The Indispensable Man

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,

You’re the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

~ Anonymous

Becoming Distinguished

A great list of ways to distinguish yourself from Joshua Becker on Becoming Minimalist:

  1. Be faithful with a little. (With your money, your body, your talents, your education, your upbringing, your opportunity, or your position, be faithful and disciplined to make the most of everything at your disposal. )
  2. Choose to live differently.
  3. Remain focused.
  4. Live humbly.
  5. Include others in your growth.
  6. Show grace to others.
  7. Appreciate different opinions.
  8. Bring optimism into every day.

Predictable is Preventable

I had privilege of hearing Gordon Graham in person many years ago. I can still still him blowing his train whistle. If you can predict it (“hear the train whistle”), you should be able to prevent it (“get off the tracks”). I talk to my kids about this all the time (“we shouldn’t have the dog on the top bunk”). The clip below is directed at law enforcement, but the concept applies to any field.

Standing Out

Brett & Kay McKay on The Art of Manliness give a good reminder that it is still possible to stand out in today’s hyper-competitive world :

While it often feels there’s a dearth of opportunity out there, the real scarcity in this world isn’t in openings, but in common sense, social skills, manners, reliability, and persistence.

Nail these basics, access to which is inexhaustibly abundant, and you’re no longer competing with the masses, you’re competing with the very small segment of humanity that understands and is willing to execute on the rare, but stupidly simple fundamentals.

What Should a Great Team Leader Do?

Todd Henry talks about the three things a great team leader must provide on the Accidental Creative:

Focus

Ensure that your team’s attention is allocated to the right problems at the right time.

  1. What are we doing? Ensure that every member of you team has a crystal clear understanding of what a successful outcome looks like on every level of their work.
  2. What are we not doing? Strategic pruning of priorities is necessary to your team’s ability to focus.
  3. When are we doing it? Expectations around timing effect the choices a team member makes throughout the day. Understand the priorities is critical.

Function

Ensure that your team has the resources and processes in place that it needs to do its work.

  1. How will we do it? Ensuring that there is a clearly defined and articulated path to accomplishing your objectives. Clear obstacles out of their way.
  2. What do we need in order to do it? Is there anything your team lacks? Materials? Information? Buy-in from superiors? You have to go to bat for your team.

Fire

Keep the team motivated to do the work. You have to diligently tie the work the team is doing to why it is doing it.

  1. Why are we doing it? What difference will it make to the team, company or the world?
  2. What will it mean if we actually do this work? What is the change that is this going to make and how does it relate to my personal productive passion? Learn to speak the motivational language of your employees.

[Overcast® Link]