Are you reaching your Nemo?

Are you reaching your Nemo?  You are probably trying to figure out what I am speaking about when I say your “Nemo”.

I have had the privilege of working with many very talented individuals in the past.  One such individual made a comment one day about organizations that followed a “Nemo Principle”. 

He related to me about the part of the 2003 Disney Movie, Finding Nemo, when Nemo and the other fish were stuck in the net.  All the fish caught in the net were all trying to save themselves by swimming any way they could within the net.  When Nemo suggested that they all start swimming the same direction, the fishing net could not contain the hundreds of fish working in unison for a common goal, freedom.  Eventually, as the fish worked together to reverse the direction of the fishing net.  This resulted in  the net breaking and allowed the fish were to swim free, much to the dismay of the local fishermen. 

What is the organizational lesson here?  When organizations share a common vision, and have aligned goals, that success is inevitable, even against unimaginable odds.

Organizational failure occurs when divisions, departments, and teams are focused on their own survival that they forget about the greater direction of the organization.  When this occurs, the results can be catastrophic for the business. 

The movie, “Finding Nemo” produced a myriad of underlying leadership lessons, many of which you can read about on the internet.  Leaders need to not only have a vision, but also make sure that their vision is in line with organizational goals.  Most importantly, leaders must communicate.  Not every detail needs to be communicated, but enough to motivate and inspire others to follow your vision.

Start working today on reaching your “Nemo”. 

Have a great Monday!


Is the Tail wagging the Dog?

Is the tail wagging the dog?  Interesting thought, but what does this mean?

In the workplace, it is important for leaders to be engaged with what motivates their teams.  Leaders are frequently encouraged to have focus groups with their employees, engage them on an interpersonal level, and ensure that your employees have buy in to the corporate vision. 

In my mind, the most important aspect is that the corporation have vision and that there is a top down understanding of what the values are of organization.  A really good example of this I watched on an episode of Undercover Boss.  Each meeting from the corporate level down to the newest franchise started off meetings with reviewing the mission, vision, and values.  That was eye-opening for me.  In organizations that I have worked in people have expressed concern about an understanding of what the mission, vision, and values were, and how they applied to the work they did.  Because there lacked a clear understanding, people at varying levels of the organization made decisions based upon what their interpretation was of the mission, vision, and values.  Thus, the tail started to wag the dog.

If you have ever seen a really excited dog, their tails are moving all over the place seemingly directing the dog.  Eventually the dog starts chasing the tail, and loses total control of their original mission.

Organizations do the same thing.  Things to remember though.  Employee engagement and recognition is paramount to the success of all organizations from small business to large international corporations.  Make decisions and changes that are more incremental and build upon each other, rather ones that create a “shock and awe” effect, although, sometimes “shock and awe” are inevitable because of the changes.

Most importantly, focus on the culture of the organization.  If the right culture is established, alignment of the mission, vision, and values throughout the organization is virtually guaranteed.  I have found that sub-cultures can be created within the department and divisional levels, but ultimately must be those sub-cultures have to align themselves with organization as whole.

Think about your current position.  Does your organization have a tail wagging the dog mentality?  If so, once those are in place, they are like a flea infestation and could take months and years to completely reverse.

Chart your course beginning today, both personally and professionally.  Regain focus and purpose and have a hostile takeover of your life and your organization!

Essence of Positive

Are you ready?  I mean are you ready for tomorrow? 

I am so ready for tomorrow as I am each day!  Do you know why? 

It is because I get to do something each day, that I didn’t do the day before!  That excites me!  That invigorates me!  That drives me to get out of bed every day!

If you are a fan of baseball movies, you will remember Dennis Quaid in the movie “The Rookie”.  In the movie his character is stuck in AAA ball chasing his dream to make to the Major League team.  One night after talking to his wife about bills, life, etc, walks over to a Little League game and sees the love each young player has to play the game.

The next day he walks into the dugout, and asks one of the other players if he knows why it is a great day?  Without missing a beat Quaid’s character pronounces that “We get to play baseball!”

