Leadership — Colin Powell

I always thought Colin Powell would have made a great president. He was a great leader. He passed in October 2021, although fully vaccinated, from complications cased by COVID-19.

This from The Resourceful Manager:

It’s said that even the best battle plans go out the window the moment the shooting starts.

That’s how unpredictable and disruptive war really is.

It also explains, in large measure, why Colin Powell grew to be an excellent example of Situational leadership.

He remains one of America’s most admired figures, a man whose prestige transcended party lines and political ideology.

The situational leader holds to no single style, but adapts as needed, as the situation requires.

This was particularly crucial to Powell’s extraordinary career. As he rose through the ranks, this Harlem-born general-to-be needed to adapt to military bureaucracy and political reality.

Before long he found himself working side-by-side with presidents, dating back to Richard Nixon’s second term. That required a whole different set of leadership skills and principles.

In his book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, Powell takes the reader through a series of work-life realities. For instance, not everyone gets promoted, he says, because there simply isn’t that many slots at the top. And for those who chose to work nonstop long hours, those he affectionately calls “busy bastards,” they need to prioritize better and get some rest.

He is also fond of saying that “With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.” In other words, if you flock with eagles, you’ll learn to fly high.

***** S&E *****

It’s not about the car…

(work where you are valued)

A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you.

The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, ”Take him to the pawnshop.” The daughter went to the pawnshop, returned to her father and said, ”The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car. The daughter took the car to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it’s a Nissan Skyline R34, an iconic car and sought out after by many.”

The father said to his daughter, ”The right place values you the right way,” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

From Ty Bennett

visit tybennett.com for further info.

***** S&E *****

Log Entry no. 517: RTFM

(RTFM: read the friggin’ manual)

Cooter’s son moved into a townhouse. It had a two car garage with one door serving both bays, but no garage door opener. Cooter told his son he was buying him a ceiling mounted, electric door opener as a house warming present. So, Cooter went to the hardware big box store and purchased a recommended brand of opener.

Cooter’s son worked full time so he enlisted the help of his friend Axle to assist with the installation. The two spent four hours unboxing and wading through parts and parts bags and began the install. It included installing a new header, cutting, bending supports, drilling, wiring the controls, in all a little more than the two bargained for. Finishing the install, Cooter and Axle, pushed the wall control button and proudly watched the door operate flawlessly. They never read the instructions. They had left over parts which were put aside with the thought that it was good of the factory to provide “extras”.

Two days later Cooter’s son called to say that the door stopped working.

Cooter and Axle went to the house and after a thorough visual inspection dug out the instructions as a last resort. All remained a mystery until Axle said to Cooter, “look at the picture on the box”. It was crystal clear that the head unit which housed the motor and drive shaft for the opener was installed backwards. Backwards! Hours later they had switched the unit around and in doing so found the use of the “spare parts” from the factory.

A popular story in the family to this day! Pure genius!

***** S&E *****

A simple, spot on comment

I’m liking Allison Morrow’s “my two cents” comment  on “CNN’s Business Nightcap”, 10/7/2021, re the debt ceiling issue and Congress’s, let’s call it, behavior.

Morrow:  “This whole thing is extremely stupid and unnecessary.”  Nice summary  of the situation!

The very people who are arguing over the issue are the ones who created it.  Yes, stupid.  Yes, unnecessary!

***** S&E *****

150 miles and $2000+

The Multiple Sclerosis organization sponsors a nationwide fund raising event each year in cities across the US. The event, “The MS 150” occurs on a weekend. Bicycle riders raise a minimum of $300 each to participate in the two day ride, 75 miles each day. It takes about 8 weeks of training to prepare and in most cities 1000’s participate on the weekend ride.

So well organized! MS recruits 100’s of volunteers to manage registration, safety, rest stops, and medical and equipment support along the ride route. Many, many organizations volunteer their time and resources to support the ride.

