It's All About the Data

It's All About the Data
It's All About the Data

Monday, June 16, 2014

Six Strategies for Effective Leadership



I was listening to a podcast from Pete Carroll (football coach), and his words caught my attention.  Instead of the usual lingo (blitz, 2 deep zone, etc), he spoke at a higher level.  He made a profound statement:

Know who you are

I said ok, but I thought about  the famous saying "I'm okay, you're okay", but quickly added "I'm okay, but you really need some work".  So I was very interested in how Pete was going to make the logical progress from all-accepting to achieving goals.

His strategy was simple and worth repeating.

  • Gameplan - Have a gameplan.  Do we start each day with goals in mind, or are we just surviving?  I hear more and more from my management friends, that their team "is just trying to survive".  Wake up each morning with a gameplan and goals to be achieved that day.

  • Language - This is all about communication.  When I say  "imperative" do you understand what I mean?  When I say "strategy" or "tactics", are we communicating?  If not, then we don't have the same language.  Verbal exchange (face-to-face) needs to be the main methodology of communication in our world.  Lessen those tweets, and cryptic emails - reach out and talk to your team.

  • Consistency - The coach's comment was "say what you are going to do and then DO IT".  If you manage people, be accountable to them, that is the most effective way to have the team reach its goals. If the management is not consistent in theme, presentation, and ACTION - you are destined for inefficiencies.

  • Everyone on Same Page - This may seem obvious, but usually the lack of 'same page' is one of the causes of team dysfunction. 

  • Build on strength and uniqueness  - This one was key for me.  Sometimes we struggle to expand, to do something different and miss the uniqueness that makes us special.  Can you define your personal, team, and company strength and uniqueness - that is your BRAND.  Leverage your BRAND, maximize your BRAND.

  • Focus on task at hand - Provide high-energy, focused energy to complete core tasks.  There are lots of blogs and web sites devoted to this.  My current belief is to turn off your phone, get to a quiet place and get to the business of getting things done.

What surprised me, and encouraged me, was that the strategies noted above can be applied to so much we do in life:  work, home, relationships, hobbies.  The blueprint is above, now is the time to implement those strategies.


David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Journey - Taking a step


Every journey starts with a first step.

That frightening and anxiety-ridden first step.  Why do we pause….
  • Are we scared
  • Are we prudent
  • Are we frozen?

I learned that the first thing to do is to reduce the directions to take with the first step.  Should I go north, south, east or west.  If you know what direction you don't want to go, that increases the possibility of going in the right direction.

OK - how do we take this notion and apply it to our work?

  • To do good work, you need to do things you have never done before (take a risk)
  • This journey, takes a 'first step'
  • Decide what direction you are going to go.  This involves deciding such things as:
    • What are the company's goals for this journey?
    • Who can I get to assist me on my journey?
    • How much effort am I willing to put in?  Are you all-in or just surviving?
    • When is it due?  You will need to match the effort to the available time available.


The other item I learned is that you cannot eat an elephant in one bite.  What does that mean?
  • Break the larger/longer journey into smaller easier trips.   Take your project and decompose it into smaller sub-projects.
  • Anxiety is reduced when smaller steps and more goals that can be reached are created.  Anxiety is what stops us from taking those uncertain steps on the journey.

Your life's journeys need to be nurtured, but can not be fully realized without taking the first step.  Take a step today.

David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.