from mistakes" I've coached, I've been a leader in business, I was a leader for a group of young men in the Navy. WE ALL make mistakes. Its what we do when those mistakes happen that sets us apart.

Lastly, being a leader isn't about being perfect. However as a leader we need to strive for perfection every day. We will never be perfect, but as long as we give it our all, that's all anyone could ask for.

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