Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

There's a Moose in the Guard Shack - he's gonna kill me!

Here is a teaser outlining the chapters of my book and a short description of the chapters involved in the project. Each chapter tackles a specific anecdote and the professional leadership traits and tactics that I took away from the incident. The entire project is designed to be entertaining while still discussing specific troubles and problems that managers and supervisors deal with on a daily basis.

Tommy’s Moose
Attitudes – Beliefs – Values - Truthfulness – Fairness – Consistency – Getting’ Better and Efficient
Tommy’s Moose is an adventure that takes the reader on a trek of terror and the steps taken to abate that terror. There’s an unscheduled late night visitor to a lonely guard post—what excitement that visitor creates. Discussion points include: the attitudes – beliefs – values of those you work with, the role of being truthful – fair & consistent with those you work with, and the goal of always striving to make your organization better and more efficient.

The Doors blew open
Calm vs. Excited - Trust
The Doors Blew Open is adventure that really wasn’t. What happens when there is almost an adventure, a bad situation and the reactions to what might have been? The level of excitement achieved an extremely high point. The discussion points revolve around excitement and what Chicken Little would do given the opportunity.

Nenana – Two shorts and a long
Human Skills - Technical Skills - Interviewing for Technical Skills - Conceptual Skills
- Writing Skills- Interviewing in general - Ability to Lead
Nenana – Two Shorts and a Long relates the when brains are not engaged occurrence involving an experienced petroleum handler//truck driver who makes a small mistake and ends up feeling the brunt of it. I discuss human and technical skills and how one should go about interviewing for those skills. Additionally we look into conceptual skills and writing skills and I hit briefly on the ability to lead.

Coaching the Cosmos
Matching requirements with employees  - Motivating individual employees - Final note on our participation
Coaching the Cosmos is all about putting kids in the game and the part luck can play in that game. Luck with the addition of skill and the results that just might be obtained. The importance of matching requirements with employees and motivating of individual employees is explored.

Walkabout Aggressors
Walkabout Aggressors is a story that has never been told before as far as I know—others might have but I haven’t. The tale takes the reader along on a short trip through the woods, never knowing what might be around the next corner. What happens when others want to be part of the excitement and what levels will they go to accomplishing their involvement. Turning bad times into good times is sometimes much easier than one might think. I discuss counseling, leading a group, the importance of reading the vine—the preverbal grapevine.

Mess Hall Cups - It’s just a flippin’ Coffee Cup
Communication (good & bad) - Meetings: their agenda and conduct - Get it right the first time - Organization and opportunity
Mess Hall Cups is all about how crazy situations can get when communication is less that perfect. The simple becomes next to impossible.  Here is a discussion of communication; both good and bad. Pointers are covered on holding meetings and advice on getting it right the first time.

Hurricane Heaters and Practice in Combat Parking
More on authority, responsibility and accountability
Hurricane Heaters and Practice in Combat Parking is a tale about authority and what happens when that authority is not applied correctly. I address how you correct inaction when it should have been applied and discuss some additional pointers on responsibility.

500 Lb Bomb found – We’re Movin’ Out
Organization structure - Training status - Review (evaluation) process
500 lb Bomb Found – We’re Movin’ Out delves into organizations and their ability to react. The selection of the players is of prime importance just as the selection of every employee within a society: work, social, whatever. Organization structure is explored along with the training status and review and evaluation process

Fitz and His Spare Tire
Think like Fitz - Giving instructions - Stupid questions - Personal skills inventory - Mentoring - Integrity and principles
Fitz and His Spare Tire lays out an adventure that took place because of someone thinking instead of following instructions; people are individuals and almost always want to do well. I tell of one of the best lessons I have ever learned—a real life lesson. Think like Fitz and be sure you giving good instructions. I also discuss how to handle those stupid questions and methods of developing a personal skills inventory of those working with you along with mentoring, integrity and the importance of principles is also discussed.

Let me tell ya ‘bout Cold
Common Sense
Let Me Tell Ya ‘bout Cold asks the question: how tough can you take it? Put yourself in the situation and see what you would do? Just how cold have you ever been? Can you imagine real cold? Victories have to be found wherever you can find them. Can you take it?

They came from outta the sky!
What’s going on? Planning - Organizing – Leading - Controlling – Just Maybe
Great Ping Pong Ball Drop    describes what can happen when the lack of a good plan becomes the problem. How would you act if you had the market cornered? Knowing what’s going on in your organization and how to plan, organize, lead and control are the discussion points.

To Jack’s House - Part I
Responsibility – Accountability - Authority and Power
To Jack’s House and Back is about another short trip, the confrontation involved, the struggle getting back home again and things that shouldn’t go bump but often do. Responsibility, accountability, authority and power; where they come from and how to deal with each are the center of the message here. What precedence is and the New Guy syndrome add to the tale along with the obtaining of authority and what to do in the face of the unexpected.

To Jack’s House - Part II
Who makes the decision? – Precedence - The New Guy

Back from Jack’s House - Part I
Allowing Supervisors to supervise

Back from Jack’s House - Part II
Obtaining authority - The unexpected - Consultants

Up and Back – Part I
People vs. Mission Orientation - Skills and Talent - Tell vs. Not tell – Self recognition
Up and Back and Up Again is an account of people and perseverance under trying circumstances. The adventure takes place on a one day trip (convoy) that ends up requiring two days due to unforeseen complications and the actions of a few bad apples. The leadership discussion concentrates on: are you a people vs. mission orientation manager, skills vs. talent decision, telling vs. not telling employees everything, just what’s important to you, are you having a good time, self recognition, second guessing your subordinate managers or supervisors, cycles – changes – paying attention and addresses the question: think you got it tough?

And Up Again – Part II
Perseverance - Second guessing - Cycles – Change – Attention - What’s important to you? – Turn-over (Got it tough?) - Have a good time!

Huntin’ downhill (Bonus Anecdote)
Fun - Camaraderie
Huntin’ Downhill reminds us that ya just gotta have fun, not at the cost of the mission, but while you are getting there and almost every step along the way. I also discuss what to do if you’re not having fun and why it should be of prime importance in your career. Camaraderie with those you work with is looked into.

Appendix A - Howard’s Law
Howard’s Laws are a set of principles that I have gathered throughout my career and always had posted just inside the door in every office I have inhabited over that time. They are very simple and pretty much apply universally.