“You must guard constantly against those who lack vision. You must guard against the reactionary mind. Always cultivate and associate with persons of vision and with persons who believe that things are going to be better. When you do this, you take on the kind of vision, backed by the right kind of inspiration that you need if you are going to grow . . . .” Thomas Watson, Sr., 1874-1956, chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM)
Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.
An Army leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization.
As defined in Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 6-22, Army Leadership August 2012
- Live a life of undivided integrity
- Always demonstrate a positive attitude
- Consider other people’s interest as more important that your own
- Don’t settle for anything less than excellence
from Chris Widner: The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins With You
Jesus had a plan…and he executed it right on time.
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 (NIV)
Short of the divine knowledge Jesus possessed, few of us would be able to deliver exactly on time with as far to travel and as many things to do. Along the way he taught parables, eased Martha to the better choice, confronted demons, expressed woes to the pharisees, healed people, dined with his disciples, and prayed all night before being arrested…right on time.
Granted, the things we do day-to-day don’t have eternal consequences for all of humanity, but why do we seem to always miss deadlines, cram all night to study or finish a project, or flat out miss deadlines? We’ve lost the art of backward planning.
Backward planning is the process of determining the right time to start something by subtracting from the finish point the time required to complete it .
Here’s a simple example: It takes 2 hours to drive to your mothers and you need to be there by 7:00pm. Subtract 2 hours from 7pm and you need to leave at five. WAIT, WAIT…don’t stop reading, it gets better.
What we fail to do is apply this simple concept to more complex projects like the yearly report, your masters degree thesis, or even family panning. Here’s some simple steps to backward plan your next project.
- Determine the finish point
- List all tasks that must be done in order
- Estimate the length of each task
- Subtract each length from the finish point
In a previous post I quoted John Maxell who observed that older and “insecure leaders view change as a threat rather than an opportunity. ” But what if you have to change.
Many small churches are facing declining membership because their traditions have not changed in decades. The prevailing belief is worship traditions are Biblical and any deviation must certainly be a sin. Even though largely attracted to the spiritual (review the popular movies today) , younger generations are increasingly turned off by what they see as rigid and irrelevant. Continue reading
Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck asserted, ‘It is the nature of man as he grows older to protect against change, particularly change for the better.’ By its very nature, empowerment brings constant change in that it encourages people to grow and innovate. Change is the price of progress. Insecure leaders view change as a threat rather than an opportunity. – John Maxwell