Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Missing in Action? Nahh......

I must apologize.

I have been remiss in not keeping up with the Blog. There's no excuse, really. I am just caught up in getting the consulting thing going full time. And I have been successful.

Full-time consulting after 20 years of being responsible for everyone and everything should be a welcome change. I have a knack for leadership and have tried for those twenty years to give an excellent return on investment for the organizations I have managed and led for.

Now it's time to take it to a different level. I will keep discussing lessons learned and sharing with my readers tips and advice for being a better leader.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oil Sands and Big Trucks!


Cat Dump Truck
Originally uploaded by mr. sneakers

Wow!

What a big truck!

These vehicles are used to haul the oil sand to the refining process in the oil sand fields of Northern Alberta, Canada. Never thought I'd ever get to Alberta, let alone Fort McMurray, 400 miles north of Calgary, but that's where I am heading.

I have decided to pursue consulting full time and my first project will be "way up there." I am very excited about the opportunity to apply my background in an environment where people actually want my help to take their organization to the next level, or to implement intelligent solutions that enable them to work smarter, not harder.

Corporate America, especially those antiquated, old-school, muscle-managed organizations that have not seriously updated their business practices in 50+ years, often looks the gift horse in the mouth. Many backwards industries still think the way to motivate people is to "beat them until they do what we want." They disrespect their people constantly and thus devalue their most important assets.

I say, good riddance to that life.

I say hello to a world where I can truly work with people who can make a difference in organizations that want and will appreciate my help.

Hello, consulting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check out this video on Livestrong.com

Inspiration takes many forms.

Today, I got an e-mail from a classmate letting us know that his son, Alex Boehme, had suffered a severe injury with complications and has fought a hard battle to regain his strength and get back to the game of soccer that he loves. Here's a link to the LiveStrong website and Alex's Video:

http://www.livestrong.com/video/5020-dare-challenge-finalist-arsenal21/

So, when you're feeling like you've got too much to handle and you're overwhelmed by the day-to-day problems that you face, take a look at Alex's video and some of the others on the LiveStrong site and be inspired to overcome your problems.

The only way to make a difference in your own life is to take action and work to make a difference. Don't let life happen to you. Take control, take action, and take the lead in controlling your own destiny.

And please remember, whether you think you can or you think you can't...you're right!



Friday, September 12, 2008

A Passion For the Game

So last night, the boys fought a hard game against a very tough team and had a chance to win it, but failed to capitalize. The final score was 12-7 and it really was a great game. Jim did not get to play as the coach kept all of his first stringers in the whole game (not something I agree with).

When Jimmy came out of the locker room, he was very upset. He was in tears over the loss and said it was hard to lose when they were so close and played so hard.

It was then that I realized he was learning to become a teammate and developing a passion for the game and his team. To see that blossom in a young man is a very cool thing.

As a leader, if we could inspire this kind of passion and commitment in our teams, we'd be unstoppable. What is it about the game of football that stirs the passions? Could we bring a similar passion to our work? Some work teams, rare though they are, function at this level. They are usually teams where:
  1. Each team member knows his responsibility and accepts the importance of that responsibility.
  2. Each team member cares about the other team members and wants to see them succeed as well.
  3. Each team member shares equally in the rewards of winning.
  4. Each team member realizes the synergy: "WE" are stronger than "me"

Want a lesson in what teamwork is?

Sometimes you need look no further than your son.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

OSHA and Leadership


OSHA
Originally uploaded by volcanojw

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov

Interesting organization that typically strikes fear in the hearts of many manufacturing leaders. This is because there are many skeletons in the closet of most organizations. Things that managers know they should do something about, but continue not to do those things....important things....because "it costs too much," or "no one has gotten hurt on that thing in a long time," or my personal favorite "there's too many social issues surrounding that safety improvement."

The fact of the matter is, if you're waiting to do the right thing until after OSHA inspects, you're wrong. A leader puts the safety of his people ahead of everything else. A leader says if you can't do it safely, don't do it at all.

Too many times, as in the case of a recent death of a worker in a G%#dye$r chemical factory, problems that everyone knew existed, like not practicing emergency evacuations or having an accountability system where all the noses are touched and counted before saying "all present and accounted for," never get corrected until it's too late.

I for one won't tolerate it. Will you?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Love > Fear


Love > Fear
Originally uploaded by dk79


I like this sign. It about sums up what's going on right now for me and my family. You should look to those you love when the road gets a little bumpy. You must believe you will get through whatever life throws at you and the ones you love will always be there for you.

I watched a movie that has been our for a while, "Akeela and the Bee." If you have not seen it, it's an inspiring story of overcoming fear through the love and support of family and friends. I leave you today with a quote that is central to the theme of the film.

Our Greatest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


To my supporters, thanks. You are most important to me.

To my detractors, learn to like yourself and you may begin to like others.

To those of you who don't know what this post is about, stay tuned. You will in time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who's got my SOX?


As I was discussing business with someone today, we touched on the Sarbanes-Oxley act. I found the whole history kinda fascinating, especially since many organizations still have woefully inadequate controls in place on largely antiquated processes and violate this act daily with impunity. It's a leadership challenge that could end with jail-time for the uninformed leader. Be cognizant of your responsibilities under this act or it could come back to haunt you.


The information and links below are from our friends at Wikipedia:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, enacted 2002-07-30), also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 and commonly called SOX or Sarbox; is a United States federal law enacted on July 30, 2002 in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems and WorldCom. These scandals, which cost investors billions of dollars when the share prices of the affected companies collapsed, shook public confidence in the nation's securities markets. Named after sponsors Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), the Act was approved by the House by a vote of 423-3 and by the Senate 99-0. President George W. Bush signed it into law, stating it included "the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt."[1]


The legislation establishes new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. It does not apply to privately held companies. The Act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional Corporate Board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law. Debate continues over the perceived benefits and costs of SOX. Supporters contend that the legislation was necessary and has played a useful role in restoring public confidence in the nation's capital markets by, among other things, strengthening corporate accounting controls. Opponents of the bill claim that it has reduced America's international competitive edge against foreign financial service providers, claiming that SOX has introduced an overly complex and regulatory environment into U.S. financial markets.[2]


The Act establishes a new quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which is charged with overseeing, regulating, inspecting, and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies. The Act also covers issues such as auditor independence, corporate governance, internal control assessment, and enhanced financial disclosure.

Monday, September 1, 2008

BACK TO WORK!!!!


BACK TO WORK!!!!
Originally uploaded by Germ..

Summer's over folks! Back to work!

As we head into the last part of 2008, try to stay focused on what's important. Leadership, in all it's forms, is a challenge...much more than management. There's no "on/off" switch on people, so you have to engage their brains. Management does not do that....leadership does.

I've blogged here often on the difference, so frequent readers should know the mantra: You "manage" things. You lead people. If you are capable, that is. Too many people who are not in charge of their own emotions are actually given responsibilities for others. This often leads to disastrous results for organizations and people's careers. Many an otherwise capable and efficient operation has been destroyed, along with countless people's livelihoods, by incompetent managers masquerading as leaders.

Don't be one of those people. Leadership can be learned. It is not a trait bestowed at birth. It's also not a quick or easy study. Learning leadership and becoming a leader is a natural process. A natural process that has, at its core, your desire to admit where you need to work on yourself first. Leadership, after all, starts with an understanding and improvement of ourselves.

Are you ready for that kind of responsibility?

Are you worthy to lead others?