That is the essence of positive!  How many people do you know dread what they do?  They hate getting up in the morning and they suck the life out of everyone around them.  Jon Gordon, in his book, “The Energy Bus, describes these people as Energy Vampires!

Maybe these Energy Vampires just need a hug (although I think most HR departments would frown upon that gesture)!  I look at the Vampires as an opportunity.  How can I make a difference with that person?  What makes that person tick, or rather what has that person “ticked off”? 

Life is full of trials and tribulations.  We can all wallow in the doldrums of what is not right.  As you wake up each day, guess what, you can make a new start each day.  If you are mired in the quicksand of life, find that branch to grab onto an pull yourself up!  Read a book, talk to a friend, coworker, or significant other.  Find your branch to grab on to, it will guide you in the right direction.

I have found myself stuck in the quicksand at times.  It was tough to get out, but each day I woke up, the nights became short and the day became brighter.  Much like a growing toddler that seems to sleep little and wakes up early full of energy and full of wonderment of what new adventures the new day will provide.  Find your inner child!  What is it that gets you all fired up to do more?  Grab onto that thought and use it as your branch from the quicksand and see what you get to do next!

Have a great tomorrow!!  We all get to do something!!!

Late night ramblings

What is it about Leadership that Leaders are always looking for the Holy Grail?

As a Leader myself, I too am a consumate learner about how to improve and adapt my style.  I read, I watch, I observe. 

I had an “A-ha” moment today.  Effective leadership isn’t necessarily about making the decision, it is about being able to effectively relate to those who support you.  Think about it for a moment.

  • Politicians are deemed strong leaders when they are able to effectively relate to their constituents.
  • Businessmen and women are deemed strong leaders when they can effectively relate to members of their team, their department, their division.
  • Sports figures are deemed strong leaders when they can rally individuals towards a common goal.  These figures can be coaches or players.
  • Religious leaders are effective when they can create a belief among their congregations in something larger than individuals.

There is not a Holy Grail to being an effective leader, but rather effective leaders instill confidence, empowerment, and a sense of being among others.  I have had the opportunity to work with many people in many environments that were not in leadership positions.  These individuals never complained about their own role, but rather understood how their role was important to the success of the organization.  Effective leaders are able to translate organizational goals to individual effectiveness.  As a result, each individual feels empowered to make decisions that positively benefit the end goals of the organization.

I have the belief that leaders can be both effective and ineffective based upon situations.  I had the privelege of working in debt collections for an individual who shared that the best collectors are those that have fewer bad days than their peers.  The same holds true for leaders.  Leaders are most effective when they remember where they came from, not where they may be today.

I am a fan of leadership books that tell a story.  They keep me grounded and remind me about times where I have felt similarly to the characters. 

My advice.  Never forget where you come from.  Stay true to who you are.  Overcommunicate to create a common vision.

Thoughts?  Please leave a comment.  It’s All Good!!

Intro Blog

This is my first blog, so I am sure I will need a lot of feedback from those who read it.

The purpose of this blog is to solicit information about topics that are of interest to me and then create learning opportunities from those interests.  Topics that I think about from time to time range from business topics, family and financial topics, planning topics, or sometimes they will just be about funny things that occur in the normal course of life.

I have been a Contact Center professional for almost 22 years now.  I have heard and seen things over my career that just astound me.  Due to confidentiality, I can speak about few of those in a public forum.

In this first blog, I would like to know what people think about the legacy of sports figures who were legendary and then went from “hero to goat” in a very short period of time.  The most recent one that comes to mind is that of Joe Paterno, the former Penn State coach who passed away today. 

Do you think that the media was fair to Paterno?

Do you think the reaction by the Board of Regents was appropriate?

How do you think the allegations will effect his legacy?

There is a purpose for these questions that talk more about leadership and management, which are topics which I will post most about.

Thank you for reading and providing your comments, positive or negative, IT’S ALL GOOD!