We have biked the event several times. Recently, my son and I completed the event on September 11 & 12. 50 miles, total ride time 13 hours, 24 minutes. (almost equal time each day, a little over 6.5 hours).  Average speed 11.1 mph.  It was challenging, with the afternoons hot.  The second afternoon, the last four hours, was grueling due to the lack of shade, wide open farm lands that offered no cover from the almost constant wind. The equipment held up just fine. Together we raised more than $2000 for MS. In this event more than 1000 riders participated and raised more than one million dollars for MS.

***** S&E *****

20 Years…

20 years in Afghanistan, 1000’s of American deaths and even more disabling injuries, billions of dollars wasted on equipment, supplies and facilities, and look at the mess. Is there any hope that our government learns from this — that you can’t install democracy where it is not wanted, that you can’t change a culture that is rooted in warring factions, conflict, and religious hate.

20 years and look what we have accomplished.

It is so sad. Many Afghan citizens probably want a peaceful life, an opportunity to be successful, hope for an open and free educational system, long for a safe and free living environment, and look what they have.

20 years…

The human cost is the greatest cost of all.

Here is an article from Forbes, Aug 23, 2021 that itemizes the other waste of our 20 year war:

!https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/?sh=79e80c4141db

**** S&E *****

Experience

Ya just gotta love this quote, which based on my research, is credited to Will Rogers, Mark Twain, and others…

Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

***** S&E *****

“Looking for some Clarity…. “

Need a little organization?

… want to eliminate some confusion?  … at work, home, school? … maybe achieve more?

Confusion in your life?  Mess on the desk?  Feel overwhelmed? Just  seems like you can’t get anything done?

Take some quiet time; manage your space, do some planning:

If you have an office, close the door, A cube? Find a conference room

If neither? Use a library or coffee shop.

Put your stuff in boxes, mentally or actually draw them, label them. Use a notebook and “Post-its”, or, laptop and e-tools to display, organize, prioritize, and manage your boxes.

Set some priorities, most important box to least important, some boxes may have to be addressed simultaneously, Some tasks on multiple days, so identify task, day(s), time alloted those as well.

Examples: Your “work” box may have 8 or 10 sub-boxes / projects; your home box maybe 5 or more, make a personal time box, maybe a “me box”. However, they are related by time — they share your time, just so many hours in a day/week/month.

There are planning tools out there on the web that can help you manage your stuff. Consider this popular matrix… it comes in many forms and is highly adaptable.

In a previous post,  I noted that organization chart structures are handy organization tools… that tool might be used here and is especially handy for prioritizing things.

https://wordpress.com/post/successnexcess.com/588

One of the greatest culprits of disorganization or inefficiency is a perceived lack of time. Actually, there is always time! In many cases it can be a lack of “time management” skills.  The writer believes you don’t necessarily have to take a course / attend a seminar on the subject, although if it helps its worth the time (no pun intended). This blogger believes all you have to do is organize your stuff and follow Nike’s advice — “Just Do It”.  Commit to the time to make a plan, manage your time, allot time for each box,  and implement your plan, taking related actions to close out the tasks or work.  Lack of or poor implementation has been known as a cause of failed plans.

Above all, one has to commit the time to make the plan!

Do not let anything short of an emergency or critical event get in your way, or disorganize your day and time. Interruptions and priorities can change your day of course, but if it happens too often, life/work/time may be managing you rather than the other way around.

For the record, a messy desk is not necessarily a sign of a disorganized owner; in some cases it might be the sign of a big-time “multi-tasker”, or, a disorganized owner.

***** S&E *****

Just Plain Ugly !

If this does not make one angry, does not touch one’s sense of justice, then “one” might be part of the problem!

Curtis Flowers spent nearly half his life in prison for the murders of four people and may still be on death row if not for the investigative work of a podcast.

Badly broken in this case!

Read the story of Curtis Flowers as documented on 60 minutes and aired on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/curtis-flowers-in-the-dark-60-minutes-2021-07-25/

Then ask why the prosecuting attorney was never prosecuted. Above the law?

There ARE professional organizations who need to clean up their ranks. It only takes a few to darken and stain the reputations of some otherwise good professional organizations. And it is awful some are in the judicial system where the impact is personal and critical. This example is ugly.

***** S&E ****