Mid-Year Reflections

This is the last post for the month of June, which means the next time I post we will be in to the second half of 2019. So, as I am accustomed to reflecting at the mid-year and year-end, what follows is an assortment of reflections based on the first six months of the year. They are in no particular order and span a range of topics. Feel free to add yours on social media or in the comment section.


-Trust > Performance. (Credit: Simon Sinek)


-Forget all the fancy definitions of leadership. A leader is being someone others want to follow. If you look back and no one is following, you aren’t a leader (at least yet).


-I have spent the majority of my time off social media the last sixty days and do not miss it. I share because I have found value in using that time doing other things: reading, stretching, playing with the kids, etc.


-You have time to do what you are not doing. Time isn’t the problem, prioritization is.


-The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Taking 24 hours off work (specifically work- related email, thinking about work, etc.,) has renewed my energy for productive weeks.


-When the leader is not healthy (physically, spiritually, emotionally) everyone suffers (I highly recommend The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero).


-The above statement is not fair, but there are higher standards for leaders. And this should be so.


-I am prioritizing communication skills (one-on-one), humility, and ability to relate with other people on the team, when interviewing potential new team members. I would much rather have a connected, well-oiled team, than one with a bunch of gifted a-holes.


-One of the harder aspects of leadership is having more facts about a team-member, or situation, than the person complaining to you about that person or situation. Be sure to listen to the feedback, but process it with the person in question, not with the person giving it.


- “Just so you know” statements should always be followed with “and what are you doing about what you just informed me.” Don’t let others drop responsibility on your desk.


-As I have learned coaching Will in baseball, a dad’s words (or leader’s) carry extra weight. Use them cautiously.


-The greatest gift you can give your team, spouse, and family, is a well-rested, positive, you.


-A fair reading of most biographies should lead one to a greater sense of grace towards public figures. For, we all are fallen.


-Speaking of grace towards public figures, I continue to be amazed at how much energy people are using towards politics. While I cannot (honestly) claim that I am above the fray, I have discovered this year that the more I stay out of it, the more joyful I am.


-To be clear, however, I read my chosen newspaper (Wall Street Journal) just about every day to stay informed. Leaders don’t have the luxury of being ill-informed. I just work (it is not easy) to read with grace.


-Last one here, yes, I read a NEWSPAPER. Besides the book recommendation above, every leader should read Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. Of the many excellent points in the book, Newport strongly encourages readers to adopt “slow media” like newspapers instead of “scanning” news on unedited social media sites. I concur.


-Life goes by faster with each year. Given this certainty, complaining about the weather, or other things you cannot control, is a complete waste of energy.


Some quotes to ponder given the amount of anger in our society today:


“Losing your temper is a sign of weakness.” Jocko Willink


“It was the weakest form of leadership to win an argument through rank or position.” Leif Babin


“The one who wins the argument is usually the one who acts less like Christ.” Francis Chan


“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.” Thomas Paine


And to close, a few more comments for those of us in manufacturing to ponder:


“If the order is wrong, execute the order we should have given.” General Stanley McCrystal


“When you challenge what is, others perceive that as a criticism of who was.” Clay Scroggins


“You can have control, or growth, but you cannot have both.” Craig Groeschel


"I do not understand people who pee in their cereal and gripe because it tastes bad." Dr. Henry Cloud on gossip in the workplace.


I’ll be back in a few weeks. Until then, make it a great start to the summer.

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